General manager Ted Thompson is not known for making splashy free agent signings, but instead builds his Green Bay Packers teams around the draft. However, with the amount of holes on the Packers roster, Thompson might want to consider making some big free agent signings this offseason.
The biggest problem the Packers had this season was still on the defensive end. There was still a lack of a pass rush and their was a clear inability to stopping the run. Green Bay needs to focus on getting better interior play from the defensive tackle position all the way back to safety. If the Packers can draft a lineman or a safety in the first round and then get another defensive player in free agency, the Packers can sure up two positions that hurt them tremendously this season.
Here are some possible free agents for the Packers to sign this offseason:
Israel Idonije– The nine-year veteran for the Chicago Bears had a good season this year totaling 7.5 sacks. Mainly a defensive end, Idonije can fit well into the Packers 3-4 defense as he has had some experience at nose tackle with the Bears which is similar to playing defensive end in a 3-4 scheme. At 6’6″ 275 pounds. Idonije can rush the passer extremely well and is an excellent run stopper. He is a rare player who can do both of those things well and Green Bay needs a player who is capable of doing both. The Packers may like to focus on getting young players to build their team around, but adding the veteran will help Green Bay get more stability with their defense.
Chris Ivory– It is no secret that the Packers have had virtually no running game in the past few years including this past season. The Packers have had a running back by committee in place that has seen little to no results. Their backs have shown glimpses of hope, but they never seem capable of consistently running the ball well. Ivory is a third-year player who has not gotten the opportunity of being the featured back in an offense, but has averaged 5.1 yards per carry during his career. The sampling may be small, 256 rushes for his career, but it is enough to give Ivory a look at this offseason.
Andre Smith– Unlike the other two players mentioned, Smith would be an expensive and hard player to get. The right tackle who was the third pick in the 2009 draft had a career year for the Cincinnati Bengals. While he does need to improve on his pass protection some, he is an excellent run blocker which will help the Packers stalling running game. Last season the Bengals averaged 5.5 yards a carry when rushing towards Smith which is an outstanding average. If signed, Smith would most likely move over to left tackle to replace Marshall Newhouse who struggled for most of the season with the Packers. He is a slightly better pass blocker than Newhouse and will significantly improve the run blocking for Green Bay.
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