The NFL Scouting Combine begins tomorrow, and with it will come intense scrutiny of the 330 players in attendance. They will be poked and prodded from all angles, both physical and psychologically, and put through the gauntlet of on-field workouts.
However, while the focus of the event remains on the draft, this is also one of the instances in which GMs and agents are in the same city - in fact, often in the same building - which can lead to some discussions about free agents. Of course, these discussions would have to be limited to players who are still under contract with their old teams until March 9th or players who have been cut loose by their old teams already.
Those discussions happen, however; last year, reports surfaced that Packers brass had spoken to John Kuhn's agent at the Combine and that mututal interest was displayed. That did not end up materializing in a new contract, as Kuhn ended up going unsigned until the Saints added him late in the summer; however, it's just one example of the fact that agents and GMs will indeed talk about the possibility of their players re-signing.
With the Packers having an impressive number of free agents this year - 20 to be exact - there should be plenty of opportunities for Ted Thompson to gauge the demands and desires of those players before they hit the open market next week.
Would it be a 'shock' if Green Bay Packers went after high-priced CB? - ESPN
Um, yes. Still, there are plenty of reasons to think that it would be a good idea.
Green and Bold: Jared Cook Is a Sure Thing | Cheesehead TV
I would argue that Cook NOT returning to Green Bay would be as big a shock as the Packers signing a big-name free agent.
'Little things' loom large in Datone Jones' future | Packersnews.com
Although Jones only had one sack last year, he had a career high in pressures, he played in every game, and he is solid against the run. As we said last week, Ted Thompson should get him back in Green Bay for next year.
Through the Lens: Capturing the photobomb | Packers.com
We get another look from the Packers' photographer at how he gets his great shots, and this edition features Aaron Rodgers' typical antics and a great shot of Jordy Nelson's big catch against the Bears.
PFF scouting report: Derek Barnett, Edge, Tennessee | PFF
One possible Packers target at the end of round one gets a thorough breakdown. Barnett is best when not focusing on his bullrush, according to PFF.
Matt Hasselbeck on Garoppolo As A Starter, Quarterback Contracts | The MMQB with Peter King
Hasselbeck called playing behind a trio of Brett Favre, Doug Pederson, and Rick Mirer "the Harvard Business School for young quarterbacks."
Earl Mitchell signs with Niners on 4-year, $16M deal - NFL.com
This is one of the first significant signings of free agency; Mitchell was released by the Dolphins a few days ago.