Normally, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson avoids free agency. Will that trend continue in 2013? After Jerel Worthy suffered an ACL tear toward the end of the 2012-13 NFL season, Thompson may have no other choice but to bring in some veteran depth and role players.
An interview has already been scheduled with Chris Canty. Shortly after Super Bowl XLVII, Canty was released from the New York Giants. At age 30, Canty is a versatile defensive lineman who has experience in a 3-4 defense. For his eight-year career, Canty has 272 tackles with 21 stuffs and 19 sacks. The Packers need another run-stuffer to partner with B.J. Raji.
Another option arose when the Philadelphia Eagles released Cullen Jenkins. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Tom Silverstein reported that Jenkins would consider returning to the Packers. Before departing after the 2010-11 season, Jenkins spent his first seven seasons in Green Bay. At age 32, Jenkins is coming off a season where he had 26 tackles with four stuffs and four sacks.
For the right price, the Packers could use one, even both of these players. Since Worthy tore his ACL on December 30, he’ll probably start the season on the physically unable to perform list (PUP). He’d miss the first six games of the season.
As it stands, the Packers’ defensive line includes Raji, Ryan Pickett, Mike Daniels, C.J. Wilson, the oft-injured Mike Neal and an untested Jordan Miller. The Packers can’t rely on Neal to stay healthy. Raji has been the only impact player. Even then, Raji doesn’t rush the passer.
Both players have something left in the tank. Why not sign at least one of them to a short-term contract? A team can’t have enough quality depth in the trenches. In the Packers’ case, Canty or Jenkins could be their second-best defensive lineman.
Let’s see if Thompson takes an unconventional course of action. Don’t just sign long-shot projects like Daniel Muir and Phillip Merling. Open up them purse strings and sign some proven, yet affordable talent to this lackluster defense.