The Fustrations of Free Agency in Green Bay:
Brian Gutekunst made headlines on the first days of free agency by signing Jimmy Graham and Mohammed Wilkerson, and by giving Jordy Nelson his release. Since that time, Gutekunst has failed to land help in the secondary, and most notably missed out on signing cornerback, Kyle Fuller.
In just a matter of weeks, the Packers went from being filled with the optimism of addressing many of their needs in free agency, to being hit with the realization that this is just another year of the same old operating procedure that the organization had been accustomed to under former general manager Ted Thompson. It seems like once again, the Green Bay Packers will be focusing all of their resources into rebuilding the team through the draft.
Throughout this offseason, I have repeatedly said that it is essential for the Packers to be strategically aggressive in free agency so that they could address areas of immediate need while still building through the draft. Again, it seems as if the Packers are taking the cheap way out and putting all of their resources into the draft, which is a hit or miss proposition.
Signing Jimmy Graham and Mohammed Wilkerson was a great start, but when you release a valuable receiver that your quarterback has great chemistry with, and fail to sign players that will instantly help your football teams weakest position, you all of a sudden have put yourself in a vulnerable position. This draft will now, almost certainly help to define the Gutekunst regime because he will now be tasked with obtaining three or four defensive starters that can help the Green Bay Packers in 2018.
Pete Dougherty, in his article “Same old, same old for Packers in free agency”, talks about how the Packers constantly look for players to come in for discounted prices and pitch them on the history of the Packers, and the change to play with a generational player like Aaron Rodgers.
Dougherty says that the Packers are essentially using the same pitch that the New England Patriots make to free agents. The Patriots talk about their winning tradition and playing alongside Tom Brady and being the missing piece to another championship team.
However, the Patriots have the track record to successfully lure free agents into New England using this pitch because they have won 5 super bowls, been to three more, and have been to eight straight AFC championship games. Simply put, they have the track record, and the odds are in there favor to deliver on their promises.
The Packers are making an outdated pitch to free agents that would have worked in 2011, but newsflash, it’s 2018. This notion gives further proof to the fact that Mark Murphy and the rest of the Packers regime are so far out of touch with reality and what their targeted free agents desire.
You simply cannot sell a free agent who wants to win now on the false narrative that you are comparable to an organization that has won five super bowls since the 2001-2002 season. The Murphy regime has failed to adapt with the times and has failed to find a marketing ploy that the majority of their targeted free agents respond to and gravitate towards. It just may be that Green Bay is not the place where free agents want to take their talents to.
The Green Bay Packers front office should be very concerned of the stigma that is currently attached to their organization because Aaron Rodgers’s contract is less than two years away from being through and they would not want him to think that Green Bay no longer has the lure that it once had.
Gutekunst has heard the cries of the Packer faithful and has signed Tramon Williams to a 2-year deal, per James Jones. (This came across as I finished this article)——————
David Michalski is a recent college graduate from Princeton New Jersey who has been a life long Green Bay Packers fan. Like the great Vince Lombardi, he values God, family, and the Green Bay Packers in that order. You can follow him on twitter at @kilbas27dave