Monday Mailbag: Will the Packers pursue any free agents?


With the NFL combine running through the weekend, we pushed back our weekly Green Bay Packers mailbag until Monday in order to provide better answers to the biggest questions surrounding the team. The next edition will return to its usual Saturday spot. As always, questions can be submitted via Twitter using the hashtag #PackersMail.

Demovsky: At this point, the Packers are largely focused on trying to re-sign receiver Randall Cobb and right tackle Bryan Bulaga. But remember, last year they flirted with at least one free-agent defensive end early in the process. They had a visit set up with Red Bryant, but he never made it because he signed a fourth-year, $17 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars soon after free agency opened. Maybe this year, they would look at someone like Jarvis Jenkins, the Washington Redskins defensive end who is expected to hit the open market. He's not what you might consider a "major free agent," but he could be a moderately priced option.

Demovsky: They wanted inside linebacker C.J. Mosley last year but didn't make a move up from No. 21 to get him before the Baltimore Ravens took him at No. 17. However, at that point both of the top-two safeties -- Calvin Pryor and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix -- remained on the board, so general manager Ted Thompson surely felt good that one of them would be there, and, of course, Clinton-Dix was, allowing Thompson to fill one of his glaring needs. This year, there might not be a need that comes close to inside linebacker so if Thompson is dead set on trying to get Denzel Perryman of Miami or Benardrick McKinney of Mississippi State, he might not be able to wait until it is his turn to pick at No. 30.

Demovsky: There's no question the Packers are in the market for a tight end or two, but there's no indication that Tom Crabtree is on their radar. However, it does make you think what might have happened if it had been Crabtree or even a guy like Ryan Taylor on the field for the onside kick that the Seattle Seahawks recovered in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship Game loss instead of Brandon Bostick, who blew his blocking assignment and then couldn't corral the ball.

Demovsky: The release of Brad Jones likely was just the beginning of their overhaul at inside linebacker. When Mike McCarthy stands up at the combine and in so many words admits that inside linebacker is their biggest need, you know some major changes are in the works. As for A.J. Hawk, perhaps the fact that he was playing hurt will factor into their evaluation of him. The Packers can't cut Hawk right now, not without being able to pass a physical, which is probably unlikely considering he had surgery less than a month ago.

Demovsky: Not at all. A reporter that I greatly admire once said that you only need about five people on an NFL team who are willing to talk to you in order to cover the team. That might be an exaggeration, but there's some truth in there. You'd like for the people you cover to help you do your job, but you're not going to compromise yourself to do it. If you're fair and -- perhaps more importantly -- accurate, it's awfully hard for anyone to have a problem with you, unless they're inherently unhelpful or condescending. The goal is to gain their respect, not necessarily their admiration. Look on any beat and there are reporters who mercilessly rip players and coaches, yet many of those same people still talk to those reporters. Perhaps it's out of fear that they'll get ripped even worse if they don't.