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Packers LB Mike Neal Will Reportedly Test Open Market

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Packers LB Mike Neal Will Reportedly Test Open Market

The number of Green Bay Packers who have not reached an agreement on a contract extension and will reportedly test free agency keeps growing. According to Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette:

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Fan friendly comments only: on Comments (71) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Derek in CO's picture

So, every one of our FAs are testing the market. Coincidence? TT and Russ Ball are low balling everyone? Seems like they all want to leave.

Evan's picture

Or they just want to test the market, like 90 percent of all current free agents are about to do.

HankScorpio's picture

Why wouldn't you low-ball Mike Neal? What has he ever done to suggest he's a guy you don't want to let get away?

I would say the same basic comment applies to every one of their FAs, with the possible exception of Sam Shields, who appears to be signed before the FA signing period opens on Tuesday.

Imma Fubared's picture

Ya I wonder why. Same reason no of the free agents with talent want to have anything to do with Ted. The word is out, he is tight as a drum.
Players are leaving for more money not less.
My new take is that Ted isn't avoiding free agency everyone is avoiding him. If you an agent you want you guy to get as much as possible so they must be telling them, shop elsewhere

lmills's picture

Or the players think they're worth more than what the Packers offer and they want to go test the market. Makes sense for both sides. Sometimes they leave and sometimes they come back. Would you rather have the Packers overpay for them to ensure they stay only to have them not live up to their contract? i.e. Brad Jones. Then you'd sit there and complain that they should have let them walk.

mark's picture

Be patient folks. I suspect we're all going to be plenty happy when the dust settles. Remember, we're well under the cap. We could lose Raji but gain Linval Joseph. We could lose Shields but gain Byrd. Any number of things could happen. But our GM is one of the best in the business, have faith.

4thand1's picture

Agreed.

ATS's picture

I'd put my $ on a couple of our own guys getting re-signed and a couple tier 3 or 4 FA's getting signed to compete for roster spots/special teams.

If you think anything else is going to happen... you're probably dreaming.

Packer way.

If this makes you "plenty happy" so be it.

Seeing as my opinion on the matter doesn't mean sh*t, I'm just going to hope that TT knows what he's doing. What else is there to do?

There's gonna be a whole lot riding on Heyward, Worthy,D. Jones, Daniels, Perry, Boyd, and Quarless next season.

4thand1's picture

Must suck to be so unhappy all the time over a game. You're probably young and you'll grow out of it.

ATS's picture

Not unhappy at all.

4thand1's picture

So lets say you have a job. You make 50k a year, and someone offers you the same job with a different company at 60k a year. Do you say F the extra 10k or take the new job?

Norman's picture

$50K, is that all they offered him?
:-)

TommyG's picture

You would be fool not to.

Sportspack's picture

Maybe we could release a couple of our own guys that are already overpaid? Out with the old, in with the new. It does not help to over pay free agents, 3rd or 4th tier free agents would help at safety, linebacker, nose tackle, defnsive end, center and tight end.

@vj_ostrowski's picture

The only guy that would really make sense for is Brad Jones. Others might be overpaid, but Brad Jones is the only one who is grossly so. The only one worth being too upset about. In my humble, unprofessional opinion.

4thand1's picture

Guys like Neal irk me. He's been given every chance to show up and when he finally makes a modest contribution expects to get paid big. It just proves there's no loyalty on either side of the ball when it comes to $$$$$$. He and Jolly should play for the league minimum for a year then see what they're made of.

Jordan's picture

The players can't be real loyal due to their short careers and risk of career ending injury.

When some guys don't get a good offer during their contract year....and have to play through their entire contract year risking career ending injury, they get their feelings hurt and take it personally. And aren't so loyal. See Cullen Jenkins.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cullen_Jenkins

Stroh's picture

Neal fulfilled his obligation to the Packers. Part of that is the inherent risk of injury. Most contracts have substantial reduction in pay on IR too. I hope Neal gets the best contract he can and I hope its in GB, but if its elsewhere I'll wish him well.

Jolly only got the league minimum, so I don't get your argument w/ him. Are you saying a person making min wage in a job that has to leave for drug treatment should have a lower minimum wage?

4thand1's picture

No, not so much Jolly. I guess he paid his dues. But the Pack invested a lot of time and patience with Neal. Many people wanted him gone. He may turn out to be a really good player. I think Ted will match what he's offered, which won't be a hell of a lot. Trouble is he's been injured a lot and the Pack stuck by him, when they really could have cut ties with him.

Stroh's picture

Neal was a high draft pick. The Packers were never going to cut him unless this year he flat out showed he couldn't play. I hope your right and Thompson finds a way to keep him. But if Walden is worth 4M per, I think Neal will get 5 or 6M. It'll kinda depend on the timing w/ him and other signings a little.

4thand1's picture

Everyone thought the Colts were nuts to pay Walden that kind of $$$. Way to much for a guy off of the street. I see Neal maybe getting an offer in the 3 to 4 mil range.

4thand1's picture

LMAO, people will be quick to like/dislike. Guess people like Walden & didn't think the Colts were nuts?

4thand1's picture

Or they think 3 to 4 mil for Neal is to much.

Stroh's picture

The Colts did overpay for Walden. But that doesn't change the fact that if Walden got 4M, Neal is going to be looking for more. He's a better player, with a higher upside and more scheme versatility. In FA he'll be given looks at 43 DE and 34 OLB.

Each contract is always used as a benchmark for the next player of similar production/ability.

4thand1's picture

HA HA, I disliked you. JK. Can't wait for the trolls to hammer the dislike button.

HankScorpio's picture

I think the Colts were nuts to sign Erik Walden to that contract.

And the Packers would be nuts to sign Neal for even half that much. With all their injuries problems, durability has to be high on the list of desired attributes this offseason. Mike Neal is about as fragile as it gets. The only way he made it through 16 games was sitting out practices regularly. Guys like Charles Woodson and Chad Clifton earned that consideration. Mike Neal has not.

He seems like a good guy. I hope he finds some team that is nuts and offers him a good deal. I just hope it isn't the Packers.

Stroh's picture

You must be clueless if you think Neal is worth 1/2 of Walden. He was healthy enough to play every game last year and he played well, better than Walden ever did. Previous years he was a hyper bulked up 300 lb DE. He was injured a lot quite literally because his muscles were too strong for his body. As a 270 lb OLB that didn't seem to be a problem anymore.

I would agree that Walden was overpaid but its done and other players will use it as a barometer. If you don't understand that I don't know what to tell you.

HankScorpio's picture

I don't think I wrote what you think I wrote. In point of fact, I think Walden and Neal hold pretty much the same value...none. If the choice were mine, neither would be offered a contract at even the vet minimum. Walden for performance reasons and Neal for injury reasons. I had seen enough of Walden blowing assignments to think he'd ever stop. And even in Neal's "healthy" 2013, he was regularly sitting out practice and dicey to actually suit up. I think it is time to move on from Neal, like I thought of Walden last year.

Maybe a team with lesser injury concerns at Neal's position would be in a better place to sign him. But teaming Neal with Matthews and Perry at OLB is just asking to get a good long, ingame look at the 4th and 5th OLBs. Which doesn't seem like an effective plan to improve defensively to me.

If that makes me clueless in your book, so be it. I've been called worse by people whose opinions I actually respect and I survived.

Stroh's picture

You didn't like the 4 sacks in the last 1/2 season? A good part of it played w/ a nagging injury. I would say that's more than respectable production for a guy playing a new position in his 1st year. I guess you don't like when guys produce when called into action. Too bad on you I guess...

You can try to downplay Neal's performance all you want, but it was more than solid considering he had NO experience playing LB before. He wasn't great by any means, but if you CHOSE to look it was a very good start!

HankScorpio's picture

Neal's stats speak for themselves. I don't have to downplay them to make them look less than impressive. I encourage anybody to take a look at the link below to decide for themselves. In fact, it is just the opposite, IMO. You need a pretty strong prescription on the Green and Gold glasses to see him in a very positive light.

Besides, guys that have "career years" in their contract year always make me a bit nervous. That Neal's "career year" is really a semi-productive half season graded on the curve of yet another injury makes me want to pass altogether.

http://www.nfl.com/player/mikeneal/496833/profile

4thand1's picture

Talk about cap casualties, did you see what the Saints are doing? Moore, Sproles and some others.

denniseckersley's picture

Mike Neal sucked for 4 years. I can't recall a single play he had. If he walks and finally produces somewhere else then good on him, but he can kiss my ass.

4thand1's picture

ok, chtv, you have thoroughly confused an old fart like me. thanks

coreyb's picture

What is confusing you?

4thand1's picture

The internet

4thand1's picture

this sucks

Stroh's picture

I agree, not a fan of this. Copycat of JerseyAl's site and the site design isn't as easy to read. My $.02 worth.

coreyb's picture

I'm not sure how this is in any way copying Jersey Al's site. No one likes change. Give it time.

4thand1's picture

Never been on Jersey Al's site. I like WCSN.

Stroh's picture

WCSN?

4thand1's picture

Water cooler sports network

4thand1's picture

Water cooler sports network

4thand1's picture

Water cooler sports network Caters to the NFCN and NFCS

Alex Bonamarte's picture

@Corey how about an offline forum/email/survey to get feedback both good and bad that we can work with to improve the experience overall?

Let's qualify complaints and compliments to make sure that while we address the issues we retain and continue to improve the stuff people are liking better.

For anyone looking from a phone and wondering what's up, the mobile version will be addressed soon.

Roger Over's picture

I see Cassel signed with the Vikes yesterday so it goes against what I'm going to say. Why not try the free agent route. Is there anything to lose other than the team your with deciding they don't want you?
I guess the answer is money. Finding out what your worth versus getting a very good deal and staying put.
I hope for the fans sake TT isn't becoming the cheap guy no one wants to play for? as in possible free agents? There agents know what Ted is tossing around and his rep.

Alex Tallitsch's picture

Go Pack Go!

KenEllis's picture

Neal is a player without a position.

Hope he signs elsewhere and TT acquires a true 3-4 OLB to pair with Clay.

4thand1's picture

No one seems to know what the face of this defense will be this season.

Stroh's picture

It'll be interesting to see what the D looks like. I'm thinking the days of having three 6'2 330+ lb DL are gone. Replaced by one true NT and 2 more athletic DE's. Jones and Worthy fit the bill to some degree, but a guy like Hageman or Tuitt would make a real difference. There's a reason that 34 DE are usually 6'4 and have long arms. Pickett, Jolly and Raji were just space eaters but the didn't have length to control blockers or the athleticism to extend the edge. Its easy for OL to get off of guys like Pickett and Raji that have short arms and lack length, that's not the case when the DE has long arms and can maintain contact w/ the OL longer.

White92's picture

I like the new format. I'll probably be here more often

Alex Bonamarte's picture

Thanks - We'll continue to improve the user experience, design, legibility and features with Corey and Co. The content already kicks ass IMO.

ChznEnemyTerritory's picture

Shield signed 4 years for $39 million. Oh boy! Better keep improving and stay healthy. Safety in the draft or buy one?

Stroh's picture

Right about where I figured Shields contract would land. 9-11M was my original estimation. That seems fairly prophetic. :)

Shields seems to have a lower cap number the first year of the contract leaving open the possibility of signing Byrd if they so chose. I really hope they make a run at him. IMO he's the best replacement for Collins to become available in awhile.

4thand1's picture

12.5 mil signing bonus. Cap hit for 1st year won't be bad.

Stroh's picture

According to JSOnline Shields 1s yr cap number is only $5.625M. Signing bonus is relatively small for a $40M contract. Just slightly higher than Tim Jennings got on a $24M deal.

Stroh's picture

According to JSOnline Shields 1s yr cap number is only $5.625M. Signing bonus is relatively small for a $40M contract. Just slightly higher than Tim Jennings got on a $24M deal.

HankScorpio's picture

I find it curious that the Packers are sitting on $34 mil in cap space and only dump $5.625 mil from Shields into this year. If that is accurate (and I suspect it might not be), it seems a pretty clear signal that more plans are in the works...and not just signing their own and a few low level guys. Even if they bring back everyone and extend both Cobb & Nelson, they'd be hard pressed to chew up $29 mil in cap space.

OTOH, it could be that the some of the signing bonus is a roster bonus, which alters the cap breakdown.

Stroh's picture

Why wouldn't you do it to save the cap space now? Its pretty well known the cap is going to start going up now. They have a lot of positions to get settled and a lot of players that are FA soon. They'll need to sign a few of them plus probably another FA or two from other teams. Seems like they are planning to make a few more moves this year to sure up a couple positions as well as plan for the future.

HankScorpio's picture

If the concern is players that are still under contract but will need an extension soon, that is all the more reason to dump a bigger share of the 2014 cash to Shields into the 2014 cap. That would mean less future cap space because of past cash payments. That doesn't help with room for guys like Nelson and Cobb.

Getting positions settled for 2014 via the FA market is a very good reason to push that money forward. if the reports of Shields cap number for 2014 are correct, it would seem to suggest that the earlier reports of the Packers being more active in FA are correct. At least to me.

4thand1's picture

Holy crap, been out most of the day. Good news, now its safety time. Lock down EDS too.

4thand1's picture

Sorry about spoutin off ealier. Was having trouble logging on, I don't know why. This a great site and I hope this will improve it more. GOPACKGO

coreyb's picture

Thanks 4thand1.

4thand1's picture

YW

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Shields' contract seems a bit high in terms of yearly average, but the structure and modest amount of guaranteed money makes this a reasonable deal, IMO, especially if the Cap continues to rise over the next few years as some reports have speculated.

I think GB needs to get a FA veteran safety who can be plugged in and play next year rather than a rookie who might take 3 or 4 years to learn the position. That FA could be Byrd, but other FAs make sense too. I am OK with signing Raji for one year in the hope that the light turns on and he plays great to earn a new contract, but GB should not resign him after that. Raji is not a football player. He just wants one more signing bonus and then he will hibernate.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I too am having a terrible time posting now. Sometimes I can post and at other times I can't. So far, hate the new design.

Mojo's picture

Probably overpaid for Shields, but if they can get out of it after two years, then it's not so bad. Cap should continue to rise so the Pack should be able to maneuver around it and still have money to spend on others.

At least it takes one position of the board as a priority. Now take the best big guy available or best ILB.

4thand1's picture

Shields while covering AJ Green, Josh Gordon, Brandon Marshall and Calvin Johnson in 2013. Gave up 8 catches for 129 yards and 1 TD. Combined.

4thand1's picture

There seems to be some posts not showing up. Have they been deleted?

4thand1's picture

Ooops never mind , found em, lol . I'll get it eventually.

4thand1's picture

Tuesday the real fun begins. At least there will be plenty to talk about. Most people will be happy about Shields, had to have him. Ted's not looking cheap, spend every dime wisely.

4thand1's picture

My favorite atroll must have logged on and disliked every post. Or cowpie.

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