So what's next?'s Doug Ritchay reviews Green Bay's puzzling off-season thus far, and offers his take on safety Mike Doss, who signed with the arch-rival Minnesota Vikings this week, and why the Packers should have considered signing him.

With three weeks to go before the NFL draft the Green Bay Packers look similar to the team which ended the 2006 season 8-8 and on a four-game winning streak. The only "noteworthy" off-season addition was signing cornerback Frank Walker as the team's likely nickel back. Beyond that, the Packers have done next to nothing.

GM Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy have to have a plan, but not adding anything else even close to Walker makes me wonder what the team's approach is. Randy Moss trade rumors have died down, but once the draft approaches those should heat up, not that Moss will become a Packer, but who knows?

Adding offensive firepower, in general, like a running back and tight end also has not happened. Could it be Thompson is waiting for the draft to fill these needs?

If the Packers don't add Moss, the best scenario for Green Bay would be to pick California running back Marshawn Lynch, who appears to be NFL ready. Running backs have the easiest transition to the NFL — at least on the offensive side — and adding Lynch would be a help to Favre, who doesn't have the reliable Ahman Green anymore.

Be that as it may, picking Lynch isn't a guarantee. He may not last to the 16th pick or the Packers may view a running back in the second or third round similar to Lynch and go in a different direction at No. 16.

Since the Packers haven't done anything in free agency, the draft will take on added importance. Favre isn't guaranteed to play beyond 2007, meaning whoever Thompson selects later this month will need to show an unusual knack for adjusting to the NFL right away to give Favre one last chance at a playoff run. This seems unlikely, but the Packers may have a different view on this.

Thompson likely isn't picking just with Favre's final season in mind. If Favre does retire after 2007, the players he selects in the draft need to be multi-year contributors. In Thompson's eyes, it's not all about one season. The NFL will continue with or without Favre.

Second, maybe he doesn't view the NFC North and the NFC as a huge hurdle to clear. If that's the case, why spend so much money on players you don't believe are necessary?

The Packers' approach in the off-season has been somewhat puzzling. But Thompson isn't going to spend money because he has it. He wants to make sure every player he adds is worth the price. So far, Walker is the only thing Thompson has to show for. Although I think the Packers have greater off-season plans than this, if this is all the Packers add outside the draft, have they done enough to make Favre's final year something to look forward to?

If so, Greg Jennings must stay healthy, Bubba Franks must become the old Bubba Franks, Koren Robinson must come back ready to play after 12 months off and the defense better continue on the track it was on late last season. Maybe all this happens, but it wouldn't be bad to add some veteran reinforcements, would it?

One of those veteran reinforcements could've been Mike Doss. The Vikings added former Indianapolis safety to their secondary this week via free agency. Doss missed most of last season with a torn ACL, but before his injury started 42 games in four seasons.

Doss, a former second-round pick from Ohio State, is a hard hitter, who can also pick off a pass. Considering Marquand Manuel is still a Packer, it would've been nice to see the Packers add Doss.

Coming off an injury, there is some concern with Doss, but he is reasonably priced as the Vikings inked him to a one-year, $1 million deal (Manuel is making $2 million per).

The Packers likely never considered Doss because of the injury, which happened last October. Still, Doss is a player who plays near the line of scrimmage and could've added toughness the Packers' secondary hasn't seen since LeRoy Butler retired.

Doug Ritchay

Doug Ritchay is a frequent contributor to and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at

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