It was an unusual opening day of NFL free agency for Green Bay Packer fans. Normally, there is nothing to be heard from Packers camp during the first few days of the frenzy as the high priced free agents come off the board fast and furious but yesterday was just a little bit different.
Packer fans actually did have some potentially significant news to chew on Tuesday as Green Bay made contact with St. Louis Rams free agent running back Steven Jackson and were even mentioned in numerous reports as the front-runner to sign the nine-year veteran, who has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in eight consecutive seasons.
Obviously excitement among Packer fans would go through the roof if the team signed the big, bruising running back, who could finally bring the physical presence to the running game that Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy has talked about for such a long time.
But that question has to be asked – are the Packers a true contender to acquire Jackson or are they simply doing their due diligence in the hopes that they can persuade the talented runner to take less money to come to Green Bay with the caveat that he will finally be on a team that can compete for a Super Bowl Championship?
After all, Jackson has never played on a team that finished with a winning record and after nine seasons in the NFL, he has made plenty of money, now it seems that he wants to play for a contender and few teams are better prepared than Green Bay to win now.
However, despite the excitement, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has reported that according to a source, the team made contact with Jackson’s representatives to express their interest but that they were not close to signing him to a contract. The paper also reported that the Packers have made arrangements for Chiefs free agent running back Peyton Hillis to visit this week, which could be a message to Jackson and his representatives that the Packers have made their offer and are not willing to wait on Jackson or enter a bidding war with the Atlanta Falcons for his services.
At this point, it’s hard to say whether or not Jackson will wind up in Green Bay or how far the Packers are willing to go to acquire a player that could very well be the missing piece to a second Super Bowl Championship – but one thing is sure, it’s nice for Packers fans to finally have something to be excited in the opening days of the free agent frenzy.