The Green Bay Packers finished the season with a franchise-best 15-1 record and had their first No. 1 seed in the long history of the organization.
Since they had such great success last year, ESPN.com has ranked Green Bay third in their NFL Pre-Draft Power Rankings. The two teams that rank ahead of them are Super Bowl participants New York Giants and New England Patriots.
ESPN.com’s senior NFL writer John Clayton had this to say about the Packers:
“Yet another quiet offseason for Ted Thompson as the Pack await help in the draft.”
It is true the Packers general manager has once again not made a lot of noise in free agency but that does not mean he did not make a couple good acquisitions. Green Bay signed veteran center Jeff Saturday on Friday to a two-year deal to replace Scott Wells who signed with the St. Louis Rams via free agency. The Packers also signed former Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Daniel Muir later that day.
These signings may not be flashy compared to other teams but they are definitely essential to what Green Bay is trying to accomplish. Not to mention, Thompson does not build his team through free agency he does it through the draft. He has proven this is a solid way to win a championship and on paper it does not seem the Packers are done yet.
It is also important to point out that the Packers could not exactly afford players in free agency when they have so many of their own they must take care of. Greg Jennings, Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews, B.J. Raji and Aaron Rodgers are just a few of the many talented players the Packers must make sure are locked down for the future. Jennings will become an unrestricted free agent in 2013, Woodson is due a $4,000,000 salary bonus in 2012, Matthews will become an unrestricted free agent in 2014 but has outplayed his rookie contract and will be owed a massive extension while Raji will be in a similar situation. Rodgers is signed through 2014 but the 2011 NFL MVP has been outplaying his contract for years and the word is he will sign an extension paying him roughly $18 million a year.
When a team is as talented as the Packers are there really is no need to look outside of the organization for outstanding playmakers when there are so many of them already on the roster. Their biggest problem will be keeping everyone together while continuing to improve the team through the draft.