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Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Fact and fiction of the Packers and Lynch

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Good news for the thousands of Green Bay Packers fans who have been asking whether the Buffalo Bills would trade tailback Marshawn Lynch.

The Bills did exactly that on Tuesday.

Lynch was traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a fourth-round pick in the 2011 draft and a conditional pick in 2012.

All together now...

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Now that it's out of your system, let's take an emotion-free look at this. The Packers would have been a better team with Lynch, Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn in their backfield than they are as it is currently constituted. And a fourth-round draft pick, which would be near the end of the round if the Packers have the kind of season they hope to, is a quite reasonable price for a 24-year-old running back.

But anyone with a realistic view of how Packers general manager Ted Thompson operates should not be surprised. As we discussed shortly after Ryan Grant's season-ending injury, Thompson has never traded for a starter since he took the job in 2005. Like it or not, it's not how he does business. Thompson prefers to use his draft picks to select and develop his own replacements, not to acquire other teams' unwanted parts.

You can make all kinds of rational arguments for why this occasion should have been different. The most reasonable one is that the Packers, 3-1 despite some early-season hiccups, have a real chance to make a deep playoff run in the wide-open NFC. Why leave a position group, even one that plays a deeply secondary role in the Packers' offense, so thin?

For now, Thompson apparently is comfortable with Jackson, Kuhn and the prospects of Dimitri Nance and perhaps James Starks joining the rotation. But if you thought Ted Thompson is going to drop his principles, jump out and trade for a starting tailback, you haven't been paying attention. I suppose it could still happen, but there is nothing in his history to suggest it's a real possibility. Sorry folks.