It's day four of NFL free agency and the Packers have signed three key free agents of their own. They re-signed young cornerback Sam Shields to a four-year $39 million deal, agreed to a two year deal with linebacker Mike Neal and re-signed tight-end Andrew Quarless. They have glaring needs on the defensive line and safety, but have neglected to address these needs while the free agents fly off the board. Guys like Jairius Byrd, Donte Whitner and T.J. Ward have already been signed and the remaining crop of safeties is nothing special. Chris Clemens and Nate Allen are the top remaining safeties left. The Packers still have several key free agents of their own that remain unsigned including: B.J. Raji, James Jones, Ryan Pickett and Jermichael Finley.
Thompson's philosophy is to wait on the free agents, re-sign his own players and build the team through the draft. This philosophy will never change no matter how bad their position is. He is very stubborn and won't budge. Sure some of these contracts look insane, but at what point will Thompson realize you have to break the bank sometimes? He overpaid for Shields, no question about it, but won't overpay for a safety, the black hole of the team? We'll never know the reason, but here are the top free agents left (besides their own guys) that Thompson should look at:
DE: Julius Peppers- Peppers tormented the Packers for years with Bears and would be a perfect fit for them. He probably won't command too much money since he is 34 and is a veteran defensive leader. Green Bay needs more of those. He needs to at least be brought in for a visit.
DE: Jason Babin- Babin has had a nice career as a pass-rusher and is only 33. He has 62.5 career sacks.
DT: Jason Hatcher- He had a career season last year with 11 sacks last year and would be a perfect fit for a team lacking pass-rush. Obviously it depends what he's asking for, but he should be on their radar.
DT: Kevin Williams- Williams is 34 and has spent his entire career with the Vikings, but he is still a force up the middle. Green Bay needs more run-stuffers and Williams fits the bill.
Safety: Chris Clemons-Clemons has 206 career tackles with four career interceptions. The Packers need more tacklers since last year was pathetic. Safety is the biggest need of the team. Clemons probably won't cost too much and should be brought in for a visit at the very least.
Safety: Nate Allen- Allen is only 26-years old and has 207 career tackles in five seasons. He also has six career interceptions. He might command a lot of money, but he might be worth it.