Packers Add Anthony Smith, In Trade Talks For Marion Barber
Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson made a rare mid-season trade yesterday. The Packers sent a conditional 2011 seventh-round draft pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for safety Anthony Smith. Yes, the same Anthony Smith the Packers cut prior to the 2009 season.
Anthony Smith played safety in Pittsburgh’s 3-4 defense for his first three seasons before bouncing around between teams during the 2009 season. After being released in the final roster cutdowns by Green Bay, Smith signed with the St. Louis Rams. He appeared in two games before being waived by the team. Halfway through the season he caught on with the Jacksonville Jaguars where he started 2 of 8 games down the final stretch of the season. This season, he has started 3 games for the Jaguars and was slated to start in Monday night’s game. However, yesterday’s trade will give him an inadvertent bye-week, and a chance to re-learn the Packers defense.
On the Packers defense, Smith should make an immediate impact. Rookie safety Morgan Burnett is already lost for the season with a torn ACL, and backup Derrick Martin is also done for the year with an ankle injury. The Packers are down to two healthy safeties: backup Charlie Peprah and Pro Bowler Nick Collins. With safety Atari Bigby eligible to come off the PUP list any time in the next three weeks, the trade for Smith most likely indicates that Bigby’s ankle is not yet healed. Peprah’s play has been decent, but Anthony Smith brings more natural ability to the Packers secondary.
In other trade news, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting that the Packers are in talks with the Dallas Cowboys regarding running back Marion Barber. Due to Ryan Grant’s season-ending ankle injury, and head coach Mike McCarthy’s pass-first style of offense, the Packers’ running game has been non-existent this season. The Packers could use Barber’s hard-nose style and his ability to convert short-yardage situations into first downs. However, unless the Cowboys are willing to part with Barber for a low price, another trade before Tuesday’s deadline seems unlikely.