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Keeping Corey Williams

I thought GM Ted Thompson would let backup DT Corey Williams leave in free agency, but instead he placed the franchise tag on him and he's guaranteed $6.363 (nice round number) million in 2008.

There was a case to be made for making a backup defensive tackle your team's franchise player. First while he costs over $6 million, another team was likely to guarantee him $15-20 million in a couple of weeks, so he's a relative bargain. Second if the Packers have around $25 million of cap space and aren't going to target any big free agents, then spend the money to keep Williams for one more year. Third the Packers would have likely spent a high-to-mid round draft choice to fill Williams' spot and now they have more flexibility in April. I don't expect he will sign a long term deal, but I didn't expect he would get the tag either so what do I know?

The big downside, other than making a backup one of your highest paid players, is that this probably signals the end of the Packers big moves in free agency. It's not a great free agent market, especially with two top free agent cornerbacks Oakland's CB Nnamdi Asomugha and Seattle's CB Marcus Trufant taken off the market with by the franchise tag, so the best idea might be to pass on any player another team is willing to part with.

Keeping Williams, no matter how mad he might get at being taken off the free agent market, was the best move under the circumstances, and it's good to see Thompson keep him.