Thursday, February 21, 2008
Packers Release Bubba Franks, Green Bay on Alge Crumpler's radar
In a not-so-surpirsing move on Wednesday, the Green Bay Packers released 8 year vetern Bubba Franks. Franks production had slipped over the past few years and was due to make $3 million in base salary and $500,000 in a roster bonus.
Franks made the Pro Bowl 3 straight years from 2001-2003, but his play slipped each year, making him a blocking only TE for the past few years. With the release of Bubba, it leaves incumbent starter Donald Lee, Troy Humphrey who spent 2007 on IR with a broken leg, and Ryan Krause, who had sounded off on not returning to the Green & Gold at the end of the season.
The Packers now have a need going into the 2008 draft. The "Best Player Avialable" apporach that Ted Thompson prides himself in, now turns to an actual position in need, TE. This year's TE crop includes USC's Fred Davis, Notre Dame's John Carlson, and Missouri's Martin Rucker. Davis & Carlson are projected as late 1st to 2nd round picks, and Rucker a 3rd to 4th round prospect.
Last year the Packers passed on two talented TE's in the draft: Greg Olson (Chicago Bears 1st Rd) and Zach Miller (Oakland Raiders 2nd Rd). This year the Packers will have to add some depth to the position either through the draft or free agency.
No TE's this year really stand out in Free Agency. Guys like Eric Johnson (Saints), Ben Hartstock (Titans), Ben Utecht (Colts), and recently released Alge Crumpler (Falcons).
Crumpler is probably the most interesting FA this year. He's a 4 time Pro Bowler but was limited to 14 games with a knee injury. Among the teams on Crumpler's radar are Green Bay, Buffalo, Detroit, Seattle, Carolina, Tampa Bay and Tennessee.