The Long Road Back
Well, the requisite three day mourning period has passed, and with the 2012 Packers' season now dead and buried, we're facing the long dark of the offseason.
It'll be close to eight months until the Packers play another meaningful football game, but there is plenty to do and see in the meantime. For starters, the Packers' annual free agency bonanza starts in March, and while Ted Thompson is loathe to make those "splash" signings, it's not true that the GM doesn't ever dip a toe into the free agency waters.
If you check out the "How Built" section of Packers.com, you'll note that 32 members of the Packers' year end roster were acquired via free agency. Nearly all of them were undrafted free agents picked up immediately after the April draft. Those signings are not nearly as likely to make headlines as Thompson's pursuit of players like Charles Woodson, but they're just as, if not more, important to the team.
Packer fans can also look forward to this April's draft, although as an advance warning, there won't be any mock drafts appearing in this space, or at least not any created by me. It's possible we could do a weekly digest of what the draft "experts" are saying the Packers will pick, but that's yet to be determined. I do know that mock drafts are a fool's errand, as they almost never pan out beyond the first two or three picks. That said, it can be fun to speculate, so perhaps we'll indulge in a bit of that.
(NEEDLESS SPECULATION WARNING) Speaking of speculation, were I to speculate a bit, I'd say the Packers will probably look to add an offensive lineman early in the draft, perhaps a center or someone who can swing between both center and guard. Adding depth along the defensive line or at linebacker would also seem to be a prudent move.
That said, Ted Thompson has always been one to pick what he believes to be the best player on the board, regardless of position, and with Jermichael Finley potentially on the outs, Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert could be the best available player (NEEDLESS SPECULATION ENDS HERE).
While winning the Super Bowl is obviously the goal of any NFL team (as it should be), only one team can reach that mountaintop each season. The Packers won't be winning this year (duh), but there's still plenty to love about the team and it will be interesting to see where they go this offseason.