The NFL Scouting Combine has begun in earnest, and the Green Bay Packers have plenty of representatives on site in Indianapolis to figure out which draft prospects they want on their roster next season. The highest-ranking members of the team have other issues on their mind as well, however. The team must soon make decisions on which free agents to pursue and which to let walk away. Green Bay must also hope that their injured or otherwise limited star players can return to form before next season. For what it's worth, head coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson expressed plenty of confidence that the various situations can work out, specifically in regards to overweight running back Eddie Lacy.
So far, the Packers have maintained their confidence that star running back Eddie Lacy can slim down before next season. "Eddie will take care of business," McCarthy said Thursday at the combine, though he hasn't taken an active role in the body makeover. Given the head coach's public criticism of Lacy during the season-ending press conference, this statement sounds a little more meaningful than it otherwise would.
Besides Lacy's offseason workout plan, the Packers discussed their plans for Mason Crosby -- they want to re-sign him -- and Julius Peppers -- the team expects him back in 2016. Just as importantly, both Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson should hit the ground running come training camp this summer.
While Ted Thompson rejects the notion that Green Bay refuses to dip into free agency, he still plans to lean heavily on the draft and the team's ability to develop young players. The general manager also doesn't think changing his approach would produce better results. "We're not going to chase a ghost just because we think the clock is ticking."
For those wondering whether the Packers' recent deal with defensive lineman Letroy Guion signaled the end of B.J. Raji's tenure in Green Bay, it didn't, or at least not necessarily. The team and Raji have "mutual interest" in extending the nose tackle's stay. Raji could still hit the market in March, but at least the Packers plan to make it interesting.
Just a few short years ago, the Packers seemed completely unable to stop the San Francisco 49ers and their quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. Now, Kaepernick reportedly wants to do whatever he can to get out of the Bay Area. A strange turn of events, indeed.