NFC North: Mike Wright
One of the more interesting questions entering free agency was whether Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson would accelerate his usual plodding approach in order to re-stock the Packers' roster for its transition to a 3-4 defense. The answer has been a resounding no.
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel offers a good overview of what the Packers have -- and haven't done -- in the first four days of the market. Here it is in a nutshell: "Their strategy appears to be to take their time and make sure they don't overbid for players who would have to compete to become starters."
This has led the Packers to have casual conversations with the agents for defensive ends Igor Olshansky (San Diego), Marques Douglas (Baltimore) and Mike Wright (New England). But no visits are scheduled. It's possible the Packers will schedule a visit soon with free agent safety Michael Adams (Cleveland). None of these players are game-changers but could contribute to a winning team.
Like it or not, that's the approach Thompson has taken once again in 2009.
Continuing around the NFC North on a Tuesday morning:
- Two Packers free agents, defensive end Mike Montgomery and fullback John Kuhn, are beginning to take visits, according to Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Montgomery is in Atlanta and Kuhn was in Arizona.
- Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune examine the situation around Denver quarterback Jay Cutler, who would like to be traded.
- Minnesota special teams ace Heath Farwell has scheduled a visit with New England, according to Zulgad.
- Vikings defensive end Jared Allen will participate in a USO trip to U.S. bases in the Persian Gulf this week. Allen's younger brother recently joined the Marines, according to Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
- Detroit has scheduled a visit with free agent offensive lineman Daniel Loper, according to Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press. Meanwhile, the Lions lost fullback Moran Norris to San Francisco.
- Bob Wojnowksi of the Detroit News would like to see the Lions pursue Cutler: "It's such a no-brainer, I shouldn't even waste your time on it. It's also probably a complete pipe dream, a nasty little tease, an unrealistic notion."
- David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune offers a similar sentiment for the Bears: "At some point [returning to the Super Bowl] will require bigger and bolder moves, and prying Cutler away from Denver would be one that could cement [Jerry] Angelo's legacy in Chicago."