Ted Thompson normally doesn’t like to spend money on free agents because he views NFL free agency as an inherent risk. Often times, teams do not know what kind of player or person they’re getting, which in the mind of the Packers GM can make things entirely too risky. Well the big news of the day today, shows exactly why the Packers normally prefer to build from within.
According to a report issued by ESPN.com, Packers free agent signee Anthony Hargrove, along with current Saints Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith and former Saint Scott Fujita, currently of the Browns, will be suspended by the National Football League for their role in the bounty gate scandal.
Hargrove, who was signed by the Packers this offseason to help aid an ailing pass rush, received an 8-game suspension, which is a crushing blow for Green Bay, who was depending on him to play probably 40-50% of the snaps in nickel and dime packages, as a interior pass-rusher.
Unfortunately, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had other plans.
Now, Thompson and the Packers have some quick decisions to make. They did address the defensive line heavily in the 2012 NFL Draft, by selecting two defensive tackles, Jerel Worthy of Michigan State in the second round as well as Iowa’s Mike Daniels in the fourth, who each have proven the ability to pressure the quarterback and stuff the run in college.
Now the Packers must decide if Worthy and Daniels are be ready to contribute early on or whether or not they need to bring in another veteran just in case. At this point, I would expect Thompson to stay put until he can see his young prospects in action. Yet, it will certainly give him something to think about, the next time he tries his hand at NFL free agency.