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Packers Apparently Sign FB Ina Liaina

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Packers Apparently Sign FB Ina Liaina

Without confirmation yet coming from the team or the NFL's transaction report, it appears the Green Bay Packers have signed free agent fullback Ina Liaina, according to his agent Angelo Wright on Twitter:

 

This news comes on the heels that the Packers had previously worked out fellow fullback Jonathan Amosa on Monday.

Now that the offseason is upon us, it would appear the Packers want to add depth at fullback with John Kuhn set to become a free agent in March.

Kuhn is coming off one of his best seasons as a blocker but was used the least as a ball carrier since 2009. At 31 years old and just finishing his eighth season in the NFL, Kuhn is one of the oldest players on the team.

Liaina had previously signed with the Miami Dolphins in the spring after coming out of college as part of the rookie class of 2013.

UPDATE: Liana's signing has been confirmed by the NFL's transaction report, being inked to a Reserve/Future contract.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (74) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

ben's picture

The Green & Gold Blue Print (updated)

Announce the transition to a base 4-3 Defense and Clay Matthews (1 of the best cover LBs in the game) as the next Nitschke manning the middle at MLB. Clay in 2014: 164Tackles, 5.5Sacks, 3INTs, 4FF, 23TFL, 12PD

Trade1: AJ Hawk($2.5million/,ILB), Jonathan Franklin, 2015-Round5 } for {49er's LaMichael James(RB/KR), Round4pick29
Trade2: Tramon($7.5million/,CB), Round3pick21, 2015-Round3 } for { Cincinnati's Round2pick23
Trade3: Brad Jones($3million/,ILB), 2015-Round1, Round2pick23, Tolzien } for { Cleveland's Round2pick3, Round4pick6, 2015-Round4

2014 53 man depth chart (w/ 4-3 base)
QB: Rodgers, Flynn(2year), Connor Shaw(Round6pick21)
RB: Lacey, LaMichael James, DuJuan Harris, Dri Archer(KR)(Compensatory6th)
FB: Kuhn(2year), Jay Prosch(Round5pick21)
WR: Cobb, Jordy, Boykin, Jeff Janis(Round4pick6), Harper
TE: Jace Amaro(Round1pick21 ), Colt Lyerla(Round4Pick21), Stoneburner, Bostick
OL: Bakhtiari, Sitton, EDS(2year), Lang, Bulaga, Barclay, Tretter, Sharrod
DL: Neal(3year), Daniels, Datone, Perry, Boyd, Jolly(2year), Mulumba, Worthy
LB: Matthews(MLB), Kyle Van Noy(Round2pick3), Telvin Smith (Round2pick23), Lattimore(tendered), Jeremiah George(Round7pick21), Sam Barrington
CB: Shields(franchised), House, Heyward, Hyde, Nixon
S: Burnett, Alden Darby(Round4pick29), Marqueston Huff(Compensatory4th),Richardson, Banjo
ST: Goode, Crosby, Masthay

Let go: TheZoneBlitzScheme,ZoneBlockingScheme,MM'sPlaycalling,Finley,Raji,
JJones,Quarless,Starks,Bush,Pickett,md,Newhouse,&Wilson.(Hawk,Bjones,Tramon via trade)

Up for extension: Nelson, Cobb, Shields, Daniels, House, Bulaga, Dujuan, Perry, Richardson (In order, with Nelson setting the tone and Shields a leading franchise tag canidate)

jeremy's picture

Thanks, now I feel less frustrated with Ted Thompson's relative lack of action.

Adam's picture

I will lose my damn mind if Ted takes a TE in the 1st round. Other then that, the trades seem a little far fetched.

Jamie's picture

I will lose it if he trades even as much as a dried turd for LaMichelle James.

What the hell has that guy done (or even shown) in two NFL seasons??

ben's picture

Jamie says,
"The guy hasn’t done shit as a RB or KR in two seasons, despite plenty of opportunity.
That essentially makes your fun little exercise a pile of garbage."

1. He's averaged almost 5 yards / carry

2. Is "plenty of opportunity" 12 carries when leading your team in yards per rush? 39 carries in 2 years is Plenty?

3. Really Jamie?(its almost impossible for a 2nd round pick to get less opportunity. & almost just as impossible to do any better with it)

4. But that's what makes my "fun little exercise" "A Pile OF Garbage"

ben's picture

He's averaged 28.4 yards / kick return dumbass

"49ers running back LaMichael James didn't get a carry in the playoff win at Green Bay, but he made an impact as a returner. James returned three kickoffs for 78 yards, including a critical 37-yarder, and returned two punts for 20 yards"
- he just knocked your packers out of the playoff without a single handoff for crying out loud Jamie

Evan's picture

haha...Are you LaMichael James' father?

murphy's picture

"your packers"

Tells me everything I need to know, Mr. James.

ben's picture

trade 1: The 49ers a hard against the cap and are in need of a ILB due to injury and pending free agency. Hawk could step in and is very cap friendly. We need a kick returner and another RB. James is buried on the 49ers depth chart. I don't think ted moved up in the draft for Casey Hayward who was projected as low as the 5th round, he moved up to fill a gaping need with a RB that was projected to already be gone at that point. I'd also like to leverage their 4th round pick and use it for a very talented safety. Trade 1 is a no-brainer.

Trade 3: Just trying to move up to ensure VanNoy and an early 4th for maybe the greatest TE prospect in this years draft. The browns value Tolzein and offered him a raise to join their team. We don't need him and are probably better off with a longer very cap friendly contract with Flynn. I'd like to unload Brad Jones and the brown play a 3-4 so.....it's possible.

Trade 2: Just trying to ensure Telvin Smith with Round2pick23. The bengals have a ton of cap room and could really use a good corner. $7.5 million isn't bad for what would be their #1 corner. For the packers, I personally have high hopes for Davon House and think there's little drop-off there if any.

The value of each trade generally balances or actually favors the other team when using the draft-pick value chart. There is some underlying logic to each of these trades and none are really that far fetched. These are all possible win win deals.

Evan's picture

"I don’t think ted moved up in the draft for Casey Hayward"

That doesn't make any sense.

Ted wouldn't have consummated the trade with NE until after the 49ers made their pick.

Jamie's picture

Not to mention the "who was projected as low as the 5th rd" part. That's another lump of BS.

Someone has a boner for LaMichelle James and has created an entire hypothetical offseason based on trading for him.

Evan's picture

It's understandable. He did average nearly 5 yards per carry this season...on 12 whole carries.

ben's picture

The 49ers were on the clock and as of yet hadn't made their pick. Before they made the pick an announcement was made that the packers had move up and would be picking next. Then the 49ers selected LaMichael James.

The 49ers had the best running back at the time in Frank Gore. They also had just invested 2 draft picks in running backs Kendall Hunter and Anthony Dixon. They were all performing very well at the time and remain as the 49er's top 3 RBs to this day.

Ted just couldn't see it coming.

Evan's picture

Care to share a source?

ben's picture

Sorry Jamie, wrong again.

xpesports.com, "4-5th round projection"

NFL.com,"He has third-round talent."

newyorktimes, "Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt (Fifth/Sixth Round)"

walterfootball.com,"Entering the NFL, Hayward looks like a nice value pick on the second day of the 2012 NFL Draft."

thecitypaper, "With the draft still two months away, projections are in the premature stage, but some experts see Hayward as high as a third-round pick."

nfldraftscout had casey as low as
the 4th round

I originally saw him as a potential 5th rounder for cbs. But now can't find it.

Hank Scorpio's picture

AJ Hawk has a cap-friendly deal? That's news to me. And probably the vast majority of people that actually watch the Packers and understand the cap. He is highly replaceable with the 5th biggest cap number on the team ($5.1 mil).

If he was traded, SF would only count $3.5 mil. That's still not very cap friendly for a guy that is an average starter on his best days.

If he didn't have so much dead money left and the Packers were not so horrible at ILB, he'd be gone in a heartbeat. And I don't mean traded, he'd be cut outright. Anybody that wanted him could get him (or someone similar) for much cheaper than his current deal.

packeraaron's picture

Hank is right. Hawk's deal is far from "cap friendly" in 2014. It's better than it was, but he's still being overpaid. With a penalty of about $5 million against the cap if he's cut, it's hard to see the Packers moving on there. Next year the hit would be much more manageable (roughly $1 million)

A Dude's picture

You are insane.

Jamie's picture

The only projection on that list that I take with more than a grain of salt is NFLDraftscout, which projected him as a likely 2nd-3rd rd pick. He was taken at the second to last pick of the 2nd...right at their projection.

One thing you'll (possibly) learn when you grow up is that most of these yahoos with opinions/projections on the draft have no basis in reality. Like anyone that says or gives credence to Casey Hayward as a possible 5th rd pick.

Evan's picture

"nfldraftscout had casey as low as
the 4th round"

Nice try, Ben. You seemed to have ignored the parts that contradicted you.

Nfldraftscout: "projected round 2-3. High: late 1. Low: 4th"

Evan's picture

And Ben, here is that CBS link you couldn't seem to find.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1692672/casey-hayward

"Projected Round: 2-3"

All of this is to say: who the hell cares what round he was projected to go. He played like a 1st round pick. Hayward was one of the top rookies last year. Who cares where he was projected. TT picked a great player.

cLowNEY42's picture

" TT picked a great player."

Whoa.
May want to slow down with the "great player" stuff.

Let's see how he does now that the league has tape on him.

There's a better chance that his rookie year was as good as he's gonna get than there is that he becomes "a great player".

He seems football smart.
He seems to be around the ball a lot.
But...
He's always going to be slow.
He's never going to be a good tackler.
He's never going to be much help in run support.
He's probably never going to be an outside guy.

Evan's picture

I think I'll evaluate him on his actual performance over your projections. No offense.

Stroh's picture

I particularly like this... "Aggressive, instinctive playmaker should contribute immediately in nickel-heavy scheme"

Seems like a perfect pick given that's EXACTLY the role he was picked for!

Cow.. Speed isn't everything. Actually the single most important trait for a DB is quickness and Hayward is VERY QUICK. Its also what makes him Perfectly suited to play the nickel/slot role. He's a sure tackler, very instinctive and been a playmaker at every level, just like he was as a rookie!

RC Packer Fan's picture

'Slot Cornerback: Casey Hayward (GB)

What a year from the rookie who was more than just a guy who picked off balls. Hayward finished the season with our second highest coverage grade among cornerbacks. He allowed just 44.6% of balls into his coverage to be completed and deflected another 12 passes. By the way he also didn’t give up a touchdown or a penalty all year.'

This is the 2012 season awards by Pro Football Focus.
https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/01/02/2012-pff-all-pro-team/2/

If that isn't great, I don't know what is.

ben's picture

All I said is "casey Hayward was projected AS LOW AS the 5th round"

That's a fact.

You can argue with it if you'd like.

Bur you wrong. Fucking period.

Evan's picture

Haha. I apologize, Mr. James. I meant no disrespect to your son.

Stroh's picture

That's fact is it? Since when does what xpesports.com, make anything fact? I've never even heard of that dump site till now. You should try the good reliable credible sites. CBS is easily the best draft site there is. Step it up Ben!

If you gonna quote a site make it a good one, not some garbage that no one's ever heard of (with good reason it seems!).

Clay's picture

Nice thinking Ben. You def did your homework.
What probability do you give on any of that happening? Or rather which are most likely?

ben's picture

zero to none

madmanJack's picture

the sun exploding tonight is more probable.

ben's picture

The sun is always exploding. So your saying there's a chance?

A Dude's picture

Undergoing continuous nuclear fusion is more accurate.

Mags's picture

Who?

Doug In Sandpoint's picture

Well I sure hope that silences the talk about TT never being active in the free agent market.

4thand1's picture

HA!

The TKstinator's picture

You beat me to that one!

HUMP's picture

sad to say,but shields is gone! no way we pay 13 mil for franchise and rosenhaus will not take less than 5yr 50 mil,but if we could sign perhaps tj ward or byrd for 8 mil yr and rid ourselves of the safety issue,then we could draft cb in 1st or 2nd rd cuz there is quite a bit of depth there this yr,love russ cockrell in 3rd maybe. also could sign an asante samuel or other vet for 5mil yr type deal in order to ease the loss of sam

Evan's picture

"...and rosenhaus will not take less than 5yr 50 mil"

I bet he does.

Sir Cheese's picture

5 year 43 million for Sam, try to restructure T. Williams to a more cap friendly deal, let Raji and Pickett walk that will free up a tonne of cap space to sign Shields. I do agree a switch to 4-3 base would allow be best based on our personnel.

4thand1's picture

For anyone who watched the pro bowl. Did you see how 4 really good pass rushing d linemen can manhandle pro bowl o linemen? If they didn't have the no grounding rule the QB's would have been penalized a ton on top of a ton of sacks. That's what you need for a 43. 4 guys that can bring it. They're expensive as hell. At the very least you need 2 top notch ends.

Al Fresco's picture

I also lean towards the 4-3 and yes, you've got to have the horses to do it. I read a post by Ketchum and he said the 3-4 allows teams to not spend the big bucks basically on DE's who are getting expensive and eat a lot of cap space. Thus the 3-4 is the alternative by using cheaper players. My take you get what you pay for. The Lions have 4 number one picks, don't know how they can afford that with Megatron and Stafford.
We have two guys eating 66% of the cap.

Stroh's picture

Matthews contract is bigger than Jared Allens deal. Don't see how paying a pass rushing DE is much more expensive than paying a 34 OLB.

Barutan Seijin's picture

Exactly.

And as more teams go 3-4, the demand for guys who fit 3-4 schemes will go up. Not sure that 3-4 defenses are really cheaper, but even if they are, how much longer will they stay that way?

Hank Scorpio's picture

Excellent point, Barutan.

It is simple supply and demand like any economic system. Whether you're talking about the economy of veteran contracts and FA or the draft economy of how early you need to pick a guy.

The NFL is no longer skewed toward making the 4-3 more expensive and the 3-4 cheaper due to excessive demand for 4-3 players and lighter demand for 3-4 players. It is split enough that costs will equalize, if they haven't already.

There are two illustrations from last year's FA class--Cliff Avril and Paul Kruger. Avril was the 4-3 guy with a stronger pedigree. Kruger got much more money.

Meanwhile, the draft has bumped up 3-4 OLB 'tweener types up a round or two in where you need to take them. Because more teams need them.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

You keep writing this 66% of the cap for 2 players stuff over and over. First, the 2014 cap #s are 17.9 and 10.9 million respectively for Rodgers and Matthews. Cap is projected to be about $126 million. That is 23%. What is your hang up on this issue and how do you figure 66%?

redlights's picture

I was wondering the same thing.

Hank Scorpio's picture

The top 3 defenses in the NFL in yards allowed all played a 4-3 (Seattle, Carolina & Cincy). Between them, they had one Pro Bowl DL (Greg Hardy).

The Pro Bowl is a talent showcase, not a football game.

The TKstinator's picture

Just gimme a bunch of studs on defense and line them up any dang way.

pooch's picture

Ok is this 4-3 defense here a pipe dream with Clay in the middle,were did you pick this bullshit up????

4thand1's picture

You said the magic words, "pipe dream."

Digital Tucker Hero's picture

still illegal in beer awash wisconsin

pooch's picture

yup makes to much sense,let Clay bang into 340lb tackles the next 4 years and destroy hammy.Free roaming mlb to cover, blitz,shadow just a pipe dream

ben's picture

Clay Nitschke, I mean Ray Nitschke had 25 INTs as a MLB for the Greenbay Packers.

Drealyn Williams's picture

Haven't given up on Johnathan Franklin. I think that Bengals game was just a small sample of what could be. There need to be new/creative formations in GB. Is there a reason we haven't seen "Cobra" since.....how long? As far as the 3-4 and 4-3 change goes; I like the 3-4. If we went to the 4-3 and moved Clay inside,which OLB do you feel comfortable covering anybody? In Nickel,which 2 LBs are you subbing for which 2 DLs? In Dime....ughhhh,I don't even want to think about it. Our 3-4 wasn't looking bad when we had healthy/talented players at key positions -- that's all I'm saying. Clay(ballin'),Jenkins(Ballin'),Raji(ballin'),Collins(ballin'),Tramon(ballin'),Shields(ballin'),Woodson(ballin'),Bishop(ballin'). Those players helped lead the team to the playoffs and on to a SB victory. Who's been consistently ballin' on defense for us since? Clay,Shields...... Sh*t,just Clay and Shields.

ben's picture

Daniels, but that's that

Drealyn Williams's picture

Daniels doesn't get enough snaps

ben's picture

I see Franklin as a similar back to LaMicheal. All around backs who excel catching out of the backfield. The Differences being that LaMicheal is much more quick and explosive with considerably faster top end speed,also doesn't fumble, can stay healthy, and is a valuable kick and punt returner.

Franklin is definitely overrated by everybody with the green and gold blinders on. But I admit he did look pretty good in that bengals game. I was impressed by his patience and decent vision.

I have higher hopes for him than let's say Derrek Sharrod.

Under-rated: Dujuan Harris, Davon House, Jake Stoneburner, Jamari Lattimore, Mike Daniels, Morgan Burnett, Tim Masthay. Josh Sitton, Don Barclay, Jordy Nelson, and Randal Cobb

4thand1's picture

Expectations get high with a few good plays. With Franklin the potential is there IMO. I think he'll get a lot of touches in the pre-season to see what he can do. Lacy won't see the field like Rodgers. MM treats pre-season like practice.

Evan's picture

"The Differences being that LaMicheal is <b>much more</b> quick and explosive with <b>considerably</b> faster top end speed..."

Official NFL Combine Results

LaMichael James
40 yard - 4.45
3 cone - 6.88

Jonathan Franklin
40 yard - 4.49
3 cone - 6.89

"...also doesn’t fumble..."
James has 3 career fumbles on very limited touches (2 on 23 punt returns and 1 on 39 carries, which was in the Super Bowl).

Also from his NFL.com scouting report: "James had fumbling issues throughout his career...he doesn't have the arm strength to secure the ball when big hits are put on him."

My dad always exaggerates my abilities too.

4thand1's picture

ZING!

Evan's picture

To be fair, maybe he does consider .04 seconds to be "considerably faster" and .01 seconds to be "much more quick and explosive."

Stroh's picture

LOL Evan... If he does he would be WRONG again.

4thand1's picture

If you add them together its .05, and poof he was gone.

Phatgzus's picture

Awesome.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I watched a lot of James and Franklin in college.

Both were very good college players.

One thing that I questioned with James was the offense he played in, in college. James had a lot of open lanes to run through without getting touched and really racked up the yards.
Franklin played in a more traditional offense and had to fight for more yards.

From what I have seen in their pro careers, Franklin's game against the Bengals showed me the same things I saw him do his senior year at UCLA. I saw the same player and that's what gets me excited.
I haven't seen James do much similar to what he did in college.

I will keep Franklin over James.

Drealyn Williams's picture

Like Alex Green,when them lanes aren't as big as they were in college what can he (James)do?

4thand1's picture

My oh My! What rigorous debate tonight! Except for the cow pessimism.

redlights's picture

The question that I have is if we assume Kuhn to be in the crosshairs, then I expect GB to keep Bush to have some leadership on ST. What is Bush worth? Couldn't House or Banjo do the same for less provided Kuhn stays?

Also, with Dline being a strength and LBers getting scarce. What would have been the reasoning to not try a 5-2-4? At least on first down?

cLowNEY42's picture

When was the DLine a strength?

murphy's picture

2010.

redlights's picture

Pickett can still anchor; play Raji and D.Jones to get your money out of them; Daniels and Jolly are players. Then you rotate Boyd and Worthy (yeah, I know) and get these boys some snaps.

ArodMoney's picture

The Packers 3-4 is already basically a 5-2-4...

Hank Scorpio's picture

I don't assume Kuhn to be in the crosshairs, necessarily. It's a bit more complicated than that.

Kuhn is really more of a hybrid FB/HB. He's excellent as the single back in a pass only situation. He's not a lead blocking thumper-type. With an actual running game, a better lead blocker would be nice. Which doesn't diminish the value that Kuhn brings to the table.

So the question becomes whether the Packers can keep 2 FBs on the roster when the last few years has seen them keep only 1. My opinion is they can if the cut back from 4-5 TEs.

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