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Packers president Mark Murphy defends quiet offseason

By Larry Hartstein |

Packers president Mark Murphy doesn't believe in spending big on other teams' free agents. (USATSI)

Some Packers fans wish the team had been more active in free agency.

Green Bay is focusing instead on new contracts for its offensive and defensive catalysts, Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews. That's made for a quiet offseason.

The Packers let Greg Jennings go in free agency, cut Charles Woodson, re-signed linebacker Brad Jones and got linebacker A.J. Hawk to take a massive pay cut. They made a tough decision to keep tight end Jermichael Finley at $8.25 million.

They didn't make a big splash like fellow NFC contenders did. Seattle traded for Percy Harvin, San Francisco traded for Anquan Boldin and signed Nnamdi Asomugha, and the Falcons replaced Michael Turner with Steven Jackson.

Packers president Mark Murphy was asked what he'd tell fans frustrated by the team's lack of big moves.

Look at the teams who have done that,” he told the Journal Times of Racine, Wis. “Two years ago, the Philadelphia Eagles were anointed the Dream Team and NFL champions. It's not that we can't afford it. It's really just that we think the best way to spend money is to identify your core players and reach long-term extensions with them rather than taking other people's players.”

Murphy also addressed the gap between the Packers and 49ers, who whipped Green Bay 45-31 in the playoffs.

“We played them two times last year, the first game of the year and the last game of the year, and they beat us pretty soundly both times,” Murphy said. “But I've been around the league long enough to know that can change pretty quickly. And I think we'll be better this year. I think getting back a number of injured players will make a huge difference. I think in the draft, we'll be able to address some areas of concern and we have a great core of young players who are only going to get better.”

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