GM Ted Thompson isn’t usually known as the aggressive type anywhere outside of draft day but the Green Bay Packers head man, like every other in the same position, knows a deal when he hears it. If there is an opportunity come mid-season that a player on the roster Thompson deems expendable might fetch them an extra draft pick, he would jump all over it. What it comes down to is timing, needs of the other team and which players the Packers might make available.
It’s hard to think a 24-year old kid who stands 6’4″, weighs 319 lbs and has started 32 games including the playoffs could lose his job. Sadly that is the case for Marshall Newhouse. The mammoth tackle for the Packers struggled a lot last season, lending a major hand in All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers getting sacked 51 times. This forced the coaching staff to remove him from the starting left tackle spot and put him in competition on the right side. If he loses that battle, and some predict he just might, then where does that leave him with Green Bay? They almost certainly won’t ask him to start again. At the same time, other teams might offer fair compensation for a young, big tackle with experience. That is why much of his trade stock will depend on how he handles the switch.
Unlike offensive line, the Packers are loaded at cornerback. Despite the loss of veteran leader Charles Woodson the team has done fine job keep the position stocked with young talent. Tramon Williams is the main man going forward while 2012 rookie Casey Heyward stepped up to claim the other outside spot after snagging six interceptions. That leaves the slot position open. Most expect veteran Sam Shields to take that spot as he’s the most experienced and reliable. That doesn’t mean he is a lock. Green Bayhas two young talents sitting behind him in Davon House who had three interceptions last year and rookie Micah Hyde who brings size, versatility and instincts from Iowa. Shields is also hampered by the knowledge he is a free agent next year. While it does offer incentive for him to play well it also could make him trade bait since the Packers will want to get something back for him before his contract expires. The markets for young corners are stronger than ever, making Shields someone of good value.
The same goes for athletic tight ends. Green Bay had flirted with the idea of letting their starter Jermichael Finley go back in March but that plan was thwarted when key reserve Tom Crabtree signed in Tampa Bay. The Packers bit the bullet and handed Finley a two-year, $14 million extension. Granted, he did come on late last season and finished with 661 yards receiving. The problem is coached have grown tired of his attitude on and off the field, not to mention his frequent issues with fumbles and dropped passes. What nobody has talked about is how the new extension has also made Finley a much more viable trade option. A lot of teams were interested in him as a free agent given his age (26) and blend of size and speed. If the Green Bay Packers brass can unveil somebody on the depth chart who can put up good numbers, they would have good reason to ship him off to another team so he can be their headache.