Ted Thompson: Open Up Your Wallet and Draft Picks for These RFAs

Jason PotvinContributor IMarch 4, 2010

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 16:  Cornerback Richard Marshall #31 of the Carolina Panthers reacts to the fans after recovering a fumble in the final minutes of the second half against the Seattle Seahawks at Bank of America Stadium on December 16, 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Carolina defeated Seattle 13-10.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Ted Thompson has done an excellent job as a general manager. He brought the Packers out of salary cap hell, placed a heavy emphasis on drafting, and dabbled a bit in free agency. 

With an uncapped year and the few free agents available on the market, it is unlikely Thompson will make a signing to a street free agent. Most of these free agents available are either too expensive to sign (Julius Peppers), too old to sign (30+ years old), or deemed too worthless by the original teams not willing to offer a tender to a young unrestricted free agent.

Fortunately, there are a few restricted free agent players that have been tendered at very tempting draft choices. Restricted free agents are players who have yet to serve six years in the NFL and are tendered by a one-year deal determined by a draft pick tender.

If another team signs a tendered player, they would have to forfeit a draft pick that the RFA was tendered at. Any of the original teams that placed tenders on their RFAs would have the option to match the contract if Green Bay decided to try and sign one of these players

I am by no means discounting the importance of the draft, but as we all know, the draft is a crap-shoot where projected high picks turn out to be useless starters.

As today is the last day to put tenders on restricted free agents, there are a few players that Ted Thompson should seriously consider signing and trading draft picks for.



Jared Gaither, 24, LT, Baltimore Ravens; Pick Traded: First Round

Even though Gaither was hurt most of this year (foot and neck injuries), he possesses Pro-Bowl quality pass protection and run blocking. At only 24, he's quite an intriguing possibility for the Packers, who may have to reach for a project left tackle if Brian Bulaga, Anthony Davis, and Bruce Campbell are off the board.

Interest Level: Moderate

Richard Marshall, 25, DB, Carolina Panthers; Pick Traded: Second Round

Marshall has only been in the league for four years, last year being his first year as a starter. He has been not only an excellent starter, but has been a tackling machine.

The defensive back position is obviously a need for the Packers with the uncertainty of Al Harris and the lack of depth behind Woodson and Tramon Williams. A second round pick for a young, solid starter would immediately solidify Green Bay's secondary if Al Harris is unable to return from his injury.

Interest Level: Very High


Reed Doughtry, 27, SS, Washington Redskins; Pick Traded: Second Round

Doughtry took over the starting job at strong safety last year. He is a particularly hard hitter and was a finalist for the Draddy trophy (Academic Heisman) in college. He would give depth to the safety position, where Bigby would compete for starting time.

Interest Level: Moderate


Kirk Morrison, 28, ILB, Oakland Raiders; Pick Traded: Third Round 

Its hard to imagine what Al Davis is thinking, but he has been this crazy for years. Morrison has been an excellent starter for the Raiders, collecting an average of 125 tackles a season during his five-year career.

With AJ Hawk's 2010 salary ($4 million) that is no where near his playmaking ability, it could make this an easy choice to help the defense.

Interest Level: Extremely High


Chris Morris, 27, C, Oakland Raiders; Pick Traded: Seventh Round

Morris did start for the Raiders this season, but was benched after nine games. I am not pushing for a large contract here, but it's a seventh round pick for a reserve lineman.

Interest Level: Moderate


Would you be interested in any of these RFAs?