Scout.com NFL analyst Adam Caplan answered questions from Packer Report publisher Bill Huber and subscribers who left their queries in the Lambeau Level forum.
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Q: Any news on Greg Jennings or any possible contract extensions in Green Bay?
Adam: Jennings is up after this season and I'm told they have at least $26 million in available cap space at the moment (probably more after the cap credits are counted) so I'd expect something done before training camp starts with him.
Q: How big of market will there be for Mark Tauscher, given he is coming off a second knee reconstruction? Is he likely to come back to Green Bay because of his age and the injury making him iffy for training camp?
Adam: The key is for him to prove he's making really good progress and that can happen with an updated MRI and examination by a prospective team doctor.
Teams that could have an interest include Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins.
Q: How would you assess Aaron Rodgers' first year as a starting quarterback, and where do you rank him among NFL QBs?
Adam: Outstanding, considering he played with a bad shoulder almost all season. He has a much stronger arm than I first realized and he's pretty accurate. I'd put him somewhere in the back of the top-10.
Q: How is Green Bay viewed as a destination by perspective free agents?
Adam: Playing in the cold weather never is really attractive, but it's usually about opportunity and money. Other than on the offensive line and safety possibly, I'm not so sure there will be a lot of openings for starting jobs there.
Q: How do you view Ted Thompson as a GM, and how do his colleagues see him? In other words, are the Packers in good hands?
Adam: Pretty solid for the most part. He proved to be right with his judicious approach to free agency a few years ago. He believes, as many teams do, that you build through the draft and, in the end, will win that way.
I think his only issue that I see is his failure to build a good offensive line. That's the one really weak area that I see.
Q: Is it true that Colin Cole turned down a new contract? Will he be a pretty hot commodity in free agency?
Adam: Haven't heard that, but Cole is a very serviceable backup. If he really did turn down a new deal, he must think there's a starting job out there. Hard to see that though.
Q: How big of an impact will the CBA issue (possibly no cap in 2010) have on the Packers this offseason? How about the rest of the league?
Adam: It's hard to say, but with no cap in 2010, I think that's when teams may not spend like usual since they can spend what they want. Speaking to some key player agents, it's possible we could see some low-level collusion starting in 2010 if there's no cap. Teams could just decide not to sign certain players if they think their demands are way out of line. I don't necessarily agree with that, but it was thrown out there when I was at the Senior Bowl a few weeks ago.
Q: You're in charge of re-energizing the Packers' defense. How good (or bad) is their talent? Who would you keep? Who would get the boot?
Adam: They had a lot of injuries on defense and I think head coach Mike McCarthy panicked with the coaching changes. With the move to a 3-4, they'll need better depth at linebacker.
I'd go out and get a true fit (OLB) for a 3-4 scheme. It will take some time for Aaron Kampman to be comfortable playing standing up.
Q: Knowing Thompson's reluctance to spend a lot of money but also knowing the Packers have some holes to fill with a new defense, what do you see the Packers doing in free agency?
Adam: I see them adding a guard or right tackle in free agency, possibly an upgrade at tight end (veteran type), a pass rushing outside linebacker, and possibly a veteran safety. Of course, they could also look for these positions in the draft.
Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Lambeau Level forum.