Ted Thompson and the Green Bay Packers are appearing to be somewhat more active in free agency than initially thought. NFL writer Evan Massey tweeted a little while ago that the Packers have submitted a contract offer to former Miami Dolphin and top free agent cornerback Sean Smith.
(I assume Massey means that Smith is weighing options, from the context.)
This would bring an interesting wrinkle into the free agency plans for the Packers. Smith started all 16 games in his rookie year of 2009, played 15 games and started 8 in 2010, then started every game in 2011 and 2012. Over that span, Smith has five interceptions, three forced fumbles (all three of those in 2012), and 41 passes defended. He also put up over 50 solo tackles each of the past two seasons. Smith also has played both sides of the defense, playing the right side in his first two years before moving to the left cornerback spot in 2011.
What's fascinating is what this could mean for the Packers moving forward. Smith is certainly a talented corner, but he's an impressive physical specimen as well. He stands 6'3" and weighs around 218 pounds, far bigger than any current Packers corner. He also ran his 40-yard dash in around 4.47 seconds at the 2009 Scouting Combine, so speed is not an issue. Smith could feasibly play corner or safety.
If he were to come to Green Bay as a corner, that could mean the end of Tramon Williams. However, cutting Williams would leave approximately $4 million of dead money on this year's salary cap to give a net total of $4.5 million in cap savings. It seems likely that signing Smith would require more than $4.5 million this year to sign, especially considering Thompson's reluctance to back-load contracts as much as other teams do.
Regardless of whether Smith signs with Green Bay, even offering Smith a contract gives us a reason to speculate about whether Thompson is indeed going to make a bigger splash than usual in free agency this off-season.