Lessons from Hasselbeck
A former Packer got his walking papers in Tennessee this week: Matt Hasselbeck is now officially a former member of the Titans. Why is this important? Follow me, please.
I've referenced former Packer executive Andrew Brandt a number of times here, and he dropped another gem of inside information Monday:
Brandt was part of the front office crew that brought Hassebeck to Green Bay as a sixth round pick in 1998. Obviously, they saw something the rest of the league didn't, as the Boston College product would go on to a long and productive NFL career, even leading the Seahawks to a Super Bowl appearance (in which they were robbed by the officials, but that's beside the point).
(As a brief aside, when Hasselbeck was eventually traded by the Packers to the Seahawks, they used the pick they got in return (1oth overall in the first round) to select mega-bust Jamaal Reynolds. Here is a list of players selected in the first round after Reynolds...try to read it without throwing up: Dan Morgan, Santana Moss, Steve Hutchinson, Casey Hampton, Nate Clements, Deuce McAllister, Reggie Wayne, Todd Heap. Ugh.)
Anyhow, my point in all this is as follows: as the Packers continue to avoid free agency like the plague, remember that free agency is only a small part of the overall development of a team. It may get the big headlines and set Twitter on fire, but very rarely does a team win with what it does in March. It could be that right now, a scout is looking at the next player that nobody's heard about. The Packers have struck gold with no-names in late rounds before (Donald Driver, for one). Keep that in mind as the Packers are spurned by the likes of Steven Jackson and company.