Let's face it, everyone: the off-season stinks. There's no football, the free agency craziness is more or less over already, team activities will not begin for another two weeks, the draft isn't for another three, and training camp is still more than three months away. Therefore, we have followed ESPN's lead and are going to "embrace debate" (though with 100% less Skip Bayless).
We asked the first question on Facebook and Twitter yesterday to elicit nominations from social media, and now we'll let the community vote on the final answer.
What one decision from Green Bay Packers history would you change, and what would you do to change it?
Option one: draft Barry Sanders instead of Tony Mandarich (1989)
This is pretty self-explanatory - the Packers made a huge mistake in the 1989 draft. Tony Mandarich, drafted second overall, was the only top-five pick that year who is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Barry Sanders was selected third by the Detroit Lions, and went on to become one of the most dynamic running backs in NFL history.
Option two: draft Derrick Thomas or Deion Sanders instead of Tony Mandarich (1989)
This one was brought up when one Facebook commenter brought up the possibility of Sanders clashing with Brett Favre. Instead, the Packers could have drafted one of the other top-five picks that year. Thomas was one of the most dominating pass-rushers of the 1990s and Sanders was probably the most talented (and the most obnoxious) defensive back in recent memory. Can you imagine a Packer defense with both Thomas and Reggie White? Or a secondary with LeRoy Butler and Deion Sanders?
Option three: draft Troy Vincent instead of Terrell Buckley (1992)
This was an interesting one for me. Buckley was a loudmouth and a big-play threat, but he only spent three years in Green Bay and wore out his welcome early. Vincent was a true professional, and would have been loved by Packers fans just as he was by Wisconsin Badger fans in college. Surprisingly, Buckley actually had more interceptions over his career than Vincent did (50 to 47) but there's no doubt that Vincent was the far better player and one can easily see him playing his entire football career in Wisconsin.
Option four: Do not trade for John Hadl, use draft picks to select Fred Dean and Steve Largent (1974-1976)
The John Hadl trade set back the Packers organization for a long time, as they traded two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and a third-round pick. All that was sent in return for a quarterback who played 22 games for the Packers and threw 9 touchdowns against 29 interceptions. Instead, the Packers could have used those first-round picks on a pair of Hall-of-Famers, one on either side of the ball.
Option five: draft Ronnie Lott or Mike Singletary instead of Rich Campbell (1981)
Before Ron Wolf's arrival, the Packers really did not have much success acquiring quarterbacks since Bart Starr left. Lynn Dickey was about the only successful one, but Rich Campbell was drafted 6th overall with the intent of replacing Dickey. Instead, Campbell sat on the bench while Dickey set team records in 1983. Instead of drafting a backup QB highly, the Packers could have had a Hall-of-Fame safety and in Lott or an all-time great middle linebacker in Singletary.
It's no fun to think about all the things that the franchise has done wrong, but it's sometimes fun to imagine what the team could have done if some of those actions would have been different. Which of these would be your first choice to change?