Morning Buzz: Draft plans, free agency in focus

Aaron Nagler
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Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers and the NFL from around the web and here at Grab a strong cup of coffee and get caught up on everything you need to know about the Packers.

After the release of cornerback Sam Shields and running back James Starks, the Packers are sitting on a pretty decent amount of salary cap space.

Pete Dougherty writes that Ted Thompson needs to begin to adapt and evolve, starting with capitalizing on this ample cap space.

From Pete:

Mark Murphy is right not to push free agency on Ted Thompson.

But that doesn’t mean Thompson shouldn’t use free agency more.

The foundation for the Green Bay Packers’ success over the last 25 years is the front-office set-up to which Murphy alluded. They grant their GM authority over all football decisions.

If the results aren’t there, then the team’s president should find a new GM. But the approach is right: Allow someone trained in building a football team to build the team. The NFL is no place for dilettantes. Not if you want to win.

But while Murphy should let Thompson run the team his way, Thompson needs to adapt and evolve. And that means expanding the ways he adds players beyond the draft. If Murphy shouldn’t force free agency on Thompson, Thompson after six years since his last trip to the Super Bowl should see he has to do more.

One area where the Packers'roster needs help is at cornerback. Ryan Wood writes on the release of Shields leaving a hole in the secondary.

I had’s Chad Reuter on my podcast Wednesday to talk Packers and the NFL draft.

Bob McGinn held a chat with readers Wednesday. You can read it here.

One exchange:

Q: Mark Murphy claims he hasn't settled on a successor to Ted Thompson, but somehow the Packers manage to keep two hot execs waiting in the wings - what's going on?

A: Murphy is dead right in not declaring a successor to Thompson. The best successors presently are under contract in KC (John Dorsey), Sea (John Schneider) and Oak (Reggie McKenzie). You can throw in Scot McCloughan in Washington, too. Wolf and Gutekunst have never made GM decisions. Neither has Ball, but at least he has worked several other places. Dorsey, Schneider, McKenzie and McCloughan are GMs. It's not really a young man's gig in Green Bay right now. The pressure to win is unbearable. It requires seasoning under pressure. Sports Illustrated's Austin Murphy referred to Green Bay this fall as "EnTitletown." He was comically spot on.

I spoke with Packers fans about the release of Shields over on our Facebook page on Wednesday morning:

Elsewhere, Nathan Jahnke Pro Football Focus points out the elite play Shields gave the Packers:

Elliot Harrison puts the Packers in the top five of his final 2016 power rankings:

Max McGee made the list of Top 10 Super Bowl catches:

The Packers are hyper-dependent on Aaron Rodgers:

Cory Jennerjohn writes on the importance of player versatility for Cheesehead TV:

ESPN’s Todd McShay has the Packers taking a running back in the first round:

Evan over at ACME Packing Company takes a look at the cornerback position and sizes up free-agency plans:

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