Thursday, March 12, 2015

My Take -> Free Agency Happenings

Greetings, G-Force.

The 2015 NFL Season has kicked off. I celebrate. I sip a Crooked Stave Surette Cassis. It's highly carbonated. Potentially too much. I'm excited to let a couple of these age for a bit. Let the carbonation die down. It has a heavy Brett and Lacto funky feel. As it ages, I fancy the yeast bacteria will work wonders as becomes less carbonated. It's stunningly tart. Robustly currant in flavor. It's alive! A true winner! Much like Ted Thompson over the first week of Free Agency.

I casually jam Honey Boy, a slow low-key 1970's Reggae vibe. I imagine Ted Thompson is in chilled out mode after dropping the hammer as he locked down Bryan Bulaga and Randall Cobb. Honey Boy's "Guitar Man" is a terrific beat when you're looking to slow down your speed after a busy week.

Ted Thompson. Victorious. He needed to lock down Bulaga and Cobb. He did so. He still has more than $20 million to make magic happen. He's going to sign Raji. He's going to sign Guion for a great bargain. Barclay is going to be back. Sean Richardson will be signed. Now, we wait for phase 2 of Free Agency.

At present, there are zero CB's on an NFL Roster that are over the age of 31. Tramon Williams is a 32-year old CB. He's without a contract. His market value is not in high demand as most CB vacancies have been satisfied. He needs to be brought back to GB. I'm sure Thompson is trying to sign him. It's tine for TMon to oblige. Two years. $9 million. Make it happen. We need him. He needs us. It'd fill a huge hole for the Packers. TMon can MAN UP on the outside. He still has legs. He'd allow Casey SHOWCASE Hayward to stay inside. He'd solidify the depth in the secondary.

Bradley Fletcher is also an intriguing talent on a short term deal at a reasonable price. He can play on the outside. He's the type of player that might overachieve in Titletown, similar to Guion. At times, Fletcher has been exposed on double moves and on the deep ball. He cannot be left alone on an island. Nonetheless, he would offer depth and an attractive size/speed combo. Plus, Ted Thompson has been fortunate with Iowa graduates.

Ted Thompson has a trick up his sleeve. Often, he adds a player that was cut, which wouldn't impact the compensatory pick that he will gain from the loss of Ras Davon House. This year, It might be Percy Harvin. Harvin would be the ideal player to fill the role that I presume the Packers wanted DuJuan Harris to play last year. Harvin could likely come on a 1-year deal. He'd be lethal on special teams in the return game. He could slide into the backfield. He'd be sensational in the screen game. Opposite Cobb, he would cause havoc in the slot. He'd be tremendous on the wheel route out of the backfield. He'd be an ideal player to sign to a 1-year "prove-it" deal. My Brother Bob compared it to a Desmond Howard type signing in 1996. I'm on board with that thought. Except he'd have a bigger role on the offense. He'd also be insurance at WR in case injuries occurred. There'd be less dependency on with Abbrederis or Janis having to potentially make a big impact in 2015. They'd be able to continue to ease them into the offense.

Further, there aren't many locker rooms that would be able to tolerate Harvin's antics. Mike McCarthy has the leadership skills to make Harvin feel welcomed. The camaraderie on this roster is special. There is strong continuity. Harvin would be embraced.

Harvin is unlikely to be offered more than $4-5 million. Even that might be rich. The Packers have the money to spend. Ted Thompson is playing to win a Super Bowl this year. Harvin might be a missing piece. One thing is for sure: he'd be extra motivated to pick up a crucial 4th Quarter 1st down in Seattle.

It feels as though Thompson has a trick up his sleeve to close Free Agency. Harvin fits! And, after he's signed, the draft is all about the defensive side of the ball and a TE addition.

Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

My Take -> Offseason Rumblings

Greetings, G-Force.

I'm still sulking. It was the worst playoff collapse since the New York Giants melted down and gave up 25 unanswered points against San Francisco in January of 2003. Brandon Bostick is the biggest Green Bay Packers failure in the Super Bowl era. All because of one play. He was mentally, emotionally, and physically incapable of making a play in the biggest situation of his career.

There - I've said it again. I'll try not to mention it again for a long while.

As I move forward, I sip on a New Glarus Enigma. Sour cherry bliss with grand carbonation. If you haven't tasted it, make it a point to get your hands on a bottle. As I enjoy an Enigma, I spin the Hard Working Americans self-titled album. The B-side of this vinyl is pure musical magic. The Mountain Song --> Stomp and Holler --> Straight to Hell. Give it a listen.

It is early, so I'll call it my offseason meandering, but the Packers have an intriguing offseason ahead of them. Sure, Cobb & Bulaga are must signs. Let's hope that both want to return as badly as the Packers want them back. I'd be shocked if both don't rock a 'G' on their helmet next year.

Frankly, I'm concerned about the CB position. We have tough decisions ahead. T-Mon is soon to be 32 years old. While he's still incredibly athletic, he's nearing an age in which CB's have historically declined at a rapid rate. I hope he comes back on a cap-friendly 3-year deal. With guaranteed money up front and an out in year 3. T-Mon will forever be a favorite of mine. I want him to retire in Green Bay.

It'd be great to have Ras Davon back. I don't think we can afford him. He'll get starters salary somewhere and he'll likely net the Packers a 4th round compensatory pick. I'll always wonder 'what could've been' with regards to House. He is a physical CB who matches up well with bigger WR's. He's tough in the run game. But, he was never able to stay healthy. Bummer.

J-Bush has been a mainstay on the Packers roster for nearly a decade. He's likely to have his gunner role on special teams replaced by Demetri Goodson. Thanks for the Super Bowl interception, J-Bush! That was a monstrous play!

I'd ask Peppers to say "no mas" to his big contract. I want him back. In a largely reduced role. Mostly as an interior pass rusher, but also on the outside on a limited basis. It'd be great to get his salary reduced by $3-4 million. If we were able to free up money from
Peppers, we might be in a space to land another big time free agent.

I'd attempt to bring Raji back on a discounted deal.

And, on Draft weekend, I'd get aggressive at LB. Big, athletic, versatile players that can come from the inside and get around the edge on the outside. Here's my late February mock draft and to remind you, this is what I'd do, not what I think Ted Thompson will do.

Round 1. Stephone Anthony, ILB, Clemson. It's potentially a little early for him, but we are desperate for ILB help. Anthony can rush the passer. He can drop in coverage. He's experienced. He fits our most pressing defensive need. Others: Paul Dawson, ILB, TCU; Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA; Marcus Peters, CB, WASHINGTON.

Round 2. Hau'oli Kikaha, OLB, WASHINGTON. A gifted athlete. Without the knee injuries, he'd be a lick for my 1st round pick. He can drop in coverage. He has elite pass rushing skills. He has great burst off the ball. Occasionally, he's gets swallowed by bigger tackles. Wins with quickness.

Round 3. Marcus Hardison, DL, Arizona State. Good speed off the snap. Quick first step. Slippery. Has 3-down potential. Tireless in his pursuit. Other: Ramik Wilson, ILB, GEORGIA. He might be undervalued due to the inadequacy of the Georgia defense, but he has shown inconsistent football instincts. He has quickness towards the ball. He's feisty in the interior of the defense. But, occasionally, he gets gobbled up on the inside. He is a battler, but does have trouble releasing from blocks.

Round 4. Kenny Bell, WR, NEBRASKA. Great height. Blazing speed. Strong return skills. He can get over the top on the outside and isn't afraid to run across the middle. Occasional drops, but still consider his hands to be above average.

Round 5. Nick Boyle, TE, Delaware. Big, solid blocker. Underrated athleticism. Good glands. Fits the Green Bay scheme as he could also line-up as a lead blocker.

Round 5 (compensatory for James Jones). Jeff Luc, ILB, Cincinnati. Almost looks awkward due to his large size, but he plays with speed and when he hits you, he means business. Great at going for the ball. Forces turnovers. Has decent coverage skills. Reminds me of Vontaze Burfict. Other: LaDarius Gunter, CB, []_[]. Long, lanky player. In the mold of Davon House. Solid open field tackler. Had a big Senior Bowl. Has played vs big time competition. Might need a year to fully develop.

Round 5 (compensatory for EDS). Kurtis Drummond, S, Michigan State. He can cover in the slot. He has a nose for the football. A leader. Smart player. Plays with great recognition. A potential mid-round gem.

Round 6. Tyeler Davison, DL, Fresno State. Hole plugger in the middle who can add a pass rushing push. Quick. Uses his weight well. Has the makings of a player with a nice career ahead of him. Other: Gerald Christian, TE, Louisville. At some point, the Packers will draft a TE this year. Christian provides a target that can get down the seam. He moves well. He's a willing blocker. He's a threat in the Red Zone.

Round 7. Justin Coleman, CB, Tennessee. Top flight athlete. Great upside. Quick out of his break. Aggressive. Other: Curtis Riley, CB, Fresno State. Good length. NFL stature. Plays the ball. Solid late round prospect.

More to come in the near future.

Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.