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Packers Should Think Like The Patriots

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Packers Should Think Like The Patriots

Free agency is underway in the NFL and crazy money is already flying around.  The Green Bay Packers, surprising to no one, have not participated in the "funny money" portion of the program.  But there are still areas that the team and general manager Ted Thompson have to address.  Some pretty big areas, in fact.

With the release of Sam Shields, the loss of Micah Hyde, and regression in the play of both Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins, cornerback has become a position of greater need than previously hoped.  There is always the chance that Randall and/or Rollins both make a leap in year three, but that's not a sure bet.  

There have been talks between the Packers and Davon House to bring House back after two years in Jacksonville.  That's fine for depth, but after a dismal 2016 season, it's not certain that House is enough to shore up the corner position.

So what other options do the Packers have to add talent at cornerback?  

Let's remember that the Packers also have other needs.  Despite the re-signing of Nick Perry, they still need another pass rusher or two and they may be quite thin on the offensive line with J.C. Tretter already gone and if they don't bring T.J. Lang back.  With one pick in each of the top three rounds, it's going to be hard for Green Bay to assuredly land an immediate starter or impact player who might replace one or more of those areas.  It's fair to expect that of a first rounder, but beyond that is a big gamble.

With that in mind, the Packers and Thompson would be wise to minimize both the needs and the risk of adequately addressing them.  One crazy idea that will have most of you rolling your eyes immediately involves a scenario that is possibly the most unlike Thompson that we have seen in his 12 years in Green Bay.

The New England Patriots recently placed a first round tender on cornerback Malcolm Butler.  That means that Butler will earn at least $3.91 million for the 2017 season, assuming that New England doesn't sign him to a longer deal.  It also means any team who were to sign Butler would have to forfeit a first round pick to New England if the Patriots decide not to match the contract.  

It was reported yesterday that former Buffalo Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore will be signing a five year, $65 million contract with the Patriots.  The deal includes $40 million in guarantees and reports were that Butler wasn't happy about the signing.  New England had previously indicated to he and his agent that they wouldn't be spending that type of money on a cornerback.  

With Butler seemingly unhappy, he could be on the move via a trade.  The latest rumor is Butler to New Orleans for receiver Brandin Cooks.  Another scenario is that a team (say, oh, the Packers, for example) signs Butler to a deal and the Patriots pass on matching and opt for the first round pick.  New England has put themselves in a good position to extend Butler or be well-compensated.  

It seems absurd to think that Thompson would part with any of his precious draft picks let alone a first rounder, right?  It's also likely going to take a multi-year deal and some big money for the Packers to woo Butler away and for the Patriots to decline to match.  None of those factors make this very realistic.  Who would do such a thing?  The Patriots would.

Bill Belichick is always wheeling and dealing.  His team just won a Super Bowl but he's not content to just bank on a slew of rookies and guys who were making sandwiches yesterday.  He's out signing one of the top free agents on the market and looking to trade for one of the league's better receivers.  He's not afraid to let good players go when he can maximize return and he's not afraid to take risks.  If Belichick were the one tasked to address the Packers cornerback position, we can already see how differently he would do it than will Thompson.

The Packers will likely use one of their first few picks on a defensive back and hope that a rookie can come in and be a strong contributor right away.  That's not a sure bet, especially picking late in each round.   Or they can go hard after a guy and spend a first round pick (nearly an early second) on a player who is still young (Butler is 27) and proven.  A player already known to be worth that high of a pick.  That's a better bet.

This entire idea makes me sound like I don't know or understand Ted Thompson at all.  Believe me, I do.  I know this thought process alone is enough to get me fitted for a straight jacket.  But I have reached the point where I don't see the Packers getting over the hump and back to a Super Bowl until they do something big and different.  

In 2009, the Packers switched to a 3-4 defense and they traded back into the first round (a trade made with the Patriots) to select Clay Matthews.  A year later, they were Super Bowl champions and Matthews was a key part of that 2010 team.  Those changes and different approaches got the Packers a better result.

The Packers aren't likely to do this (even though I know they regularly read our site) but it's at least an idea to shore up a big area of need and minimize the risk of an early round bust.  With a deep class of pass rushers, they can likely still find a pass rusher or two later on.  I know, I know.  I'll keep dreaming.

 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (91) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

slit's picture

1 TJ Lang (Barclay = puke)
2 Jared Cook
3 Connor Barwin
4 2nd tier FA CB
5 Davon House

Do it, Ted

The TKstinator's picture

Would "thinking like the Patriots" include signing Martellus Bennett?

gr7070's picture

The Pats would never give away their first round pick to sign an OK player.

The Pats *would* trade a reasonable draft pick for a high quality player in the last year of his deal. Get the value of his play that year, let him walk for a big FA contact, and then gain a compensatory pick almost as good as they gave for him. (Bennett)

They *would* also trade for an underrated player whose advanced metrics look great for the last many years, and his current team prefers another at his position. (Allen)

If you're going to write about what smart things the Pats would do at least pick something that is actually smart and something they might consider.

Both of these are the kinds of things the Packers should be doing. Especially the first one; that's free money.

croatpackfan's picture

Jasone, can you name anything sure (certain) in this world. Lets say, TT listen to you and sign Butler. In first preseason game Butler torn his, lets say, ACL and he is done for the season. What Packers have? Still the "problem" in their secondary and no 1st round pick in 2018 draft.
I can not imagine the words people will put in their comments here against TT if that scenario happened. I really can not...

jasonperone's picture

Death and taxes?

The scenario you pose with the ACL tear and lost draft pick (my thinking was actually for them to trade this year's first and consider Butler their "pick") can happen to any player so the Packers aren't risking anything more with that line of thinking. I do agree it's an out-of-whack idea. But this team needs to do different things than they have been

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Teams in our tough cap situation can't give up a cheap rookie from a loaded CB draft to pay big ft or a veteran.

No way.

Ryan Graham's picture

I mean with this mindset lock your doors and don't leave the couch because any risk you may take is too risky...

croatpackfan's picture

Jaguars sign CB A.J. Bouye to 5-year deal worth $13.5M/year

Well when you lose player like this, it is more than when you lose draft pick. Because it cost you $13.5M and (in case of Butler) 1st round pick. And 13.5 mil is the amount which makes you almost imposible to sign somebody else... Butler will not command that amount of money, I agree, but he is not A. J. Bouye, too. Also, it looks more convenient to sign House without losing 1st round pick and House will come cheaper...

Bert's picture

If the Patriots win another SB next year does it really matter how much they spent on Gilmore and how many comp picks we got? NO!!!!

Lphill's picture

Cook and maybe Lacy should have been re signed before free agency started, this seems to me that Cook will not return . I think his value goes up now and other teams are looking for tight end help . Good job Ted.

cuervo's picture

For all we know Ted maybe has tried to work out a contract for Cook, and it has hit a "snag". We have no idea what really goes on behind the closed doors at Packerland.

Nick Perry's picture

I think you're right. The contracts teams are giving to TE's right now are ridiculous. Walter Camp Football list each FA signing and the contract details. I'm shocked at some of the contracts these guys are getting, guys who were 2nd and 3rd string TE's are getting $4 million a year!

I have a feeling Cook is gone. If Levine Toilolo signed for 3 years and $12 million or Dion Sims signs for $18 million over 3 years, $10 million guaranteed, what do you imagine Cooks agent is asking for?

I'm very curious to see what this roster ends up looking like come opening day. I don't think we'll know till a few weeks after the draft when Ted makes his picks and perhaps brings in a player or 2 from the cuts a scraps of Free Agency.

Side note.... Tretter signed for 3 years and $16.5 million. I'm sorry but that seems VERY affordable. If Thompson doesn't want to pay a close to 30 TJ Lang to a contract for almost double that, then why and the hell did Tretter get away??? It can't be injuries because we just gave Perry how much money? Sorry I don't get letting Tretter go.

Ryan Graham's picture

I noticed all the TE contracts too. It's insane, literally. I don't understand it. Especially with how deep this class is! It's classic mediocre team moves being made. Atlanta included, I see them regressing personally.

I also agree on Tretter. You would think this here is a prototype Ted Thompson guy. Can play every position in the line left to right at an efficient level, and at that kind of money?! Very bad move by Ted. Hey, but we retained Barclay...

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Nick, Tretter took a lower AAV in return for 39% guaranteed - $6.5M over 3 years. In addition, $3.5M of his 2nd-year salary (for 2018) guarantees on the 3rd day of the 2018 league. So if manages to stay healthy for 2017, 61% of his deal is guaranteed.

Tretter's deal is affordable, no doubt. It is also mostly guaranteed. Looks to me like a guy who is not willing to roll the dice on his health. Certainly, the team wasn't either. Not having played more than 45% of available snaps in any of his first 4 seasons will have that effect on teams.

I view Tretter as a back-up to Linsley. Probably isn't worth $5.58M AAV as a guard (heck, I don't think he can play guard as well as Taylor). Sure as heck isn't worth that as a utility back-up. Take the 5th round comp, which is in some danger of being a 6th rounder.

dobber's picture

THANK YOU!

The likely reason TT "let Tretter go" is because the consensus of the coaching staff and management was that he couldn't play guard at the level they felt they needed or at a level that merited the pay it would take to keep him...and, you know, injuries. There's a difference between not playing--which means you're locked in behind someone--and not being available...which fits him more than the not playing thing.

Nick Perry's picture

I couldn't find the guaranteed portion of his contract though I didn't look that hard. I only saw the 3 years for $16.5 million. I also don't know what he's worth as a guard, but the guy is awfully athletic and thought he could be a Guard.
At the end of the day I think his best position is Center. I like both Tretter and Lindsey as Centers and don't see a huge difference between the two. Maybe the Packers RG isn't even on the roster yet. Funny thing about all these contracts.... You hear the owners whine about the cost of players contracts yet the people they hire are the ones setting the market. Look at the TE market for example. With THOSE contract's handed out so far a player with some actual talent like Cook is going to be so far overpriced it's ridiculous.

Now I hear talks have broken off with Cook. Not a good start to Packers fans Friday morning but I can't blame Thompson for not forking over big bucks to a guy like Cook.

Another draft choice we'll have to use on a TE. Going to need to draft one in 2nd to get one of the goods ones, might even have to move up.

badaxed's picture

Barclay does not belong in the nfl.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Excellent post. Losing Tretter for that amount was bad. Should have kept him. Outside of that, I like our moves. If we don't re-sign Cook, this draft is loaded with athletic TE's who can stretch the seam.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Excellent post. Losing Tretter for that amount was bad. Should have kept him. Outside of that, I like our moves. If we don't re-sign Cook, this draft is loaded with athletic TE's who can stretch the seam.

packerbackerjim's picture

Well thank God we have Richard Rodgers

caruso81's picture

You know, the market is the market. Yes, these first few days are nuts, but if 2017 is paying TEs that kind of money, it's quite possible that's what it will take to sign a decent TE in 2017. Ted's problem is that he thinks he can dictate the market, and so the only guys he can sign are three months from now when their cost falls to the level he thinks makes sense in"Ted Land." You think trades and high end FAs can't work? Remind me who just won the Super Bowl again and who just landed a top FA yesterday?

Ferrari Driver's picture

Agree with the Tretter comment, especially considering his age, brains, and versatility to play both center and guard and tackle in a pinch.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Make no mistake, Nick: If Tretter indeed can play OG, we should have signed him pronto IF we could. His price is likely 50% to 60% of Lang's tab.

Two issues:

1. Can Tretter start at OG?
2. Did Tretter prefer to go elsewhere to start at OC instead of OG?

I don't know and I have no way of knowing.

Donster's picture

Well after day 1, those that thought TT would make a big move in FA have been proven wrong. Perry isn't a big move, it is just retaining a player you already have for a large amount of money, who has had an injury filled career, and only one good season under his belt. He doesn't make an offer to Hyde, and poof he is gone. Tretter is gone. But he re-signs the worst lineman on the team, Barclay. He may try to bring back Davon House, who sucked last year. Lang is as good as gone. Possibly Lacy will be in Minnesota. If so, then were down to one running back with less than a year of starting experience in Montgomery. Cook should already be re-signed. But TT is penny pinching as always. So he is risking loosing Cook too. Good old TT. Gotta save money for "next year". The team in one day has actually regressed from last year. Thanks TT. How many UDFA's will be on the team this coming season? Five? He is going to rely on them and his draft choices to "make the Packers Super Bowl Champions". Riiiiight.

Ryan Graham's picture

Believe me I'm no Ted Thompson advocate. He's made 2 moves in his career that made it and that's trading up to get Rodgers and then trading up to get Clay, who is on his down slide at this point. But at the same time it's too early to panic. Hyde is replaceable, not worth 6M a year for five years. Cook sees back up TES getting paid 5M a year because bad teams are panicking and all of a sudden thinks he's worth 8. He was a key instrument last year no doubt but I would be taken back if he was signed to anything more than 5M. It's a ways left until June 1st, players will get cut. Ted will make his moves then. Hopefully he won't make the wrong ones. It's the life of a Packer fan we are all familiar with this song and dance.

Razer's picture

Level headed. Let's face it, the growing cap space has given teams way too much money to throw at average guys. You can't have a roster full of 6 million a year average guys. Free agency is ideal for Tretter and Hdye and they will be solid for the their teams.

Jared Cook will be our biggest loss in this process because teams will drive his price up to crazy levels. Pick your poison.

dobber's picture

"You can't have a roster full of 6 million a year average guys."

The natural fallout of that is draft and develop. You're using the bulk of your cap to pay the key players on your roster and allowing the draft to fill in the blanks. The important part is making sure that you're finding the right guys and paying the right guys. This is where the Packers are currently running into issues.

Packer_Pete's picture

In all fairness, he also signed Woodson and Pickett, who both were significant contributors to the SB. So it's not just 2 moves...

Hyde may have been overpaid by the bills, but he was the one who was the band-aid for an open gashing wound on D - who can be that one now? Don't see anybody on the current roster. DB is in shambles. Basically all hopes are on Randall or Rollins or both making a big jump next season, drafting a rookie who can play right away, and maybe signing a 2nd or 3rd tier FA.... Not a good plan IMHO.

daveh's picture

TT, is an arrogant, egotistical. He thinks every player he picks is all pro.regardless. He doesn't want anyone to tell what he should do. He is living off the Super Bowl of 2010. I have in all honesty given up the 2017 season is going to be a bust..hope I am wrong..Ted. to be gone.at the end...

croatpackfan's picture

Well, as Ted Thompson responsible for his actions, it seems to me logical that he himself decides on such procedures. I doubt that it came to this position by doing what others demanded of him, thinking how they do or know better than him. Well, maybe I'm wrong, because, judging by the amount of your downvotes obviously my observations are not correct ...

packerbackerjim's picture

Well he did re-sign Don Barclay!

croatpackfan's picture

Martellus Bennett! I TOLD YOU SO!

Bearmeat's picture

Of course TT and MM should try to think like BB. But they're not as good as him - both have their ruts. TT is stuck in Draft and Develop only mode and MM is stuck in his offensive scheme. Not to mention Dom Capers still being around.

Our team is good. It's not and never has it been, a dynasty like the Pats. Ugh.

Razer's picture

Well said Bearmeat. The Patriots win because Belichick and his coaching staff are the best at what they do. TT and MM just can't think as big as BB. It is amazing what they have done, have 67 million in cap space and no big holes on their roster. Boys to men (or man).

Matt Gonzales's picture

You ever notice how the comparison is always to BB when people talk about roster mastery? That is because NOBODY (not just our staff) matches the level of the hoodied one.

The Pats also have one of the softest divisions in football, AND play in the AFC where there is much less parity (you could argue the lack of parity is due to their dominance, but I think it goes both ways to an extent). Not saying the NFCN is a bunch of studs, but our division has had 2 teams in the playoffs several times in recent years. Looking at the NFC as a whole only 1 team has appeared multiple times since our 2010 victory, and that was the Seahawks (and look how far they've regressed since the FA train caught up and they finally had to pay their QB).

We don't know what, if anything, our departed or as of yet unsigned FAs have been offered. It's not like they only work on one contract at a time and refused to negotiate w those players because they hadn't gotten Perry signed yet.

Christopher Gennaro's picture

To further your point, the pats just traded down 5 or so, flipped a 2nd for a 3rd, and landed Kony Ealy, of the Panthers. This basically replaces Jabaal Sheard, with younger cheaper player. These types of moves rarely ever happen in football.

dobber's picture

This really was an amazing move.

GBPack's picture

Pass on the Butler idea. He's already 27, which surprises me, and the CB pool for the draft has never been deeper. We can get an immediate contributer.

Ted is already boning up this free agency period by not sticking to his own philosophy. He let's Tretter and Hyde walk for peanuts. Two very solid, young, glue guy type players that you need to have on a roster. I'm amazed he didn't try to match those offers, and in Hyde's case, not even offer anything at all!

Logan Ryan signs with the Titans for $10 mil annually. Another player we should have been kicking the tires on. That's a very reasonable deal.

Short of signing Dont'a Hightower, this will be a disappointing free agency period. NEED to resign Cook, and would like to see Lacy back on a modest deal. At this point let Lang walk and slide Spriggs in at guard. Maybe he'll sign for an amount that will at least net us a decent comp pick, unike the Hyde and Tretter deals.

Used to be a huge TT supporter and now I've lost faith. Murphy needs to grow a pair and get someone in there who can get us out of neutral.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Letting Hyde walk was the single best move Ted could have made. If you want us paying $6 million/year for our 4th best safety, I am very glad you aren't handling our cap.

GBPack's picture

Except he's not just a safety, and he was the only one making plays in that secondary down the stretch. You pay for versatility and steady play, and $6 mil annually with the cap being as high as it is is a modest price. Also had value as a punt returner. Severely underrated player and worth the contract he got, IMO. Agree to disagree I guess.

Matt Gonzales's picture

Agree with this. I think we see how why GB was slow walking some of their other negotiations, but I'm still disappointed Hyde ended up as essentially a cap casualty. If our corners had put up the shameful performance they did WITHOUT injuries, I'd call letting Hyde walk criminal. However, our top two DBs this year played most of last year banged up (one of them playing after groin surgery), so you have to hope some fresh blood will take some pressure off them and give them a chance to blossom.

Ulysses Ward's picture

Mr. Perone, you hit the nail right on the head. The Packers will never get over the hump with with another super bowl until they think like the Patriots and a proven coach like bellichek. The president and administration of the Packers are walking around with horse blinders on thinking let ted be.ted....sad site

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I floated this very idea before BB put the tender on Butler. I had hoped he'd use the 2nd round tender, but It is a first rounder.

That is too much. Butler has been crying publicly about getting the tender instead of a long term deal (remember that Shields did the exact same thing, so Butler isn't necessarily gong to be a cancer on the team.

If you can get Butler for a discount since it would be an extension of a guy who is a RFA, it might be okay. The extension could use the $3.9M salary in 2017 as a base, add a signing bonus plus guaranteed roster bonuses for future years. However, TT could just sign a solid #2 like Amukumara and keep the first rounder. I still like Cockrell, by the way.

Point of your article is solid. BB had Logan Ryan and Butler. He lets Ryan walk, signed Gilmore for huge money, trades for a TE to replace Bennett., and tried to flip malcontent Butler for malcontent Brandin Cooks.

NE is a super bowl champion with lots of cap space. Can't be done any better than that.

Ulysses Ward's picture

Then the packer resigned Don barclay, more sacks for Aarons rodgers. Clumy OL

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Barclay is depth. Move Bulaga inside and start Spriggs at RT.

phillythedane's picture

I like that idea, for a number of reasons. Good one, ALP.

Ryan Graham's picture

Ideally that is a good idea. I think it was all part of his plan for letting Lang walk this year. But both Lang and Tretter walking...now there's a problem. Not to mention Spriggs had physicality and strength issues coming in. So you lost Tretter, Lang is obviously trying to get paid -probably will get paid by the seahawks- you resign a mediocre Barclay at best, and start a questionable Spriggs or Kyle Murphy whom we know nothing about. I'm not saying it won't work...but that's a reach as far as talent and depth is stated.

dobber's picture

I don't think the starting RG for the Packers is currently under contract. It could be Lang, but while I'm intrigued by the possibility of moving Bulaga inside and letting Murphy and Spriggs battle it out on the right side once they've had an offseason in an NFL weight room, I don't think you move a guy who was playing as well as Bulaga was last fall if you can help it...especially not to G. I think you're better off plugging in someone (not named Barclay) at G and leaving Bulaga outside.

Bert's picture

I wouldn't consider Barclay "depth" unless you actually don't mind seeing him on the field and trying to protect the franchise (#12). I personally shudder every time I see his number on the field.

Razer's picture

I like both Hyde and Tretter and they are both middle of the road guys that earned inflated FA contracts. If we would have put up $30 million for Hyde with 8 mil signing and 14 mil guaranteed fans would have been crying about another slow millionaire on a below average secondary. With Clinton Dix coming up for an extension and Burnett sitting on a big contract and Hyde not a corner - well...

Tretter has played like a dozen games and has spent more time rehabbing than any other Packer. Pay him 17 million to sit behind Linsley or talk to the trainers?

Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Totally agree on Hyde.

badaxed's picture

If they are slow let them go. We need speed on this team in the secondary big time.

badaxed's picture

If they are slow let them go. We need speed on this team in the secondary big time.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

1. Don't give up a cheap rookie for an expensive veteran.

2. Don't pay to keep Lang. Bad idea. Too expensive.

3. Don't start Barclay. Move Bulaga inside and start Spriggs at RT.

4. Make solid offers to Cook and Lacy, but don't get crazy.

5. Bring back Datone Jones.

rdent's picture

Datone Jones is a #1 draft pick bust.

Handsback's picture

Jason deserves credit for thinking outside the box. It's just that TT doesn't do outside the box. So he's going to keep his draft picks. They are his gold bars and no way will he release them.

Let's get to Cook. Last year he stayed on the FA market for how long before TT signed him? I think he's giving Cook and his agent time to determine where his market value is and then swing a deal. I don't think Cook wants to play anywhere else because he saw what could happen with a good QB.

I still believe House will be a Packer if he passes the physical and that adds some needed depth to the CB position. As bad as they were last year, Green Bay's CB corp is better then they performed last year. Give them this off-season to get healthy and I think they surprise everyone.

We have seen the ugly money thrown at these o line guys and even an injured Lang is going to have some YUGE offer that TT doesn't want to match. So I'm afraid he may be gone. I only hope the replacement is on the team. This is my biggest concern.

Lacy...I have no idea. Part of me says let another team take him and deal with his weight and injury problems. Another part of me says no way can you let a proven RB slip through. Lots of good RBs in the draft, but do you want to take that risk? Only RBs that are sort of risk free is Murry and Buckhead. Murry being the sledge hammer and Burkhead another Monty type back.

My last FA hope and wish is that the longer he stays on the market, the better chance Green Bay may make a move on him. That's Barwin the OLB released from the Eagles. He can definitly help the Packers and w/o a lot of teams bidding for his service, I could see him grabbed up by the Packers. Also could see Mario Williams get picked up by the Pack if he's willing to do the dirty work of engaging blockers and allowing the LBs to make the plays. Guion is gone, I think , and another DL guy is a need. Mario still has some skills and if he wants to keep playing....it might be his only choice.

caruso81's picture

All of this makes entirely too much sense. Stop it, right now.

Tarynfor12's picture

Thank God the Vikings and Bears and possibly the Lions are still holding the back door playoff entrance open for the Packers.
I know, I know...you have to be in it to win it but the Packers hold and use the same losing ticket year after year. It's like a fake backstage pass....you accept watching the show of others up close.
But let's not have heavy hearts here...you got Perry....yeah, yeah, yeah.

caruso81's picture

And Barclay. Don't forget Barclay!

slit's picture

Anyone else see the contract that Tretter signed, and wonder why the he'll TT didn't bring him back to start at G/backup C? I hope Lang is back, if not, what exactly is TT doing? They'll prob move Bulaga to G and start Spriggs at RT, but who knows how Spriggs will handle that, and God forbid somebody gets hurt & Don Barclay, the human turnstile, has to play. Draft & develop my ass. How about, just cheap.

GBPack's picture

Knowing TT, I thought that would have been his plan for Tretter. Keep the younger, cheaper player and let Lang walk. Guys like Demovsky and everyone else are labeling Tretter as a center only. He'd be fine anywhere on the interior and as we saw he filled in nicely as an emergency OT. Good young player (when he's not hurt), it's a shame we had to let him walk.

cuervo's picture

The Patriots seldom pay anyone top tier money on their roster. With the addition of Johnson, they have him and Gronk as the only two players on their team that are in the top of their positional pay. Brady gladly takes a mediocre pay knowing that will help him long term.

They get rid of players before paying them big money, and get something in return...IE: Jamie Collins. A scenario for Green Bay, would be to trade Clay Matthews to someone for a player or picks or both. Why??? Because you're paying him too much money for mediocre play...the same for Cobb. When you do this you hamstring the rest of your team..and end up where we are...with limited funds to pay decent veteran players, and are instead stuck with playing rookies and UDFA's on too much of your roster.

The Patriots are the only ones that have this figured out....it's amazing no other teams duplicate it.

GBPack's picture

Trying to trade Clay or Randall isn't the same as the Pats trading Jamie Collins or Chandler Jones. Clay and Cobb's market value has severely decreased, while Collins and Jones were/are viewed as top flight and just got paid like it. I doubt any team would want any part of Cobb or Clay's contract right now. If they did, we'd only get a mid round pick at best in return.

cuervo's picture

I agree.....the Pats wouldn't have signed Matthews or Cobb to those riduculous deals....you can look back now, and in hindsight they were overpaid for the most of time those contract have been in place.

dobber's picture

Why do you say that? They just signed Stephon Gilmore to a "ridiculous contract"...in fact, they're gambling that they can let their top TWO CB go from last season (assuming Butler gets dealt) to accommodate this guy, a streaky player in his own right.

Since '61's picture

While I don't necessarily agree about the Butler deal, Jason is 100% correct when he writes that the Packers should think more like the Patriots, at least when it comes to FA. I've stated here in the past that BB is not necessarily a better coach than MM but he is a better GM than TT. He aggressively uses all available approaches to building his team each and every season. He understands that the addition of one or two key players (i.e., Gilmore) can be and often is the difference between winning and losing the SB. TT is always building for the future and managing the cap, which is fine. But BB as GM is thinking about winning now, every season (as a coach), knowing that he will make the player moves next season to win again. For BB, the future is now, for TT it's always 2-3 seasons down the road when all of our draft picks have finished their leaping and are alledgedly developed. Both approaches have their pros and cons, but we have seen the results delivered from both paths. As for the Packers losing Tretter but retaining Barclay makes no sense. Cook should have been signed prior to FA unless he is making outrageous demands, which he will now after seeing what other no name TEs are signing for. We've lost Hyde (although I would not have paid $30 mil for him) and now we are considering House for depth. We already have depth with Randall, Rollins and Gunther. What we need are actual starting NFL CBs, not more depth. We can still sign Lang and Cook which would keep the offense mostly intact and reduce our draft day needs. Imagine Cook signing with Chicago or Detroit and coming back and running all over our defense 2X a year, no thanks. We can only see what the next few days bring and hope. Thanks, Since '61

dobber's picture

With all due respect, Since '61, the "Cook should have been signed by now" argument is old and, frankly, not true.

Cook took a one-year deal a year ago (when the Packers were offering two) so he could play out 2016 with a marquee QB and then test the market before he hits 30. It was a shrewd move on his part, and a gamble as he was trading off short-term security for long-term payoff. The only way he's signed at this point is if the Packers offered him significantly more than market value to buy out his ability to test the market. They would've had to pay him more than he thought he was worth. Anyone who thought Cook would be signed prior to the start of FA just isn't reading the pieces of the puzzle.

...and for those who are constantly arguing, "oh, what's $1M against the cap per year to keep player X. That's chump change against the cap." Fine. Every time you go to the store this week, hand the cashier an extra quarter for every item you buy. It's likely to be chump change against your income...that's 2017. Next week, hand that cashier two extra quarters for every item you buy...that's 2018. It adds up, folks. There are times when you need to hand over that extra quarter...but you can't do it every frickin' time.

Seriously...Tretter and Hyde are wholly replaceable. We're getting bent out of shape over a backup C and the 4th CB/3rd S on this roster. Cook has serious value--he's likely worth the quarter--but he wasn't going to sign until he saw what that quarter was going to be on top of. Remember how late the Packers signed him a year ago...

IN Edit: we can complain about Barclay, but signing him isn't anointing him as a starting G or even guaranteeing him a spot on the roster. Wholly cuttable just like 30+ of the 90-something bodies that will be in camp come July.

Ryan Graham's picture

Agreed Dobber. Cook was good catching balls from arguably the most accurate qb in the league. He chose to only sign for a year. It's on him now..does he want to stay and perform at a high level with one of the best, or test. He's wanting to test right now...but I have a funny feeling he's gonna change his mind soon. Getting balls from Tyrod Taylor, Mike Glennon...even Matt Stafford can't compare although he's a threat to actually pick him up. That's the worst case scenario, then you draft. best case is he comes back cheaper than what was last proposed.

packerbackerjim's picture

So TT's fallback position is Richard Fucking Rodgers who can't block and is mediocre offensively. I will guess AR is really hot.

JHitTheB's picture

Um. Mr Belichick has:
14 Division Titles
11 AFC Championship appearances (7 wins)
5 SB wins in 7 appearances. SINCE 2000.

He also has 2 SBs with the Giants and another SB appearance with the Patriots in 96. (They lost to GB)

Not to mention all the personnel he turned into future NFL head coaches. The man is THE GOAT. Sorry Lombardi. Truth is truth. McCarthy does not even remotely come close to holding a candle to Belichick

daveh's picture

The old adage " you get what you pay for"

daveh's picture

This morning Cleveland Plain Dealer reports J.C.Tretter deals is for 3 years 16.75 million, didn' the mentioned guarantee money

daveh's picture

Sorry just read where Trotter is guarantee $10 million

dobber's picture

I agree with the sentiment: be creative and flexible in your personnel philosophy. But by the same token, you need to be yourself. When you're not working in a way that fits what you do naturally, you're going to make mistakes...at least, more mistakes than you normally would. If "thinking like the Patriots" were all it took, why isn't every team doing it? Goodell would get what he wants because everyone would finish 7-9, 8-8, or 9-7. The NFL is a copycat league: there are probably more than a dozen teams out there trying to "think like the Patriots"...it's really only working for one of them.

Rossonero's picture

Do you think the Packers are being stingy in order to roll over more money next year for big contracts for Davante Adams and possibly Morgan Burnett? I'd imagine they'd just exercise the 5th year option on Clinton-Dix.

dobber's picture

I'm not convinced they're going to try very hard to bring Burnett back, but you're right: they're going to have to pay Adams and HHCD...and Linsley.

Rossonero's picture

Good point on Linsley. Lane Taylor will be a FA too.

stockholder's picture

TTs draft just got better. Burnett's gone next year. It would be very smart of TT to draft a Safety! He's had to many problems there since Collins and woodson left. Adams will be gone if he wants money too. With the signing of Bennet. It opened the door for another WR to be taken in round 3. He's going to somehow get the next #1 WR. IF they sign Jones this team can make it to the super-bowl.

Bert's picture

Actually Ted is always kinda "stingy" per se. Just his mode of operations which may or may not be the best way to go. I hope he is very focused on winning a SB 2017 more so than sacrificing 2017 in order to save $$$$ to sign guys in 2018. You could play that game forever given the cap constraints in the NFL.

Razer's picture

Seems like the Packers are trying to hold back the tide in this league. Each year at free agency we slip a bit or at best take one step forward and one step back. This year we will come to the draft weaker than last. Hoping that the draft will fill the holes and put us over the top is wishful thinking.

If not for Rodgers, we would be lucky to be a 500 club. On defense, without a Rodgers, we have trouble being average. Butler isn't the answer but staying this course will get us more of the same.

rdent's picture

I may be mistaken but I read that the Patriots have way more cap space than GB yet continue to win Super Bowls. Personally I can't wait for TT to leave,he has terribly mismanaged this team and was lucky that one SB fell in his lap. BB runs circles around TT as a GM, they say to succeed, copy success,damn right the Packers should think like the Patriots but are miles away under TT.

stockholder's picture

TT chose Perry. It's not the End of Free Agency. While we're thinking super-bowl. TT's thinking Business as usual. The next guy to sign is not Cook. He's to expensive. TT has to let his market cool off. He never drafted him. I think TT makes a offer to Datone Jones. The reason is Guion.

Tundraboy's picture

LOL. Looks like draft and pray this year so far. Backed into a corner for needs on D. Losing Lang, Cook and Lacy would be a huge setback

Samson's picture

You're right. There are no replacements on the roster for any of these you mention, even Lacy. I highly doubt Monty will stay healthy to be a #1 RB.

Samson's picture

The Packers run by TT will never equally compete with the Pats. TT would be long gone except for one pick way back when --- AR. -- TT's been mediocre ever since and needs to make room for Eliot, now.

Mebrooks5291's picture

````
the pack will never be like pats. fire tt and move on from this guy.

Ryan Graham's picture

We got Martellus Bennett. Is that thinking enough like the pats? Or more so a big Eff you to the bears? Who is Jared Cook......?

Bert's picture

Bennett is an EXCELLENT signing!!! Now if Ted can grab Barwin and a vet CB (and hopefully resign Lang) we can be looking pretty good.

Ryan Graham's picture

I keep trying to find the details of Bennett contract because that will determine more of it being a good deal. Anyone know??

JHitTheB's picture

"I keep trying to find the details of Bennett contract because that will determine more of it being a good deal. Anyone know??"

RG - Bennett was signed for 3 yrs/18mil. Not sure how much guaranteed but word is we got him cheaper than Cook. I was hoping we'd keep Cook buuuut I'll take a better player for less money. Now hopefully we can get some help on D.

Houndog's picture

Does anyone have any ideas about what we might get if we traded TT?
A six pack of Bud Light and a bottle of Bali Hai would make it a worthwhile deal, don'tcha think !
No, Okay, you can keep 2 of the Bud Lights! Three? Please?

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