The Packers are notoriously skittish about signing free agents. They have signed a few big names over the years—Julius Peppers, Desmond Howard, Charles Woodson—but in general, they are committed to building through the draft. This is a great policy when it works (you’ll always have a cohesive, well-considered roster) but it relies on good health and a bulletproof drafting record, both of which are impossible.
According to a report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Green Bay’s refusal to sign free agents has frustrated a very important person: coach Mike McCarthy. He’s ready for some new blood:
McCarthy, however, got almost no help from [GM Ted] Thompson in 2015 other than the first five selections in the draft. According to several sources, McCarthy is fed up with his boss’ unwillingness to take a chance and reinforce the roster with veteran players that might be unknown to the Packers but have the talent to contribute.
By and large, Thompson does put together good rosters. They’re the foundation of the Packers’ success. All Thompson need do is be a little more open-minded.
The Journal Sentinel describes Thompson’s role as, “a glorified director of college scouting.” Truthfully, the Packers really can do more. They do have a great record unearthing gems in the draft, but ignoring an entire side of player acquisition isn’t the best way to go about things in a sport like football where there are so many players that make an impact over the course of a season.
Whether the team’s overreliance on Jordy Nelson and subsequent aimlessness without him this season is on McCarthy’s coaching or a lack of a replacement is unclear, but the McCarthy’s frustrations are justified. The team doesn’t have to limit themselves this way.
Photo via AP