Aaron's Answers: Draft Lacy's replacement?
Throughout the offseason, I’ll be answering reader questions in a weekly mailbag here at PackersNews.com. If you’d like to submit a question in the future, just email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
With free agency here and the Packers having already lost a couple of players, certain sections of Packers fandom appear to be in full meltdown mode. Between my mentions on Twitter and my email inbox, many of you are unhappy with how the new league year has started for the Packers. Let me see if I can talk a few of you down a bit.
On to your questions!
From Amar Y. Desai:
Now knowing lacy is shopping his services to the NFL, do we know if any packer scouting personnel was at the Oklahoma pro day to watch potential HoF running back, joe mixon? Everyone deserves a second chance.
A lot to unpack here, Amar.
Yes, Eddie Lacy was in Seattle on Friday with a visit to Minnesota scheduled after that prior to a stop in Green Bay. However, he is most certainly not out of the picture. Funnily enough, this is how free agency used to work, with guys making multiple stops prior to deciding on the next step in their career. Now, deals are agreed to during the two-day “legal tampering” period and announced at the start of the new league year. Teams obviously want to check out Lacy’s injured ankle and see where he’s at conditioning-wise.
As for Mixon’s workout, I do know the Packers had at least one scout there and the workout was sensational. That said, Ted Thompson rarely has used early draft picks on the running back position, with Lacy and Brandon Jackson being the lone exceptions. With Mixon’s off-field issues (anyone not familiar with the story can read about it here), I’d be extremely surprised if Thompson used a second-day pick on him.
From James Wegge:
Ted Thompson is constantly talking about how bringing in free agents can affect the locker room. How do you think it looks that the Packers didn't even make Micah Hyde, "one of their guys" an offer?
Interesting question, James. It’s true that locker room dynamics is definitely a reason Thompson shies away from free agency, though I tend to doubt it’s a main, driving reason. And yes, it has to raise a few eyebrows when Thompson doesn’t even extend an offer to a guy who he drafted and saw develop into a core player on the defensive side of the ball in 2016.
But those same eyebrows are perched over eyeballs that also saw Nick Perry brought back into the fold for no small amount of coin.
Ultimately, players know it’s a business and that the Packers can’t pay everyone. That’s why it tends to mean so much to guys when the franchise decides to commit to them the way they just did to Perry.
One other aspect to this, and something that doesn’t get talked about a whole lot, is Thompson most likely making a ruthless decision and deciding to move forward from a player who, while certainly serviceable, had obvious limitations. If guys see Thompson willing to move on from Hyde, who did everything asked of him, improved year after year, was a model citizen on and off the field but who will always be limited athletically, then he can move on from anyone. It will certainly keep guys on their toes going forward.
From Joseph Randolph:
We know the fans are tired of Ted Thompson; and we know both Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers have voiced their frustrations as well with the GM's decision making. Now obviously in Titletown the bureaucracy works quite different than the other 31 teams, but when will the powers that be start to feel the heat and realize that Thompson isn't getting it done in regards to bringing in key free agents to fill glaring holes on either side of the ball and build (to include Draft and Free Agency) a noteworthy defense?Or are the key decision makers at Lambeau content with mediocrity until Thompson’s eventual (and hopefully imminent) retirement?
Sorry, Joseph, but “the powers that be” just fundamentally disagree with your assessment of Thompson’s tenure in Green Bay.
Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy took to the team website last month to lay out his case for Thompson and the current regime and, I have to admit, it was a pretty convincing one. Outside of the Patriots, the Packers have been one of the most consistent winners in the league. Yes, they’ve fallen short of another Super Bowl appearance.
At some point, you do wonder if Murphy looks to shake things up, if for no other reason than his franchise does have one of the best quarterbacks in the league and, for whatever reason, Thompson’s approach hasn’t been able to get them over the proverbial hump.
All that said, Thompson’s contract is reportedly up after the 2018 draft which, in the grand scheme of things, is not that far away. Would Murphy really make a move prior to that time? Unless the team completely fell apart, which I don’t see happening, it’s highly doubtful.
From Ryan Reynolds:
Do you think the Packers take a look at DeAndre Levy? I know Mike McCarthy said great things about him before and he should be fully healthy.
Ryan, first let me say, I absolutely loved you in "Deadpool."
Next, in regards to Levy, I absolutely think he’s someone the Packers will want to take a look at. Not only has he always played well against the Packers, prior to his injury he was one of the better interior linebackers in the league. Plus, the fact that he was released means he would not count toward the compensatory pick formula, and we all know that’s like honey to Thompson’s bumble bee. (Just go with it.)
Now, obviously, a lot depends on what his tape says post-injury and how healthy he actually is. I know he came back toward the end of last year, but from scouts I’ve spoken with, it looked like he had very much lost a step. Now, could this just be rust from having such a long time away from the game? Absolutely.
I tend to think this isn’t a move the Packers would make any time soon. They’ll bide their time, as they always do, and if Levy is still sitting there a week or two from now, they make make a call and see if there’s mutual interest.