Three Tough Calls Ted Should Make by Friday NightPosted:Aug 28th, 2012 2:55 pm
OK, Ted. You're down to the 75 man limit. After watching your team's final preseason game against the Chiefs Thursday night--and then watching it again on tape, you have to decide which 53 guys will make your opening day roster.
Since you're always enamored with your draft picks and the guys you found off the street, we know you hate this part of the job. Injuries have made some of your decisions for you, but there are some tough calls to be made on the offensive side of the ball.
Kinda ironic that the team is full of question marks on defense, yet with six early draft picks set to make the roster, the names are pretty set on that side of the ball. The depth chart could use some clarity, but that's a job for the coaches.
We know that you've tinkered uncharacteristically with the offense: signing a veteran center in Jeff Saturday to replace Scott Wells and more recently bringing in 29 year old Cedric Benson to provide some pop in the backfield. It caused some Packer fans to wonder whether you were changing your stripes.
I applauded both moves. There are times to get your roster younger and there are times to tinker a bit with stop-gap moves. When you're a Super Bowl favorite, I'm all for making a few short-term calls that could make a difference. So here, Ted, are three things you should do before you submit your First 53.
1. Trade James Jones. He's no better than fourth on the depth chart. And if you ask me if I'd rather see him or Donald Driver at #4, I'd take the tango dancer. Heck, I wouldn't mind seeing Tori Gurley get a shot at the #5 job. Here's the thing: he counts three million bucks against the cap, he's maddeningly inconsistent and seems to be the one guy who's never on the same page with Aaron Rodgers.
There are an unprecedented number of young QBs being asked to take over and a number of them have sub-standard crops of wide receivers. You know at least a couple of them would love to add a guy who might immediately be one of their top two guys. Miami and Seattle come to mind, both of which are going with rookie QBs and both teams' leadership have direct ties to Green Bay.
The Dolphins collected a couple of draft picks from the Colts when they dealt corner Vontae Davis to Indy on Monday. They might consider sending a mid-rounder to Green Bay for Jones. If a deal like that is out there, it's a no-brainer, Ted.
2. Cut James Starks. Yeah, I know, you hate to cut a guy when he's injured. But after flashing in the playoffs two years ago, he's had a hard time staying on the field. Ryan Grant had a better year in 2011 and you had no problem sending him packing, so I'm guessing moving on from Starks won't keep you up at night. He looked tentative and pedestrian before injuring his toe, and the addition of Benson has made him expendable. Let's roll with Benson, Green, Saine and Kuhn.
3. Find a veteran QB. I know, we've heard that Graham Harrell has the support of the coaches and #12. But he has Packer Nation very nervous, Ted. Has he had a fair shot to show what he's got, playing behind a lousy second team offensive line (sorry, Ted, the depth there is a bit shaky)? Probably not, but this team can't afford to not be certain that they have a dependable understudy to Rodgers.
I suggest you cut Harrell loose. Let your coaches develop Coleman on the practice squad, and go find a guy who's been a starter in this league. Maybe you trade a late rounder (or James Jones) to the Browns for Colt McCoy, or to the Titans for Matt Hasselbeck. I would take Miami's Matt Moore too. Any of those guys would make more sense than an unproven Harrell. This is a team whose identity is its weekly aerial display. So it's not like you can just become a running team if #12 is injured.
The reality is, if Rodgers goes down so goes the season, but having a veteran take the reins will give the team a better chance to cope.
Three calls to be made on the offensive side of the ball. Then you can relax a bit...until next Sunday.