Confessions of a Polluted Mindset - Packers Thoughts on Feb 24 2021

The Weekly Packers Brain Drain from Jersey Al.

 

 

Jon Runyan Prediction:

it's likely a 20-1 shot, but I'm placing a bet on Jon Runyan being the Packers right tackle at some point in the future, quite possibly next season. I said this when the Packers first selected him (tackle), Stepaniak (guard) and Hansen (center) in the same draft. Sure pretty much every scouting report said he's be better off moving inside, but I've seen similar sentiments for lots of guys who eventually proved the scouts wrong. Runyan started 25 games at left tackle for Michigan. He faced some of the best edge rushers in the nation, including Chase Young,, who he played very well against. With Wagner gone and Bakhtiari slated to not be ready to start the season, the Packers currently have ONE player listed solely as a tackle on the roster - Yosh Nijman. With all the injuries on the OL, the Packers never gave Nijman a shot last year, instead moving Elgton Jenkins and Billy Turner to tackle as needed. Runyan is also inexpensive, an important factor in a year where the Packers won't have the luxury of signing free agents as needed. Runyan as a right tackle will be that guy who doesn't particularly impress you at any one thing, but when the game is over, he's done his job. To turn my 20-1 shot into a "parlay" at 100-1, I'll add that Stepaniak and Runyan together will make up the right side of the Packers line by 2022 at the latest.

 

Franchise Tag:

It won't happen, but getting Aaron Jones for another year at $8M is a no-brainer in my eyes. I know you're all going to squawk at me about not paying running backs, but the Packers' offense was given a big boost over the course of the season by long Aaron Jones runs (77, 75, 77, 46, 59, and 60 yds.). Those are big chunks of yardage and resulting points that will be hard to replace. Franchise Jones, save $8M by cutting cut Preston Smith, call it even. 

 

Wide Receivers in the Draft:

Once the Packers drafted Randall Cobb, I turned my attention to tall, fast receivers as far as players I wanted the Packers to draft. Martavius Bryant, MVS, Kenny Golladay, Tee Higgins, etc. - you get the picture. Anyway, this year is different - I'm back to looking for a new Randall Cobb. Names on my radar: Kadarius Toney, Rondale Moore, Amari Rodgers, D'Wayne Eskridge.

 

MVS:

Marquez earned himself a pay raise this offseason. He met the criteria for the league’s “proven performance escalator,” which will raise his base salary to $2,183,000 this upcoming season. A player has to play 35% of the offensive or defensive snaps in at least two of his first three seasons or average 35% over the course of his first three years. MVS easily met that criteria, playing 64%, 50% and 76% of offensive snaps over his first three seasons.

 

Poll

Sophie's Choice - you must pick one or the other, no in-between. (hopefully the poll issue is fixed).

 

What's your perception of the Packers' Front Office?

Satisfied with just continually making the playoffs.
47% (28 votes)
Winning a Super Bowl is the only goal that matters.
53% (32 votes)
Total votes: 60

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__________________________

"Jersey Al" Bracco is the Editor-In-Chief, part owner and wearer of many hats for CheeseheadTV.com and PackersTalk.com. He is also a recovering Mason Crosby truther.  Follow Al on twitter at @JerseyalGBP

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Comments (101)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
stockholder's picture

February 24, 2021 at 07:01 am

Short and Sweet. Randall Cobb was 5'!0" and ran a 4.45. And could return Punts. I like last years WR class more. So Gute takes two this year. With all your predictions on the OL. Gute has the same choice as last year. Draft a RT! And make sure he can back up Bahk. @29 Bet Cosmi. Replace Turner. Tag Jones? Sure. Fall from Grace. - P. Smith. Then Sign Watt.

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Coldworld's picture

February 24, 2021 at 08:13 am

We don’t have a second corner or DT but your ideal is to take a RT in the first? Then bring in a likely expensive Watt. Can’t get with your thinking or priorities considering the drafting of 3 linemen last year and the needs elsewhere.

The exception is where you advocate for a Cobb type: sudden, elusive and able to play the option and return more durably than Ervin. If there is one, I second that as a missing piece.

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stockholder's picture

February 24, 2021 at 10:23 am

Ok - You want a cb? Forget Rd. 1 /// Top 3 will be gone. If Gute trades up. It should only be for Barmore. If you want a Starter at OT, it has to be Rd 1. (Safe Pick.) And you'll save the FA Costs, plus Turner won't be back / (The Three OL were not selected to be OTs )// Rd. 2 Has the best selection at CB depending on Tests. Other wise Gute is reaching.( But your best bet for a starter ) // Gute will still need to trade up in rd. 2 for a DL who could Start// The price is to High// And Yes" if " you cut P. Smith, Watt is the BEST FA. For the DL. (So Far.! ) Especially if Gute doesn't trade up. /// Cobb equal. If Gute didn't take a WR last year. Why would he take one early? Unless it's to replace Adams. Look for a Cobb type Rd.3 or later. ///// If he stays @29 Most likely OT @62 CB most likely @93 the cost will be a 3 and 4 to get a Cobb. Do you see DL? No.////

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stockholder's picture

February 24, 2021 at 10:51 am

Foot note- How did Mont. Adams work out in rd3.?? How has Jackson worked out rd 2? And not one WR over 6 foot has been clocked under 4.5////// per value board rd2. this year///

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 24, 2021 at 05:33 pm

Newsome will be around @ #29, but hopefully Collins falls (unlikely).

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 24, 2021 at 05:28 pm

Cosmi in the second round, not a fit @ #29. I would franchise Jones for 8M, that's a deal and draft another RB. I'm with Al on the Runyan can handle RT. He controlled Young two years running. Turner stays through his contract.

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hobowilly's picture

February 26, 2021 at 09:07 pm

Corn on the cob (#18) is still 5' 10" as far as we all know.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

February 24, 2021 at 07:02 am

"Winning a Super Bowl is the only goal that matters."

I'm starting to feel the same way about elected honors like Probowl and MVP. It's proper for the writers to recognize these things, but I don't get much pleasure from it.

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JerseyAl's picture

February 24, 2021 at 01:14 pm

For anyone who totally is on the "drafting Jordan Love was a terrible decision" side. I have a writing opportunity. Email me at jersey al GBP @ gmail .com (nom spaces).

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stockholder's picture

February 24, 2021 at 01:46 pm

I don’t think that selection makes any sense what so ever. It’s obvious Gutey just doesn’t understand what the draft is all about. I hope your not flooded with emails.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 24, 2021 at 05:34 pm

I thought Q has that job?

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dobber's picture

February 24, 2021 at 07:04 am

"Sure pretty much every scouting report said he's be better off moving inside, but I've seen similar sentiments for lots of guys who eventually proved the scouts wrong"

Recall that when Bakhtiari was drafted, many scouts said that he was destined to be a G, and the Packers toyed with moving him inside early in his career.

"I'll add that Stepaniak and Runyan together will make up the right side of the Packers line by 2022 at the latest."

If Stepaniak's knee is right, he's going to be a steal. There's a lot of TJ Lang in him.

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PeteK's picture

February 24, 2021 at 08:11 am

Stepaniak was practicing with the team in the latter part of the season.

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croatpackfan's picture

February 24, 2021 at 09:26 am

As I recall he started as LT immediately. There was panic among Packers Nation when Brian Bulaga injured himself at the beginning of the training camp. Bakh started first game at LT and from that time he kept it as starter, as I remember ("... and the Packers toyed with moving him inside early in his career").

But I may be wrong...

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dobber's picture

February 24, 2021 at 09:29 am

He did, yes, but my recollection was that they looked at him at LG early on. Happy to be proven wrong, though...it happens all the time. Just ask my wife.

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Bearmeat's picture

February 24, 2021 at 05:56 pm

No comment on the last sentence.

Regarding your original post: I don't think OT is a problem area or a pressing need. I think between Jenkins/Turner/Runyan/Stephaniak etc.. we've got enough quality (key word there) depth to throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 24, 2021 at 07:14 pm

As long as you were well and truly proven wrong and didn't just nod to keep the peace! :)

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dobber's picture

February 25, 2021 at 07:23 am

My mother didn't raise any fools...

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murf7777's picture

February 24, 2021 at 07:06 am

You’re right Jones will be hard to replace. It isn’t about using SC $’s on Preston vs Jones. We need to release Preston and use those $’s to solidify our defense to a higher level. Dillon will be a fine replacement for Jones and there will be many lower cost options for RB depth in FA or later in the draft.

Dillon won’t make the long runs as frequently, but I suspect it won’t be necessary for the offense to still be top 5. We need our D to get to top 5 as well and then we will be favs to win the next SB.

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Razer's picture

February 24, 2021 at 08:13 am

...Dillon will be a fine replacement for Jones and there will be many lower cost options for RB depth in FA or later in the draft...

Totally agree with this assessment. Should be some solid lower round talent to build a productive backfield.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 24, 2021 at 05:36 pm

Most will be gone by the upper third round.

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Tingham's picture

February 24, 2021 at 09:08 am

Agreed we can find a RB later in the draft. Everyone seems to forget Jones was a 5th round pick.

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marpag1's picture

February 24, 2021 at 10:50 am

These are the running backs from last season’s playoffs. Not counting Jones, there was only 1 guy drafted lower than D3.

Ravens – JK Dobbins, round 2
Titans – D. Henry, round 2
Colts – J. Taylor, round 2
Bills – D. Singletary, round 3
Browns – N. Chubb, round 2
Steelers – J. Conner, round 3
Chiefs – C. Hillaire, round 1
Bucs – L. Fournette, round 1 / R. Jones, round 2
Washington – A. Gibson, round 3
Chicago – D. Montgomery, round 3
Saints – A. Kamara, round 3
Rams – C. Akers, round 2
Rams – C. Carson – UDFA

In addition to the 13 teams above, seven other teams are starting FIRST ROUND running backs: Zeke Elliot, Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, Sony Michel, Josh Jacobs,

Let’s see … who haven’t I talked about yet? The Lions grabbed D. Swift at the top of the second. He split time with A. Peterson who was a first rounder. The Eagles M. Sanders was a second rounder. The Vikings D. Cook was a second rounder. I guess I could go on.

So yeah… there’s an outlier every once or twice in a blue moon. Jones was D5. Chris Carson and Austin Ekeler were UDFA. But the idea that you can easily find quality running backs just lying around in the fifth round is totally unsupported by the facts.

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Coldworld's picture

February 24, 2021 at 11:50 am

Dillon would fall in that category. Are you arguing that we need two from rounds one to three?

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Guam's picture

February 24, 2021 at 03:54 pm

Thank you CW. How many teams have RB2 and RB3 drafted in the first three rounds? I would guess very few.

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4thandinches's picture

February 24, 2021 at 06:00 pm

Looks like you listed the number 1 rbs. Our 2021 number 1 RB was drafted in the 2nd round. I guess I'm a little confused by your point. Do you think we need 3 first round running backs to contend? I think we might want to focus on other needs early in the 2021 draft.

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murf7777's picture

February 24, 2021 at 08:25 pm

That’s good info and we have a second rounder who has shown to be successful runner and catcher.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

February 24, 2021 at 09:19 am

I am not worried about Dillon being able to run to daylight. He is faster than his size and seems built to break through to the second level. If he can do that with regularity the highlight reel runs will come as defenses get gassed.

The question is whether he will have the versatility Jones and Williams both had, and only time will tell there. If he is limited to early downs and called runs or RPO plays defenses will know to key in on him.

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dobber's picture

February 24, 2021 at 09:32 am

If LaF is as good an offensive mind has he supposedly is, he'll find ways to diversify the offense with his other skill people to offset any lack of versatility he might get from the RB on the field.

If not, your fear might very well come true!

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splitpea1's picture

February 24, 2021 at 11:03 am

Getting those H-backs more involved will be a small step in that direction; hopefully both of them will be healthy for the majority of the season.

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flackcatcher's picture

February 24, 2021 at 10:42 pm

The loss of Ervin hurt this offense in the middle of the season. Never had a replacement or schemed to cover the offensive gap. (On the other hand with Adams and Jones the need wasn't as great till the playoffs)

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Bear's picture

February 24, 2021 at 10:59 am

Curious as to how Patrick Taylor looks this year as a Packer RB.

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Coldworld's picture

February 24, 2021 at 11:52 am

I’m wondering if he is a real roster candidate too. Not often the case with UDFA holdovers, but he seems to be the type that might be better than his college career would suggest at first sight.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 24, 2021 at 05:39 pm

If he has healed , he's a beast.

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Pizzadoc's picture

February 24, 2021 at 04:32 pm

Side note: Why does everyone want Preston Smith gone? I understand the cap savings, but he was awesome in 2019, maybe he was hurt in 2020? Could he come back and be part of the awesome Smith brothers again?

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 24, 2021 at 05:40 pm

You pay people big bucks to produce. He came into camp out of shape.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 24, 2021 at 07:33 pm

I understand the cap savings BUT.

No buts. They could ask for a fairly large salary cut, release him, or find some other means of generating cap space, most of which are also unpleasant.

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dobber's picture

February 25, 2021 at 07:26 am

I don't know what his desire would be to accept a pay cut, except that he's unlikely to get nearly what he's getting from the Packers in what's likely to be a depressed market. That said, being able to pull in a new signing bonus might be tempting.

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scullyitsme's picture

February 24, 2021 at 07:14 am

If they actually could get Arron Jones for the franchise tag it would be a no brainer. I doubt he’d sign it though, rosenhaus would throw a fit. If they can and he would they should of done it like yesterday. Best they could hope for maybe is a franchise and trade maybe. If they wanted to play hardball, which the packers never do.

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Bear's picture

February 24, 2021 at 10:55 am

If he refused to sign the franchise tag he would have to sit out the season. I don’t see that happening.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 24, 2021 at 05:43 pm

Might as well try to use your leverage. If Miami wants his services, they will trade for him.

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Razer's picture

February 24, 2021 at 07:21 am

As long as Aaron Rodgers is at the helm - winning the Super Bowl has to be the objective.

I like Al's take on the O-line. I think that we need a couple of solid picks (including a true tackle) in this draft to ensure that there is enough talent in the pool. Also agree that a quick slot receiver will add another dimension to this offense. If this type of receiver doesn't win us a Super Bowl, he will help the next QB to lead this team. Lot of upside. Not sure that Gutekunst is a WR high draft pick kind of guy. We'll see.

Not a fan of franchise tagging Aaron Jones. As a RB he needs to get this contract from somebody. He takes a beating and will get injured so a little long term security is fair. If the Packers aren't going to make an honest offer then let him walk and pick up the compensation pick.

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croatpackfan's picture

February 24, 2021 at 09:30 am

I agree with your opinion, except one statement. I believe that winning SB has to be objective whoever is Packers QB.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

February 24, 2021 at 10:51 am

Agreed here. If Jones was meant to be a long term solution for GB it seems like 2019 was the time to lock it up.

I could potentially see GB using the transition tag, but it seems pointless as Jones is going to command more than what the tag is worth and GB is probably not going to be in a position to match an offer from a cap rich team like MIA if they are interested.

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Guam's picture

February 24, 2021 at 07:30 am

I like your prediction for the O-line. I believe the only reason Stepaniak fell as far as he did is due to injury. He could be a long term solution at guard. It would be great if Runyon could play tackle. It would really help the Packer draft if they didn't have to go high for an OT this year. The Pack has too many defensive needs to spend many draft choices on offense.

Rumor was the Packers made a substantial offer to Jones but without enough guaranteed money. Jones turned it down, fired his agent and hired Rosenhaus. Rosenhaus is known to play hardball and Jones would likely withhold his services in the event of a franchise tag. He wants a longer term deal with guaranteed money. And with the short shelf life of RBs, I don't blame him for trying. However teams are also aware of the short shelf life issue and he may have a tough time getting what he wants.

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Since'61's picture

February 24, 2021 at 07:44 am

Don’t know if Runyon will be RT but I would be fine with it if he is.
From the beginning I’ve posted that the Packers should franchise Jones. We need his production for one more season at least.
Been saying for a while that the Packers need a Randall Cobb type of receiver.
Hopefully for MVS as his salary increases his drops will decrease.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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Guam's picture

February 24, 2021 at 08:41 am

You are assuming Jones would play under a franchise tag. I am not so sure Rosenhaus and Jones would accept that. I could see Jones refusing to sign the tag, not playing and forcing the Packers to trade or cut him. He wants a long term deal with security.

I think that Jones will sign a good sized deal somewhere else and Gute will take the 3rd/4th round compensation pick. And draft one or more backs this year on day three.

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Since'61's picture

February 24, 2021 at 09:43 am

Guam - I agree, that is an assumption on my part. However, choosing not to play almost always proves to hurt the players career over the long term. Also why would any team sign an RB to a mostly guaranteed, multi-year contract? That is poor cap management IMO because RBs are among the most oft-injured positions in the league.

I thought that the Packers RB rotation since MLF has been about as effective as possible in terms of protecting RBs through a season of NFL pounding.
Also, Jones going to another team means he doesn’t run behind a very effective Packers OL which increases his injury risk.
It’s ultimately a matter of priorities. Less money but potential for a longer career with more earning seasons or more money with an increased risk of injury and fewer earning seasons. Thanks, Since ‘61

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Guam's picture

February 24, 2021 at 11:40 am

I agree teams shouldn't sign RBs to long term contracts with guaranteed money, but that is apparently what Jones is looking for. Will he hold out rather than play on a one year deal? IDK but Rosenhaus scares me. He is the kind of aggressive agent that would push for that and try to leverage the Packers.

Would the Packers be better off with Jones - of course. Will it happen? I think the Packers tried hard and came up short of what Jones wants. Would Jones accept a one year tag? I just don't know, but I would be very hesitant to assume he will play.

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croatpackfan's picture

February 24, 2021 at 09:40 am

Since'61, I believe franchise tag is not the answer. It gives bitter taste in the players mouth.

I understand Aaron Jones position and have no objections why he wants to cash the money. Because, what you'll get if he injure himself? You have to pay him and he will not be available.
Maybe naïve, but I believe Packers already have back up plan for replacing Aaron. It is not Dillon, it will be rookie. But I would be more pleased to keep Williams. He will command less money and he is also very important for Packers offensive plans.

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Since'61's picture

February 24, 2021 at 09:55 am

Croat - I’m hoping that the Packers keep Williams if they lose Jones. However, Williams is not a game breaker the way Jones is. Jones puts much more pressure on the defense because he can score from anywhere on the field.
A rookie can come in and be an effective RB but it will probably take at least part of a season before he is ready to take a full time role in an NFL offense. Plus he needs to be an effective pass blocker, which usually takes a while to learn.
Anything can happen. Hopefully both Jones and the Packers keep their options open. Thanks, Since ‘61

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 24, 2021 at 06:07 pm

Franchise and trade, go 4 it.

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Pack88's picture

February 24, 2021 at 07:51 am

Al: You make a valid point about projections: I don't forget Chad Clifton was projected to play LG at the pro-level due to foot speed. Hand's of stones career proved once again the underwear Olympics is not the NFL and offensive line play is a combination of skills with the part between the ears the most important part! Just look at Jason Spriggs!!

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Razer's picture

February 24, 2021 at 08:04 am

Jason Spriggs - arrrgh! Missing on Spriggs threw a big wrench into the O-line future plan. We move up to ensure a talent to cover the eventual replacement of Bulaga and get nothing. Ultimately, we are faced with the sub-optimal, high priced Wagner/Turner expenses. You can't afford to miss on these high picks - period.

Saving grace - the Bears picked up Spriggs and downgraded their O-line. Thank God for the Bears.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 24, 2021 at 06:11 pm

Nobody liked that pick and a wasted four.

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Lare's picture

February 24, 2021 at 08:05 am

"To turn my 20-1 shot into a "parlay" at 100-1, I'll add that Stepaniak and Runyan together will make up the right side of the Packers line by 2022 at the latest."

Al, you may want to consider a trifecta with Jake Hanson at Center.

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JerseyAl's picture

February 24, 2021 at 08:13 am

ha! I have little feel for what Jake Hanson may or may not be, so I'll stick with the exacta.

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CoachDino's picture

February 24, 2021 at 06:22 pm

Hey Al, I have a great deal of respect for your opinions. What have you seen that makes you believe that Runyan can be the RT of the future? Steph the Right Guard. heck I'd love to see that and agree that many of the OT to OG projections turned out to be false.

These guys were 6th rd picks. That's not a very high opinion by the rest of the league. So to step in at RT is a big deal. I'd like to see them draft a LT that can play Rt but fill in for Bak at LT in future years if he goes down. Plus they need a center (I like Drake or even the kid from WW as he can play center or guard). Just not sold on last years late rd draft picks being above average OL in the NFL. If the Packers see something that would be great. plus Yosh has to produce this year. He's been on the roster 2 years now, it has to be for a good reason. If not just keep him on the PS like before.

I've got 1 RB in mind to use a late second / 3rd rd pick on, Kenneth Gainwell. He's a Change of pace RB that can also play slot rec. You could do so much mismatch wise with him. He has been a bell-cow RB but is on the smaller size.

Like Alim Mcnieil in the 2nd rd but he wont last down to the bottom. plius, if theirs an edge rusher early they should always take him.

Love the articles,

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Coldworld's picture

February 24, 2021 at 08:19 am

As I read it, the franchise tag cost for a running back is nearer to 12 million. The 8 million number is the transition tag, which only grants the right to match a higher offer.

I’m skeptical on Runyon as an NFL tackle, but I’d be happy if he proved you right. Tackles are so much more valuable. In fairness, I would have said the same thing about Jenkins a year ago. Still, i feel he is the more likely to succeed there at this point.

I liked Stepaniak more than Runyon as a guard. I was surprised we took him knowing he would redshirt, but definitely would have gone a lot higher without that. Personally I can see both starting as guards in the near future if you do lose your long shot bet. Hansen seems to have upside too, but I don’t think they will rush him at C.

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JerseyAl's picture

February 24, 2021 at 08:17 am

As reported by Jason of OverTheCap.com, based on a 180.5M Cap, RB franchise tag would be $8M.

https://twitter.com/Jason_OTC/status/1358459980505047045

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Coldworld's picture

February 24, 2021 at 08:28 am

Per OTC, the projected franchise tag number for the 2021 NFL season for a RB that I am currently looking at is $11.1 million ( I had read it at 11.9, so nearer 11 not 12 as I stated).

The numbers on their website currently read:

Franchise. RB: $11,112,000,
Transition RB: $8,942,000.

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RCPackerFan's picture

February 24, 2021 at 09:47 am

What was the date on what you are reading?

Yesterday I heard the same thing that Al said, and the radio show I listened to said that what Al is saying is accurate. They also said the numbers you are saying was from a previous date.

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Coldworld's picture

February 24, 2021 at 11:55 am

Current as of this morning on OTC site.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 24, 2021 at 07:52 pm

As discussed in other threads, I can't figure out how Mr. Fitzgerald reached that number. I get $8.07M as a franchise tag only if the salary cap is $153.4M.

Jason has a reputation for accuracy. OTC has it both ways on their website but the most recent article shows $8.07M. Makes no sense to me.

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Coldworld's picture

February 25, 2021 at 03:31 pm

Not a lot of hope for the rest of us in which case TGR.

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PeteK's picture

February 24, 2021 at 08:37 am

That right side scenario would be great and a viable probability at least until Bak comes back. However, I would still draft a T high because protecting the franchise in a QB driven league is a priority. I love Jones , but we can draft a solid change of pace 2nd back. I would rather use that money on a one year deal for Watt. I do not want to go through the brutal yrs. of the 70s and 80s, making the playoffs at least gives us hope.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 24, 2021 at 06:17 pm

A solid year for OTs and RBs. CB can be snagged in rd. two with a trade up or into the first. My bias is still two in round one, an OT and a CB/EDGE. Depends if they move P.Smith or restructure his deal. Speculation at this point in the game.

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Packers0808's picture

February 24, 2021 at 08:25 am

Keeping Jones for another even if need to tag makes all the sense in the world and too me it should be a priority! backs get injured way to often and if Williams flees the Pack is down to ONE back, too risky in my thinking!

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TheNumber1PackerFan's picture

February 24, 2021 at 08:51 am

What people want to see is 12 pulling a Brady and winning an ungodly number of championships. The reality is, there is only one team that will do that every 20 years or so. Dallas had the three in a row SB appearances back in the day. Packers won a few back to back SB/Chapionships back in the day as well. The reality is, GB, being a small market team, does not have the deep pockets to do that. That means we have to be smart while pursuing a SB win. It will happen, trust me on that. Signing big free agents is overrated because you never know what will happen when a player goes to another team. He might flop or win, its always a gamble. But GB needs to fortify some spots on the roster. Yes, they need another COB, Sterling or Driver type of receiver out there who can come in and contribute immediately. They need a ILB and corner who can come in and contribute immediately. No more of this limited reps stuff. GB needs FOOTBALL PLAYERS! They don't need more guys with just potential, they need players! Guys who can tackle, have good feet, good hands, decent speed, good iq for football. The cap is tight, GB is already over the cap so there is a lot of work they are doing while I'm typing this opinion that doesn't man anything lol. I trust that they have a plan, I can only hope that plan includes getting the final pieces to this puzzle to win it all.

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TarynsEyes's picture

February 24, 2021 at 09:01 am

"The reality is, GB, being a small market team, does not have the deep pockets to do that."

The salary cap makes every teams pockets the same. How you spend that same amount of money is the difference maker.

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TarynsEyes's picture

February 24, 2021 at 09:05 am

I cannot help but suspect that 40% of the 45% that voted to be in the playoffs yearly as the goal are those who tell you to just enjoy the ride. Which means they are more apt to not care if they get to watch the game or not.

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Fabio's picture

February 24, 2021 at 04:09 pm

Hi Taryns. What operations do you think the Packers should do this season?
Greetings from Italy

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TarynsEyes's picture

February 24, 2021 at 10:00 pm

Please clarify 'operations'.

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Fabio's picture

February 25, 2021 at 04:45 am

Excuse me (smile) ... by "operations" I meant what moves do you think the Packers should make to improve the team (acquisitions, releases, extensions, draft picks ....)
A greeting and sorry again for the language ...

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Oppy's picture

February 24, 2021 at 07:12 pm

You didn't understand the poll question.

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4thandinches's picture

February 24, 2021 at 11:00 pm

I voted to be competitive yearly. My thinking is that going 'all in' doesn't guarantee you win it. It only guarantees that you'll have fewer shots to be in the conversation.

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Nate-1980's picture

February 25, 2021 at 02:53 pm

They must be happy as clams every year then, I just don’t know how when we get beat down every year a single game from the super bowl..

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CoachDino's picture

February 26, 2021 at 03:00 pm

By that thought process I would suspect that viewership of football overall would be down 90%. Who other than the fans of the best teams would watch? Why wouldn't stadiums be empty for the teams that are out of playoff contention?

The norm is too watch your team no matter what for enjoyment of the process/event. The outliers are the supposed fans that only enjoy the team if they win the superbowl. It would be a very sad existence.

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RCPackerFan's picture

February 24, 2021 at 09:10 am

Jon Runyan Prediction:
I won't say he will got the RT, but I think he will be a starter next year. I think he probably could play RT no problem, but I think the Packers view him as an OG. It does make sense to try and move him to RT for the reasons you mentioned. I just question if the Packers will do that though.
I do really like Runyan though.

Franchise Tag:
It makes sense to franchise Jones for that price. I don't think they will do that. But if there was a year to use the Franchise tag, this would be it.

Wide Receivers in the Draft:
I completely agree about the draft. We need more quickness/speed added to the team. We need a more pure slot type of WR. We could really use a guy that could be dangerous in the jet sweep types of plays also. But adding a Tyrek Hill style of player to the offense would really give us more threats.

MVS:
MVS has been a good player. Not great, not terrible. He borders between very good and good. He has the ability to stretch a defense. He just needs to clean up the drops a bit. Hopefully he can take the NFCCG into the off season and really build on it.

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MarkinMadison's picture

February 24, 2021 at 09:40 am

I had forgotten how well Runyan played against Chase Young in college. When you put it like that, I have no problem seeing Runyan at RT. If you go with Runyan and Step on the right side that will be a whole lot of youth over there. Expect some growing pains. I still think you invest a high draft pick at T.

I've been wondering how fast Bakh can get back. The surgeons & PT specialists seem to have made major strides over the years. It does look possible though that he could be back as soon as week 1, but given his age up to 12 months is not unlikely. Bulaga took a full year to recover, and he was younger then that Bakh is now.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/page/hotread141119offense/acl-injuries-...

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/page/hotread141119defense/acl-injuries-...

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Handsback's picture

February 24, 2021 at 09:47 am

Last year's draft was a smashmouth football draft. Why? I think it's because Green Bay wants to move from a pass centric offense to a more balanced run/pass. To do that you need RBs like Dillon verses Jones. I personally think Williams would be the bigger mistake not to resign. He's a great blocker/passcatcher for 3rd downs and is tough in carrying the rock.
I don't know how the Oline will shake out, but Nijman was protected for a reason. I hope next season we see Rodgers getting closer to a game manager verses putting the team on his back and trying to win it by passing every down in the redzone.

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Handsback's picture

February 24, 2021 at 09:47 am

Last year's draft was a smashmouth football draft. Why? I think it's because Green Bay wants to move from a pass centric offense to a more balanced run/pass. To do that you need RBs like Dillon verses Jones. I personally think Williams would be the bigger mistake not to resign. He's a great blocker/passcatcher for 3rd downs and is tough in carrying the rock.
I don't know how the Oline will shake out, but Nijman was protected for a reason. I hope next season we see Rodgers getting closer to a game manager verses putting the team on his back and trying to win it by passing every down in the redzone.

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ottscay's picture

February 24, 2021 at 09:47 am

Assuming the Packers don't tag Jones, I think it's most likely because he (well, his agent) made it clear they would be extremely unhappy about it. Running backs have such short careers that being kept from your only shot at big-time free agency for another year (in which a major injury could happen at any time, or his body could start to wear down) makes it understandable why they might be hostile to the idea. And given how important team chemistry has been the last two years, there's no reason to push the issue if that's the case.

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CheesyTex's picture

February 24, 2021 at 11:29 am

?????

So the Packers should ignore their rights under NFLPA because Rosenhaus plays hardball?

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ottscay's picture

February 24, 2021 at 10:09 pm

Having the right to and it being a smart move are not the same thing. A player unhappy about being tagged has every right to not sign it and sit out all preseason activities, or even much of the season, only signing it in time to rejoin and not have their contract toll. Given the high rate of injuries to backs, sitting out at least the preseason activities is arguably the smart choice. That can impact early season performance, and unhappy players can potentially be a locker room issue. Franchise tag salaries hit the cap that year in their entirety, which would preclude a lot of other potential signings.

If the cap had expanded as normal I have little doubt the Packers would have offered Jones a deal closer to what he can get on the open market. The reality is with the cap shrinking we simply can't, and it seems to me franchise tagging him is high risk with lots of potential for diminished reward. We'll see if Gute agrees!

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CheesyTex's picture

February 24, 2021 at 10:44 pm

Agree with your points, and feel the same way.

Just wanted to note the "other side of the fence". From reports, Packers did make a solid offer to Jones last year that he declined (apparently wanted more guaranteed $). He then hired nightmare Rosenhaus, which probably ended any possibility of his staying a Packer right then. The Packers rarely use the tag anyway.

By hiring Rosenhaus in a reduced Cap year, IMO Jones shot himself in the foot. As you say, we'll see.

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Packman60's picture

February 24, 2021 at 10:02 am

I see Jenkins starting at LT with Runyon starting at LG. Patrick will hold down the center position, with Stepaniak at RG and Turner at RT. Once Bak is back Jenkins takes over at Center. I think the Packers will draft an OT in the 2nd or 3rd round to eventually take over from Turner and provide depth in the short term.
I would franchise Jones and either keep him for one year or trade him for a 2nd or early 3rd, which would be better than a comp pick at the end of the 3rd round next year. Miami needs a RB badly and it's been reported that they will pursue him in free agency, if he gets there. They have a lot of draft capitol and would likely make that deal to obtain him.

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MarkinMadison's picture

February 24, 2021 at 11:05 am

Can you give an example of a player who was tagged on a one-year deal but then netted their team a 2nd or 3rd?

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PatrickGB's picture

February 24, 2021 at 11:01 am

I see Jenkins as the long term selection at RT. I like him a lot at center and guard but this team needs a RT.
Jones will probably end up in Miami.
Moore at slot would be killer! And he returns kicks!

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Leatherhead's picture

February 24, 2021 at 11:18 am

Runyan.: Trees, meet forest, because there's a big upheaval on the offensive line. It is entirely possible that the starting O line will have new starters at every single position compared to opening day last year.

To me, it makes little sense to spend the entire offseason and training camp, etc., working with one group on the offensive line and then say "we'll shuffle everybody around in the middle of the season when Bakhtiari returns." I think it'll be Jenkins at center (for reasons I've already stated), Patrick at guard, Turner at RT. That leaves Runyan as the most qualified LEFT tackle remaining, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if that's where he'll be on opening day.

If we draft a starting RT, of course, then it's moot.

Jones; Not a bargain anymore, and he has to be replaced with somebody who is. Jones/Williams had 400 carries/targets and 14 TDs between them last season, and I think Dillon will easily make up better than half of that. Draft a guy, give more targets to the TEs, whatever, but we can make up that production.

WRs: No, just no. We have one of the league's top WRs, Adams. We have one of the league's top deep threats, MSV. We have a big WR with good hands, the ability to get deep, and who is a one of the league's top blocking WRs. We should figure out who we want to resign or bring back next year and THEN draft the WR we need. Not this year.

MVS: This guy is on the threshhold of stardom. If he actually stops dropping passes, he's going to be one of the biggest homerun threats in the league.

The Poll: My perception of the front office is that the Packers are a model organization, top to bottom. To say that entire seasons don't matter if you don't win a Super Bowl is just nonsense.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 24, 2021 at 11:18 am

Runyan.: Trees, meet forest, because there's a big upheaval on the offensive line. It is entirely possible that the starting O line will have new starters at every single position compared to opening day last year.

To me, it makes little sense to spend the entire offseason and training camp, etc., working with one group on the offensive line and then say "we'll shuffle everybody around in the middle of the season when Bakhtiari returns." I think it'll be Jenkins at center (for reasons I've already stated), Patrick at guard, Turner at RT. That leaves Runyan as the most qualified LEFT tackle remaining, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if that's where he'll be on opening day.

If we draft a starting RT, of course, then it's moot.

Jones; Not a bargain anymore, and he has to be replaced with somebody who is. Jones/Williams had 400 carries/targets and 14 TDs between them last season, and I think Dillon will easily make up better than half of that. Draft a guy, give more targets to the TEs, whatever, but we can make up that production.

WRs: No, just no. We have one of the league's top WRs, Adams. We have one of the league's top deep threats, MSV. We have a big WR with good hands, the ability to get deep, and who is a one of the league's top blocking WRs. We should figure out who we want to resign or bring back next year and THEN draft the WR we need. Not this year.

MVS: This guy is on the threshhold of stardom. If he actually stops dropping passes, he's going to be one of the biggest homerun threats in the league.

The Poll: My perception of the front office is that the Packers are a model organization, top to bottom. To say that entire seasons don't matter if you don't win a Super Bowl is just nonsense.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

February 24, 2021 at 11:37 am

I'd like to be a fan of Franchising Jones. My worry if they do that is he can hold out and essentially hold 8 million dollars hostage. The Packers wouldn't be able to spent that money elsewhere since Jones could show up at any time.

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Gman1976's picture

February 24, 2021 at 12:57 pm

Al, I love your polluted mind articles. It is easily my favorite column. Thanks for writing all these years.
1. When it comes to signing Jones, I too have been using the term “no-Brainer.” Why? a. He’s a game changer. b. He flourishes in this offense. c. If we must tag him, it’s a one year short term deal. d. If we tag him and have to trade him, it’s possible that we may be able to get a higher draft pick and/or a couple of picks. 2. The poll: Winning the Super Bowl cannot be the only goal. There’s too much pain and dissatisfaction with years of mediocrity. I never want to go back to all those years of frustration before the Farve years. A winning culture will produces so many joys, and usually ends up with the greatest prize sooner or later. Go Pack!

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WMA's picture

February 24, 2021 at 04:11 pm

He fumbled twice in the NFC Championship game. Was not a game changer when it counted.

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Gman1976's picture

February 25, 2021 at 01:34 pm

Yes and he was knocked out by injury again, but throughout the year he was certainly a game changer. A franchise tag keeps him for one more year, and no longer. He will not be able to replace.

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Oppy's picture

February 24, 2021 at 07:19 pm

Al, I agree that Aaron Jones at $8M is a no-brainer price for a year of what he brings to the table.
However, I'm philosophically opposed to using the franchise tag to hold a player to your roster and limit his ability to find a team that would like to give him a long-term contract.

I know it's a tool and it's there for a reason, but I appreciate the Packers' restraint (historically speaking) in its use. They seem to only use the tag when they are truly working towards a long term contract, but just haven't got the time to get it completely worked out yet. I believe the last time they did this may have been to get Pickett re-signed at one point, althought I might be mistaken.

I'd feel awful if the Packers held Jones from a potential long-term or big-money suitor, and he ended up suffering a career ender while franchised. I know, it's always a risk, but it would just -feel- wrong.

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Oppy's picture

February 24, 2021 at 07:22 pm

I just googled it, and lo and behold, SI published an article just 2 days ago about the Packers using it on Pickett back in 2010. The Packers are apparently the only team in the league to have NOT used the franchise tag in the last decade.

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cms's picture

February 24, 2021 at 08:30 pm

I am curious as to why Runyan played frequently early in the season then he was benched. The common thought was that he would start when Linsely got injured. I still think he fits well at RG and would like to see them draft a tackle this year pretty early. Also, it's time to see what we have in Nijman. Go Pack!

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packer132's picture

February 25, 2021 at 11:48 am

Runyan only saw a lot of snaps in weeks #10 and #11; also week #8. We will never know the reason, but I am guessing the line coach felt he was best suited as a backup. Rookie, so still learning, though Rodgers called him Mr. Reliable. I would think he pushes to start at guard and Pack sign a tackle in early rounds.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 25, 2021 at 11:58 am

The injured players he replaced healed up and returned to their spots.

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hobowilly's picture

February 26, 2021 at 09:03 pm

El Paso Burgess high never had it so well with A Jones and his brother. What an infectious personality; the vast majority of us fans don't know what happened last Fall when GB offered Jones top 5 RB pay. IHMO, it was to both Jones & GB's detriment that Aaron chose Rosenhaus as his new agent. Problem is, i relate agents to lawyers--not much good to anyone except themselves, in general. Just a hunch but i'd bet Jones enjoys the GB community. What's there not to love about Aaron Jones? Retain if you possibly can please!

you gotta love Gutey selecting 3 O linemen last Spring (all 6th rnd) and i'll just bet 2 of them become starters. That, my friends, is drafting well on the 3rd day. Now, if Gutey is fortunate enough to pick a starting ILB and CB within the first two rounds this year, then he's a genius.

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