3 Reasons Why Packers Fans Should Remain Calm During Free Agency
Former NFL agent Leigh Steinberg published a column for Forbes yesterday and he used a great analogy when describing free agency:
B+ players receive A+ contracts with big guarantees.
It’s a great reminder as we head into a tumultuous couple of days where it’s a strong possibility the Packers will lose key contributors to other clubs. It’s highly unlikely Green Bay will sign JC Tretter, Nick Perry and Micah Hyde, let alone two of the three.
Teams will hand out massive contracts in the next few days, and it’s going to be okay if the Packers stay on the edge of the fray. Here’s why:
History tells us the Packers don’t strike early in free agency
The most impactful free agent signed under Ted Thompson’s watch was cornerback Charles Woodson. Woodson had been hit with the franchise tag in two consecutive years with Oakland, and was coming off of a broken leg in 2005.
He signed with the Packers three days before the NFL Draft, more than a month after free agency began.
More recently, tight end Jared Cook did not sign with the Packers until March 28. Cook made a significant impact on the team, and spent three weeks looking for a new team in free agency.
Remember, the NFL Draft is on the horizon
Whether you are a Ted Thompson supporter or disagree with how he runs the Packers, his primary tool to bring new talent on the roster is the draft.
One storyline to watch as the draft approaches is the possibility of Green Bay trading back in the first round. With eight selections in April’s draft, Thompson has averaged nine picks in his tenure.
In 2005, Thompson wheeled and dealed his way to four additional selections. He traded down in the third, fourth, and sixth rounds. Given the depth in the draft at running back, secondary and edge defenders, the Packers may choose a similar route this year.
Compensatory picks are on the way
It’s no secret the Packers have used compensatory picks to restock their roster. If big names like guard T.J. Lang, outside linebacker Nick Perry, and safety Micah Hyde do leave the Packers, they will be compensated next season.
Sure, the compensatory pick doesn’t help the team in 2017. But given how rich of contracts Perry and Lang are seeking, it’s possible Green Bay could receive as high as third round picks for both in next year’s draft.
Not too bad.