The Packers will be looking for a new starting center if a report by the New York Daily News is true.
Ralph Vacchiano of the Daily News tweeted today that Packers free agent Evan Dietrich-Smith could sign with another team shortly after free agency begins at 3 p.m. tomorrow, most likely the New York Giants.
“Heard free-agent C Evan Dietrich-Smith could sign quickly tomorrow,” Vacchianio tweeted. “Giants are the favorites, from what I can tell.”
If the Packers lose Dietrich-Smith, then either second-year pro JC Tretter becomes the front-runner for the starting job, or the Packers will have to find a center in free agency to take over as starter.
The Packers appear to think that Tretter has promise for the position based on his draft status and ability to win a roster spot late last season coming off an injury.
The Packers selected Tretter in the fourth round of last year’s draft as a potential center of the future even though he played tackle in college at Cornell. Tretter, though, sustained a broken ankle in an offseason practice in May and spent most of last season on the physically unable to perform list. He then came back well enough when eligible to practice late in the season to win a spot on the 53-man roster in December rather than getting placed on injured reserve.
Among the centers available in free agency are San Francisco’s Jonathan Goodwin, Pittsburgh’s Fernando Valasco and Atlanta’s Joe Hawley.
The Giants are in the market for a starting center because David Baas had neck and knee surgeries last year. They might have targeted Dietrich-Smith in part because former Packers assistant Ben McAdoo is their new offensive coordinator.