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The Packers Sign OL Duke Preston

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OL Duke Preston wasn't wanted in Buffalo. The Bills have no depth at their interior line positions but they didn't resign a guy who started 11 games for them last season. Instead, Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson got their man:

An unrestricted free agent, Preston started 11 games with the Bills last year, all at center. He has also played some guard and right tackle for the Bills. The Packers consider him a prospect at any of the three interior line positions.

The real depressing part...

When he signs his contract, Preston will become the first unrestricted free agent from another team the Packers have added this off-season.

And it's for a young player who has already been a bust for one team. Hopefully Preston is only viewed as just another backup to sign with the Packers. The real danger is that they actually like him and think he can start at guard or at the currently vacant right tackle spot. They like him for his athleticism, but he was awful when he was on the field.

In the passing game:

Preston was on the field for 372 pass plays in 2008. Of those, he graded out as good on 2 (0.5%), decent on 344 (92.5%), bad on 26 (7%), and killed 9 (2.4%). That grades out to a poor 69.4%.

And in the running game:

Preston was better at run blocking against 4-3 defenses than 3-4 (72.1% to 68.9%), but that's not nearly good enough against either to play in the NFL.

It's probably a low risk, high reward signing. He probably didn't sign a huge contract and the Packers get to evaluate a young, talented athlete who's already had some experience starting in the NFL. Maybe they can turn him around.

If he's bad again in 2009, then he's not going to get any playing time. Although it's depressing to sign a guy who's already been a failure with one team. But he's not a major signing and if (when) he struggles in Green Bay, it won't cost them much to let him go.