Thursday, March 29, 2007

NFL Network's Path to the Draft and More

Today's edition of the NFL Network's "Path to the Draft" program featured the Packers "On the Clock." The analyst for the segment was Brian Baldinger, who did at least have the benefit of broadcasting a few Packer games last year. He was asked who the Pack would take at #16. While acknowledging the team's needs at wide receiver and tight end, Baldinger said the loss of Ahman Green meant the Packers had to go for a running back with their pick and Marshawn Lynch out of California would be a "great fit." He also said it's likely Lynch would still be on the board at #16. He felt Lynch would fit the Packers system nicely, make an immediate impact, and be similar in style to Ahman Green. As for the Packers second round pick, Baldinger said they should give Brett Favre another receiving target and Anthony Gonzales of Ohio State would be a great pick to be a possible #3 or 4 receiver for the Pack.

Baldinger was also asked what he saw ahead for Brett this year. Citing Brett's career-low completion percentage this last year, he said that it was all a matter of Brett making better decisions. (In fact, this was also the subject of an article in today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.) With good talent and a good system, Baldinger said the Pack could definitely compete in the NFC North this season, predicting a 9-7 or 10-6 record and playoff contention. A lot of that, he said, had to do with how quickly the Pack's many young players raised the level of their game.

In another NFL Network segment, "State of the Franchise," they took a more in-depth look at the Packers. They began by discussing Brett Favre and whether he will be able to make some of the changes Coach McCarthy would like to have him make. They then discussed whether or not Brett coming back is hindering the development of Aaron Rodgers. It was the consensus that Rodgers can only benefit from watching and learning from Brett Favre. As for the rumor of Randy Moss joining the Packers, they felt that the team needed to add another receiver, but that Moss would not be a good fit for the Packers. Instead, they talked about the Packers needing safety help, running back and tight end help. These analysts also named running back Marshawn Lynch as the pick for the Pack at #16.

Rich Eisen had a one-on-one interview with Coach Mike McCarthy from the NFL Owners Meeting. McCarthy said that the area of the team that improved the most last year was the offensive line. He also said they are very happy with Vernand Morency at running back and have a few other young guys they are "excited" about. McCarthy was also asked about Favre, and said that he still has "a lot left in the tank." He also said he felt very excited about the future of Aaron Rodgers. When asked about Randy Moss being a part of the future of the team, McCarthy deftly said he couldn't talk about a player under contract. As to the defense, he said he was very happy with the play of the defensive line. As to what surprised him during his first year as coach, McCarthy said there was nothing more rewarding than pulling into Lambeau field every day, but that the administrative part of the job was probably the part he had to adjust to most.

Paul Burmeister and Charles Davis took yet another look at the Packers draft needs. While saying the Packers were high on California RB Marshawn Lynch, Davis didn't think Lynch would be available at #16 given some changing needs with teams drafting ahead of the Packers. If that's the case, he felt Tennessee receiver Robert Meachem would be a great fit for the Packers opposite Donald Driver. Meachem has good size at 6-3 and 210 lbs. He caught 71 passes for 1,298 yards last year, with 11 touchdowns. He runs a 4.45 40. This is the first time this name has popped up in a discussion of a possible Packer pick at #16. While running back, and hence Lynch, would seem to be the pick to take if he's available, Meachem does offer an intriguing alternative.


The Packers re-signed defensive lineman Colin Cole today to a one-year contract. Cole performed admirably in back-up duty and obviously showed the Packers enough to make them want to keep him around.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mandarich Memories

Agreed. We generally prefer not to recall the debacle of drafting Tony Mandarich with the #2 overall pick in the 1989 draft, leaving such players as Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas and Deion Sanders on the board. All so we could get "The Incredible Bulk." Sadly...well...we know the rest of the story: Mandarich became "The Incredible Bust." But pundits agree, every personnel guy in the league would have made the same pick the Packers did. Small consolation. we know the whole story? If not, Mandarich is going to tell us in a tell-all book scheduled to hit bookshelves in 2008, followed by the bargain bin shortly thereafter.

In the meantime, there is an interesting interview with Milwaukee radio station 620WTMJ that some might find surprising for its candor regarding Mandarich's time in Green Bay. As to what he's doing now, he's a professional photographer. Not bad work, either, which you can get an eyeful of here. Gives a whole other meaning to "Incredible Bust."

If you want to listen to the interview with John Jagler of 620WTMJ radio, click here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

And Now, a Word from Moss' Coach

Randy Moss' new head coach at Oakland, Lane Kiffin (who knew?), says he believes Moss will still be with the team this season. He said there are no problems between he and Moss, and that he has no clue where the trade rumors with the Packers came from. If you care to read more, just click here.

Pack Gets Another Pick

This is the thing Packers' GM Ted Thompson's dreams are made of: more draft picks. OK, it's a seventh rounder, but still...Thompson likes to stockpile picks like...well, whatever analogy would make the point, I guess; you fill in the blank.

This latest pick is a compensatory pick given to the Packers by the NFL for the team's free agent losses last season. It's pretty far down on the totem pole: the 33rd pick in the seventh round, No. 243 overall. The Packers now have a selection in each of the first six rounds and three in the seventh. You can be sure Thompson will be doing some wheeling and dealing to get as much as he can with these nine picks...which means probably multiplying them somehow as he is known to do. Compensatory picks can't be traded, though, so Thompson will have to find a way to find a gem -- or at least someone serviceable -- at #243.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Packers vs Lions on Thanksgiving - Just Like the Old Days!

One upon a time, kids, in a galaxy far, far away, the most-storied franchise in the NFL -- the Green Bay Packers -- played another proud team, the Detroit Lions, on Thanksgiving Day...seemingly, every Thanksgiving! If you were eating turkey and busting a gut that day, you were also watching the Pack and Lions go at it. Beat actually having to talk to the family, didn't it?

Well, it's back on! The Packers play on Thanksgiving for the first time since 2003. (OK, so it isn't as long ago as it seems.) The Pack lost to the Lions in that game. The horror! The horror!

The game will be nationally televised on Fox beginning at 11:30 a.m. Central time. The game will be played in Detroit. This is the first of three Thanksgiving Day games, the others being the Jets at Dallas at 3:15 p.m. and the Colts at Atlanta at 7:15 p.m. The Jets-Cowboys game will be televised on CBS and the Colts-Falcons game will be exclusive to the NFL Network. So, by the time turkey time rolls around for most folks, the Packer win will be something to savor along with your meal. Then the NFL has provided suitable nap time entertainment for the rest of the day. See: the NFL really is family friendly!

Given the state of the Lions these days, one would think you could pencil in a "W" for the Pack. On the other hand, Detroit in Detroit has often been a game where the "W" stands for all the "what ifs" that happened during the game causing a loss for the Pack. And, despite all the dreams of Packers of yesteryear trouncing the Lions, they are actually 11-18-2 all-time on Thanksgiving Day. Hmmm...maybe that cranberry sauce went bad...hmmm...

Pack Signs Tight End

Don't get too excited, Packer fans. It's more or less one of our own anyway in a re-signing: exclusive rights free agent Tory Humphrey. If that name doesn't ring a bell it's because he was mainly a special teams guy. Had five tackles as a matter of fact in seven games. Didn't catch a pass though. Come to think of it, none of the Packers' tight ends did much of that last year (sorry, Bubba).

Anyway, reports indicate that Head Coach Mike McCarthy regards him highly and wants to see what he can do with his hands as well as his blocking and tackling abilities. He does have good size: 6-2, 250. He had a good 2006 season in NFL-Europe as a receiver. Didn't set the world on fire but apparently showed enough to make the Pack want him back.

So...that's about it. If you listen carefully you can hear the crickets in the corridors at 1265 Lombardi Avenue. Pretty quiet right now. Isn't there some saying about it always being the most quiet before...well, whatever. If you want to know more about Mr. Humphrey, go here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

What's New?

Not much. What's new with you?

That would seems to be the conversation within the halls of 1265 Lombardi Avenue these days. One free agent signing, a number of roster releases and free agency losses, but other than that...?

So, it may be a good time to just catch up on some odds 'n' ends.

Packers Shareholders Meeting

If you haven't already heard, the Packers annual shareholders' meeting will be held Wednesday, July 25. Once again, rain or shine, the venue will be Lambeau Field, with the meeting beginning at 10 a.m. Ticketed shareholders, plus one guest, will be able to attend. Shareholders should watch their mailboxes near the end of May for more information.

Reggie White Tribute

On March 10, a public art tribute to the late great Reggie White was unveiled at the corner of Reggie White Way and Lombardi Avenue. This is the fourth of 24 art tribute pieces to be installed on the Oneida Nation Walk of Legends near Lambeau Field. You can see images of the ceremony and art piece here.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Boston Herald Article on Moss Refuted


Moss. No Moss. Moss. No Moss.

Yesterday, as noted in a posting here, the Boston Herald ran an article asserting that the Randy Moss for Aaron Rodgers deal was as good as done. It didn't take long for officials from both teams to refute the content of that article. On the other hand, what would you expect them to say until a deal is absolutely done? If there is a deal, that is. And if there isn't, well, there's not much to say, right? My head's going to explode.

Here's a report from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about this latest brouhaha.

Please, please...make the bad man stop!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Boston Herald Reports: Moss to Packers

It goes on and on. In this case, though, it's the Boston Herald with the report that Randy Moss is indeed coming to the Packers. Why would folks in Boston care? Because the Patriots were also rumored to be interested in Moss. A-duh!

The deal, as reported, has Moss coming to the Packers in exchange for QB Aaron Rodgers and a seventh round draft pick in 2008, while the Packers would receive Raiders tight end Courtney Anderson as part of the deal and a conditional pick from the Raiders in the 2009 draft based on Rodgers’ production in Oakland in 2007 and 2008. The other key is that Moss agreed to restructure his contract.

The Packers aren't commenting and nobody else seems to be either. The Herald cites a "source in Wisconsin" for the background. That's a bit fills the paper and the web, I guess.

Anyway, if you care to read the full story, here you go.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Moss for Rodgers Still Rumored

Boy this gets confusing. One day we hear that Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is part of the trade talk for Randy Moss. The next day we hear that won't happen because Coach Mike McCarthy is high on Rodgers' potential and wants to keep him. Then we hear that GM Ted Thompson is going to review his proposed deal with the Packers Executive Committee at their regular monthly meeting. Then we hear that it wasn't even brought up until the end of the meeting when he was asked about it. Then, we hear again that Rodgers is part of the proposed deal. My brain hurts!

The latest on the rumor mill at is that the Raiders will only deal Moss to the Pack for Rodgers if there is also a conditional pick included for 2008 based upon Rodgers' performance for the Raiders. Naturally, the Packers are a bit reluctant to give a conditional pick based on performance given the likelihood that the Raiders this season -- no matter who is quarterbacking them -- will still, well, suck...not as much as Da Bearz, mind you, but still...

Anyway, you can read more about this latest adventure here. Just scroll down a bit and look for the Moss Deal headline.

Packers Sign Walker

No, not that Walker of recent memory. Frank Walker. A cornerback set free by the NY Giants. He was being courted by the Saints and Seahawks as well as the Packers. He was drafted out of Tuskegee in 2003 when Jim Fassel was the Giants head coach. A year later, Tom Coughlin was coach and Walker went from starting the last seven games of the 2003 season as a rookie to almost nothing the last two seasons.

Go figure. The 25-year-old Walker is billed as a hard hitter, something that would be very useful in the Packers defensive backfield. He's also fast. According to reports, he ran 40 yards in 4.4 seconds when he worked out Monday for the Packers. An impressive overall workout convinced the Packers they needed Walker on the roster. He became the Packers first free agent signing of this year, agreeing to a one-year $1.24 million deal. He will compete for the #3 cornerback spot behind Al Harris and Charles Woodson.

You can read more about this signing here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

PTI: Favre Should Say Something

On today's edition of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption show, the Packers possible deal for Randy Moss was one of the topics. They cited the info from last weekend's Fan Fest saying that Packer fans don't want Moss...again, for all the obvious reasons. Both Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon said that while that sentiment has to be taken into account like nowhere else because of the community ownership of the team, both also said that management is hired to manage and make these calls. What would help, both agreed, is if Brett Favre would comment on the matter publicly. If Brett wanted Moss, they said, fans would defer because of the respect fans hold for Brett. If Brett said no, then that would also be the end of the conversation. Good insight from the PTI gents. Brett has reportedly expressed with his family and close associates his desire to play with Moss. But until fans see and hear Brett saying this directly, most will still be reluctant to see Moss in a Packers uniform.

The Moss Rumor Just Won't Go Away

Randy Moss. Will we...or won't we?

That's what every Packer Fan is waiting to find out. Packers' CEO Bob Harlan says in reports that the feedback he got at Fan Fest last weekend was about 2 out of 3 against from fans. Why so much opposition to Moss? If you have to ask, you haven't followed football very long.

But according to an article in today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Packers' GM Ted Thompson will today will give his monthly report to the team's executive committee. Expected to be on the agenda is Thompson's interest in Moss and how he proposes to get him.

This could go on a while. Raiders owner Al Davis is renowned for his stubbornness. Likewise, Thompson is known for being tightfisted with his draft picks. Still, the article indicates that sources familiar with the situation say that Thompson has talked directly to Davis about the deal. Restructuring Moss' contract would be key: there is no way in the wild world of the frozen tundra that the Pack would pay Moss' remaining base salaries of $9.75 million this season and $11.25 million in '08. That would rival for dumbness Mike Ditka's Ricky Williams draft fiasco. No, wait...nothing could rival that. Well, except maybe Ditka in the dreadlocks wig.

Apparently, though, one part of the rumor floating about is said to be untrue (a question first though: if it is a rumor, isn't it by definition neither true or untrue?): that the Packers would include QB Aaron Rodgers as part of any trade for Moss. The article indicates that the Raiders don't have any interest in Rodgers, and the Packers aren't making him available anyway. As an interesting side note, "The Voice of the Packers" Wayne Larrivee's "The Back Page" segment today on 620WTMJ Radio in Milwaukee touched on the fact that Head Coach Mike McCarthy, a QB coach, likes Rodgers and still plans on having him on board and ready to go after Brett hangs up the cleats. You can hear that March 13 clip by going to "The Back Page" page (sorry for the redundancy repetition...oops, there it is again!), or by going directly to the clip here.

As for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article, just go here.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Brett Yanks Stitches

This is one of those stories you wonder about...but they insist it's true. And, knowing Brett's ability to endure pain as we all do, this is one of those stories you could believe.

On this morning's 620WTMJ (Milwaukee) radio sports report, one of the reporters cited his source for the story as Brett's private plane pilot. Seems as if, while flying to Florida for vacation, Brett decided that it was time to take out his own stitches from his recent ankle surgery. According to the radio report, he borrowed a pair of tweezers after no scissors were apparently to be found.

Believe it...or not!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Donnie Edwards - Not

Remember that posting yesterday about the Packers having some interest in free agent veteran linebacker Donnie Edwards? Never mind.

Edwards signed a deal with Kansas City -- which, as the posting noted, had the inside track anyway.

So, what's been the Packers involvement in free agency so far? Not so much. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, given the cash being dumped on some of these players by teams with more money than sense. Packers GM Ted Thompson has a plan. We're not exactly sure what it is, other than building a team through the draft and not overpaying for questionable talent. Considering some of the alternatives being exhibited by other GMs and/or ownership, it's not a bad plan at all.

Stay tuned. Nothing may happen soon. Or at all. Or maybe...something. But whether it's something or nothing, you're sure to hear about it -- sometime -- right here at! :-)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

No Moss! No Moss!

That's a play on the Spanish expression, of course, for "no more!" (Yes, the spelling is different, but stay with me...)

I said in my earlier posting today that we shouldn't waste cyberspace talking about the rumored Randy Moss deal. As it turns out, we don't need to do that because someone else already has wasted the space for us. Interesting story here about the subject du jour arising out of the Packers Fan Fest yesterday. Check it out...if you dare!

Griffiths - Not; Edwards -Maybe? Moss - Doubt It

OK, the Pack is pretty well set with an up-and-coming young linebacking corps. The offensive backfield is, on the other hand, a big question mark after the release of William Henderson and the free agency departure of Ahman Green. So it is a bit of a mystery as to why the Packers lost out on fullback Justin Griffith -- who seemed to fit the Packers' scheme perfectly -- to the Raiders. The Raiders? Yikes. Guess three years and $3.8 million was more than the Pack was willing to offer. Either that or that's what the going rate is to serve time in Oakland. (And to all members of Raider Nation out there who might read this, no offense intended to you as fans. I was a fan of the Raiders going back to Darrell Lamonica, Ken Stabler, Fred Biletnikoff, George Blanda, Ray Guy, etc. The Raiders were my "other team." But lately...not so much...sorry. So it is with that background in mind that I make the above comment.)

Anyway, back to the story...

So, we didn't get a starting fullback. Instead, the latest rumor is that the Pack might be in the running to pick up 11-year-veteran linebacker Donnie Edwards, currently a free agent out of San Diego. Reports speculate the Pack is interested in Edwards because: he's a heckuva linebacker, he played with the Kansas City Chiefs when Packers head coach Mike McCarthy was an assistant there, and as some security should Packers linebacker Nick Barnett decide to hold out trying to get an extension as he goes into the last year of his current contract. Seems as if KC might have the inside lane for Edwards, but they also might have already expended too much of their cap money on other signings.

The Packers also seem to be looking for help at cornerback...that's goooooooood. Cincinnati free-agent cornerback Tory James dropped in for an official visit Friday. New York Giants free-agent cornerback Frank Walker also is supposed to visit the Pack this weekend. Reports indicate that the Packers are especially interested in the younger Walker, who has served primarily as a backup and special-teams player.

As for the Randy Moss deal, seems as if that is going nowhere fast. So let's not waste cyberspace today discussing it.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Packers Fan Fest 2007

Nirvana for Packer fans begins today and runs through tomorrow: Packers Fan Fest! Of course, if you don't already have a ticket...never mind. It sold out long ago. But if you wish to live vicariously (don't we all?), check out the Fan Fest info here. At least you can read the list of current and former players you won't be seeing in person. Even Ron Wolf will be on hand.

You can also supposedly access some of the fun via This is the online version of the Packers' flagship radio station. Not sure where the link will be but, knowing the intelligence level of the readers here, I'm sure you'll find it somewhere.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Justin Griffith Possible New Fullback? Chris Brown at RB?

According to a report on WTMJ620-AM Radio out of Milwaukee this morning, expect Justin Griffith -- late of the Atlanta Falcons -- to be a free agent signing at fullback. Griffith visited the Packers yesterday. A fifth-year pro, Griffith is a good blocker and can also catch the ball out of the backfield. In other words, he's a good fit for the Packers offense. Griffith is 25 years old, 5-foot-11, 232-pounds, and is experienced in the zone-blocking system which the Packers introduced last year copying, yes, the Falcons. Griffith started 26 games for the Falcons over the last two years.

Titans running back Chris Brown is also reportedly set to visit the Pack yet this week. According to his agent, as reported in the Green Bay Press-Gazette, "At this point, I'd say (the Packers have) a sincere interest. It looks like they're sitting back waiting to see what the market is gauging, but it's starting to pick up with a couple guys falling into place."

Of course, nothing is ever a sure thing. Veteran receiver Joe Horn was scheduled to fly into GB for a visit with the Packers this week but got a permanent layover in Atlanta on the way. So it goes.

Oh, and we failed to mention that oft-injured Packers tight end David Martin signed a three-year $3+ million deal with Miami. (Yawn.)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sir William: Adieu

As expected -- and stated several days ago by himself -- Packers fullback William Henderson was released today by the Packers after 12 years of outstanding performance. Other than Brett Favre, Bart Starr and Ray Nitschke, no other player in team history has played more games that Henderson. He was -- is -- one of the good guys. And as stated here previously, if the league had more players of the caliber of William Henderson not only would the league be better, but all the communities which host NFL teams would also benefit from their community spirit.

William: thank you. You will be missed. See you in the Packers Hall of Fame. Long live #33!

Here is the official announcement from the Packers.

The SI Take on Green's Departure

Another way you could express that headline is: the Sports Illustrated take on Houston's signing of former Packers running back Ahman Green. Short answer: didn't like it.

Don Banks' online "Inside the NFL" column at the SI website listed the Texans' signing of Green as #1 in the "Ten Moves I Disliked" listing of free agency moves so far. He cites Green's age and number of career carries as the primary reasons. Implied within those comments is that he ain't what he used to be. Yet the Texans -- with the encouragement of former Packers' GM/Coach and current Texans' offensive coordinator Mike Sherman -- are paying him $8 million this year, in the first of a four-year $23 million contract. The Texans passed on taking running back Reggie Bush with the #1 overall draft pick last year, taking D-lineman Mario Williams instead. They are still kicking themselves for that one. (Take it from a team that knows. Remember, the Packers are the team that picked Tony Mandarich at #2 in the 1989 draft while future superstars like Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas and Deion Sanders were still on the board. Say it with me now, in your best Homer Simpson impression: "D'oh!")

Houston will likely be kicking themselves for this signing, too. As good as Ahman Green once was -- and might still be for a year or two barring injury -- he isn't a Reggie Bush...and you can't turn back the clock. $8 million for the year? At this stage of his career? Yep, that's a Sherman deal if you ever saw one.

You can read Banks' take on this here.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Henderson Says He'll Be Released by Tuesday

A report from WBAY-TV in Green Bay says that veteran fullback and fan favorite William Henderson will be released by the Packers as early as Tuesday. The news comes from none other than Henderson himself.

The Packers have been bringing in new fullbacks for perhaps the last four years or so in an effort to replace Henderson. Last year, the Pack brought in Brandon Miree who was the nominal starter until he got injured. In the end, Henderson remained the starter. The ultimate team player, he always acted in the best interests of the team. If only the league had more players like Henderson. Durability and work ethic meant that Henderson missed just four games in his career. He ranks third all-time in games played for the Packers. With his departure, Brett Favre will be the only remaining member of the mid-90's Super Bowl teams. An under-appreciated fullback on the national scene, look for Henderson being inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame one of these days.

Henderson passed along this statement through WBAY: "I want to express my 100% gratitude to the fans for their support both on and off the field, and not just MNKO (WBAY-TV's Monday Night Kick-Off program that he co-hosted). It was an honor to be associated with the Packers. It is humbling to leave such a great organization, but I will always be grateful for my time in Green Bay." Class. All the way. With the exception of Favre, I can't imagine the team, the community or the fans missing any player more than William Henderson.

You can read the full story here.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Fans to Green: Buh-Bye Now

As much as Ahman Green has meant to the Packers over the past seven years, he wasn't worth what the Texans paid for him. Former Packers GM/Coach and current Houston offensive coordinator Mike Sherman was reportedly instrumental in convincing Texans' management that they should acquire Green. One thing the Texans obviously do not yet have is a perspective on Sherman's tossing boatloads of money at questionable signings as the Packers' GM. Packer fans know Sherman's record as GM (as opposed to the arguably good record he had as coach) and will likely see this in that same vein.

In fact, Packer fans seem to confirm current Packers' GM Ted Thompson's hard line on resigning Green. Just take a look at the poll results in today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel where nearly 70 percent of nearly 6,400 respondents at the time of this posting say the Pack should not have done anything more to re-sign Green:
Should the Packers have done more to keep Ahman Green?
No (69.7%)
Yes (30.3%)
Total votes: 6,378

So, thanks for the memories, Ahman. You served the Pack well. But...buh-bye now...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Green Goes for the Green...Just Not the Green 'n' Gold

Jim Taylor's all-time Packers' rushing record is safe. Ahman Green has reportedly agreed to a four-year $23 million contract with the Houston Texans. That leaves the Packers with some backups, and some veteran possibilities in free agency, as well as the draft to fill Green's shoes.

So it goes...Green heads to Texas. The Packers will be looking for a new star running back. Thanks, Ahman. You contributed greatly to the Packers during your seven years with the team. You'll be missed.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Interest in Joe Horn?

According to a report in today's Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Packers are apparently one of about 8 teams interested in the services of veteran wide receiver Joe Horn, who was released yesterday by the Saints. A story in today's Green Bay Press Gazette also mentions that the Pack might have an interest in Horn. Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy was Horn's offensive coordinator in New Orleans from 2000 to 2004. According to the article, they had a good working relationship. The same article points out McCarthy also coached Donte Stallworth, who was released by Philadelphia, while he played for the Saints from 2002 to 2004.

While the buzz lately has been all about Randy Moss coming to the Pack, Horn and Stallworth -- despite age and injury issues -- might offer good alternatives and could likely be had for less than what the Raiders are seeking for Moss.

Green is a Free Agent

After seven years with the Packers, RB Ahman Green is officially a free agent. Despite weeks of negotiations, the two sides could apparently not come to terms. The Packers indicated they would like to have Green back. He is about 46 yards shy of becoming the Packers' all-time leading rusher, surpassing Jim Taylor's record. Green has indicated on numerous occasions that he'd like to remain a Packer for the rest of his career.

However, reports indicate that he is seeking a multi-year deal worth at least $5 million a year. He earned $2.75 million last year. It's hard to imagine that any team would hand out that kind of deal to a 30-year-old back with lots of mileage on him. We can only hope that he and his agent figure that out and that Green returns for another year. Because of his stated interest of remaining in Green Bay, it is likely that Green is testing the market to determine his value; he'll then bring that info back to the Pack to negotiate further.

Green may not be what he used to be. But coming back the way he did last year after what could have been a career-ending injury for some players indicates he still can be a productive player. But, it is also clear, whether or not Green returns, that the Packers need to find a possible starting back via the draft. Unfortunately, this is not a strong year for running backs. But there was a lot of talk coming out of the NFL combine last weekend that the Packers were eyeing Californian junior RB Marshawn Lynch who seems to be the type of back that would fit well into the Packers offensive scheme. He is also projected to possibly still be available at the #16 spot when the Pack get their pick. Oklahoma RB Adrian Peterson would also be a possibility, although he is projected to go before Lynch. Lynch was Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year, and was MVP of the Holiday Bowl.

Yes, it would be great to have Green back. Not only for his veteran presence and productivity, but also to help tutor a young back like Lynch. It's a goofy league out there, though, and it's just possible that someone might offer Green at least enough of a deal to make him leave Green Bay. But the bet here -- for what that's worth (i.e., not much) -- is that Green will be back.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Jenkins Gets His Reward

Lost in the shuffle of the Randy Moss trade kerfuffle (hey, cool rhyme, eh!) was the news that hard-working defensive end/tackle Cullen Jenkins was signed to a long-term contract by the Packers this week. Jenkins is a guy who didn't give up on himself after being a training camp cut a few years ago. He went to NFL Europe, paid his dues, and finally got his chance to break into the starting lineup this past season, effectively replacing KGB at defensive end opposite Aaron Kampman while also being a stout performer in the middle of the line when needed. The Packers rewarded his performance and obviously view him as a key component of the defensive line for several years to come. Congrats to Mr. Jenkins. You can read the official news story from here.