From time to time, a report will emerge that the Packers intend to become more active in free agency. Most recently, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported that the Packers will pursue free agents this year.
Before you roll your eyes, consider this: Three years ago, the same reporter reported the same report. That year, the Packers signed linebacker Julius Peppers, the third of three significant free-agent acquisitions in the 24 years since real free agency arrived in the NFL.
Could the latest report be an indication that the Packers will add a fourth name to a list that includes Reggie White, Charles Woodson, and Peppers?
They need to do something. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who took a few passive-aggressive shots at coach Mike McCarthy during the season (go ahead and argue that he didn’t — he did), has thrown down the gauntlet in not-so-subtle style for G.M. Ted Thompson, who has a well-earned reputation for being too cautious when it comes to using one of the primary tools for improving a roster.
With the quarterback’s 34th birthday coming later this year, the clock is ticking on a team that has parlayed one of the best quarterbacks in league history into only one Super Bowl appearance. While free agents won’t necessarily make a team instantly better, judicious spending can ultimately be the difference between simply making it to the final eight yet again or being the last team standing.