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February 27, 2007

My Hopes for the '07 Off-Season

The depressing gap between the Super Bowl and the NFL draft is now upon us, and along with it comes the opportunity for massive media speculation. As with most people, I know very little about what is actually going to happen for the Packers this off-season. Similarly, I like to talk about important issues like free agency, trades, and the draft as if I actually do know what is going on. So, in the spirit of football boredom and self-aggrandizing observation, I present my two-cents on what the Packers should do this off-season, starting with trades.

I would like to start with the myriad trade rumors floating about concerning the Packers. I'll begin with my personal favorite, the Randy Moss issue. Is he too old? Can he fit in our system? Will his character issues persist in the city of Green Bay? Do we even want him after all those years with the Vikings? Look, whatever has occured in Randy's past is exactly that, his past. I don't care if he pretended to pull his pants down at Lambeau, or that he knocked us out of the playoffs as a Viking, or that he's publicly embarrassed past coaches and teammates. I don't care. Why don't these things bother me as a rabid Packers fan? Two reasons, Charles Woodson and Koren Robinson. Granted, Koren's previous problems followed him into last season, but he looked to be developing quite a chemistry with Brett Favre. Brett hates the Vikings as much as the rest of us, and he could not have cared less about Koren's past. I am excited for the possibility of his return for another year in Green Bay. The similarities between Woodson and Moss are similarly noteworthy. Both men are aging superstars who displayed their playmaking abilities since day one in the NFL. Both have encountered injuries later on in their career, and a significant drop-off in statistics. Both have been considered obnoxious head-cases that exhibit behavior detrimental to their teams. Do I need to review the fantastic season the Charles had in his first year in Green Bay? The man forced more turnovers than any other player in the league. He didn't speak one negative word about the franchise all year long, and he more than lived up to his potential as a difference maker in our improving defense. That being said, I think it is clear that I would love to see Randy Moss in green and gold.
The question then becomes what do we offer in terms of compensation for such a deal. From what I've heard, a third round pick and a reciever would be involved at a minimum. Naturally, I would love to see us send our third round pick and Robert Ferguson to the Raiders for Moss, and would not be particularly upset if went sent Bubba Franks along with him. We could bolster the tight end position in the draft if we got rid of Bubba, but that topic is for another article.

Another intriguing rumor I've heard involves the acquisition of Tatum Bell from the Broncos. While this rumor has not recieved as much attention as the Moss deal, I find it equally interesting. We clearly have a need at running back, whether we re-sign Ahman Green or not. Green is over thirty, and Vernand Morency is nothing more than a very capable change of pace back. While Tatum Bell is a speedy thrasher, similar to Morency, I believe he would be a great fit in our offense. He is familiar with the zone-blocking scheme, possesses the speed that the rest of our backfield does not, and is young enough to carry the load for years. I haven't heard much about what Denver would like in exchange, and that is what concerns me about this deal. If we send a pick to Denver, I wouldn't want to lose any more picks in other trades. I'm also not sure who the Broncos could want in return, since we don't have a viable option at running back. This trade seems less likely than the Moss deal, but then again, I don't know what I'm talking about.

One player currently on the roster who I would like to see utilized in a trade is defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. While he has put up staggering sack numbers in the past, he has not been able to perform well enough against the run on a consistent basis. New head coach Mike McCarthy has even gone so far as to relegate him to spot duty on third down passing situations. Versatile defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins took over as the starter after KGB was benched, and played well enough to earn a lucrative contract extension. Jenkins is a powerful pass rusher with the size to be a constant presence against the run, and comes from an impressive pedigree, as his brother Kris is a pro bowl tackle with Carolina. While KGB has never been able to fit perfectly into the Green Bay system, other teams could show a reasonable interest in acquiring him. His moves have not diminished much at this point in his career, and he can still make an impact play. Sometimes players just need a fresh start to revive their passion for the game. How exactly a trade scenario involving KGB might play out, I have no idea, but do know that I would much rather see his value used on the trade block instead of third down.

Posted by abai0001 at 9:10 PM