Trades Keep Green Bay Alive
Packers general manager Ron Wolf is one of the few wheeler-dealers in the trade-loathing NFL. "Whenever I want to deal one of our players," Saints counterpart Randy Mueller says, "the first call I make is to Ron. He's always willing to deal."
Give Wolf a big assist for Green Bay's 26-24 upset of the Colts in the swirling snow at Lambeau Field, a victory that kept the 5-6 Packers in the playoff race. On April 14, Wolf made what seemed an inconsequential trade, sending nickel cornerback Fred Vincent and a sixth-round draft choice to the Seahawks for backup running back Ahman Green and a fifth-round pick. Then a week before the season, in another seemingly forgettable deal, he sent a conditional middle-round selection to the Eagles for return specialist Allen Rossum. In essence, Wolf traded a low draft choice and the man projected to be Green Bay's fourth cornerback for Green and a nickelback who is also the NFC's third-rated kick returner.
On Sunday, Green led the Packers with 153 yards on 24 carries, both career highs. Further, when the Colts scored to close to 19-17, Rossum returned a kickoff 92 yards for the touchdown that swung the momentum back Green Bay's way.
"Trading," Wolf says, "is the only way to improve your team without overpaying for overrated players." Lack of trading, he says, "is the one thing in this league that makes no sense."