We are more than two weeks into the free agency period of the 2013 off-season, which means that we still don't have a lot to discuss being Packers fans. That said, inaction can be as effective as action, and Ted Thompson is good at not overpaying for talent.
Here at APC, we decided to have a few discussion-starters today, and we'll kick it off with this question: what do you think was the best move or non-move that the Packer have made so far in free agency?
We'll give you a few options below, so vote in the poll and tell us what you think in the comments.
Re-Signing Brad Jones
Jones' return brings back the Packers' best inside linebacker from 2012 and solidifies the depth at that position, at least for 2013. He'll be expected to compete with A.J. Hawk, D.J. Smith, and Desmond Bishop for a starting job, and will likely be the team's first choice to play linebacker in obvious passing situations. Jones' contract will pay him a little under $12 million over the three years of his contract, but it comes with only $3 million guaranteed and a $2.5 million cap hit in the first year of the contract.
Restructuring A.J. Hawk's Contract
When a player is given the choice to take a pay cut or be released and would likely make less on the open market than he would with the pay cut, it's probably an easy decision for the player. That said, it's still good to see that the front office recognized that Hawk isn't living up to his contract and essentially forced him to take a cut. He may still be overpaid, especially if he doesn't end up starting, but at least there are a few more dollars in the bank for the Packers to use.
Not Re-signing Greg Jennings
Jennings signed a five-year deal for nearly $10 million per year with Minnesota, far outside what the Packers would have been willing to pay him. And for a 30-year-old receiver who has had some injury concerns over the past two years, who could blame them? At this point, even the $8 million per year that the Packers were reportedly offering might be too rich for my taste, especially with Aaron Rodgers' and Clay Matthews' contract extensions likely coming up soon.
Not Cutting Jermichael Finley
I know this one might cause a lot of complaining because I put it on the list at all, but I think it's worthy of discussion. The Packers' offense is most effective when it has a big target over the middle and up the seam to bust up a cover-2 defense. Finley is the best candidate for that job on the roster right now, and provides a legitimate fourth receiving option. Yes, the team could have cut him loose before Monday with minimal effect against the salary cap, but finding another receiving option of his caliber would be challenging and Finley still could break out with a big season in his contract year.
Tendering Sam Shields
Shields was arguably the team's best corner last season, though Casey Hayward would have something to say about that. Still, he improved his tackling immensely and played great coverage throughout the season, and the Packers definitely need him moving forward. Placing the second-round tender on Shields made it unlikely that a team would make a run at signing him, and gives the Packers the opportunity to match any contract offer he receives, all but ensuring that he'll be in Green and Gold this season.
Did we miss something? Let us know by voting for "other" in the poll and telling us where we messed up.
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