One thing we Packer fans know is that Ted Thompson will not overpay a free agent. He may overpay someone who has spent a majority of his career with the Packers, but not a guy who is coming from the outside. So it’s doubtful that the Packers ink many of these free agent targets, but an interesting arrangement of events are coming together that may make it more probably than you think.
This week a large part of the 2013 draft class is gathering in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine. One of the great truths of this draft class is that there is a wealth of talent to be found along the defensive line, especially at defensive tackle. Similarly the 2013 free agent class is also starting to take shape, and this group is also looking like it is going to be rich in defensive tackle talent. These two events put together should saturate the market with quality defensive tackles and may drop the price down for these big men. It may also provide Thompson the chance to sign some deals that helps shore up a group that has been hurting the last couple years.
One of those talented big men hitting the free agent market and looking for a big contract is Desmond Bryant. Bryant may be the best free agent you have never heard of this year. He is the third rated interior defensive lineman from PFF and one of the main defensive linemen highlighted by Rotoworld this year. Even though he is not a household name among fans, GM’s are sure to recognize his talent in both the run game and the pass rush which should make him a hot commodity when the free agent market opens up.
Bryant is young and talented enough that he could be one of the real steals of free agency this year. He may also be one of the few players to create a bidding war for his services. If the Packers can land him then they should be in great shape moving forward along the defensive line and can use the draft to address other areas of need, specifically linebacker, wide receiver, or interior offensive line. The main hope for Packer fans is that the flood of interior defensive linemen creates value for clubs and the lure of playing for a contender is strong for Bryant.