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Shopping the Free Agent Aisle

Although the NFL draft is important to a team's long term future, free agency is very important for next season. A free agent would likely be able to play a lot right away and is somewhat of a known NFL quantity. Free agency shouldn't be discounted even with all of the top free agents all signed or slapped with the franchise tag. It was a pretty weak free agent class to start with and looking at the list of remaining free agents is a bit depressing. There are a few remaining restricted free agents worth mentioning:

RB Michael Turner. He's been discussed a few times already here, but right now I'm not too excited about a very good running back who is a very bad pass receiver. He better be a complete back if he will cost big bucks and a 1st round draft pick. It looks like Tennessee is in the lead for him with Buffalo not far behind.

WR D.J. Hackett. He played in Seattle while GM Ted Thompson was still in town, but unlike last season when Thompson was quick to sign former Seahawk S Marquand Manuel, there has been no rumors of Hackett coming to town. Part of the problem might be that Hackett would cost a 2nd round pick if the Packers signed him, Seattle probably wouldn't accept less than a 2nd round pick for Hackett, and Thompson loves having more, not less, picks in the 2nd round. Its too bad because Hackett was really good in 2006 according to Football Outsiders, right ahead of WR Reggie Wayne in DVOA and WR Javon Walker in DPAR. Its probably why Seattle will keep Hackett and try to trade WR Darrell Jackson instead.

WR Samie Parker. Football Outsiders has him ranked right behind WR Hines Ward in DPAR and right behind WR Terry Glenn in DVOA. Plus he would only cost a 4th round pick as compensation if signed, which is a bargain this restricted free agent season considering zeros like WR Drew Carter have 2nd round picks attached to them as compensation. Unfortunately Parker is a bit undersized and Kansas City's fans wouldn't be sorry if the door hit him on the way out.

I wish there was a free agent tight end available worth mentioning, but it is more likely the Packers are better off with TE Zac Alcorn starting all 16 games then any of the remaining free agent tight ends. Another fullback to compete with FB Brandon Miree would be an excellent idea too, but the Packers teach their tight ends to play fullback too so Alcorn and TE Tory Humphrey might be just as likely to challenge Miree as anybody else.

It would be really surprising to see the Packers sign any of the remaining free agents looking for anything more than a minimum wage, non-guaranteed deal, even as players start dropping their demands.