Who is done?
With the rumors of Ted Thompson stepping down as the Green Bay Packers’ General Manager. Ted Thompson has a distinction of the lack of midseason moves. This was broken this year with the signing of both RB Knile Davis from Kansas City and RB Christian Michael from Seattle. Knile Davis returned to Kansas City within two weeks, while Michael has stayed and made a big impact on the Green Bay running game. With the emergence of both Ty Montgomery and Michael, questions have surfaced about Eddie Lacy’s future with the team. With Lacy only carrying the ball of 1,118 yards in the 20 games he has played in since the beginning of the 2015 season, his job stability is wavering. Green Bay currently has six running backs on their 53-man roster, this number will surely decrease during the offseason, with either Lacy, James Starks or Christian Michael released.
Two Packers might retire at the end of the playoff run, both CB Sam Shields and LB Julius Peppers. Shields suffered his fifth concussion in this year’s season opener in Jacksonville. Shields is in the third year of his four-year contract, and at only 28 years old, retirement would be a tough choice. With all of the injuries to the CB position this season, Shields may stay on for his final year and aid the defensive backs solidify. LB Julius Peppers, on the other hand, has looked like he is in the best shape of his career with 15 total tackles and 7.5 sacks during the regular season. However, at 36 years old, and in the final year of his 3-year contract with Green Bay, Peppers might end his NFL career after Green Bay’s postseason. Hopefully, the Packers will be able to resign him to a year or two extension.
Who needs to be resigned?
This off-season Green Bay will have 20 free agents, there are 5 that need to be resigned within the next month. The Packers’ first priority should be TE Jared Cook. Cook finished the season with 30 catches recording 377 yards and 1 touchdown. By themselves, the numbers don’t look so good, however, Cook missed 6 games with an ankle injury. He is the first big vertical threat that Green Bay has had since Jermichael Finely.
Next on the list is defensive back and safety Micah Hyde. Hyde has been a leader on the defensive side of the ball for the last few years. Hyde recorded 58 combined tackles and three interceptions. Hyde played multiple positions during this season because of all the injuries to the Packers’ secondary.
Not only did Green Bay have injuries on the defensive side of the ball, the Packers’ running backs suffered consequential injuries. The new GM should be ready to sign both Christine Michael and Eddie Lacy. Michael was Seattle’s leading rusher until they released him after Week 9. Michael did not play much during the streak, but with the only running back for next season is converted WR Ty Montgomery, resigning or drafting a couple of power backs would not be an issue. Eddie Lacy was on track for a favorable year, recording 360 yards in only 5 games. He is looking slimmer and ready for another breakout year.
What is the Draft Need?
With the NFL draft quickly approaching, each team is starting to think about what positions need the most work during the offseason. In Green Bay, many people cannot deny that the Packer’s defensive needs to most work. With all of the injuries to the cornerback position, this will most likely be an early pick.
Not only does Green Bay need some work in their defense, but the Packers need to fill the soon-to-be-vacated General Manager job. The current GM Ted Thompson will likely be stepping down to join in the draft scouting. Thompson has done an amazing job in finding some of the gems in each draft class.
Teez Tabor, a Junior cornerback from Florida, might be a top choice for the incoming GM to draft with our first round pick. Tabor is a 6’0″ 201lbs cornerback who recorded 33 totals tackles during his junior season at Florida.
Another possible draft choice is 6’1″ 236lbs inside linebacker from Alabama, Reuben Foster. Foster recorded 60 solo tackles, and 5 sacks during his Senior year. These stats include the College Football Playoff games against Washington and Clemson.
The third draft choice is Marshon Lattimore. Lattimore is a 6’0″ 195lbs Sophomore cornerback from Ohio State. Marshon Lattimore recorded 30 solo tackles and 4 interceptions during this past year. Even though Lattimore is only a sophomore, he played well enough to prove that he could be a reliable backup player for the Packers’ injury-prone position, and in the NFL.
NOTE: Since writing this blog, there has been no new information abut Ted Thompson stepping down as the GM in Green Bay. Current Director of Football Operations, Eliot Wolf, is the most likely person to take over the position if Thompson does step down.