Packers signing White a defining move of free agency

Reggie White was one of the defining signings of the free agency era shortly after it began without restriction in 1992.

He came, he saw, he conquered.

The man simply delivered for the Green Bay Packers and cemented his Hall of Fame legacy, lifting that franchise back to a perch that once seemed its birthright.

Let's not forget how long it had been since the Packers reached the promised land and how White helped take them back there in 1997, winning Super Bowl XXXI. His presence meant everything for that town and for that team and for its young quarterback, Brett Favre.

White also deserves credit for the racial component at play back then in Green Bay -- hardly the most diverse locale. Surprisingly, White opted to move there early in the free agency era. Some wondered if the team, still trying to return to the NFL's elite, would be able to recruit some of the NFL's premier African-American players given the demographics of that era.

Well, Green Bay landed White, who, not only was a dominant player, but he was one of the most beloved players in the league across all positions. He was "The Pastor," and others gravitated to him because of the man and player he was. His arrival in Wisconsin changed the path of the Packers franchise and became indicative of the kind of shrewd, calculated forays into free agency that would become Green Bay's hallmark.

As the ultimate small-market team, the Packers cannot afford to swing all that often with the big bucks, much less swing and miss.

White was a grand slam on every level.

Follow Jason La Canfora on Twitter @JasonLaCanfora

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