Hot stove: Green Bay Packers
January, 26, 2009
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Continuing our early offseason look at the NFC North ...
Green Bay Packers offseason analysis
- 2008 record: 6-10
- Coaching changes: Fired defensive coordinator Bob Sanders and all but two members of his staff. Hired Dom Capers as new coordinator and Mike Trgovac as defensive line coach. Joe Whitt Jr. likely will serve as defensive backs coach. Special teams coordinator Mike Stock retired. Replaced by assistant Shawn Slocum.
- Salary Cap: $19.09 million before adjustments and credits.
- Key exclusive rights free agent: Cornerback Tramon Williams.
- Restricted free agents: Safety Atari Bigby, safety Jarrett Bush, tight end Tory Humphrey, defensive end Jason Hunter, fullback John Kuhn, receiver Ruvell Martin.
- Unrestricted free agents: Defensive tackle Colin Cole, defensive end Michael Montgomery, offensive lineman Mark Tauscher.
- Free agency comment: The Packers have a lot of decisions to make. Except in cases of injury, Tauscher has been their right tackle since 2000. He is recovering from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament, a complicating twist. Should the Packers wait on Tauscher or identify a replacement? Bigby, meanwhile, would have been on track for a long-term extension but injuries scuttled his 2008 season. He'll likely receive a one-year tender and have the opportunity to shop his value elsewhere. (The Packers could match any offer he gets.)
- Three biggest needs: (1) Personnel to match Capers' 3-4 scheme, including a run-stopping end and a pass-rushing outside linebacker; (2) Fortification of the offensive line, depending on Tauscher's status; (3) More depth at tailback to either back up or challenge Ryan Grant.