Free agency reset: Offensive players

Who is left that could help the Packers on offense? Packer Report runs down the talent available at backup quarterback, third-down running back and the offensive line.

With one of the NFL's top offenses, the Packers not surprisingly have put their free agent focus on their defense.

After 11 days of free agency, the story on offense is much the same as it was on defense: All of the top talent is gone, leaving teams with a list of players able to fill specific roles but not able to be big-time contributors.

Here are the third- and fourth-tier players who could interest the Packers. In case you missed it, here is our defensive breakdown.

Quarterbacks

The Packers don't need one now, though a couple of the project-type quarterbacks interested them during the Scouting Combine. If the quarterbacks behind Aaron Rodgers are struggling in August, perhaps one of these names will be available:

J.P. Losman: Losman drew comparisons to Brett Favre when coming out of Tulane in 2004 but was a first-round bust in Buffalo. He was pretty good in 2006, but has 33 career touchdowns and 34 interceptions. He has all the tools, and a good quarterbacks coach like the Packers' Tom Clements could be his savior.

Kyle Boller: The 2003 first-round pick and Rodgers' predecessor at Cal was decent for Baltimore, but an injury opened the door for Joe Flacco. Boller, with 45 touchdowns and 44 interceptions, is entering his sixth season and could be worth a look.

Rex Grossman: Packers fans know all too well about Grossman, but then again, he never was surrounded with good talent or good offensive coaching with the Bears. Grossman, a first-round pick in 2003, also drew comparisons to Favre coming out of Florida because of his arm strength. He has 33 career touchdowns and 35 interceptions.

Patrick Ramsey: He started 23 games for Washington during his first three NFL seasons but started just once in 2005 and played sparingly since then. The strong-armed Ramsey has 35 career touchdown passes and 30 interceptions.

— The top quarterbacks available are Jeff Garcia and Byron Leftwich. Both are looking for starting jobs. If disaster strikes with Rodgers in the preseason, they'd be at the top of the list, though one or both probably will be signed if a quarterback-hungry team isn't happy with its situation after the draft.

Third-down halfback

Warrick Dunn just turned 34 but remains remarkably productive. Despite starting only six games, he rushed for 786 yards. More importantly, he caught 47 passes, pushing his career total to 510. That figure would rank fourth in Packers history. He's got impeccable character and would be a great mentor for the Packers' younger backs.

Ahman Green just turned 32 and is coming off of a couple injury-plagued seasons with Houston. The Texans released him last month, but coach Gary Kubiak told Packer Report that he thinks Green still has plenty to offer. He caught 46 passes for the Packers in 2006.

— DeShaun Foster, 29, didn't do much for San Francisco last year but rushed for between 876 yards and 897 yards in 2005 through 2007. He has four seasons of at least 25 receptions.

Dominic Rhodes, 30, kept the Colts in the playoff race when Joseph Addai went down last season. He posted a career-high 45 receptions.

— For a feel-good story, how about Aaron Stecker, 33, who grew up near Lambeau Field? Last year was ruined by a hamstring injury, but he had 36 receptions in 2007.

Offensive line

In case the Packers elect not to re-sign Mark Tauscher, who is coming off of a torn ACL in his left knee, there are other veteran tackles available.

Jon Runyan is one of the toughest guys in the league — he's started all 16 games at right tackle for the past dozen seasons — but at 35 and coming off of touchy microfracture surgery aimed at creating cartilage in his right knee, his future is about on par with Tauscher's. If he's healthy, he might return to Philadelphia.

Marvel Smith couldn't participate in the Steelers' run to the championship because of a recurring back problem. A second-round pick in 2000, Smith has more than 100 career starts at left tackle. He'll turn 31 during training camp.

Khalif Barnes, who turns 26 next month, has 57 starts at both tackle positions in four seasons, but the Jaguars made no effort to re-sign him. Perhaps that speaks to his level of play.

— Kwame Harris was given a three-year, $16 million deal by the Raiders last season but was a bust and was released last month. He led the league in false starts. Harris, a first-round pick in 2003, can play both tackle spots.

Moving inside ...

Kendall Simmons, a first-round pick in 2002, tore an Achilles tendon early in 2008 and was released by the Steelers last month. Simmons, who turns 30 this month, has been a full-time starter when healthy at right guard since his rookie season.

Mike Goff, 33, helped pave the way for LaDainian Tomlinson as a right guard in San Diego. He's started all 16 games for six consecutive seasons.

Pete Kendall, who turns 36 in July, wore down late last season for the Redskins. At 286 pounds, he fits the Packers' mold for their linemen. He started all 16 games at left guard the last two seasons.

Al Johnson, 30, played his high school ball about an hour from Green Bay at Southern Door and played for the Badgers. He was a reserve center for Miami last season but had 14 starts for Arizona in 2007 and 31 starts for Dallas in 2004 and 2005.

Duke Preston, who turns 27 in June, brings versatility because he's started at center and guard for Buffalo. He started 11 games last year.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Lambeau Level forum. Bill also is giving Twitter a try. Find him at twitter.com/packerreport


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