In an effort to break up the Daily Links, this section will be primarily for discussion of the Packers by bloggers. I won't be linking to second-hand news sources unless they include commentary on the news.
My new method for breaking up news and discussion knows no boundaries. Mainstream media will be included in the blog area if they make blog posts and simply provide commentary. Conversely, traditional "bloggers" will be included in the Packers Daily Links if they do first-hand reporting.
In a radio interview yesterday, quarterback Aaron Rodgers made his best pitch for the Packers to retain James Jones in free agency. "James is extremely talented and he's a guy that I think we have to bring back without a doubt," Rodgers is quoted as saying by Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com. "He should be priority No. 1. And I mean that with all my heart. He really should be priority No. 1. We don't win the Super Bowl without him. And we need him."
Aaron Rodgers didn't stop there, mentioning Mark Tauscher too. "(I’m) really hoping that he is still with us this year because I don’t know what I’d do without that big guy in the locker room," Rodgers is quoted by Bob Wolfley of JSOnline. "He makes me feel better about myself everyday, and he’s an overrated backgammon and cribbage player. But he’s been a hell of a player too, so I hope we bring him back because he’s a partner in crime often in these pranks so there’s my pitch for ‘Tausch.' "
Weighing in on Aaron Rodgers' comments is Kevin McCauley of Acme Packing Company. "The Packers have Jermichael Finley coming back from injury and they just drafted Randall Cobb," writes McCauley. "I think that most of us are looking for Jordy Nelson to step up and play a bigger role this season. Donald Driver is, by all accounts, healthy and ready to go, so Jones is unlikely to start. With the Packers facing cap issues and the roster having four other high-quality targets for Rodgers, it seems unlikely that the team will offer him a multi-year deal better than a competing team can offer him."
Wondering where James Jones will land in free agency is Brandon Benson of APC. "I wasn't sure how much interest the free agent market would show in Green Bay Packers WR James Jones, but one NFL executive told JS Online that 'he'll be highly sought after' which does surprise me," writes Benson. "If he does receive an offer of $2 million per season, I'd be surprised if the Packers matched it." On the contrary, I think the Packers would be more than glad to pay Jones $2 million per season. He'll command far more than that on the open market, which I don't think the Packers will be able to match.
Thomas Hobbes of AllGreenBayPackers.com did some research into the wide receiver market and thinks that Jones will most likely command a salary around $4 million per year. "Realistically, Jones will probably see offers around this range," writes Hobbes. "While not getting paid premium money, he still will be making considerably more than last year, which was the last year of his rookie contract as a 3rd round draft choice." This blog post is a good breakdown. I have to agree and think Jones will sign with someone for near this amount of money.
More on James Jones and Aaron Rodgers appears at Lombardi Ave.
Commenting on the news that Nick Barnett will be traded or released is Lombardi Ave. "It’s not surprising that Barnett will be moving on," according to the blog post. "After being injured and placed on injured reserve last season, inside linebackers Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk played remarkably well in helping lead the Packers to a Super Bowl title."
More on Nick Barnett comes from Lauren Fernandez of Aerys Sports who has screen shots of Barnett's Twitter posts.
New free agent signee Brandian Ross found a fan in Talkin' S-Mac. "He's 6-0. More than 190 lbs," according to the blog post. "Not afraid of contact. Plays the ball in the air. A former safety. Turned CB. He looks for contact. He'll be a special teams gem. It's clear that Ted Thompson wanted to improve the special teams unit. Look for Ross to have the opportunity to win the job as the gunner. Further, his versatility in the secondary is invaluable - though I imagine he'll enter into training camp strictly as a CB."
Outside linebacker Jamari Lattimore gets some "pub" from Kevin McCauley. "Lattimore might actually get some time in preseason," writes McCauley. "I don't expect him to make the final cut, as he's raw and undersized at this point, but he's an interesting player who was an absolute sack machine in college, and he might just need a year on the practice squad to develop into a legitimate NFL player."
Safety Anthony Bratton is profiled by Zach Kruse at AllGreenBayPackers.com. "The Packers are likely losing much of their depth at the safety position, so a guy like Bratton stands a decent shot at making the roster or landing on the practice squad," writes Kruse. "Anthony Levine is a candidate to move from the practice squad to the 53-man roster, which would leave a theoretical opening for Bratton to grab in camp." I'm not sure I'd classify Bratton's chances as "decent," but I see the logic.
The Packers' win total for the 2011 season from a betting perspective is brought up by Kevin McCauley at APC. "The o/u on Packers wins at the MGM sports book has opened at 11.5 wins, which is the highest in the league," writes McCauley.
Kevin McCauley also makes note of the likelihood of renovations to Lambeau Field. More on this will no doubt come tomorrow at the annual shareholders meeeting.
There's some good information coming from Acme Packing Company, but their title on the Packers' financials seems a bit off: "Green Bay Packers Report Profit Increase, But Not Without Lockout Spin." I don't see any spin from the Packers. The fact that they wouldn't have turned a profit had it not been for the lockout would have been a certainty. It's just the truth.
Commenting on a potential visit to the White House by the Packers is Monty McMahon of Total Packers. "What could perhaps be even more awkward is several players who were on last year’s Super Bowl squad will likely be playing elsewhere if the White House visit happens," writes McMahon. It might be noteworthy, but I'm not sure it will be awkward.
The finalized preseason schedule is posted at APC.
More on the preseason appears at Lombardi Ave.
Free agency is touched upon at Lombardi Ave. too.
Forrest Gregg is listed as the no. 8 Packer of all-time at Green Bay Packer Talk.
A picture of Paul Hornung on the cover of Sports Illustrated is posted at Packerville, U.S.A.
The post-CBA direction of the Packers is covered by Brady Augustin at Green Bay Packer Nation.
Brian Carriveau is the editor of the Maple Street Press Packers Annual. To contact Brian, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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