One of the things the Green Bay Packers have made clear this offseason is they want to bolster their defensive line… again.
Sure, they drafted two defensive linemen last season, but one of those guys — Jerel Worthy — is going to be rehabbing an ACL for a while. Meanwhile, they’ve got an underperforming group with a lot of question marks. B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett, the respective “star” and best performer of the group, are both in the last year of their contract. The third starter, C.J. Wilson, is solid against the run, but doesn’t bring much on passing downs and also missed a good portion of 2012 to injury.
Then there’s the nondescript Mike Daniels and Mike Neal. Daniels didn’t get many opportunities in 2012 and Neal flashed late as a pass rusher, but has never demonstrated the ability to be an every-down player since being drafted in the second round in 2010.
Ted Thompson has been sniffing around defensive linemen all offseason to try to improve the group.
The Packers brought in veteran Chris Canty, but didn’t bother to sign him for some reason. Curious, considering he ended up signing a miniscule deal with Baltimore and everyone knows miniscule is the Packers price range for outsiders. Then they kicked the tires on Pittsburgh restricted free agent nose tackle Steve McLendon.
Of course, he left town and pretty much immediately re-signed with the Steelers because the Packers aren’t allowed to offer anyone a contract while they’re actually in Green Bay. City ordinance.
The Packers have even agreed to give Johnny Jolly another shot at playing after returning from what turned out to be a three-year suspension.
You get the picture. The bar is closing and it’s time to find a warm body.
There may actually be more than just a warm body out there, though. Still.
That is if — crazy talk! — the Packers actually wanted to do something in free agency.
They could even land someone who can contribute right now. Then the Packers wouldn’t have to rely on Thompson’s masterful draft skills, which have been far less than masterful lately, to plug this obvious hole.
Is this guy going to be a long-term answer? Of course not.
But these guys could certainly contribute on a team with Super Bowl aspirations. Unless, of course, the bar has been lowered to “we’ll go for it some time in the future.”