Packers XLV

Three Tough Calls Ted Should Make by Friday Night

Posted August 28th, 2012 @ 02:08pm

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.


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Comments (26):

LDF, two thumbs up, buddy! :-) If TT does any wheelin' and dealin', he'd be best served to wait until the cutdowns start and see what becomes available. It's always interesting who shows up after the cuts that you might go "What were they thinking?" when that name shows up on the waiver wire. If Hasselbeck gets cut, go for him. But don't trade for him. I'm virtually certain that TT and Holmgren have had some friendly chats since July and that McCoy's name has come up once or twice. Let's just let this thing play out. Patience, my friends, patience.

on August 28th, 2012 at 02:50pm

Here's what I would like to see TT do with the final roster: 1- Agree with you Davy.....cut Harrell and get a veteran QB....McCoy is the guy....Hasselback would be of those guys may cost you a 7th. 2- Trade Jones if you can get a veteran backup offensive lineman. With Sherrod still a question a veteran backup is needed. 3- Keep Starks and cut Saine. I know he has injury problems but when healthy he has more versatality than Saine. 4- Please....Please....find a dependable inside LB....Bishop's loss is this years Jenkins loss of 2011. We may have to package Jones with a draft choice to get one. GO PACK GO !!

on August 28th, 2012 at 08:59pm

I would agree with the first two, the Stark cutting being the easiest of them. Hasselbeck might be interesting, but otherwise, I don't think you gain anything going to someone outside the team. Harrell has been around the team and knows what is what. I'm willing to give him more time. Although.... Hasselbeck would be interesting....

on August 28th, 2012 at 12:13pm

Why would they re-sign Jennings with this trough of young receiving talent we keep hearing about? Not to mention this guy is one concussion away from thinking he is an astronaut or becoming a Scott Walker supporter?

on August 29th, 2012 at 01:14pm

Why would they resign Greg Jennings? What about this overflowing trough of young receivers you glue-huffers keep blathering about? And why would you resign a guy who is one concussion away from thinking he is an astronaut? Greg Jennings is as likely to return to the Packers on a long term deal as Rodgers is to grow a beard that doesn't make him look like a pederast.

on August 29th, 2012 at 01:20pm

Why would they resign Greg Jennings? What about this overflowing trough of young receivers you glue-huffers keep blathering about? And why would you resign a guy who is one concussion away from thinking he is an astronaut? Greg Jennings is as likely to return to the Packers on a long term deal as Rodgers is to grow a beard that doesn't make him look like a pederast.

on August 29th, 2012 at 01:22pm

Letting go of Jennings is ridiculous. No one lets there No. 1 receiver go. Listen, I'm no cap wonk, but I know the rules have changed and I know TT has always been able to manage to keep the players he needs to. Considering Rodgers and Nelson did not bankrupt the team, I think there is room for Clay and B.J. , as well the key talent we need to win. On another note, Saine is way more versatile than Starks, he's just not as talented. Benson is the talent. Green is the talent. Saine is insurance and special teams.

on August 29th, 2012 at 02:02pm

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on August 29th, 2012 at 02:25am


on August 29th, 2012 at 03:22am

"all the depth of a half a can of Schlitz"? everyone who's anyone knows you only drink Schlitz out of a bottle my friend. The swilly new formula is in cans. the classic 60's formula (when the Packers were winning nfl championships at will I might add) is in bottle only! GoPack!

on August 29th, 2012 at 03:38pm

couldn't agree more, Mr Head Cheese...I know Double D is getting up there in age, but he's still a very solid receiver, and he's not a cancer in the locker room . Starks had a few good games for the Pack, but Benson sure looked good in the Cincy game. Whether that carries over into the season has yet to be seen. And we all have seen what Harrell can do(?) ....maybe he just needs more time to develop. Can't wait for the season to start. The first 4 games are killer, and if we get through 2-2 or 3-1, we'll be off to a good start. GO PACK!

on August 29th, 2012 at 04:20pm

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on August 29th, 2012 at 04:31pm

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on August 29th, 2012 at 05:16am

You can't trade James Jones with Jennings going into a contract year and Driver entering his final year of his career. Those two guys gone in 2013--all the sudden AR is throwing to Nelson, Cobb, and Gurley---very pedestrian WR corps.

on August 29th, 2012 at 07:50am

This is amazing. I don't know how you read this article and have any idea of how the Packers win the division this year. Defense is terrible, O-Line and overall Offensive depth is terrible. Sure. Trade James Jones, get a back-up QB, cut a starter from last year. All of those moves will help a team that has all the depth of a glass of water...sorry...packer fans I am talking to...all the depth of half a can of Schlitz.

on August 29th, 2012 at 11:36am

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on August 29th, 2012 at 12:30pm

I respectfully disagree Cane. Pack will ink Jennings to a long-term deal. If they move Jones, they go into next season with GJ, Nelson and Cobb as the top three. Whoever they keep at #6 this year (Gurley) becomes #4 and the bottom guy could be a practice squad guy from this season (Boykin) or a middle/late round pick next year.

on August 29th, 2012 at 12:31pm

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on August 29th, 2012 at 12:38am

THC--how are they going to afford to sign Jennings long term, make AR the highest paid player in NFL history, AND on top of that sign players like Clay-Maker and Raji longterm? Remember, the defense is already the weak link of this team--take away Raji and Clay--your D will break the futility records it set last season. Keeping the few good defensive players you have is a higher priority than keeping Jennings in my opinion. Especially given Raji and Clay are younger have more prime years left than Jennings.

on August 29th, 2012 at 12:46pm

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on August 30th, 2012 at 01:32am

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on August 30th, 2012 at 06:23am

Cane - it's called cap management. TT already has it figured out for 2, even 3 years down the line as to who they can afford to a long term deal and who they can't. If the future is secure, the present will fall right into line. And I hardly think the remaining WR corps is pedestrian - the Vikings would love to have just one of these pedestrians. If one of these guys gets "too expensive", replace them! Let them sign with the Redskins for all we care, because there's still the 2013 and 2014 drafts down the line. No one player is going to hold this team hostage (financially speaking). The Pack is built for the long haul, and that's how they do it.

on August 30th, 2012 at 07:10pm

Bill, once again you speak with the "Voice of Reason" as your screen name states. Ted Thompson & his "capologists" know what they are doing to continue building up this roster through the draft & smart, inexpensive free agency. I'm sure they've already talked to Aaron Rodgers about a long term contract & am confident Thompson will continue to find the right talent at the right price to sustain the Packers success. I am so glad he is the Packers GM & he hired Mike McCarthy as head coach. Go Pack!

on August 31st, 2012 at 01:13am

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on August 31st, 2012 at 01:55pm

Jones is all but gone but not to Miami but another AFC team Im hearing.... As for Hasselbeck, he is way to expensive. Remember every dollar saved today we need to spend on Rodgers, Matthews, maybe Jennings and many more... Im still not a believer in Harrell however it appears TT and MM are so he will be our backup for the season. Stay Healthy Mr. Rodgers... I believe over the next 24-48 hrs Mr. TT will be making at least 3 trades. Jones is a given, one of the 3 rookie/1st yr WR players and I also believe TT will be pulling the trigger for a Vet O-Linmen or maybe a DB (more then likely a OL) for a 7rd pick. Hard to believe the season is just over a week away but let the fun begin... 12-4 Super Bowl bound Green Bay Packers!!!

on August 31st, 2012 at 07:54am

Here's a question: Did Gurley, Boyken, and Borel's performances hurt Jones' trade value? Any team looking at the Packer could easily be thinking one of those guys is going to be cheaper and have more upside then Jones. I like Jones, but with my GM cap on, I'd take the others.

on August 31st, 2012 at 08:43am

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