Packers Morning Buzz: Green Bay could look for 'value' in free agency
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
We'll start with Michael Silver of NFL.com discussing the Packers' needs and why he expects general manager Brian Gutekunst to be active while looking for "value" in free agency.
"For years the Packers had the luxury of Aaron Rodgers covering up all ills, and former general manager Ted Thompson and the front office had a very passive approach to free agency; they liked to just stay where they were in the draft and build that way, which is nice when you have Aaron Rodgers bailing you out," Silver said Monday.
"But a lot of people have long thought that an aggressive approach while Aaron Rodgers was there to maximize that window would be the better way to go. You started to see it last year with some signings that included Jimmy Graham in free agency; they made a run at Khalil Mack before being edged out by the Bears in that trade.
"So I wonder with the Packers, when you have an Antonio Brown, a Le'Veon Bell or maybe someone like an Ndamukong Suh who you might be able to get for value, will they go after the big-name free agents? I also think it's more likely that they will look for value and try to get multiple free agents. You look at Matt LaFleur, who (was with) the Rams – a couple of years ago with Sean McVay, they were able to get those Robert Woods types, those second-tier (at the time) free agents for value and build it up that way.
Silver also speculates about the free-agency future of a couple of longtime Packers stalwarts:
"They also have some decisions to make. They've got Randall Cobb and Clay Matthews ... we'll see what the market bears on Clay Matthews, I think they would like to have him back but it's going to depend on who comes after Clay Matthews and how hard, whereas Randall Cobb, in my opinion it is more likely than not that he'll be gone and they will try to upgrade at the slot receiver position, just feeling that his better days are probably behind him."
"So they will look for value. Their No. 1 need clearly is edge rusher. ... Whatever happens with Clay Matthews, they need edge rushers, they need them badly. Will a Jadeveon Clowney, a Dee Ford or a DeMarcus Lawrence or Frank Clark not get tagged and come via free agency? Maybe. But I think it's likely they'll look at the draft and maybe look at some of those guys on the next tier to address that need."
You can catch Silver's entire analysis here:
Silver later reaffirmed his view that Cobb's days in Green Bay are numbered:
The NFL scouting combine begins Tuesday and Jim Owczarski takes an in-depth look at what the Packers will be pursuing and who might make sense for them in this primer:
ESPN's Rob Demovsky looks at what a Packers' bid for running back Le'Veon Bell might look like:
Little-used fullback Danny Vitale could be a good fit for Matt LaFleur's offense:
This draft has the kind of talent the Packers need to restock at key positions, writes Peter Bukowski for Acme Packing Co.:
And finally ... 49 years old and still winging it ....