The Green Bay Packers released Aaron Rouse today, in order to pick up free agent Matt Giordano.
How much sense does this make to me? Well, the fact that I just had to check the spelling of Giordano's last name three times before I finally got it right should tell you how much I know about this guy.
Now, just three weeks ago, Aaron Rouse was determined to be far more valuable to the Packers while injured than a healthy Anthony Smith, who was quickly snapped up by our opponent this upcoming weekend, the St. Louis Rams.
So, what is the rationale from ol' Mr. McCryptic today? Why is suddenly Rouse and his stinger suddenly less of an asset than a street free agent.
"I just felt that his ability to be consistent and the growth part of it is one of the reasons that we made the change," McCarthy said of Rouse. "But there are other factors involved."
Like, maybe....his lack of ability to stay healthy? Especially when you can't afford to be carrying an injured wing along in the face of injuries to your starters?
So, here we are. The Packers elected to keep five safeties this year, jettisoning a quality backup in Smith for a continuing project player in Rouse, and two special team players that aren't more than serviceable backups in an actual game.
Ted Thompson rolled the dice on this one, and now the Packers are scrambling to cover for it.
Think about it. They are hoping it is Collins and Martin or Collins and Bush starting this weekend. If Collins can't go, it is Martin and Bush starting, kids. And Giordano backing up. Anyone optimistic about this who is NOT drinking kool-aid?
How would you feel about Collins and Anthony Smith? Or Smith and Martin? Or Smith and Bush?
Suddenly, the "not so assignment-sure" Smith isn't looking like a bad play, is it?
Ted Thompson has been loyal to his draft picks to a fault. The painful process of watching Tony Moll work his way to the bottom of the depth chart before finally being traded away made us all realize that Rouse may be the same type of situation. Was Rouse kept over Smith simply because he was drafted by Thompson?
In any case, if Derrick Martin was unable to go into the game, despite being a Packer for two full weeks, can we honestly expect Giordano to be able to go in if needed?
Even Nick Barnett was wondering what the "other factors involved" in this move was.
"It goes to show right now they're not stopping the train for anybody," linebacker Nick Barnett said. "They want to see results and we've got to get results. ... I'm sure that's not a scare tactic, it's just the direction they wanted to go."
So, the Packers are going to see results by signing street free agents? Starting to sound like 2005, if you ask me. There's something I just don't get about this move, and if the players are questioning the motives behind it, well, I'm even more bamboozled.
I've been hemming and hawwing about it since it happened, and I'm done. I'm just going to say it. Ted Thompson erred in releasing Anthony Smith. It is akin to the foolish move in releasing a known quantity in Jon Ryan on the last day of cutdowns for an complete unknown in Derrick Frost. I could care less about his assignments or attitude. He was a solid player with experience in the scheme. We need him now, and the writing was pretty clear before the season even started with Bigby not playing 100% and Rouse still hurt.
And the only worse thing than making such a mistake is compounding it with further mistakes. The leadership of the franchise cannot afford further eroding of the confidence placed in them by the fans and the players.