Now that the Super Bowl is over and the NFL season officially at an end, the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks can join the other 30 teams in the league in focusing strictly on offseason evaluations. The Green Bay Packers have already begun that, firing special teams coach Shawn Slocum last week.
Looking back, the Packers dipped into the free agent pool twice last offseason, and it worked out relatively well. Julius Peppers was everything the Packers hoped for, serving mostly as an outside linebacker in the team's 3-4 defense.
Letroy Guion was an under-the-radar signing last summer. After a slow start, he made a positive impact too, especially in the run defense.
General Manager Ted Thompson has typically avoided free agency, but last week head coach Mike McCarthy spoke about using free agency as a tool again this coming offseason.
"Julius Peppers I thought from a leadership standpoint knocked it out of the park," McCarthy said. "You talk about Charles Woodson and his impact he made as a free agent in his time as a Green Bay Packer was unique and special and I think Julius in his first year did a great job. I think you look at the whole picture. Every season is it's own opportunity. Every roster you build is it's own unique opportunity. Nothing ever stays the same, that's for sure. We'll look at it like we always do, but it was kind of nice to have a couple free agents last year."