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Owning Up to Past Mistakes

Everybody makes poor choices now and then. If you've ever been to a bar, then you can probably imagine a person who's made nothing but poor choices since the 80's. Most of us cancel the bad out with the good, and we get on with our lives. But sometimes, we make choices that are so egregious, that we have to go back and make amends.

In March 2009, I advocated that the Packers target Alabama offensive lineman Andre Smith with their first round pick. While Cincinnatti was kind enough to take him three spots before us, I still would like to say that I am deeply, deeply sorry.

I probably shouldn't apologize so hard, because of the type of player Smith could still become. Prior to his post-college meltdown, Smith looked like he could succeed in the NFL; a big, powerful bulldozer of a football player that would overpower opposing defensive linemen and linebackers alike. That sort of potential doesn't evaporate in a few months.

But Smith certainly isn't helping matters any. According to latest reports, Smith may hold out of part or all of the Bengals' minicamp. His agent, Alvin Keels, is trying to secure a contract similar to last year's 6th overall pick (Vernon Gholston) and this year's 5th overall pick (Mark Sanchez). While every team has to deal with the out-of-control rookie pay scale, Cincinnatti is trying to avoid breaking the bank for a player that has done nothing but baffle scouts and GM's since late 2008.

In retrospect, I should have known better. I have always trusted Ted Thompson to make the right decision when it comes to the draft, and I think that after picking up B.J. Raji, most of you would agree. And it's not like Thompson ignored the gaping holes at OT, either; T.J. Lang and Jamon Meredith are the newest addition to the mid-round crop of offensive linemen that the team has collected. I think that the line will be fine as long as the best five players can take the field week in and week out.

But reading this report just blew my mind. I actually wanted Green Bay to acquire this guy. The weight problems, the weak work ethic, the ego, and the jiggling. Oh, the jiggling.


The only thing that will make my repentence complete is if Raji signs without the threat of a holdout. He and fellow first rounder Clay Matthews III reported to all of rookie minicamp and OTA's, so it's not like he's setting a precedent.

But that's over a month away, and I'm sure that Thompson and company are on it. I guess that leaves only one question.