What began as a short post on the Green Bay Packers free agent losses turned into a three-part research project. While I still don't believe they lost anyone this offseason who will single-handedly hurt their chances to repeat as Super Bowl champs, I also can't recall a time when they lost so many past and current starters who still had some good seasons ahead of them.
Here's the free agent tracker from NFL.com showing the new teams for these former defensive starters.
LB Nick Barnett, Bills. Head coach Chan Gailey said Barnett would play at inside linebacker and talked up his coverage skills as a three-down linebacker. Buffalo Rumblings said "they're going to need an inside 'backer on the field essentially at all times" after the loss of LB Paul Posluszny in free agency.
DE Cullen Jenkins, Eagles. The Eagles will get what the Packers had been receiving: an inside pass rusher. I expected the free agent market would be more lucrative for him. While the reported deal is five years and $25 million, he could turn out to be a one-year rental for only $4 million via Bleeding Green Nation. Maybe the Packers felt it was time to move on, but at that price, they should have gotten back into the bidding.
LB Brady Poppinga, Rams. While he hasn't been the starter for the Packers since 2008, Turf Show Times says he'll be "their new starting strongside linebacker" but later contradicts himself by saying that he "won't be guaranteed a starting job." His main competition will be the guy Poppinga replaced in 2005: former Packer LB Na'il Diggs. Or LB David Vobora, who's best known for winning a lawsuit against a nutritional supplement company.