Jeff from Chanhassen, MN
Vic, would GM Vic consider acquiring Brandon Browner if the Packers lose their UFA cornerbacks? I’m not sure I’ve heard what Browner’s asking price is, but could the Packers’ cap afford him? I think he’d be a good physical complement to the Packers’ improving defense.
My inbox is full of questions asking me what I think of this guy and that guy, and if I think the Packers should sign them if their price is right. The answer to all of those questions is: If you know the name, the price probably won’t be right. I don’t like first-week free agency. I’ve been up front about that opinion since the day I started penning this column. I think free agency is a wonderful forum for patching holes in your roster, but it’s also a trap for fools if your eyes are bigger than your stomach.
Ninan from Bellevue, WA
Vic, what is your opinion of what Chip Kelly is doing as a GM? Does he seem out of his depths, and does he strike you as a power hungry individual?
He’s building a football team according to the vision he has for that team. Kelly’s vision is unconventional for pro football. The Eagles knew that when they hired him, so what he’s doing should come as no surprise. In many ways, he’s doing what Jerry Glanville did in Houston with the “Run and Shoot,” and what George Allen did with “The Over-the-Hill Gang” in Washington a long time ago. Kelly is building a niche team. He’s building a team that will likely have to be rebuilt at some point, unless what he’s doing in Philadelphia becomes a trend in pro football. It might.
Brett from Green Bay, WI
So Seattle trades Max Unger and their first-round pick to the Saints for Jimmy Graham and a fourth-round pick. I think the Saints won this trade. What do you think?
I love first-round picks.
Adam from Appleton, WI
Vic, the BAP personnel philosophy, is it really always as simple as it sounds, or are there exceptions to the philosophy? For example, a player at a position of greatest need graded out just slightly lower than the best player on your board. Do you ever pass on the best available player if he’s not filling a position of greatest need, and the two players grade out very closely?
You’re equivocating. You’re either BAP or you’re not BAP. Move to where need and value meet, or pick the guy at the top of your board.
Steve from Arlington, VA
Tons of dramatic moves in just the first day of free agency. I’m glad Thompson isn’t in panic mode, like many of the NFL brass. The Packers quietly re-signed Cobb and Bulaga and still have a healthy cap. Can Packer nation please calm down now?
The Packers preserved one of the league’s elite rosters, and are now positioned to add talent to that roster in the draft. It’s just simple, healthy logic. When are the nervous Nellies going to learn to trust the Packers’ ability to manage their roster and their salary cap?
Jared from San Antonio, TX
Vic, do you feel the Jaguars overpaid for House? I know they have a ton of cap room available but, seriously, what are they thinking?
Of course they overpaid. Once a player makes it into free agency and you sign him on the first day, you’re going to overpay. I’ll say this: I think the Jaguars got a good player. I’ve long been a Davon House fan. Can he stay healthy? That’s the only question.
Kevin from Asbury Park, NJ
The Patriots appear to be targeting Percy Harvin. How do the Patriots always manage to sign big-time free agents and keep their cap healthy at the same time?
The Patriots made a big splash last year, but it’s not accurate to say “always.” In most years, the Patriots have been patchers. They’re the best in the league in taking another team’s junk and making it the Patriots’ treasure.
Agustin from Buenos Aires, Argentina
What’s your opinion on all of the trades that took place? Which one do you think was the best? Which one the worst?
The Ravens are very good personnel managers, so I’d always be leery of trading for one of their players, but I like the Haloti Ngata deal for the Lions, mainly because the Ravens have to eat Ngata’s amortization, which means half of his cap hit stays in Baltimore. This could be a one-year rental for the Lions, but acquiring Ngata will help ease the sting of losing Ndamukong Suh, plus, the Lions lost very little in the deal. I don’t like the Sam Bradford deal from the Eagles’ perspective, mainly because I don’t like the second-round pick the Eagles lost in it. I guess that means I like the deal from the Rams’ perspective. Nick Foles is a big guy with a nice arm. He’s Jeff Fisher’s kind of quarterback.
Hernan from Milwaukee, WI
Vic, while GM Vic was vacationing for the first week of free agency, the Packers were busy signing the big guy. In your opinion, was Bulaga not a bargain, since he was signed in the first week of free agency?
I don’t care if you sign your guys or some other teams’ guys, there are no bargains at this point in free agency. Bryan Bulaga and Randall Cobb each got fair but substantial contracts. If you’re looking for bargains, you’ve got to wait until the frenzy dies down. That’s when you find bargains, from the stockpile of leftovers. From that group, you identify role players.
Zach from Antioch, IL
Vic, how did players such as Suh and House negotiate contracts and practically sign with different teams before free agency opened up? What kind of repercussions will players that broke these negotiating rules be served, if any?
Again, the rule was changed in recent years. As of Saturday prior to the start of free agency, players’ agents were permitted to begin negotiating with teams.
Tim from Fond du Lac, WI
The Seahawks got better. The Packers remain the same. While I believe the Packers were the best team in the league last year, I am not so sure about the upcoming year based solely on yesterday. Tell me I am wrong, Vic.
Based solely on yesterday? You are wrong.
Rob from Boulder, CO
I think the Saints could have gotten a higher draft pick for Jimmy Graham. Do they know something we don’t?
They know you have receiver fever.
Curt from Portland, OR
Vic, I was busy and haven’t had a chance to check the news. Did anything happen in the NFL yesterday?
Yes, several teams found the player they need to win the Super Bowl next season.
Joe from Chicago, IL
Saints sign Byrd last year and this year trade their best player to get back under the cap. Think their fans are happy?
That’s why I say it’s of critical importance to have a long-term cap strategy and stick with it. Free agency can turn you upside down if you get too aggressive.
Pat from Edinburg, VA
Vic, I did not think we would get Cobb and Bulaga. Honestly, Vic, did you think we would keep both? Don’t kid us.
I wrote it. I expected the Packers to retain both players. It’s what the Packers do. I didn’t understand why everyone was so worried last week.
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