Ted Thompson Traded T.J. Lang for Jahri Evans and a Third Round Pick

If next year’s compensatory picks pan out as they’re currently projected, Ted Thompson’s decision to let T.J. Lang walk should be considered less an unpardonable sin and more highway robbery.

According to Over The Cap, the loss of T.J. Lang is currently slated to net the Packers a third round pick. That’s good, but no single player move can be considered in a vacuum. The third round pick is great, but the whole picture looks even better.

Earlier this offseason, former Detroit Lions right guard Larry Worford signed with the New Orleans Saints. As a result, Jahri Evans became expendable and wasn’t retained. When T.J. Lang signed with Detroit, we theorized that Evans was a logical replacement in Green Bay.

As it turns out, that’s exactly what happened.

While Evans certainly isn’t the player he once was, he’s the best available approximation of what was Lang’s best attribute: his pass blocking.

Here’s where Evans’ salary comes into play. He played last year on a one year, $1 million deal from New Orleans after he was cut by the Seahawks in their final roster reduction. He’d signed in Seattle on a one year, $1.65 million dollar deal.

Assuming his Green Bay contract is similar to what he received in Seattle, Evans would only cancel out the loss of Julius Peppers in the Packers’ compensatory pick formula, keeping Green Bay in line for the aforementioned third round pick for Lang.

In short, Thompson essentially traded Lang for Jahri Evans and a 2018 third round pick in what would have been a three team deal. Even if the Evans signing doesn’t work out and Lang has a career renaissance in Detroit, it would be hard for any general manager to turn down that offer.