Monday, I wrote about the idea of Ted Thompson trading a player from an area of relative strength in order to bolster the Green Bay Packers’ defensive line.
That was written in the context of discussing the Johnny Jolly 2010 Suspension Tour, but really, d-line isn’t the only area Thompson could look to sure up via trade at some point during camp.
While it seems unlikely, cornerback and outside linebacker are also areas Thompson could look to tighten up a bit before the season begins. The man hangs onto draft picks the way I grip beers, so trading a player already on the roster is the only route he’d take.
Who are some of the players he could look to move? Here are a few names to consider (and, no, I’m not including the loser of the three-man fullback derby – that’s just ridiculous):
- Donald Lee, tight end – The selection of Andrew Quarless in the fifth round spoke volumes about Thompson’s feelings regarding the tight end position. Clearly, Jermichael Finley is the man there moving forward. And, for all his offseason stupidity, Spencer Havner is an emerging red zone threat and special teams demon. Those two aren’t going anywhere, meaning Thompson likely feels that Lee is becoming – or has already become – expendable. That makes sense. Lee’s got a big salary (due $2 million this year) for a backup and just has not been the same player since you-know-who left town. Quarless has upside and if he gets off to a good start in camp, Lee could very well become a player to move. Despite his struggles, he could still bring value in a player-for-player swap.
- The loser of the Daryn Colledge/Jason Spitz left guard battle – Of all the battles to watch in camp, this should be the most hotly contested (more on that in the coming days). On the surface, it makes sense for Thompson to keep whomever loses the battle. Spitz has struggled with injuries and Colledge has been, well, Colledge, an extremely hot-and-cold player. Keeping the loser insures coverage. And both come fairly cheap in a capless season (each is due $1.759 million this season under their respective RFA tenders). But if Thompson feels the team needs help elsewhere, either player would be able to bring back value in a trade. Both have started for much of their careers and each player still has upside (and, again, both would come cheap). It’d be nice to keep both, but if the team is in dire need of help elsewhere, he’d have to consider moving one of these two.
- Atari Bigby, strong safety – Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that trading Bigby seems far-fetched (and there’s still that little issue of him not having signed his tender yet). But hear me out. Morgan Burnett was one of the major stories of the OTAs/minicamps; in short, the guy was around the ball almost constantly, while working with the No. 1 defense. Bigby isn’t a bad player, but he is still very much living off his 2007 season. If Burnett is clearly the better player in camp – provided Bigby, you know, signs and shows up – isn’t it a waste to have such an expensive backup when you clearly need help elsewhere? Again, Bigby is a decent player and could bring help elsewhere. Doesn’t sound so crazy now, does it?
- Desmond Bishop, inside linebacker – No, I’m not going to shamelessly mention my recent Twitter tussle with Bishop (oops, I guess I just did). The Packers already have a capable – and expensive – trio of players ahead of Bishop on the depth chart in Nick Barnett, Brandon Chillar and A.J. Hawk. Those three are firmly entrenched as the top guys at that position heading into the season. Bishop has shown flashes in previous preseasons/his limited regular season playing time, but he can’t seem to make the field on a regular basis. I don’t doubt that he’s got ability, but it seems unlikely that he’ll make the field in 2010 unless two of those three guys go down with injuries. That being the case, wouldn’t he be a perfect candidate to be moved for help elsewhere? I say yes. Similar to the situation at left guard, it’d be nice to keep all four, but sometimes, you don’t have that luxury, especially when you’re trying to make your team as deep as possible for a potential Super Bowl run.
- Jarrett Bush, cornerback/safety/bain of my existence – Okay, okay, this one’s a joke. I doubt you could get more than a six-pack of Keystone Light back for Bush in a trade, but seriously, I’d do it. At least Keystone Light doesn’t get burned every…single…time.