Dear Mr. Thompson (or may I call you Ted?):
First off, I want to apologize for the things I've called you in the past. When I used the word "moron" I meant to say that you are more on with your choices than you are off. And when I used the term "ass wipe," I simply was trying to point out that, like toilet paper, you are essential to the back end success of the Green Bay Packers. And, well, I simply have no excuse for calling you a douche bag. But I do apologize. And I hope you accept.
See the thing about your moves thus far, Ted (if I may call you Ted), is that when Ron Wolf left the organization he admitted that his biggest regret was not getting better weapons to help Brett Favre. And since he was a mentor of yours, I've just always assumed that you had learned from his mistakes. And it has pained me to no extent to learn that you obviously haven't.
I will say, however, that you are up against unfair standards at GM. You see, the guy making the moves for my beloved Brewers has now officially moved into genius status. Every move he makes has come out looking more golden than than the gold of the Packers helmets. (But that's a topic for another blog, I suppose.) And it's hard for me not to notice that during your press conferences you look more confused than Mike Tyson at a spelling bee (All right, I stole that line from a comedian I saw last night, but it's so much more appropriate to you that I couldn't resist.)
That being said, however, there have been some moves I have really enjoyed, Ted (if I may call you Ted). I think you've done a fantastic job overhauling our defense, and yes it's true that defense wins championships. But let's be honest, for every Charles Woodson, there's been two Marquand Manuels or Arturo Freemans. And to be truly, truly honest Ted, I'll forever hold a grudge against you for using a 1st round pick on selecting Favre's successor when all Favre really wanted was a little help and he would have gladly stuck around without all the hemming and hawing.
I've also enjoyed your ability to successfully, "cut the fat" from our roster. Daycare centers have smaller messes to clean up at the end of the day in comparison to the dump truck load of poo Sherman left behind for you to clean up. The fact that you are still $10 million under the cap this year and $20 million under the cap on next year's books (with only Corey Williams becoming a free agent) is truly, truly remarkable. But here's the thing, Ted (if I may call you Ted)--it doesn't pay to cut all of that fat, if you don't spend the money. So here's what I propose, and if you can make this happen, well, we'll let all other bygones be bygones.
I need you to trade for Larry Johnson.
There were rumors that you were putting out feelers back in April before the draft, and now it's time to make the move, Ted (I'm just going to call you Ted and hope that's ok). You see, one of the biggest fallacies I heard after the Moss debacle was that the Packers shouldn't have gone after Moss anyhow because they are still far more than one player away from winning anything next year. Hogwash. That might be true in baseball or in the NBA, but anyone who's watched football the last 5 years knows it doesn't take much to go from worst to first these days. Not in the NFL, where parity reigns supreme.
The entire staff whole-heartily admits that Favre has his best year's when the Packers successfully run the football. Larry Johnson successfully runs the football.
Last year, the Packers were pathetic when they got into the red zone, lacking someone with a nose to the goal line. Larry Johnson has a nose for the goal line.
And when Favre does leave, it would be helpful to have a running back who can carry the load to take the pressure off the poor QB who'll have the unenviable position of being Favre's successor. Larry Johnson can carry that load.
So it's a no brainer really, Ted. You've done such a nice job of front-loading the salaries of Woodson and Kampman and now you can do the same when you negotiate LJ's contract.
And to make the deal sweet for the Chiefs, here's what I want you to offer them.
First Kansas City is always in need of help on their defense line, so I want you to offer them KGB. He's been exposed as purely a pass-rushing specialist, but Kansas City needs someone to rush on the weak side and KGB has proven he can put up double digit sacks. That opens the door for Montgomery and Hunter to step into the 3rd down pass rushing specialist and cuts $5 million off the cap that you can apply to front loading LJ's new deal.
Next, I want you to offer them one of your rookie WRs. You have two of them, Ted in Jones and Clowney, and I like what Ruvell Martin and Carlyle Holiday have to offer behind Jennings and Driver. So you really only have room for one of them--especially if Koren is able to contribute in October. The good news is that the Chiefs haven't been able to identify a good young WR in nearly two decades, so it's almost a lock that they'll choose the wrong one.
And finally, Ted, you need to offer them your next two first round draft choices. I know this is going to be really tough on you. You love your draft choices, I get that. And you have an uncanny knack at turning one pick into three lower picks, thus multiplying the number of average players on our roster. But LJ is a superstar, Ted. And sometimes you need to go and grab those kinds of players too.
And you can make the picks conditional. Here's what I propose.
If LJ rushes for 1,500 yards and/or 15 TDs in 2007, the Chiefs get our #1.
If LJ rushes for 1,200 yards and/or 12 TDS in 2007, the Chiefs get out #2.
If LJ rushes for 1,000 yards and/0r 10 TDS in 2007, the Chiefs get our #3.
Anything under those benchmarks, the Chiefs get our #4.
Follow the exact same formula for the 2008 season to tell you what the Chiefs get from us in the 2009 draft.
I think the Chiefs will be interested. After all, this deal is much sweeter than the 3rd round pick the Colts got from the Rams for Marshall Faulk. And if LJ rushes for 1500 yards the next two years and you lose a couple 1st rounders, so be it. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that with Favre and a 1500 yard rusher, it won't be a top ten pick. And you'll have Morency to become the great change of pace back that he is, thereby saving some of the hits that LJ will have to take over the next 4 years in a Packers uniform. That's the perfect formula for winning.
And after all, Ted, that's really how your job should be defined.
I was sorry to see the agony (comments section of my last blog post) that Darren went through last night watching Weeks hit in crucial situations. I do hope he used some mouth wash before going to bed as that vomit taste can be awfully nasty. Here's what Ned Yost said about Weeks in today's Journal, but the comments are following Friday night's game:
"I thought Rickie swung the bat well last night," Yost said. "He's just got zero luck right now. He can not find a hole.
"I thought Rickie had some good at-bats last night, but he just had nothing to show for it. Every once in a while you just need one to fall in. It doesn't matter how it is, you just need one to fall in and then they come in bunches after that."
I would expect Rickie to get today off and be ready to go after the all-star break...
Finally, it's early to be thinking about Marquette basketball, but here's a nice article on Jerel McNeal, who I think will start a solid NBA career in two years as a defensive specialist (think Eric Snow with a better shot and better ability to take it to the rim).
(As I'm typing this article, I can't get anything to pop into the "Title" box. Not sure what's going on, but just know I would have called this post "My Letter to Ted.")