Commentary

Lockout may help Packers repeat

Green Bay's injured veterans get a chance to heal, value of its free agents decreases

Updated: April 20, 2011, 3:12 PM ET
By Mike Tanier | Football Outsiders
Finley/Grant/BarnettIcon SMI, US Presswire, AP PhotoRemember these guys? Green Bay won the Super Bowl last year without all three veterans.

When it comes to the NFL lockout, whatever does not kill a team will only make its playoff chances stronger.

The lockout is not hurting all teams equally. Some teams entered the offseason with a long roster wish list or a whole new coaching staff and system to integrate. Others had the equivalent of a bunker full of canned goods when the lockout struck: a balanced roster, established coaches and few needs.

The following teams were the most prepared for an offseason of relative inactivity, or were at least better prepared than their division rivals:

Green Bay Packers

Doctors and physical therapists are not on lockout, which means injured Green Bay veterans such as Ryan Grant, Jermichael Finley, Nick Barnett and others have had plenty to do during the labor doldrums. Grant says his ankle feels "awesome," Finley is expected back and Barnett is fully recovered from wrist surgery and willing to renegotiate the contract that will pay him $11.5 million over the next two years. With so many important players scheduled to return, the Packers can move forward while standing still.


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