Green expected to return in '07
Monday, January 15, 2007
While anything can happen between now and the start of free agency, it appears “very likely” that Ahman Green will be returning to the Packers for an eighth season. According to a person close to the situation, the veteran running back has little desire to leave Titletown. “Green will only test the market if [GM] Ted Thompson tries to lowball him,” said the source. “Any reasonably fair offer should get a deal done.” Unlike the vast majority of pro athletes, the former Nebraska star actually puts comfort and happiness ahead of the almighty dollar. That’s why Green never once complained about his five-year, $18.75 million extension signed in 2001 – a deal that was grossly undervalued by the start of the ༿ season. “He knows that Green Bay is an ideal fit,” added the source. “The zone-blocking scheme works to his strengths as a runner and there’s no hotshot young back on the current roster. He also really wants to break Jim Taylor’s all-time rushing record.” Green is 45 yards behind the Hall of Famer.
Even if the 30-year-old returns, the Packers still need to add a young runner to the mix. “Most of the top offensive teams in the NFL have big-play backs, and at this point in his career, Green is more powerful than explosive,” said a former scout. “Defenses no longer have to worry about him. [Head coach] Mike McCarthy wants to exploit the deep middle of the field in the passing game, and that task would become much easier with an eighth defender forced into the box. Otherwise, things tend to get very crowded in the secondary.” And while the team really likes young Vernand Morency, who actually had more runs of 20+ yards than Green in 170 fewer carries, he’s viewed as a change-of-pace back and not a starter.
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