Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Molasses Moving in Free Agency...

Good Day.

Well, we are nearing the time in which Ted Thompson starts to go FA shopping. So, I've scanned the FA wire.

At S, OJ Atogwe is a RFA. I'd be curious as to what it costs to lure him away from the Rams. Atogwe is a ball hawk. He had 8 picks last year.

I'd also like to visit with Michael Boulware. Ted Thompson drafted Boulware when he was with the Seahawks. Boulware had a spectacular rookie year. Since, he's been a disappointment, but I love his athletic ability and a change of scenery might be good for him. He was traded to the Texans last year and was a non-factor. I'd toss him a one-year contract and see if our culture can bring the best out of him.

At CB, if we could get Nnamdi Asomugha, this would be dreamy. Asomugha is one of the best young CB's in the NFL. The mere mention of him brings excitement.

I'd also like to bring Fernando Bryant in for a visit. He knows the NFC North. He's a veteran. He's made plays in his career. He brings attitude. He's physical.

At DE, I'd be interested in hearing what Mike Rucker is looking for at this stage of his career. He's the kind of guy that you could steal a year or two from.

At DT, I'd make Rod Coleman my FA prize...especially if he can come at the bargain that I'd anticipate. He was banged up for the majority of last year, but he's been a big time NFL performer. He'd replace Corey Williams pass rushing ability.

I'd also talk to Darwin Walker to see where his heart/head are at right now. Does he have the desire to play football anymore? If so, I'd see if I could toss him a 1-year deal.

At TE, Jerramy Stevens has been a buster in the past. He's an upgrade to what we've got on our roster today. And his NFL career is in jeopardy. I'd bring him in for a workout. He, too, is a player that Thompson drafted in Seattle.

At QB, Chris Weinke, Craig Nall, Daunte Culpepper, and Trent Dilfer are all options to consider as the back-up. Frankly, I'm looking for a guy that can come in and protect a lead in the 2nd half of a game. I'm not looking for a guy that can lead us to a 9 win season. I'm looking for someone that won't lose the game for us.

In the end, I'd be ecstatic with the addition of Rod Coleman and Michael Boulware. Give me Boulware in a 1-year deal. Make him show you that he belongs.


Talkin' S-Mac.


Stack said...

Guy, love the buzz...needed it.

I too would be interested in Otogwe. Working a deal for Asomugah might be possible since they just signed D Hall and they still have Fabian Washington, who is solid, I think.

Let me offer an alternative take on our QB situation:

You pull Aaron Rodgers into a meeting room. You say "Aaron, this is your job. This is your team. What I need from you is to be a leader for 17 weeks in the NFL regular season and into the playoffs. Mistakes will happen. That's okay, what I need to see from you is a leader responding to those mistakes in the right way." Then you lay out this scenario for him:

We need 3 QB's on the roster this season to ensure that we have depth at the position and a chance to get the players behind you versed in the system, should you go down.

We sign Craig Nall tomorrow.

Then we go back to Quinn Gray. We say "Look Quinn, I know you want to play. But you have to look at the situation. In Oakland, they drafted a guy number one overall who is going to get his shot but might not be ready, but ultimately, he's going to be the guy. They're ready to play him. So if you go there, you might start 8 games this season, but you'll always be looking over your shoulder. You'll be keeping JaMarcus's seat warm. You come to Green Bay, you've got stability. You have a good shot at being our number two. We were a step away from the Super Bowl last year and we're returning nearly every core player, with one exception. You've got a chance to be part of that. We got cohesion in our front office. We headed in the right direction, and we've got one of the best quarterback-teaching head coaches in the NFL. In a couple of years, you'll be farther along here than you will be anywhere else."

Sign him.

Give him a one year deal. See how he works out. If it is a good relationship, and you see anything in him, give him a two year extension before he becomes a free agent next season. Why? Because you give McCarthy a chance to develop him. Quinn is 25, groom him for three years, he'll be coming out as a 28 or 29 year old quarterback. If our coaches are worth their salt, we should be able to get something for him at that time.

You get a 23, 24, 25, even 26 year old QB, let McCarthy develop him over three years, and deal him before the end of that time period. Quinn Grey or someone else. Should you not be able to get a 3 or a 4 for that guy at that point? I would think so.

That's my two cents. That would be my approach. I don't think that I would spend a draft pick on this guy. I don't think that I would give up much in the way of a trade for that guy. I think that we should be able to find someone, a free agent, who we could attempt to plug into this idea.


Other notes: Kiper's latest has us taking Michael Jenkins - CB - USF. I'd be down with that.

I would like Terrell Thomas. Guy continues to intrigue me. Just seems like the fit for our style. We need a Trojan on our roster.

That's all I got for you.

Stack said...

From PackerNews.com...

Packers cornerback Charles Woodson has donated $150,000 to his alma mater, the University of Michigan, to create two scholarships.

One of the scholarships honors his mother, Georgia. The other is set aside for students majoring in kinesiology, the science of human movement.

Both of the scholarships will go to incoming freshmen with financial needs from one of four communities -- Woodson's hometown of Fremont, Ohio; Detroit, the closest major city to the U of M; and Oakland, Calif., and Green Bay, where he's played in the NFL.

Woodson is only the third professional athlete to make such a gift to the university. His donation will be matched by the Presidential Scholarship Challenge.

Talkin' S-Mac said...


I agree that we need 3 QB's on the roster next year. I really enjoyed the vibe of your writing. I hear you on Quinn Gray, but I'm not positive that he is a guy that fits our system. I would be fine with Gus Frerrote. Though he is not our long term answer, he's a viable back-up for the near future. For me, it was a positive thing that he came into town. I don't recall seeing Frerrote's name on the FA list when I wrote my last post.

I'd like to draft a QB in the mid-to-late rounds. I'd look to find a developmental guy that fits into our system ala Matt Hasselbach in the 6th round.

The Brandon Chillar pick-up is interesting. Before the Packers-Rams game in the regular season, I wrote that Chillar was a "liability." Then he went out and drilled Ryan Grant in the open field and forced a fumble. I don't know what Chillar's impact will be on the Packers team this year. I imagine that he'll be able to play over the TE and that he'll instantly see playing time. Nonetheless, his signing means that the Packers should not draft a LB. We will keep 6 LB's. Hawk, Barnett, Tracy White, Chillar, and Poppinga are locks. I'd imagine that Desmond Bishop and Abdul Hodge will battle it out for the final spot.

Simply thinking aloud.

porterbela said...

Off topic here, but I just used the ESPN Bracket Simulator for the NCAA tournament. In the simulation I ran, they have UCLA losing in the first round and Miami winning the National Championship.

Damn, I'm screwed.

porterbela said...

Sorry in advance for posting this, but after the past season and what looks to be a potential disaster of an off-season, I need a little positivity.
Just listen to Torry Holt.


Talkin' S-Mac said...

A bit mechanical, but Rodgers impressed before '05 draft

By Mel Kiper Jr.

Updated: February 20, 2008

Editor's Note: Below is the excerpt on Aaron Rodgers from Mel Kiper Jr.'s 2005 "Draft Report."

A highly regarded prospect, Rodgers has the skills throwing the football the NFL is looking for, and was at his best against top competition in the Pac-10. In his final two high school seasons, he threw for a combined 4,419 yards. He set school single-game records for touchdowns (6) and all-purpose yards (440).

He had the same grade as No. 1 overall pick Alex Smith, but Aaron Rodgers went 24th in the 2005 NFL draft.

Before coming to Berkeley, Rodgers spent one season at Butte JC. In 2002, he earned juco All-America honors after completing 61.9 percent of his passes, for 2,408 yards, 28 TDs and only four interceptions. He transferred up to Cal and the Pac-10 for the 2003 season, and was a backup until Week 5 at Illinois. After that, he was Cal's field general, throwing for 2,903 yards and 19 TDs, while completing 61.6 percent of his passes and being intercepted just five times. His five interceptions in 349 pass attempts set a school record for efficiency, as he opened his Bears' career with 98 straight passes without a pick, and then went another 105 throws later in the season. Rodgers had five 300-yard games as a sophomore for Jeff Tedford: at UCLA (28-41, 322 yards, TD, INT), at Arizona State (17-22, 307 yards, 3 TDs), against Washington (20-33, 348 yards, 3 TDs), at Stanford (26-37, 359 yards, 3 TDs, INT) and against Virginia Tech in the Insight Bowl (27-35, 394 yards, 2 TDs). While not statistically as impressive as those other games, he led Cal to an upset win over USC, completing 18-of-25 for 217 yards, two scores and two interceptions. He would have very good success in the two meetings with the back-to-back national champions, outperforming USC's All-American Matt Leinart both times.

In 2004, Rodgers started every game for the Bears and completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 2,546 yards and 24 TDs, while being picked off just eight times. He was a first team All-Pac 10 performer after leading the conference in passing efficiency. He tied an NCAA record for consecutive completions in a single game, connecting on 23 straight against USC, finishing the game with 267 yards and a touchdown on 29-for-34 passing. He had 260 yards and four TDs vs. UCLA (19-for-29), and had a season-high 275 yards and three TDs against Oregon (21-for-32).

Accurate, smart and athletic, Rodgers is a better prospect than former Cal standout and current Ravens starter Kyle Boller. He has above average arm strength, but he can be a bit mechanical in his throws. To speed up his release, head coach Jeff Tedford had Rodgers hold the ball up at his shoulder, but that made his movements too mechanical. I'd like to see him be more natural and fluid in his delivery, while still maintaining that quick release.

There is no questioning the fact that Rodgers put up eye-catching numbers during his two seasons at Cal, especially in both of his performances against USC, where in my opinion, he was better than Heisman winner Matt Leinart of USC who would have been the No. 1 overall pick had he decided to come out early.

* There is a great deal to get excited about when projecting Rodgers to the next level. First of all, he turned out to be at least an inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than I anticipated. I'm also told that during the interview process with the top NFL brass, Rodgers definitely "wowed" everyone over with his poise, communication skills and knowledge of the game. As for being mechanical, Rodgers told me point blank that holding the ball with both hands at shoulder level allows him to get the ball out quicker and also provides more overall fluidity when he's delivering the football. Keep in mind, the tweaking took place after he left Butte Junior College and came to Cal. This was a Jeff Tedford production and one that allowed Rodgers to enjoy tremendous success with the Golden Bears. Some will argue that the QBs Tedford worked with over the years, such as Trent Dilfer, Akili Smith, Joey Harrington and Kyle Boller won't be mistaken for future NFL Hall of Famers. While that's true, Dilfer, who I was on coming out of Fresno State, was a Pro Bowler at Tampa Bay and led the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl victory. The jury is still out on Harrington in Detroit, and Boller is too young to have any final evaluation with the Ravens.

Getting back to Rodgers. I don't have a problem with the perception that he's mechanical, as long as he's winning football games and his individual performances are at a high level. What I have noticed is that by holding the ball at shoulder level, he loses a little quickness and escape ability when things break down in the pocket. He's also not at his best when flushed and forced to throw on the move. However, if the offensive line does its job, this young man can light up a defense, make no mistake about that. You also have to like his demeanor. Rodgers is tough, confident, incredibly poised and, most importantly, very few of his passes hit the ground.

In the end, I gave the slightest of edges to [Alex] Smith, on basically a gut feeling, but in reality, this is basically a 1 and 1-A situation. You are splitting hairs when trying to decide between Smith and Rodgers. While you could argue that they have been elevated to the top of the board because of the lack of super blue-chip prospects in this draft, after all is said and done, I expect both QBs to enjoy solid, winning careers in the NFL.

*Combine Note: Ran a 4.77, didn't lift, and had a 34½-inch vertical jump.

Stack said...

Some guy named Jeff Leonard put this mock on Packer Chatters:

1. Antoine Cason
2. Terrell Thomas
2b. Jason Jones
3. Tony Hills
4. Jermichael Finley
5. Xavier Oman
6. Josh Johnson
7. Paul Hubbard

I like this mock, I would make a few changes, I'm not sure about Hills, I'm not sure if we need to draft an RB in Oman, but I like the double up on CBs, I like DE, Josh Johnson, without seeing him, sounds intruiging, and I like taking a flyer on a WR late. You know you get a WR from Wisconsin, he's going to compete on special teams.

I think it is one of the better mocks out there for the Pack from what I've seen.

Stack said...

I like this Fabian Washington rumor that's going around...

I think he's a decent player, still young, and should be had for a reasonable price, given the corner market. Lots of good corners in the draft, and the Raiders have aldy overloaded themselves on corners, so the price shouldn't be overwhelming.

Stack said...


Get Trotta to sell some ads on this thing so we can make some money for having a high level of discourse.

Need, need, need to add competition at the G position with College and Spitz in the final year of their contract.

Call Charles Rodgers. See where he's at...