Why the Packers Won’t Sign Any Offensive Stars in Free Agency

February and March have historically been two of the toughest months to be a Packers fan during the reign of Ted Thompson. Aside from 2011, where many were riding the high of a Super Bowl victory well into the new year, the story is often the same each offseason.

Respected veterans leave, stars take off for bigger markets and fan favorites do not get so much as a call from Packer management to work out a deal. Fan’s pipe dreams of landing that flashy wide receiver, running back or tight end often remain just that, as those players take deals in Jacksonville, New York and Chicago among others.

On a mid-January edition of his radio show “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” host Colin Cowherd made an excellent point about why offensive stars especially are not flocking to Green Bay to play with Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre before him.

“You can get rich in Boise, but it’s a heck of a lot easier in New York and Chicago…more people, more commerce,” Cowherd said. “Offensive players want to get attention. Offensive players historically get endorsements. Offensive players are worried about market size and profile.”

What Cowherd is essentially saying is that although the potential for Packers players to earn major endorsements is certainly there (Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews as examples), those opportunities are much greater in larger markets. Nielsen released estimates of the top 210 television markets in the United States at the beginning of 2017. Green Bay ranked last among NFL cities and 68th on the list, with the next lowest being Buffalo at 53rd on the list. Most other NFL cities ranked highly in the top 30.

Smaller markets mean fewer advertising dollars to go around. If players themselves are not thinking of these factors, their agents certainly are going to remind them.

And before readers claim that money would be made up for in the loyalty of Packers fans picking up their jersey, consider that jersey sale revenue is split evenly among the players anyway. This means the financial gain for jersey sales is negligible compared to the potential of a local, regional or national endorsement opportunity.

Obviously each negotiation and player are different. However, the lack of endorsement money to be made, coupled with a lack of nightlife for young athletes, weather seen as undesirable for much of the year by many outsiders and a general stinginess in handing out big contracts by Packers staff, make Green Bay an unappetizing free agent destination. And with Aaron Rodgers at the helm comes the confidence among management that he will make the most of what he is provided through the draft.

So as much fun as it is to sit around a dream about how an Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson or Martellus Bennett addition could make Green Bay’s offense an unstoppable force, the money may be too much to pass up elsewhere.

Let me know what you feel Green Bay’s biggest free agent needs are, and who you hope they will pursue in the comments below.

 

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Zac Bellman is a sports writer, experienced journalist and Marquette University graduate with a degree in journalism. You can read his current articles here on PackersTalk.com. To connect with Zac, follow him on twitter at @ZacBellman_WNY. or check out his Facebook page Zac Bellman-Sportwriter

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  • shavager

    AS A LIFETIME PACKERS FAN–55 YEARS of being a fan since Vince Lombardi’s 1962 Champs–I AM DISGUSTED AND APPALLED by the way this team’s being run by Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy. FIRST–McCarthy has CALLED OUT DUMB Capers defense for SEVEN CONSECUTIVE seasons for ‘POOR tackling’ and failure to defend leads–all the way BACK to the 2010 SB champions team. Seven years LATER–Capers defense STILL gives games away because they simply can’t play top-ten LEVEL of NFL defense! Capers defense in last SIX seasons: Average giving up MORE POINTS, more Total yds, more PASS yds and more RUN yds in playoffs than McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers’ offense can generate–that’s LOSING football and Green Bay has, FOR SIX YEARS NOW! Capers defense, in the eight seasons he’s been DC,–gave up MOST POINTS ever scored against a Packers playoff team in 2009 over a 96 YEAR HISTORY! His defense gave up SECOND MOST POINTS ever scored against a Packers’ playoff team, also the HIGHEST RUN YDS by QB in NFL HISTORY in 2012; in 2016, his defense gave up the THIRD MOST POINTS ever scored against a Pack playoff team and LOST a SECOND CONSECUTIVE NFC TITLE game–something NO other Packers’ playoff team has even done before. WHY would you keep a DC who BEATS your OWN offense in playoffs? SECOND–Ted Thompson has SIGNED or DRAFTED more than 70 NEW players for defense since 2011–Capers ’16 defense is WORSE than ever under McCarthy/Thompson. GIVE ANY TEAM–enough players to completely BUILD SIX complete defenses and it’s NO BETTER? The DC would’ve BEEN FIRED long before now! WHY does Thompson/McCarthy continue to STICK WITH A LOSER?? THIRD–Ted Thompson, year after year–continues to LOSE OUT on better players to improve his team because he REFUSES to use FAgency to ‘fix’ immediate holes than can’t wait ’till the next draft, NOR will he use draft picks as bait to move UP for better talent for ‘key’ positions that continue–SIX years later, to be the GAPING WEAKNESS in Green Bay’s teams! “QUANTITY OVER QUALITY” IS LOSING FOOTBALL and THAT is the result of DUMB Capers defense and Thompson’s cheap team structure.

  • Daniel

    I’d love to see the pack bring J.J. Watt back to Wisconsin, though I suspect that is not in the cards.

  • croatpackfan

    Well, if you are counting Green Bay area or Wisconsin as the only Packers market, you are right, but Packers have one of the largest fan base in the world. Which enlarge Wisconsin or Green Bay market many, many times… Or I’m mistaking? Those fans arounf the world do not purchase Packers jersey or what?
    But when you put taxes in question, than you might be on the right track… (Taxes on players salaries and all income)

  • James C. Drumheller III

    We need to go into free agency and bring a veteran presence to our secondary. Then take advantage of this years draft which has many talented corners who we may have to move up to get a blue chip talent. Draft another pass rusher such as T.J.Watt and a running back from this class which is also loaded at running back.