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Poppinga Suggests Young Players in Green Bay Are Being Handed Jobs Without Earning Them

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Poppinga Suggests Young Players in Green Bay Are Being Handed Jobs Without Earning Them

Fox Deportes analyst Brady Poppinga. Photo by Brian Carriveau of CheeseheadTV.com.

NEW YORK CITY––In addition to making Super Bowl broadcast history as an announcer, Brady Poppinga is now in the business of sharing his thoughts on football as an analyst.

To that end, Poppinga had no shortage of opinions this past week on his former team––the Green Bay Packers––and how their defense has gone downhill since the days of winning of the Super Bowl three years ago.

"I think Ted (Thompson) needs to go back to the philosophy a lot like what we're seeing with Seattle, to where you build that defense––especially in my years there––with competition," said Poppinga. "There's not much competition on that defense. That's because there's so many young guys. I mean, they were giving starting spots to guys like Nick Perry, to Jerel Worthy. That never would have happened when I was there, ever."

In 2012, Perry and Worthy––first and second round draft picks of the Packers––played big roles on an underachieving Packers defense before their seasons were ended by injury.

That substandard level of play continued into 2013, in part due to injury no doubt, but also perhaps in part to being given playing time without necessarily earning the right to be on the playing field.

And that's not necessarily to blame the coaching staff of the Packers. If it wasn't Perry or Worthy, it would likely be some other young player, probably one with even less of a pedigree, some lower-round or undrafted type.

It all goes back to the general manager's draft-and-develop philosophy of team building, spurning free agency as a method of procuring talent and instead bringing in rookie after rookie in hopes of uncovering a hidden gem and helping them mature and grow as players.

Thompson has a method to his madness, however. He's not about to mortgage the long-term future on short-term investments. He's tasked with fitting any new players inside a salary cap structure that includes the highest-paid player in the NFL in Aaron Rodgers and the highest-paid linebacker in Clay Matthews.

And that's not to mention the 20 players currently on the roster that are set to become free agents in March. This is no easy task ahead of Thompson this offseason.

But maybe the answer isn't to go out and break the bank in free agency. Maybe it's to fill out the roster with guys who are experienced, who've been around the block before, not unlike what's been suggested by Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"I think they've done it enough through the draft, they have to go through free agency," said Poppinga. "I'm not saying go and get the top guys. But what I am saying is go in there and get some guys that have some clout, that have stripes you could say. And from there, have some kind of, bring a threat to them: If they play well, then they're going to play, to just light a fire up these young guys. So I think he's got to be more active in free agency, period."

One of the teams playing in Sunday's Super Bowl has taken just about the exact opposite approach to the Packers in their team-building ideology.

The Denver Broncos have rounded out their roster by signing a high number of veterans to one-year contracts, some of them playing large roles: Shaun Phillips, Quentin Jammer, Winston Justice, Paris Lenon, Stewart Bradley, Steve Vallos, Michael Huff.

Poppinga also came back to the "toughness" narrative that's been following the Packers ever since 2012.

"There's a lack of toughness overall," said Poppinga. "And I think it's just that they have so many young guys, and not enough leaders. You've got Clay. Morgan Burnett stepped in there as a leader, obviously A.J. (Hawk), guys like Ryan Pickett. But other than those guys, it doesn't trickle down the younger guys I think. I think there's too many young guys."

To Poppinga, the issues the Packers have to fix are on defense, because the offense is in good shape. It's a unit that finished third in the NFL in total offense in 2013. The players on that side of the football aren't the ones to worry about.

"I think offensively, obviously with Aaron (Rodgers) there, you always have a chance to be (successful)," said Poppinga. "And he has playmakers around him. He has a very, very, we could say, a full deck of cards. You talk about offensive weapons with Randall Cobb, James Jones. You've got Eddie Lacy, I think really is going to be a difference-maker. The offensive line I thought played the best year that I've seen since I had been there, which was eight years ago. I think the offensive line played really well, even with Bulaga getting hurt early in the preseason. So offensively, I think they're built to last."

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (146) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jmac34's picture

having more veterans would be nice, but having more veterans won't necessarily make this team better. It's not like GB's "veterans" were the best players on the field this year. I definitely wouldn't call AJ Hawk, Brad Jones or Ryan Pickett good players at this point and Burnett was terrible this year.

nypackfan's picture

Suppose team signs a free agent to a one year contract and then after the contract is up loses him to another club. Is the team still entitled to a compensatory draft pick (assuming the salary is high enough) even though the the player's stay with the team was just one year? Anybody know? If so, this would seem to significantly enhance the benefit of a one year signing, given that the team may get a compensatory pick even if it loses the player a year later. If so, it's surprising that more teams do not pursue this loophole in the compensatory system.

Brian Carriveau's picture

Yes, they would. But there's also another assumption that the team losing such players doesn't go out and sign players in free agency either. You must remember that teams only receive comp picks for losing more free agents than they sign.

I'm not sure I'd really call it a loophole either. Look at all the players under one-year contracts on the Broncos. Out of the players on that list, which ones are going to sign a big enough contract to qualify for comp pick? Shaun Phillips, maybe. And that's it.

Stroh's picture

Phillips signed for barely over a million, and any team that signs him as a FA is only going to pay a 32 yr old LB minimally. Its not like Phillips is going to leave Denver and become a hot commodity on the FA market. He'll probably live out the rest of his NFL career on a series of one year contracts. Plus the compensatory pick isn't in the draft immediately following his signing. Its in the following years draft, which is a long time to wait for a compensatory pick.

jmac34's picture

They would count towards the comp system, but so would signing all of those FA's so signing all of those players would have a negligible affect for comp picks

jmac34's picture

well looks like Brian beat me to it, but yeah what he said

Hank Scorpio's picture

In regards to comp picks...players that are cut for cap reasons do not count toward the comp pick formula. So pay close attention to whether a guy is available because his contract expired or whether his contract was terminated.

Albert Lingerfeld's picture

That is correct he has no plans to take on free agents who costs some money but he is mortgaging the future. Hey the past three years were the future, and the defense has gone down hill all three of those years. Next year looks no better right now.
You can't just look forward and say next year, you have to look bad at the road that's been paved and its not pretty. Its not working

treg's picture

Tend to agree...Look at Seattle and 49ers free agent signings this year. They filled some holes they had at a reasonable price,

Stroh's picture

They also aren't paying their QB's even 1M as opposed to Thompson having to pay Rodgers 20M. Thompson has never had a QB making less than 1M. He had Favre making a franchise QB salary when he took over and then transitioned to Rodgers. Don't you think that extra 15 - 20M is helping Seattle and SF among others gives them a lot of flexibility? Lets see how SF or Seattle is spending on FA when Kaeperdork and Wilson sign their next contracts!

Amazing to me that people don't realize this simple fact!

Arlo's picture

There you go again Stroh.
Forecasting the future like it is all etched in stone. There is nothing that indicates that Kap and/or Wilson will ever break the bank like AR has.

Neither are 1st round picks. Neither have led their team to a Lombardi Trophy. Neither have ever been a league MVP.

Amazing to me that Stroh doesn't realize these simple facts!

Stroh's picture

Saw a projection of Kaeperdorks contract. Expected to be over 19M. Who do you think has earned that? Rodgers his 20M or Kaeperdork his 19M? I didn't make this up I READ it! Do you know how to read? Should try to learn. It'll be a great asset to your miserable life.

cLowNEY42's picture

"Amazing to me that people don’t realize this simple fact!"

yeah - we get this. doesn't mean he couldn't have signed a couple free agents. probably not gonna be able to get a super star. but i'm pretty sure they could have found someone who would have fit under the cap AND been better than Jennings, Richardson, B. Jones, etc.

4thand1's picture

Yes this is true cowutter. But as usual arlo is full of shit. CK and RW will get over 10 times more than they're getting, more in fact.

Bibbon Hazel's picture

COuld have had. Daryl Smith??? Jon BEason?? Karlos Dansby?? Nope Tinkering Ted goes and over pays for Brad Jones!

4thand1's picture

I really like what BP said about competition. Look what it did for Crosby. I've said this already, you have 90 players at the start of TC, sign about 10 safeties and 10 LBer's and let them know its anyone's job to win, reguardless of a contract or not.

Stroh's picture

No offense to Poppinga, but lets not forget that Thompson lost Jenkins, Collins, Woodson, Bishop from recent seasons. Each of them were good or better playmakers and those are vets that would have been starting ahead of the rookies that were "given" starting jobs. Particularly Collins and Bishop since they were in their prime years and suffered unexpected career ending injuries. Those forced Thompson and McCarthy into playing rookies before they were ready or had won the starting jobs. Is it any wonder that Safety and ILB are now the 2 biggest holes on D?! I think not... You simply don't replace guys like that quickly and IIRC those contracts accelerated and ate up cap room that might have allowed Thompson to sign a better veteran as a stop gap for a few years. That's why we're saddled w/ Jennings and Brad Jones in those spots for now.

4thand1's picture

Stroh, don't bring up Jenkins. People are still whining about not signing him. He's ain't done shit since he left GB.

Stroh's picture

I understand he and to a lesser degree Woodson were slightly different due to the fact we chose not to retain/re-sign them. Jenkins was a very good player in '10 but he missed a lot of playing time from '06-'10 and he wanted a bigger contract from the Packers than he ended up getting in FA. I agree he hasn't done much since leaving, just pointing out that we don't have him. Not re-signing him was the correct choice IMO as well.

Jamie's picture

I wonder how much Popingu pays attention if he thinks young players are being handed jobs. The best player plays. If that happens to be a young/raw player, that's just the way it is.

It's not a flawed philosophy, it's just that some of the more recent young players just aren't developing or have had reoccurring injury issues.

4thand1's picture

If you don't play your top draft picks, you'll get roasted for sitting them. Perry #1 Worthy #2. Did Von miller earn a spot? Just 1 example.

Bobby D's picture

I think BP hit it on the head. High draft picks being converted to unfamiliar positions by suspect coaching to start with. Street free agents competing for some of those spots. Mathews a great player, but not the leader the young guys need ala guys like Reggie, Leroy, Woodson etc. There is NO voice of this D, no swagger and no passion.....and unfortunately not a lot of talent either aside from CM and Shields ( and TT will probably let him get away ) again counting on guys like Heyward and Hyde to develop into difference makers in year 2 and 3....how did that turn out with Burnett? Don't expect him to spend wildly, but there are some lower tier lower priced FA that could do wonders for this D. Just wasted all this time, because he won't do shit! Fact is without Favre and Rodgers TT would have been canned a long time ago. Without those HOF qb's this team sucks as witnessed by that lil streak a couple of months ago

WKUPackFan's picture

Agree 100% with Jamie's comment

Bert's picture

It gets to be kind of a numbers game once you reach a point where you have more than 1 or 2 "needs". Let's assume we'll have 9 picks this draft. Now for 2014 only we can assume the most probable outcome from the 9 draft picks:
2 - IR
2 - Cut/PS
3-4 - Make team as ST/BU
1-2 - Start and make an impact

Bottom line is that realistically we can assume that only 1 or maybe 2 of the '14 draft picks will actually make a difference in 2014. The more holes (Safety, ILB, TE, DL, OLB) that need to be filled the less likely it becomes that the draft will provide immediate help. My guess is that we will fill only 1 "need" via the 2014 draft. So unless somebody steps up or we sign a FA or two we will probably be having similar debate next year.

cLowNEY42's picture

Clearly Poppinga, the Broncos, the Seahawks, The 49'ers, and the Patriots have no idea how to build a football team.

Idiots.

Don't they know that signing a free agent automatically means your salary structure is ruined for 100 years?

Losers.

Can't wait to see the Packers' D next season.
Jennings, Richardson, B. Jones, D.Jones, Perry, House... man - the talent is about to EXPLODE!

This is the year all those guys "turn the corner". Draft and develop, baby!

Stroh's picture

Damn right Draft and Develop! Nobody said their way is wrong... Just different. A matter of philosophy. And your correct a couple of the guys you mentioned are in the "turn the corner" category. Maybe not all of them but I expect a couple of them to do exactly that! As has been mentioned Capers scheme is complex and it takes time to learn it and how to play some positions, especially DL and OLB.

Nice that your catching on! (sarcasm)

jeremy's picture

Personally, I think winning the Super Bowl and going 15-2 has made Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy worse at their jobs.

I have seen it happen a lot. Some guy has success and all of a sudden the way they recall doing it is now the only way to do things. They become rigid and stubborn, and the flexibility that lead to their success wains. Everyone waits around for them to repeat their accomplishment, but it doesn't happen. Comments that McCarthy made about how the Packers overcame adversity (2-4-1 without Rodgers, getting destroyed by the Lions), Thompson on signing "their guys" (most of their ~20 FA's are not good football players) are frankly a bunch of baloney and speak exactly to the lack of realism at 1265 right now.

Stroh's picture

I call it having a philosophy. One that has worked for Pitts and has for GB too. If you wanna call it rigid, that's your opinion. I call it sticking to a philosophy that has proven successful!

jeremy's picture

Sure but Woodson and Pickett were huge parts of the success of that Super Bowl team and they were "responsible free agents".

Stroh's picture

IMO Thompson signed Woodson and Pickett to get playmakers at positions of need and make the Packers winners quickly. Schnieder made a couple moves at positions of need to get playmakers and he still has a lot more flexibility due his QB being on a rookie contract. Allowing him to continue to do it a little longer.

Schnieder did what Thompson did his first year or 2 in charge. Get playmakers at positions of need. Thomspon just didn't have the flexibility to continue to do it due to the money being spent on a Franchise QB.

jeremy's picture

Rodgers salary had nothing to do it. They choose to carry 10 million over into this season. They could have afforded an above replacement caliber Safety and decent backup QB.

packeraaron's picture

The Packers have nearly $8 million to roll over to next years cap. They had plenty of space to sign guys had they wanted to.

Hank Scorpio's picture

Matthews and Rodgers signed their extensions shortly before the draft. By then, most of the FA market was picked clean. So while they clearly had the room in hindsight to sign a Safety or ILB, they didn't really know what Rodgers & Matthews would cost when they would have had to make a decision on signing FAs.

Having said that, TT has said he's not more active in FA because you usually have to overpay. That's usually true. But it wasn't last year. Maybe that's an anomaly of a few flat cap years in a row. Or maybe it is a new trend in FA. If it is the latter, I don't see any good excuses to sit things out again this year. Especially with such blindingly obvious need at Safety, ILB and TE.

Stroh's picture

Not as much as you think. Rodgers and Matthews contracts go up by 5M or more next season, so that extra cap space they are carrying over is already spent. That was planned by Thompson/Ball IMO.

Rodgers cap hit goes from 12M this to almost 18M next. And Matthews goes up by 4.4M. Carried over money already spent!

Hank Scorpio's picture

Yeah, Matthews and Rodgers have deals that go up. Just like everyone else. But other deals will be coming off the books. And the cap will be going up, as well. It's been flat for a while but it is expected to jump around $5 mil this year. I think I read.

With the rollover from last year, I think they will have around $30 mil to spend this year. Before any cuts or adjustments. That's plenty of room to account for contract creep on existing deals, re-sign their own to reasonable deals and add a few guys from the vet FA market.

If they sign their own to contracts that resemble the overpriced deals they gave Hawk, Jones and Burnett, maybe not so much.

Stroh's picture

I don't think the cap is going up this year. I heard possibly in '15, but don't know for sure. Anyone know what the projected salary cap is for '14?

jeremy's picture
gary's picture

Stroh your so full of crap. TT only signed WOODSON because lavar Arrington who was his first choice went to the Giants. If the pack had 8 million to offer to the invisible man B.J.Raji then they could use that money to get help from a productive player. Raji, Pickett, Jones, they have to go. We need a safety real bad. We have had Farve and now Rogers back to back. The chances of another excellent QB to follow is slim to none. They have to try and win now. With all the free agents we have, let them go and use that money to sure up our defense.

Stroh's picture

Who cares if it was Woodson or Arrington? Either way he went and got a playmaker. Whether it was Woodson or Arrington they needed a playmaker on D.

Stroh's picture

If he had signed Raji that might make it less likely they get Nelson or Cobb done. Whats your point? At some point every dollar spent on player contracts is accounted for by the salary cap. If your disputing that your a bigger idiot! I'm guessing Thompson is pretty happy right now that Raji didn't accept that 8M per offer. If your disputing that contracts signed one year don't affect the following years, your still wrong!

As it stands right now we don't have a NT on the roster, so they are going to have to find one somewhere. Maybe the sign Pickett for a year or 2, but that's temporary. Whether its Raji, Pickett, a draft pick or a FA its a position of need right now.

Thompson does value his own players more than players from other teams. At least you know what your getting. FA's are as overpaid as Raji would have been and there's no guarantee's in FA either.

jeremy's picture

All I have to say is if Raji is an 8 million dollar NT then why can't he beat out a 34 year old with a bad leg for even one snap at the position?

Stroh's picture

Raji was far better in '10 at NT than Pickett ever was. They wanted them both on the field and figured Raji could play DE better than Pickett after the '10 season and they switched them. Took Raji out of his natural position so they could keep both on the field. Capers or whomever had the brainfart made a huge mistake moving Raji from NT and forcing him to play out of position. Apparently you didn't think he was probably the best NT in the NFL in '10?

jeremy's picture

Well, that was a while ago but I think not in all of 2010, maybe just the playoffs. I would put Wilfork, Ngata and Hampton higher, maybe there are more.

Arlo's picture

"Stroh your so full of crap."

gary

You have to understand Stroh. He enjoys making up stuff to support his points. Facts are not part of his agenda.

Stroh's picture

Arlo... The biggest D Bag to ever call himself a Packer fan in existence. In the dictionary next to Troll is a picture of Arloser!

Phatgzus's picture

"Farve" and "Rogers" eh?

Arlo's picture

Really, the problem with the Pack is fairly easy to see. TT's last 3 drafts have sucked. Even TT admits that in order for D&D to work, you can't miss with TOO many draft picks.

27 draftees. Cobb, Lacy and who?? Throw in Bak & Daniels. That's about it.

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/draft-finder.cgi?reques...

Arlo's picture

Correction --- Make that 29 draftees in the last 3 drafts. The percentage drops even more. Not good at all.

Can only hope a few of the 1st & 2nd rounders show up to play in 2014.

4thand1's picture

arloser is sofa kingdom

WKUPackFan's picture

Hayward?

Hank Scorpio's picture

I hope TT has just as bad of a draft in 2014 as he did in 2013.

Drafting 2 starters, including one named ROY on his side of the ball, and getting another solid contributor would probably mean the Packers are hunting home field throughout the playoffs late in the year.

Arlo's picture

My post was about the last 3 drafts --2011, 2012 & 2013. --- You decided to bring in the 2014 draft (which doesn't take place until May, 2014).

Posters like you will always revert to the straw man defense when they've got nothing. Why even respond unless you're going to make a valid point ??

Hank Scorpio's picture

I think you misunderstood, Arlo.

It wasn't so much a prediction of the future as mocking the premise that 2013 was a bad draft since it produced 2 starters (one was OROY) and a nickel DB that returned some, too.

It was a good contribution from the rookie class by any rational analysis. Since the "rational" part is the key word, I didn't figure it was worth the time to explain why it doesn't get much better than that for a playoff team to you. Rational people already get it. Irrational people won't no matter how I try.

Stroh's picture

Arloser and CowTurd don't recognize anything rational, since they are as far from rational as you can possibly get!

cLowNEY42's picture

So a player is good because they "started"?
How 'bout they "started" because there wasn't anyone better on the roster?

Hank Scorpio's picture

Clowney,

Every starter is the starter because there is nobody better on the roster. That goes for rookies or vets.

Rookies that upgrade starting spots on perennial playoff teams are good picks. That's Draft 101 stuff.

BTW..I, for one, did not offer an opinion on whether anyone in the 2013 rookie class was a good player. In fact, I purposely avoided that. I commented on the contribution of the draft class.

adroge's picture

The packers had money left on their cap because they were trying to sign shields and/or Raji. Had they signed other players it would have compromised their ability to do that. Just because Shields and Raji didn't agree to contracts doesn't change what the packers were trying to do.

Just because the packers have an extra 10mil in cap this year doesn't mean it lasts. It only carries over for this year. If they use all of their cap space this year their cap will then decrease by 10mil in 2015 (depending on what happens with the cap number league wide.)

If the packers sign Shields, Nelson, and Cobb to long term deals that will cost about 20-25 million a year in cap space alone. That's all the money they have. Everybody else other than low end guys will be let go and there is no room to bring anybody else in.

All this talk of free agents comes without anybody getting into the specifics of the money the packers really have and what it is going to take to keep who the really need to keep. The packers are now in the financial position where they are going to lose good players regardless of whether they want to or not. Signing any free agent means they will lose a player of the same caliber off of their own team.

Playing general manager is fun to do, but their is a lot more to it then anybody really wants to get into. That's because if you really got into the specifics you would realize it is way harder and more complicated then what you want to make it sound like. The nfl favors teams like San Fran, Seattle, and Denver. Three years ago all those teams where at the bottom of the barrel. In a year or two the nfl will not be kind to any of those teams.

The sad part of this whole conversation is that if the packers would have been healthy, they would have been as good as any of those teams. You don't think they would have beat the 49ers if they were healthy?

Injuries have been the packers number one issue period. Unless they are able to shake the injury bug the sky is not going clear. Signing anybody isn't going to help anything in you can't keep good players on the field. But people don't want the truth, they want somebody to blame. Bad luck doesn't make for a good conversation, but bad general managers and bad coaches do!!

Arlo's picture

You are in what's called the 'zone of denial'.

GB's just as good as any NFL team but somehow they still finished 8-8-1 ??

Injuries ?? Besides AR, who else really mattered?

Stroh's picture

Packers would have overcome every other injury and finished 12-4 w/ a healthy Rodgers! Add a healthy Finley, Cobb, Matthews, Hayward, Matthews et al, and the Packers are SB contenders. That's how good they are and how good Rodgers is.

Arlo's picture

Rewriting history is just another form of BS. You along with a few others here love to live in your own heads. Make up stuff and somehow all will believe ??

Stroh's picture

And ignoring the simple FACT that Rodgers makes that much of a difference is another form of stupidity!

What do you think the Packers record would have been had Rodgers been healthy?!

It sure as hell wouldn't have been 8-8-1 or 10-6!

Arlo's picture

No matter what is spinning in your head, you can't change or alter history.
Here's a little factoid for ya. (try to change this)

The Pack did NOT beat a team with a final winning record in season 2013, with or without AR.

It's called reality.

Stroh's picture

Here's a little factoid for you. Packers are the only team in the NFL to make the playoffs each of the past 5 years AND win a SB! Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

And all you do is continue to troll the best organization in the NFL! Reality sucks doesn't it?!

Arlo's picture

That's common knowledge. At least you didn't make up something (for once).

cLowNEY42's picture

"It sure as hell wouldn’t have been 8-8-1 or 10-6!"

But they still would have to lost to SF, SEA, NO, CAR, or PHI in the playoffs.

Who give a shit what their regular season record would have been?

They showed (every time they played a competitive team.. above .500...) how they stack up against actual "contenders".

Man - get this through your skulls! The Packers beat bad teams and lose to good ones... BECAUSE THEIR ROSTER LACKS TALENT!!!!!

Phatgzus's picture

"GB's just as good as any NFL team...?"

Now THAT is a straw man fallacy.

cLowNEY42's picture

"You don’t think they would have beat the 49ers if they were healthy?"

Did you watch wk1?

Stroh's picture

"But people don’t want the truth, they want somebody to blame."

Truer words were never spoken! Great comment Adroge.

Bert's picture

Lots of "ifs and buts". Bottom line: "You are what your record says you are". We can't go into a season assuming we won't have any injuries. We played the 49ers pretty much healthy in week 1 and they were missing Crabtree. Kaep and Boldin tore us up. We need to improve the overall roster with better players especially on defense. Let's not go into denial and blame injuries for not making the Super Bowl. Both Seattle and Denver have better teams with better 53-man rosters than we have. Period!

WKUPackFan's picture

The week 1 secondary was missing Hayward and Burnett (who was injured during game week).

Stroh's picture

As usual the naysayers are completely WRONG!

Not very good w/ facts are you Bert?

Bert's picture

Stroh, You are a total goofball. What on earth did Burnett show that you actually think having him against SF would have any difference? As for Hayward? Well maybe a slight difference. The point is you go to such lengths to defend a wrongheaded position it makes you look like a nerd. Crap. We're 0-4 against SF. Get a grip dude.

larry valdes's picture

If we didt have so many injuries we will be playing today in the superbowl but with jennins playing safety position i dont think that we could have won.and i blame tt for that

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

For certain persons to claim that others make up facts is rather breathtaking, given those persons' track records. The CAP is 126 million, so GB is about $23 million under it, plus the carryover (I thought I read $9.8, but I will assume that Mr. Garda is correct at circa $8 million), for a total of maybe $32 million. Immediately subtract $6 million to sign draft picks: remainder is $26. Re-sign Shields and EDS: remainder is about $15m. You need to save at bare minimum $3 million for in-season moves (like Dujuan Harris, Flynn, call-ups): remainder is $12m.

As arm chair GMs, we need to decide how much of the $12M to carry over, and how much to spend on:

1. Nose tackle (re-sign Pickett, FA, Raji)
2. Re-sign Flynn, Kuhn, Quarles, Starks,
J. Jones, Finley on offense;
3. Re-sign Neal, C.J. Wilson, Jolly,
Francois on defense;
4. Tendering Lattimore & MD Jennings(?);
5. Signing Exclusive Rts FA Banjo?
6. Signing Free Agents.
7. Extend Nelson and Cobb.

Let's say I re-sign Pickett, Flynn, Kuhn, at near vet minimum, or about $3m total, leaving me $9m cap space. I tender Lattimore at lowest tender too, so now I am down to $8m. I still need a NT, ILB, S, TE, and could use a DE, OLB (for when CM3 and/or Perry get hurt), and WR to develop.

As arm-chair GMs, we could cut Tramon, and pick up 7.5 million ($2 million dead $) and give it to Byrd or extend Cobb and Nelson and hope the other CBs step up. We could cut Hawk, and pick up some more with more dead money, cut B. Jones ($2 million cap savings with $2 million dead money), cut someone else, or we could re-structure contracts or structure the deals with EDS and Shields so the 1st year has a lower cap numbers. Some of these players will be replaced (cross your fingers) with draft picks.

Geez, I can spend all of the CAP space without breaking a sweat. It will be interesting to see what TT does and whether he is sweating after next year.

redlights's picture

I believe that the thought is that young players are hungrier. that the old vets were complacent. But obviously, competition is the answer (and a good draft; and healthy players; and intelligence to understand the defensive schemes; and ......)

Stroh's picture

Young players are hungry to prove themselves and get paid. Older vets, in most cases, are hungry for a shot at a SB. That said, its still a young mans (20's generally) game and they are still the cheapest way to keep a healthy salary cap.

cLowNEY42's picture

"they are still the cheapest way to keep a healthy salary cap."

But, judging by the conference championship teams the last 3 years, NOT the best way to win a Super Bowl.

but, yeah, we got some room under the cap.
so there's that.

mani2pani's picture

Jenkins helped Babin have a monster number of sacked in 2011. He's not putting up numbers himself but he sure freed up Linebackers like he did for CM3 IN 2010 AND 2011 HIS 2 best years.

mani2pani's picture

Sorry 09 and 10

Ruppert's picture

Only during Super Bowl week would anything said by Brady Poppinga be up for debate.

When I saw the headline, I figured I would go on to read about who was denied a job that had actually earned one because the job just got handed to someone who was undeserving. You know, like he thought we had a better OLB opposite Matthews hiding somewhere but we gave the job to Perry anyway.

I think the Packers need to dip into free agency, particularly on defense where we need help on all three levels.

But personally, I'm not sure I agree with the notion that jobs were handed to undeserving people if there wasn't someone more deserving standing by. Maybe he should have said we need to sign free agents who deserve a job more than some rookies do.

Bert's picture

Yep. I'll buy that. Given the lack of talent at certain positions, Perry and Worthy weren't necessarily "handed" their jobs, just kinda got the jobs by default. More quality depth means more competition for the jobs and nobody is handed anything. A few veteran FAs would improve depth and also create a better competitive environment.

cLowNEY42's picture

"A few veteran FAs would improve depth and also create a better competitive environment."

Damn shame this can't happen.

gary's picture

No way the pack is as good as the 49ers. We played one heck of a game at home with weather that the 49ers don't play in and the end result was a loss. Rodgers is the only reason for the game staying close. THE D IS TO SOFT. We need to draft tough hard nosed defenders. When bishop got hurt and then later signed with the vikes, that was the last real tuff guy we had. And I know he hurt his hamstring again. But players like Raji Pickett C J WILSON jONES go play after play without being heard from. I would rather take the Raji and pickett salary and use it to fill 2 position with serviceable vets then pay them a (fat) contract for him to be visable.We need to draft playmakers. Our d line has to very overweight non playmakers on it. Thank god their free agents. Please TT let them go.

Bert's picture

No. We are not as good as either SF or Seattle. Without an elite QB (Rodgers) this is a very average team. If you put Kaep or Wilson on this team it is competitive but not a contender. Those teams have just built stronger deeper rosters. We are relying pretty much on Rodgers to just stay competetive, let alone contend for a SB. Kinda like the later Favre years.

Stroh's picture

The later Favre years Sherman wa spending like a madman. Then Thompson inherited the mess and cap issues he created and had to cut a lot of bad contracts. He then signed Wood and Pickett. The GMs in GB did all they could to help Favre get another SB. Apparently you misremembered all that.

Bert's picture

Stroh. I don't think you read my post. I wasn't criticizing anybody just saying that our present roster in talent resembles the talent and depth of the later Favre years. Doesn't matter how we got there or here. Don't be so quick to get so defensive. It makes you look like an insufferable know-it-all.

Arlo's picture

Bert
You forget.
Stroh does 'know it all'.

Just ask him.

Stroh's picture

Wasn't being defensive. Just pointing out that Sherman made ALOT of moves in Favre's later years and Thompson even made a few. Apparently you missed those.

Bert's picture

Well numbers of moves had nothing to do with my post. I could care less how many moves Sherman made and Thompson has made. Irrelevant. The roster strength and depth just is what it is. Not near the overall depth and quality of SF or Seattle. Without Rodgers we stink! Without Favre we would've stunk!!

Stroh's picture

Bert... That goes back to my main point. If you are paying your starting QB less than 1M you have ALOT of money to spend on other pieces! Thompson has never had a QB making that little. Favre was in the 12-15M range his last couple years. Rodgers was in the same range on his contract that was recently renegotiated. Rodgers is going to be making 20M or so going forward. That, along w/ Matthews contract, had to be taken into consideration for the past 2 years and for the next couple years going forward.

Wonder how SF and Seattle are going to be able to afford paying Kaeperdork and Wilson 18-20M in the next year or so? Bet they won't be signing too many FA and likely letting a few good football players go to make room for them.

Bert's picture

That may very well be the case. I can't speak for Seattle but SF has done a nice job of drafting and stockpiling draft picks. They've also found some possible bargains for the future like Carradine and Lattimore after the 1st round. They can do that because, unlike us, they don't have many holes to fill and don't count of the draft to fill immediate needs. That's a luxury we don't have.

gary's picture

Stroh I mentioned TT wanted Arrington over woodson. Arrington sucked with the Giants, TT got lucky Arington didn't want to play in green bay. TT gets all the credit for woodson but he would have never signed him if Arrington chose Green bay. He got lucky and gets credit for woodson. The complaint in seattle was TT would never sign free agents, and that remains the case till today. Even tramon Williams said he wishes they had more experience in the defensive backfield. But like always we will bring in street free agents, a bunch of late round picks and have the same confusion on defense as always.

Stroh's picture

Sometimes the best deals are the ones that don't get done. If you rememeber everyone thought Woodson was finished too. But he had the best years of his career in GB. Never know, maybe Arrington would have too.

cLowNEY42's picture

Like giving Raji $8mil/year?
Like not resigning Woodson because you've got Jennings/McMillian?
Like not drafting Richard Sherman because you drafted House 40 picks earlier?
Like not looking at a vet QB backup because you had Coleman/Harrell?

Stroh's picture

Funny, I don't remember Raji being paid that 8M! Sure if we dissect Seattle's roster we can find as many mistakes or picks that they missed on. Your looking thru a one way window, maybe you should take a look thru both sides! But you don't want to do that, your just like to bitch and troll don't you CowTurd?!

Stroh's picture

What about Seattle missing on Aaron Curry w/ the #4 overall pick in '09? Talk about a HORRIBLE LB! Far worse than Hawk. Curry is already out of the NFL.

How about Schneider missing on James Carpender in the '11 draft. He's a backup as a 1st rd pick.

What about having Tarvaris Jackson as a backup QB. Yeah I'm sure he would lead Seattle to the playoffs if Wilson were out 8 games wouldn't he?!

KennyPayne's picture

Why would TT bother with acquiring veterans via free agency or trade just because the 6 teams to play in the Super Bowl since GB's last appearance do it?

If some fans don't like the contracts given to our home-grown players like Burnett, B. jones, Matthews, and Hawk then they simply don't realize how TT runs this club. We reward our own, plain and simple.

Either you start cheering for D. jones, Perry, Jennings, Worthy and the rest of the defensive talent TT has discovered or you go cheer for a team that uses all avenues to acquire talent (like the Seahawks or Broncos), because we do not do that in GB.

jeremy's picture

I'm not really sure what you are talking about. I think most of the fans at this site will be around Packer Football longer than Ted Thompson. I've outlasted Braatz, Wolf, and Sherman as far. Unless I get hit by a car I will be here after Thompson is gone too.

KennyPayne's picture

I am talking about TT does it his way. Draft (and undrafted/street free agents) and develop exclusively.

During the early part of the season GB was crowing about how on 3 of the 53 players on the roster had EVER played a game for another NFL team. The next highest team had about 13 such players.

TT obviously does not believe in acquiring veteran NFL players who have played on other NFL teams. For those who think he is too rigid, TT (and MM) can point to a Super Bowl victory after the 2010 season and a NFC North title in 2013.

The fact that the Giants, Ravens, and Seahawks/Broncos (the last 3 Super Bowl winners) do not shun acquiring veteran talent is beside the point, because TT is not going to deviate one bit from his way of constructing a roster.

Arlo's picture

".....uses all avenues to acquire talent (like the Seahawks or Broncos), because we do not do that in GB."

Thus the 8-8-1 record in 2013.

And a team headed into 2014 with as many holes as the 2005 team.

KennyPayne's picture

Where you see a hole at ILB, TT sees 2 ILBs whom he drafted and gave lucrative second contracts to in Jones and Hawk.

Where you see a hole at Safety, TT sees a 3rd round pick he just gave a big, new contract to and a couple of undrafted free agents who other GMs were just not sharp enough to know were starting caliber NFL players.

Where you see a hole on the DLine, TT see a former top 10 pick who was worthy of an extension worth $8M a year, a 2012 2nd round pick who would already be a star if not for injury and a 2013 1st round pick who will no doubt be a big time player in 2014 not to mention a 2013 5th round pick who showed promise.

Where you see a hole at OLB on the other side of CMIII, TT sees one 2nd round pick who selflessly converted from DLine and a 1st round pick whose transition from DLineman in college will undoubtedly take hold in year 3 in GB.

Keep the faith man, GB doesn't need players who have played for other teams, TT has invested heavily (financially and in the draft) on D and 2014 will be the breakout year showing his prowess.

Bert's picture

Hahaha!! What an excellent example of crafty sarcasm Kenny. Gotta love it man.

cLowNEY42's picture

So you're ready to get excited about...

Hawk
B.Jones
Jennings
Richardson
Burnett
Worthy
D.Jones
Boyd
Neal
Perry

Yikes.

If every one of those guys were cut no one would be able to tell the difference.

That is just one giant pile of garbage, right there.

"Keep the faith man"
Pretty sure these were the last words of the captain of the Titanic.

Arlo's picture

Consider another possibility.
The Pack could conceivably lose a boatload of their own free agents (20). The draft alone will not bring in enough players to even fill out the roster. If TT again refuses to sign any legitimate free agents (UFAs), look for many, many undrafted free agents to round out the roster.

All of these contracts expire on March 11th.
J. Kuhn, J. Jones, EDS, Finley, Flynn, Jolly, Raji, Neal, Pickett, Quarless, Shields, Starks, CJ Wilson, Wallace, Banjo, Bell, Francois, MD Jennings, Lattimore, Newhouse.

Stroh's picture

Shields is the only must sign player in the group.
5 or 6 are guys they would like back, but can do without.
A few will be back in minimal salary deals.
A few more that well be allowed to leave w/o an attempt to retain.

These are not make or break kinda players except Shields.

scott's picture

I agree with brady in fact they handed out starting jobs a lot earlier than that aj hawk was handed starting job too packers need to mix in some more veterans to roster I hope tt brings in some vets this off season not the costly ones but any ones would be nice I wonder would tt go after reggie white or vets wolf signed ?

gary's picture

cow turd wow Your mama doesn't complain. She rather likes it

Sportspack's picture

Great political debate,I bet we all can guess which of the main people on here are Republicans and which ones are Democrats.

Greenville's picture

Ted Thompsons mentality is horrible get your deffense coaching and philosophy together. I'm so tierd of how bad are deffense has been. This deffense needs Leroy Glover and 3 more clay Matthews type relentless minded tuff hussel every play type players.

Hank Scorpio's picture

I think the biggest difference on defense between Seattle (or SF for that matter) and GB is coaching. You can't convince me that all those late round picks flying all over the place and popping offensive players is just a coinkydink of a series of tremendous day 3 draft picks. The kind of relentless, tough style of defense is set on the practice field. If coaches demand it, they get it.

In recent Packer history, Jim Bates was my favorite Packer DC. He placed far more emphasis on mentality than Xs and Os. Getting defenders in the right frame on mind on gameday is far more important that the defensive playbook, IMO.

Stroh's picture

This goes back to the point about Capers scheme. Seattle has a very simplistic Defense that allows players, especially young players to play very fast.

Greg Cosell at NFL films... "Cosell also suggested that the Seahawks benefit from the relatively simple scheme run by Bradley (now the Jaguars’ head coach) and current defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who was also a hot head-coaching candidate during the offseason. Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers has perhaps the thickest playbook in the league, and young players can sometimes be confounded by the scheme and play more slowly as a result."

Which is why it takes players, especially young players time to learn the Packers scheme. Particularly on DL, which generally takes a couple years anyway and OLB a transitional position where college DE and learning to play standing up and focus on the entire backfield and recievers, instead of just an OT.

Which goes back to my point about letting Capers go. If you do let Capers go the reasoning is that his scheme is too complex for a draft and develop team.

Arlo's picture

Don't you get it Stroh?

Capers is NOT going anywhere. There are many who believe that the lack of talent on the D is the problem, not Capers.

Quit posting the same crap.

Stroh's picture

I didn't say Capers was or should be going anywhere. I suggested if your going to fire him that is the reason. Talk about posting the same CRAP! All you do is troll, you don't give any quality explanations and you even defy PROOF! You say one sentence responses saying others are wrong and think your talking about football. Neither of which could be further from the truth! That is the epitome of TROLLING!

Hank Scorpio's picture

The same could be said about your incessant TT bashing, Arlo.

Glass houses are not the ideal rock launching spot

Bert's picture

Seems like if it takes guys 2+ years to learn the "scheme" and they can become FAs in 3-4 years then what good are we getting out of guys we draft? Just a revolvong door. Guys come in the door, learn the "scheme" and leave to make room for the next guy. I don't think that's gonna work very well.

Stroh's picture

That's my point. If you let Capers go, which IMO makes some sense, the reason to do it would be to get a simpler defensive scheme that young guys and rookies can make an impact in. Otherwise your paying guys you hope continue to develop and become playmakers, not after they become playmakers. Case in point Burnett... Not saying he can't or won't turn it around or become one, but we had to pay him like one before he actually became a playmaker.

Bert's picture

Stroh. On this agree with you!! Hmmm. That's a scary thought. Just kidding. In addition to the complex scheme we also draft DEs and convert them OLBs. Again, time to learn before Free Agency becomes an issue. I agree. I don't D&D matches Capers philosophy and we are chasing our collective tails.

Stroh's picture

I will add that Pitts uses the same Defense and is also a D and D team. So I'm not saying it can't work, it just isn't necessarily the best fit for the Packers. I've been saying this for months now. But I appreciate your finally grasping it.

Stroh's picture

My comment dated Feb 3 10:22 am... Just this morning.

"Particularly on DL, which generally takes a couple years anyway and OLB a transitional position where college DE and learning to play standing up and focus on the entire backfield and recievers, instead of just an OT."

Bert's picture

WOW!! You're real smart!! I totally impressed as I'm sure your mother is.

gary's picture

Greenville your so right. After I think week 15, packers.com had MM talking to the team after the game. In the background ryan pickett had his shirt off. What a sad looking body for a pro football player. He needs a bra. We need big strong tuff ATHLETIC players on defense.Look what Seattle is doing to Denver. If we stay put and sign the same players, the Rodgers era will net one super bowl.

Stroh's picture

Seattle isn't doing much to Denver. Denver is their own worst enemy. The snap on the 1st play of the game. Manning having no arm strength, Manning being a statue in the pocket unable to avoid pressure or move in the pocket. The turnovers were a result of Manning not being able to move or having arm strength.

Hank Scorpio's picture

I don't think there is any question that Denver didn't play well. Peyton Manning certainly has a long rich history of playing his worst games in the biggest moments. He was horrible yesterday. His YPA was atrocious and so were the 2 picks he threw.

But I think Seattle had a lot to do with that.

Stroh's picture

Seattle had a little to do w/ it. But the fact, that Manning was a statue allowed Seattle to rush w/o regard to any regard for a QB making plays w/ his feet or extending plays. That along w/ the fact Manning had no zip on any of his passes made him a sitting duck for a pressure Defense. How would Seattle have fared against a QB who can make plays or at least extend plays w/ his feet and who has a very strong arm w/ zip on his passes?

Calabasa's picture

Every thought I have about the Packers starts with Aaron Rodgers' age. Windows are damn small in the NFL these days- what's wrong with a bunch of mid-level one-year contracts?

Hank Scorpio's picture

I'm not at all a fan of the approach of "doing what it takes" to get the top end FAs. Those contracts usually don't end up working out well. I don't think there is anything wrong with adding vet depth on small, short contracts. There are a couple of potential snags with that approach, however.

1) The FA market needs to be dead or those players are not much of an upgrade, if they are an upgrade at all. The Packers have dabbled in that area with guys over the years with guys Marquand Manual, Ben Taylor, Adrian Klemm, Seneca Wallace. I'm sure I'm missing a few names. "Dead" described last year's market. Some good players signed very modest deals by FA standards. But there are no guarantees it will describe this year's market. I hope TT is planting a seed in the mind of some agents that there is some interest if things are slow once FA starts.

2) Guys have to agree to the contract. Most will follow the money but that is something of a sliding scale. If they are taking a deal they think is below their worth, other factors may play into the equation. Green Bay has a lot to offer but let's face it, it is not for everyone. Some don't like the size of the town or the climate or whatever else.

gary's picture

Stroh your on medication How many TD passes did Manning throw this year with what you call no arm strength. Are you kidding me. Living with your head in the sand is not the way to go through life. TT is just wrong. To resign the majority of our own free agents this year, would be the icing on the cake. The pack needs bigger stronger FASTER players on defense. If he doesn't sign our own free agents there will be money for a few new players from free agency and then fill the open spots with draft picks. He can't do it all with the draft.

Stroh's picture

Were you watching? He had no zip on any of his passes. Most seemed to be floating on the way to the target. Thought I was watching Matt Flynn for God's sake. Great that Manning had all kinds of regular season stats, he always does. He can win all the regular season MVP's he wants, he might be the worst big time, Big Game QB of All Time! His arm strength is gone, but I don't doubt he'll play a couple years more. But he isn't winning anymore SB's!

Arlo's picture

Stroh continues to make some of the dumbest statements to ever show up here. Manning won MVP with 49 out of 50 votes. Stroh must have been the one to vote for Brady. --- LOL --- Now that's funny. Almost as funny as the 'Strohman'!!

Stroh's picture

I acknowledged he won a REGULAR season MVP did I not? If you were paying attention Manning DID NOT have any zip or crispness to his throws. Did you see his throws downfield? He could barely get the ball 40 yds and when he did they lost accuracy! A QB w/ some mobility and a strong arm would have faired far better than a statue in the pocket w/ little arm strength. Who does that remind you of?

Arlo's picture

Seattle's edge rushing and their blanket (physical) coverage by the DBs is what prevented Manning from looking sharp. It had zero to do with arm strength.

Did you even watch the e'ffing game?!!

Stroh's picture

Watched every one of Mannings passes. EVERY one of them lacked zip even when he didn't have a rush in his face, and he couldn't get the ball 40 yds downfield. That SCREAMS lack of arm strength... Loudly and Clearly!

Arlo's picture

Read more slowly this time. Even the 'smarter than you' people are saying the exact same thing.

Come on --- you're making stuff up again because you're once again being ridiculously subjective.

We get it. You don't like Manning. So what.

Stroh's picture

Who are these so called smarter people? Find a link and post it and I'll be happy to admit I was wrong. My guess is your "smarter people" is one person... Yourself! And I seriously doubt your smarter football or reality speaking. Just one link from the SB saying that Mannings arm strength was good

All you gotta do is post a link arloser. Bet you don't have one... Come on prove me wrong! I CHALLENGE YOU ARLOSER!

Arlo's picture

Look it up Stroh.
This will be a good opportunity for you to learn to research a blog topic. Then you won't need to fabricate most of what you post anymore.

Do you know what a 'search engine" is used for? Have you ever attempted to use one?

If not, I'm sure one of your cell-mates in your cell-block would help !! Good luck!!

The TKstinator's picture

Let's face it guys, there are TONS of players that will be drafted this year and make major contributions that we haven't even heard of. Sure we can look at prospect rankings and mock drafts. That stuff is fun. But every year there are disappointments and busts as well as pleasant surprises. At this point any of us can guess, but no one REALLY KNOWS how it's all going to pan out.
Hey, I hope GB gets Mosley, Clinton-Dix, Pryor, etc, but to say I REALLY KNOW what is going on would be a lie.

joshywoshybigfatposhy's picture

i haven't read every single post, but i have to ask - does anyone else think it's a little ironic that brady 'jump on the pile after the tackle is already made' poppinga is talking about people getting handed starting jobs?

he always seemed like a great guy and all, but as far as i remember, he was a guy with a 'high motor' who obviously worked hard, but was never really worthy of a starting position. but somehow started.

Arlo's picture

GB would be fortunate to have Pops in his prime right now. He would be more productive than any LB on the 53, maybe even "Mr Hammy".

joshywoshybigfatposhy's picture

you do realize you just pondered out loud if you'd rather the pack be starting brady poppinga than clay matthews, right?

you know, i've heard about waking up 8 hrs later and still being drunk from the night before, it's just never happened to me personally.

spud webb never out-talled david robinson, not even 'in his prime.'

Arlo's picture

You must not read much. There are more & more people smarter than you who are now questioning the abilities of CM3. Some say he's grossly overpaid. Some say he'll never play another complete season.

Pops on the field is a better choice than CM3 in the trainers room.

Sorry, but I don't drink alcohol or the kool-aid that you obviously drink.

Stroh's picture

Yeah just the one like yourself that don't know squat about football! LMFAO

joshywoshybigfatposhy's picture

with the exception of this site, i do very little sports-analysis website reading, so you've got me there.

as far as my comparative intelligence is concerned, i think we'll likely end up not-quite-agreeing to disagree. there are probably people who think CMIII is overrated. there is apparently a person who thinks he is so overrated that Brady Poppinga in his 'prime' might actually be preferable. there are also people who think the universe is governed by a guy named god who throws a big after(life)party for people who behave well. i consider myself justified in thinking they're all ... well, incorrect.

CMIII is not the problem with this team. never was, never will be. not sure why you're focusing on that.

jmac34's picture

Who has said any of those things Arlo? Give me proof that these so called smarter people said this

joshywoshybigfatposhy's picture

also, if you ever disagree with me again i'll throw you off this f$*ing balcony. i'll break you in half like a boy.

sorry. couldn't resist.

Arlo's picture

"Pops on the field is a better choice than CM3 in the trainers room."

It's called availability. A few steller games (6-8) from CM3 a season won't improve an 8-8 team no matter how much kool-aid you drink.
That just one of those pesty facts.

The TKstinator's picture

News flash! Everybody wishes CM3 would never get hurt. But to suggest he doesn't totally kick ass when playing and healthy, well, let the indignant consternation begin.

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