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Packers Reportedly Re-Sign FB John Kuhn to One-Year Deal

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Packers Reportedly Re-Sign FB John Kuhn to One-Year Deal

The Green Bay Packers have re-signed fullback John Kuhn, according to several team and NFL beat writers. The deal is reportedly for one year and worth just over $1 million including bonuses and base salary.

Kuhn is 31 years old and enters his ninth season in 2014. 

For the first few weeks of free agency Kuhn tested the market, but based upon the size and length of his contract, he didn't appear to gain much interest from other NFL teams.

At a position that's becoming less and less utilized in the NFL, Kuhn has found a way to carve out a role with the Packers. His biggest contributions would probably be his pass protection in one-back sets for quarterback Aaron Rodgers with evidence pointing to his chip block of new teammate Julius Peppers in last year's regular-season finale on a play where the Packers scored the game-winning touchdown.

Kuhn also fills a variety of smaller niche roles from lead blocker for Eddie Lacy to short-yardage ball carrier to special team contributor to locker-room leader.

This past season, Kuhn had just 10 carries for 38 yards (3.8 ypc) and one touchdown, which represented his fewest amount of carries since 2008. He also added 13 catches for 81 yards out of the backfield.

While the amount of times Kuhn has touched the football has decreased, his value as a run blocker improved in 2013, ranking second among all NFL fullbacks, according to ProFootballFocus.com (premium content).

Signed to just a one-year contract, Kuhn's long-term outlook in Green Bay would appear to be in question. The Packers may take a year-by-year approach with the fullback position before choosing to go in another direction.

Among the team's 17 unrestricted free agents entering the negotiation period, Kuhn is the sixth to return to the Packers, joining cornerback Sam Shields, defensive lineman B.J. Raji, linebacker Mike Neal, tight end Andrew Quarless and running back James Starks.

Still unsigned are tight end Jermichael Finley, quarterback Matt Flynn, defensive linemen Ryan Pickett and Johnny Jolly, linebacker Rob Francois, quarterback Seneca Wallace and running back Khalil Bell.

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Fan friendly comments only: on Comments (53) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

RCPackerFan's picture

Well that Answers my question. If the Packers would resign Kuhn after they resigned Starks.

Evan's picture

I was a little surprised by how highly his blocking was rated last year. A nice little deal.

Next up: Flynn.

Evan's picture

Also, are we thinking this contract makes him a lock for the final 53?

RCPackerFan's picture

I also thought the same thing Evan.

I think he will be on the 53, but I'm not going to say its a lock.
If Lacy, Franklin, Harris prove to be much improved as pass blockers, do they cut Kuhn then? Possibly.

Idiot Fan's picture

It's hard to imagine them keeping 4 RBs plus a FB, although maybe it will depend on how many TEs they have on the roster. I would think it's certainly possible that he gets cut depending on how things shake out in camp.

Or, more likely, we'll have, like, 15 guys get hurt in camp and it won't be an issue.

Evan's picture

They kept 6 RBs in 2011 (the year they had 3 FBs). So, 5 isn't out of the question. And this year's 5 would be far and away more talented than those 6. Remember Dimitri Nance?

Idiot Fan's picture

Three FBs, oy, I had locked that memory away in my "Repressed Packer Memories" section of my brain, along with trading up for BJ Sander.

Yeah, I guess it all comes down to how each position group shakes out. Every year there's one that is larger than you would expect. And unless we have an unexpected offensive turn in the draft, it probably won't be TE or WR this year. So maybe.

Evan's picture

"Repressed Packer Memories"

Exactly where it belongs. I mean, seriously, what the hell, Ted...

Evan's picture

Correction: The 3 fullback year was 2009.

L's picture

I agree with both of you.

Him making the team is probably dependent on several things; his willingness to be a key special teams leader and ability to get the job done well there, how D.Harris bounces back from a missed season last year due to injury, how improved the other RBs are in pass blocking, how many TEs they end up deciding to keep, plus the ability for those kept TEs to lead block for the RBs especially in short yardage situations.

Regardless, I'm glad to have him back as he's a true competitor and thankful it won't cost the Pack a future financial penalty beyond this year if he can't make the 53. I also think this might be the kind of deal they look to bring back M.Flynn, J.Jolly, and R.Pickett on.

HankScorpio's picture

I'm glad Kuhn is signed. If a guy is going to only do one thing well, protecting the franchise QB would be the one thing that holds the most value, IMO.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

I'm glad, but personally surprised, that they signed john Kuhn. I don't think there is room, with all the running backs they now have. I'd be surprised if they all made it. JMO

Evan's picture

5 RBs would be a lot, I agree - but it's definitely possible.

It would only be 1 more RB than last year and they can take that roster space from TE, for example. Last year they kept 4 TEs, I could see 3 this year: Quarless, Bostick and a rookie.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Evan, Yeah that makes sense. I sure would like to see 1 Speed Demon in that backfield. We had a guy some years ago from ILL State, I think?? Can't remember his name? He didn't hang around long, but he could fly.

phillythedane's picture

LeShon Johnson, Northern Illinois. He was living proof that there is a lot more to NFL running backs than 4.2 speed.

4thand1's picture

In my neck of the woods, we called him the blur.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

[email protected], Just saw the post. Thanks for the reply. Leshon Johnson, that's right. What ever happened to him? My memory is fading. Seems to me, he didn't get much of a chance at GB. We must have had Dorsey Levens. You can talk about Bullet Bob Hays all you want. I'm 66. I believe LeShon Johnson is the fastest football player I've ever seen. 4thand1 was right, when he called him a Blurr. Does anyone know what the deal was with him? I can't remember. If he was No Good as a Running Back, couldn't someone make a Wide Receiver out of him? I don't think there's ever been a Corner in the league that could come anywhere's close to keeping up with him. I think we drafted him. If my memory is right, he led all Division II schools in rushing. Does anyone know what happened to him??

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Tom B. Just looked him up. SORRY I DID!! LVT

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Tom B. Nothing to do with you. I'm an Animal lover. He was involved with Dog Fighting. Another Mick Vic. That was enough for me.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Stroh, I can't believe someone didn't make him a WR. From what I can remember, the guy was lightning fast. I don't think anyone could have stayed with him.

Having said that, After reading up on him, I could care less now what happened to him. I think the same of him, as I do of Mick Vick. Nothing!!
Anyone involved with Dog Fighting, is Worthless.

Ibleedgreenmore's picture

We had how many injuries last year, sign them if they get hurt then we have great support.

Dave Van Allen's picture

I wonder of Franklin will be released prior to the final cut down to 53. If McMillian can get the axe, I don't think that Franklin is immune.

Pass pro will be one factor that all the backs are ranked on. Franklin is fast and shifty, but that doesn't seem to have gotten him much so far.

Evan's picture

Cut after 1 injury shortened year? I'd be shocked.

Even McMillian got 2+ years and he never showed anything close to what Franklin has thus far.

Jordan's picture

Why would you think Franklin would be cut? Fumbles in Cincinnatti? If you re-watch that game, it was a lot more than Franklin having fumbling problems that day. Packers defense handed McCarthy and the offense that game, but McCarthy, Rodgers, and offense blew it. Packers should have scored 45 points that game.

John Kuhn has 13 career rushing attempts in the playoffs. He's fumbled 3 times. In the playoffs, Kuhn fumbles every 4th carry. That ain't real good. Playoffs tend to be important games.

Kuhn almost single handedly lost the ravens game last year on a blocked punt butter fingers. Also in that Ravens game, Kuhn had a wide open check down where he had to run 3 yards for a first down....and nobody was within 10 yards of him. He's so slow, he couldn't make it 3 yards. He came up 2 yards short. I'm not kidding.

The dude is a veteran and makes rookie mistakes.

4thand1's picture

Every player makes mistakes. Funny you didn't mention what a good blocker he is.

Idiot Fan's picture

Welcome back John. Now let's make sure we don't see any more dumba** special teams plays, ok?

jimtalkbox's picture

Good to see Kuhn is back. Like someone mentioned earlier though, we've got to stop doing those short yardage runs with him. I think running a bootleg or a play action pass off of that could REALLY do some damage.

Probably won't see anything on Flynn until after the draft.

Clay Zombo's picture

Good move re-signing Kuhn, Id rather have him and not need him than the other way around. Pleasantly surprised to see his efficiency blocking in the run game from last season but im sure it helps to have talented RBs to block for.

HankScorpio's picture

"Yeah - Kuhn can pass block... but as soon as the D sees him in the huddle on 3rd down, they know they can send an additional rusher (since Kuhn's no threat catching the ball or running any sort of screen or draw)."
======================================

I bet everyone involved with the Packers offense wishes opposing DCs were as simple-minded as that. Because when Kuhn and the line picks up the blitz, Rodgers is staring down a secondary with holes in it. And good things happen for the Packers.

Unfortunately for the Packers, most DCs are smart enough not to test Kuhn's ability to pick up the blitz that often.

Evan's picture

I fully expect Lacy to be much more of a 3-down back this season.

HankScorpio's picture

You should really pay more attention to things. It's far from "theory" to suggest the Packers offense wants to be blitzed. You can protest all you want. But you'll be wrong.

Which hasn't much stopped you before so have at it...

Evan's picture

Hey now, I'm sure you're attractive, in your own unique way.

Jordan's picture

I agree with you cow.

And get this.....packers are spouting off about how two of the finest RB plays of 2013 was kuhns block to spring lacy vs Dallas. And kuhn's pickup of blitz vs bears. I agree, they were nice plays. But for crying out loud.....Dallas was the 32nd ranked defense. Bears was the 31st ranked defense.

This is all about MCCarthy being set in his ways. He doesn't want to change anything. He considers the Bears and Cowboys defense of 2013 to be equal to the 49ers. I really don't think he gets it. All McCarthy wants to do is point fingers at the defense.

If you want to watch some horrific McCarthy and John Kuhn, flip on the Ravens and Bengals game from 2013 season. Or flip on the most recent one-and-done.

HankScorpio's picture

"He (McCarthy) considers the Bears and Cowboys defense of 2013 to be equal to the 49ers"

=======================================

Yeah, probably not so much.

It's ok to disagree with a choice the Packers make. You're certainly not the only person to think the Packers should move on from Kuhn. But when you wade into the weeds like this, it tends to detract from the point you're making, not help it.

Jordan's picture

"It's ok to disagree with a choice the Packers make."

I don't specifically remember asking you or anybody else if it was "ok" for me to disagree with a choice the Packers made. Maybe I did. I just don't remember it.

When you presume to give me permission/approval on what I can and can't post, it tends to detract from your criticism of my post.

However, just for you Hank, I will elaborate........
Mike McCarthy has done nothing but talk about the defense this entire off-season. If you look at the film against good defenses, it would appear to me that Mike McCarthy has enough problems of his own on offense.......which for whatever reason......he doesn't have much to say.

You should seriously consider investing $25 on NFL Rewind. A condensed game only takes 30 minutes to watch. It might turn those weeds in to freshly mowed grass for ya. ;)

HankScorpio's picture

Jordan,

It wasn't my intention to give you permission for anything. My apologies if you took it that way. In looking back, it was poorly chosen words on my part.

But I find it interesting that you make such a stink about the presumptive nature of my post and then presume to instruct me how I need to conduct myself. I guess it's more a "do as I say, not as I do" kind of thing with you, huh? Or maybe you think two wrongs make a right? Either way, I don't see how I would ever conclude that McCarthy is incapable of telling a good defense from a bad one. I'm just a hack on the internet. He's a professional. I recognize that such basic details would not escape him.

Jordan's picture

Hank,

Read McCarthy's comments in article linked below. McCarthy felt like they (the offense) really accomplished something by beating the Minnesota Vikings.

At the time, Minnesota had the 32nd ranked defense in NFL. The Vikings didn't win a road game in 2013. The Vikings defense almost broke an NFL record for being one of the worst categorically. The Vikings defense ranked somewhere between 30th-32nd depending on how you rank them. Only the cowboys gave up more yards. The Vikings defense surrendered the most points in entire NFL. The Vikings were a 5-10-1 team.

Yet, here we have Mike McCarthy using the Vikings as some sort of gauge. But you say McCarthy is fully aware of the caliber of defense his offense is playing when he evaluates. I don't think so. If you dispute what I'm saying, please provide some sort of evidence supporting your argument.

http://www.packersnews.com/article/20140401/PKR01/304010440/Pieces-place...

HankScorpio's picture

I don't see what you see in the article, Jordan.

But then again, I don't see a Packers HC that can't tell the difference between the really bad defenses of the NFL and the really good defenses of the NFL. And you do. So I guess that's not surprising.

Jordan's picture

It's right there in black and white.

“Coming out of the Minnesota game up there, I felt that we had really hit our stride and we were getting ready to take off,” McCarthy said. “I felt last year’s offense really could have been something special.”

The only thing McCarthy should have "felt" is that his offense put up 37 points against arguably the worst defense in the NFL, and arguably one of the worst defenses in the history of the National Football League. He's using that Vikings game as a frame of reference or gauge of his offense. Which is completely absurd.

Again, what evidence do you have to support your argument? You haven't provided any.

HankScorpio's picture

Jordan,

My evidence is common sense. It's not hard for anyone to see that SF is a better defense than Dallas and Chicago. If a bunch of casual fans can see it, it is common sense that a professional football coach can see it.

Your "evidence" is that McCarthy said he felt good about the offense after playing Minny when asked an entirely different question. His answer said nothing about Dallas, Chicago or SF (which is the point that spawned this tangent), nor does it make any comparison between any of the 4 defenses in question.

Even if it did make a comparison, I wouldn't exactly put a whole lot of stock in quotes given to the media. Coaches say things to the press that may or may not be the whole truth of what they believe. Take Mason Crosby for instance. During his gawd awful struggles in 2012, McCarthy was publicly expressing confidence. It was obvious from the FG attempts he was declining to try that he had lost a ton of confidence in Crosby. You can find all the quotes you'd like but it won't mean a thing to me. I'm cynical when it comes to that sort of thing.

We seem to be spinning in circles here. I'm not a fan of that sort of thing. So I won't anymore. Have the last word if you wish..

4thand1's picture

MM is very smart. He NEVER says anything to antagonize another team and give them bulletin board material.

4thand1's picture

I have an official hater. GOPACKGO, dislike that too. lmao.

Jordan's picture

There's nothing really left to say. It's all right there in black and white.

I'm not going to tell you the similarities of the Bears, Cowboys, and Vikings defenses since they were the three worst defenses in the NFL last year and you've probably already made the connection (light bulb) since your post.

Common sense. Yes, I know everyone on this blog has common sense. They know the difference between a good defense and a really bad defense. Everyone on this blog also knew the Packers weren't eliminated.
But I'm not talking about the common sense of everyone on this blog. I'm talking about Mike McCarthy. ;)

http://www.espnwisconsin.com/common/more.php?m=49&action=blog&r=40&post_...

You want me to send you the video of Nelson picking up McCarthy's challenge flag too? Lol

4thand1's picture

LMFAO. Good one.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Actually, I think Cow is a pretty knowledgable Packers fan. It's just the morose negativity that he throws out there that makes him look bad.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Stroh, Just my opinion, but I'll be surprised if Kuhn makes the final 53. If he does, I'd say he's playing his last year in GB. My thinking is, if we get a, (Hate to say it), GJ's in the draft, he'll be cut. He's a Good Player, a Good Blocker, & knows defense's, but I don't think that will be enough to keep him around, if we find a Gem WR in the draft. LVT Hope I didn't send this 3 times.

PackerBacker's picture

My only issue with keeping him is that it's a lot of the roster in the backfield. YOu have 5 RB/FB's and (assuming) 3 QB's. That's 8 players or 15% of your roster.
The only reason I could see keeping Kuhn is that they aren't sure if the "Used car salesman" is going to be the same type of player he was before he was hurt. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see them keep all of them or cut Kuhn or one of the other RB's in the final cut.

PackerBacker's picture

If this was last year, I'd completely agree. But I think they got caught with their pants down last year without any viable backup. I could easily see them keeping 3 QB's on the roster and a 6th rounder on the PS.

If they did keep only two, who would you cut (assuming they re-sign Flynn). Do you keep the more experienced backup and Rodger's buddy - Flynn? Or do you keep a prospect for the future who looks to have some up-side - Tolzien.

I personally think they resign Flynn for another year or two and keep both as backups. Maybe even pick up a 6th or 7th rounder and keep them on the PS.

I don't think MM wants to ever go through the problems they had this year ever again. And he shouldn't, that and the Safety situations were probably the most obvious lapses in judgement I've seen under the MM / TT era.

4thand1's picture

Peppers thanked Kuhn for getting him out of Chicago.

Horse's picture

Kuhn carried 10 times last season. He didn't get re-signed for 10 carries + 13 receptions @ $1M. He got re-signed because he ran the line while AR was out, he has encyclopedic knowledge about reading Ds and blocking that's invaluable to the young RBs and other stuff that almost no one here has mentioned. You cannot draft that. Plus, when you absolutely have to get a yard, KUUUUHHHHNNNN.

BubbaOne's picture

TT signed 6'0 250lb FB Ina Liaina, 24, in Jan. He spent part of 2013 w/ the Dolphins.

Kuhn will have to win the FB job to make the 53. TT will not keep him just for ST.

HankScorpio's picture

Virtually every pundit, scout and coach I've ever heard comment on the matter says younger backs almost always struggle in pass protection. For the Packers, protecting Rodgers is the single most important organizational function. 6-2 with him playing and 2-5-1 without him last year tells you all you need to know.

I want to see the Packers keep a better lead blocking FB. Putting someone in front of Lacy that can clear a LB out of the hole would be helpful to run game production. Kuhn is not very good at moving people, even tho he can stalemate them. I would hate to see them sacrifice their best pass blocking back to do so. That just doesn't strike me as the right way to go for a pass orientated team with a franchise QB. I would rather them sacrifice the 4th RB and keep 2 FBs among the 5 backs that I view as a normal roster allotment. Let Kuhn mentor Lacy and Liaina (or whoever else) in pass protection for a year. Then re-evaluate the situation for 2015.

I would be fine with stashing the 2nd FB on the practice squad, too. But I'd rather have that guy suiting up for STs and 4 minute offense/short yardage in all 16 games than keeping a 4th RB that won't sniff the field except in injury emergency to the top 3 runners.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I thought Kuhn was looking for more $. At $1 million or so, and since he will be active on game days, Kuhn probably makes the team, but I don't think he is a lock. The article mentions some incentives, so I wonder if he signed for the Vet min, or if he got some kind of guaranteed or almost guaranteed money via Signing or Roster bonus, or workout bonus.

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