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Cory's Corner: Ted Thompson sheds his boring skin

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Cory's Corner: Ted Thompson sheds his boring skin

Ted Thompson is a pretty boring guy.

The Packers general manager plays the percentages and usually doesn’t surprise anyone.

Then the last two weeks happened.

First, it was the punting carousel. Six-year veteran Tim Masthay, who owns the Packers career record for the highest gross punting average at 44.2 yards, was surprisingly released after undrafted rookie Peter Mortell was already cut.

That meant that Thompson went out and signed Jake Schum, who was recently cut by Tampa Bay. Schum looked good in the preseason finale at Kansas City, but the move was remains a head scratcher.

Then word came out on Saturday that three-time Pro Bowler Josh Sitton would be cut. That made no sense to me. The versatile offensive lineman has played right guard, left guard and a whisper of left tackle last year. Sitton just turned 30 in June and has been named first or second team All-Pro five of the last six years.

Sitton has arguably been one of the most consistent offensive lineman in franchise history. He has only missed two games going back to 2009 and prior to Super Bowl XLV, he went 20 games without giving up a sack.

The Packers were able to erase his $5.9 million base salary and will not have to worry about his pesky back issues, but is offensive line the right spot to take a chance?

Everyone knows how important Aaron Rodgers is to this team. If he has to miss significant time, the Packers chances of winning the Super Bowl get drastically slashed. Two months ago, the Packers were ranked the No. 3 offensive line according to Pro Football Focus. It’s doubtful that Lane Taylor will have the same type of cohesiveness or production, which means that’s a lot to ask of the other linemen.

Rodgers already has plenty of pressure on his plate, but how much more is it to ask by inserting a new player into the starting offensive line just a week before the season starts? He can think his way through just about every situation, but he cannot handle a bull rush that can cause the entire left side of the line to fold.

A lot has been written and said about Thompson’s silence. Should he address his surprising moves? Sure, but it really doesn’t matter because he never says anything anyway. After the NFL Draft is completed, Thompson steps to the mic and says the same thing, “We got the best players available to build a championship team.”

I can understand that Thompson wanted to be out in front by getting some value for an aging player. However, no teams were willing to bite on a trade and not long after Sitton was on the open market, the Bears signed him to a three-year $21.5 million contract — complete with a $10 million signing bonus. Sitton still has plenty of value, mainly because of how important protecting the quarterback has become in the modern game.

The Packers are taking a gamble that Schum can consistently flip the field and turn into a 12th defender while Taylor can somehow dial up his play after turning in a subpar preseason.

When a Super Bowl is on the line, is it really worth it to roll the dice unnecessarily?

-------------------

Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (89) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"When a Super Bowl is on the line, is it really worth it to roll the dice unnecessarily?"

Damned if you do, Damned if you don't.

Turophile's picture

Unnecessary eh. Since Ted has proved he is anything but stupid, you have to ask yourself the question, "What does Ted know that I don't ?"

It may be something to do with Sitton's projected health, or something else entirely, I don't know. Only thing to hope for is that a reason for this action emerges over time.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

They are not going to tell us. They have very little to gain by telling us. 99% of fans honestly don't care, and us die hards aren't going to change allegiance because of it. Players come and go in football. Even Cow* no matter how many times he says he's done isn't going to stop watching the games. Lambeau has been sold out for damn near 60 years.

Michalske's picture

The reason for the move can be deduced from the players who made the roster: Davis the 7th WR, Evans the 6th safety, and Murphy the 9th OL (11th during most of camp if you count Sitton and Linsley.)

None of those players were going to make it through waivers to the practice squad.

Meanwhile if you keep Sitton, 5 of your OL are unrestricted free agents, and Sitton is the guy you are planning to not make an offer to.

2017-2020 are still more important (from a roster building perspective) than having an extra vet in 2016. Cutting Sitton lets you keep an extra youngster who will be under contract at the end of the season, and gives you a full year to evaluate Tretter as a starter.

Which, btw, is exactly hoe TT explained it "best move for the continued growth of our Offensive line).

Not saying I agree with the move, but that is the explanation.

Amanofthenorth's picture

That works for me. Keep being relevant GBP's!

croatpackfan's picture

Wow, I think Ted Thompson made enormous mistake. He should pay Josh Sitton 50 mil per season, because, without him there is no chance Packers will have better record than 1-15. Without Josh Sitton Packers are doomed...
He has more value than Aaron Rodgers, because Aaron Rodgers will be hurt for sure as Josh Sitton was cut. So, without Josh Sitton we lose Aaron Rodgers. Thank God we have Joe Callahan on the roster...
Lane Taylor is so bad that he can not be in the same sentence with the words "football player". There is nobody else than Josh Sitton who can play LG position in the world...
Packers are doomed!
Now, I have only one question to all of you, reporters on this page. I really enjoy your writing, how you see football, how you are suportive to Packers and I read lot of qualified comments on this site. I do not always agree with you, but really like this page.
Why Ted Thompson cut Josh Sitton?
Do we know or we just speculate about reason(s)?
I think, without knowledge of the reason/reasons it is not OK to claim anyone is wrong or doing mistake(s).

Turophile's picture

That much irony all in one place should at least keep your clothes nicely pressed......

croatpackfan's picture

It will be interesting to read all those people's comments if Josh Sitton will be placed on Bear's IR before the half of the season!

Packer_Pete's picture

I like your humor :-)
At the same time, I don't hope I'll have to read people's comments when #12 is carried off the field due to one of Taylor's whiffs when trying to pass protect...

croatpackfan's picture

Good reply!
What if whiffs would be from Lang?
What if Jay Cuttler will be carried off the field due to one of Sitton's whiffs - how that will help Packers?

RCPackerFan's picture

We are all still trying to figure out why Sitton was let go, and honestly we will probably never know the whole truth.

Most people seem to think its more about the $ then anything from what I have seen. Which maybe the case.
Some other theory's I have heard is that the Packers have grown tired of his outspoken behavior. Also that they were in contract dispute with him.
One that I have wondered but haven't heard anyone say anything about was his play. Has his play dropped off?

McCarthy said that there were many factors that went into the decision.
We will soon find out if their decision was the right one or not.

croatpackfan's picture

We will learn the truth when Ted Thompson will write his autobiography...

dobber's picture

The cover will have a picture of him with an open-mouthed, blank stare, and it will go straight to the bibliography.

Tundraboy's picture

I read a comment that summed it up for me. At seasons start we took one known quantity, the Oline and replaced it with an unknown one. Hope they see something in onboard development that we dont or its just a risky gamble driven by egos.

Nick Perry's picture

The Packers had questions 7 days ago but this morning heading into week one they now have 2 new questions, 5 days BEFORE the play their opener.

7 days ago we all felt pretty damn good about the O-Line, our concern was depth. What would happen if any of the Packers starters were injured was the question on the O-Line. Today it feels like we lost the Jordy Nelson of our O-Line.

7 days ago we had a punter who maybe wasn't the greatest, but our kicker felt comfortable with him holding. Matter of fact Crosby/Masthay and the Packers were one of only 5 teams to make EVERY extra point last season. Now we have a guy who did well in his only action, a preseason game in perfect conditions. Crosby also converted all his kicks, though he only had one.

I'm sure everything will be just fine. I mean Taylor will have 5 or 6 days to get used to playing with the starters. Crosby will have 5 days to get used to his holder, though the holder might be working on his own thing....punting. But hey, it's going to be fine, because "In Ted We Trust"...

jeremyjjbrown's picture

This move was entirely strategic. Interior Linemen are just not as important as they used to be and are not the place the money should be flowing to, especially not if they are beat up and their play is trending downwards.

Highest paid:
Guard, Kelechi Osemele, Raiders, 7-9
Center, Travis Frederick, Cowboys, 4-12
Defensive Tackle, Ndamukong Suh, Dolphins, 6-10

I cherry picked just a little bit, but if you look over the results of having highly paid DT, OG, or C the strategy clearly does not correlate into a winning record right now in the NFL.

Nick Perry's picture

Osemele...Signed as a FA this season
Fredrick... Just signed an extension a week or two ago
Suh...The Dolphins are idiots, have been idiots, and seem destined to remain idiots. I mean who in their right mind would pay a D-Tackle THAT kind of money? The Dolphins and Steven Ross, and only the Dolphins and Steven Ross.

RCPackerFan's picture

My guess is that they asked Crosby whether or not he felt he could get comfortable with Schum before they fully made their decision to stick with Schum.

Bearmeat's picture

I'd bet not RC. Crosby is an employee lower on the pecking order in the franchise than the scouting and coaching staffs. He'll do what he's told and he'll stay quiet about it

RCPackerFan's picture

you don't think they asked Crosby whether he was comfortable or could get comfortable with Schum?

Knowing how important the kicking game is especially with the longer extra points now, I find it really hard to believe they didn't ask him.

Packer_Pete's picture

has your boss ever asked you whether the Joe Schmoe they just hired can move into the office cube next to you, and whether you're comfortable with that? He is just an employee...

RCPackerFan's picture

not exactly apples to apples.

But i have had bosses ask me if this person fits into our department.

You don't think they would ask Crosby how Schum held for him?

Nick Perry's picture

RC, you and I normally agree on much of what is said here about the Packers, but I can't get on board with this one. I don't believe for a second TT would discuss anything with a player and I'm starting to wonder how much he actually discusses with McCarthy. There might be some discussion, but it's mostly just Thompson doing what he wants or what he feels is best.

Remember when McCarthy suggested the Packers "Might Surprise Some People in FA this Off Season"? If he meant getting a TE who many weren't/aren't sold on for under $3 Million then I guess we're surprised. Given it's for one year and McCarthy damn near had to beg to the media when talking about NEEDING a "Big Fast Guy" running down the middle, and RR average of about 1 yard average after the catch, it wasn't HAT much of a surprise. Not really right?

I saw this on ESPN Milwaukee and thought it was interesting. I thought Lang might be signed after this season but after reading this I have my doubts. I also think TT beats to his drum and his drum alone.

http://www.espn.com/blog/green-bay-packers/post/_/id/33057/t-j-lang-ever...

dobber's picture

" I mean Taylor will have 5 or 6 days to get used to playing with the starters."

It's not like they only just took the cellophane off and unpacked the foam peanuts on Taylor on Saturday. He's been around for a couple years and has logged game snaps. He's even had a start or two (and btw who was filling Sitton's and Lang's spots when they couldn't practice?) so he's had a chance to practice with the 1s. There might be a slip in cohesiveness early on, but my biggest concern is going to be his ceiling, not the chemistry.

Nick Perry's picture

In his starts how'd he look? I hope I'm wrong but I think this guy is a truck, as in dump truck. I've been wrong before and I HOPE I'm wrong here, but playing the guy who is normally responsible for the guy who blocked a kick or punt against the Packers just doesn't seem like a good idea.

carusotrap's picture

I will restate here that Ted Thompson does not have a responsibility to win a championship. He has a responsibility to maintain the football side of a business venture. A GM uses a championship - the anticipation or the reality - to sell tickets, jerseys, advertising, etc. In the average franchise, the fan base ebbs and flows depending on winning and losing. In Green Bay? Not so much. (How many if us are still here, in spite of the 1980s?) Do you think that season ticket list goes to zero if the Packers make the playoffs for the next ten years but can't win a SB? Me neither.

I'm not saying that the Sitton move isn't bat-crap crazy, but Ted is looking at all the moving parts, not only this year but five years from now. That said, I think he may be significantly over-valuing saving Sitton's cap money, much in the same way as he has this borderline unhealthy obsession with UDFAs, but when you understand that, to him, this year is no more or less important than the next or the one after that, you start to see it.

Of course Ted wants to win it all, but unlike us, he doesn't define success by that standard.

PaulRosik's picture

When i was growing up in the 70's and into the 80's it was widely believed in the city of Green Bay (or is that the Metropolis of Green Bay?) that the Packer's management didn't really care about winning. They were always going to sell out anyway and make their money.

It wasn't true then and it isn't true now. Just because you don't agree with a move, does not mean they are not trying to win.

dcharlesc's picture

Let's not forgot that Sitton barely practiced last year and his play on game day reflected that. A desperate team gives him $10m guaranteed. That's why we are in the playoffs every year. When Linsley gets back, we will have our 5 best OL on the field and ten games for the line to work together. We will be a better team come playoff time. Crazy like a fox.

RCPackerFan's picture

When Linsley comes back are you suggesting that he will move to Guard?

I had wondered if Linsley would be moved to guard next year, and have Tretter stay at Center. I'm not sure how Linsley would be at Guard, but it maybe an option.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I'm pretty sure if both Linsley and Tretter are heathly they are both on the field this season.

RCPackerFan's picture

I think so as well.

Though I'm not sure if Tretter is big enough to play guard, but he is versatile enough to. Linsley has the strength to play guard, but not sure if he can. Is he a center only?

RCPackerFan's picture

If Taylor is playing well I don't think they disrupt the OL.
But if he isn't playing well I could see them using Linsley and Tretter.

Linsley seems much bigger then Linsley to me.

Tretter very well could be who they want at Guard. He is a very versatile player. And Linsley very well could be just a Center. That I am not sure about.

Turophile's picture

Murphy could do well at guard. He would be best as a right guard because he is a solid run blocker, but afaik he only practiced at tackle in preseason.

Guard may well be his best position in the NFL - how good he can be at tackle will depend on how well he learns to handle speed rushers.

RCPackerFan's picture

I have wondered how well Murphy would do at Guard. I think he could be a RT, but I do question if he has the feet to play RT.

Either way I think he had to be given the shot to be RT first.

Packer_Pete's picture

"his play on game day reflected that" - I disagree. He was one of the most consistent OL in the entire NFL, and a premier pass protector. Giving up only 2.5 sacks over the last 3 seasons speaks volumes. His play may have slipped a little compared to the past, but if he was still on the roster, he'd still be one of the 5 best OL. No matter whether Linsley was healthy or not...

While the experiment at OT was mis-guided IMHO, it showed the value that the coaching staff thought Sitton had for this team.
Before he was waived, I haven't heard anybody ever suggesting in any starting OL chart that I've seen the last few weeks or months that Sitton wasn't there. I certainly never have heard anybody suggesting Taylor should start over Sitton...

Tundraboy's picture

Yup

zerotolerance's picture

Taylor might have looked 'bad' vs KC, but he was not playing between Bak and Tretter.

Spud Rapids's picture

Has anyone actually assessed Lane Taylor's play? Honestly I think we as fans maybe have underestimated is abilities... I know he is no Josh Sitton but let's give our coaches so credit, Taylor has gotten reps against Mike Daniels for years while Sitton has sat out numerous practices because of his back. If he is consistently holding his own against a top flight DL why shouldn't we insert him and free up cap space to sign the Tretter/Bahktiari's on the roster. The more I think about it the more I can see the rationale. Let's see how it plays out before we chastise Taylor.

RCPackerFan's picture

My question is has Sitton's play slipped? I haven't heard from practices but has he lost some of his ability's?
Also, is the difference in play between Taylor and Sitton very minimal?

I think there maybe some truth in that.

Bearmeat's picture

Also, MM all but said that OG is just not a premiere position on the offense. QB, WR, OT is.

The difference between a purple/green chip player (70's rating in Madden) and a red chip player (80s rating) at OG isn't going to drastically change the offense's production.

The problems come in if Taylor plays like a cow chip. Or if anyone else gets hurt.

What I'm most upset about is the timing and the lack of a 4th round comp pick (which is what Sitton probably would have brought). That is a valuable commodity to give up. TT is making a gamble here no doubt.

RCPackerFan's picture

yeah, i personally don't like the timing of it more then anything. If they had the offseason to plan it, I think it would have been an easier transition.

And it really does affect the depth of the OL.

Unless Sitton was becoming a problem in the locker room, I think it is a gamble.

Bearmeat's picture

That was hinted at by MM too in his presser yesterday. There wasn't just "one level" to this decision. To me, that says money, getting an extended look at Taylor/Linsley/Tretter combo inside, and personal issues.

Just grasping at straws here, but do you remember how bad Sitton's comments ticked off MM in the regular season steamrolling we took against the Cards last year?

RCPackerFan's picture

Yeah, there definitely seems to be a lot to it.
Yeah, really that is what we are all doing. 'grasping at straws'. I mean none of us know the real reason, but I think most of the reasons mentioned were a part of it.

My biggest question is if his play had slipped.

RCPackerFan's picture

He struggled the last few years from being able to practice. So perhaps that has caught up to him.

dobber's picture

"What I'm most upset about is the timing and the lack of a 4th round comp pick (which is what Sitton probably would have brought)."

I guess the question we need to ask is: will getting the cap room back to carryover and use to sign other UFAs be as good or better than a 4th round comp pick?

Bearmeat's picture

Don't forget getting a long look at Taylor and/or Linsley/Tretter at OG. That wouldn't happen if Sitton and Lang were to start all year.

PaulRosik's picture

That would be my main disagreement with this move also Bearmeat. If there was an inkling they were going to part with Sitton they should have been able to get somethin g in return. They waited too long and every team knew they had no choice but to cut him then so no takers came forth in a trade.

Packer_Pete's picture

I've 2 main disagreements. One that you and Bearmeat mentioned, not getting anything in return. The second one is that they let Sitton practice the whole camp with the number 1 OL. If the plan was to get younger and see what those can do, why not let them practice and play with the #1s??? The timing of the move is really bizarre to me...

MarkinMadison's picture

Well, in the last pre-season game he had three penalties (two holding, one false start) and was credited with a sack. Given that the fourth pre-season game is always used to evaluate the bubble players this does not inspire confidence. Obviously, the Packers believe in him because they gave him a solid two-year deal in March. But to say that Lane Taylor is going to be anything other than a step backward for at least the first 1/4 of the season is wishful thinking.

If he flops I'd look for Linsely to be re-inserted at center and for Tretter to slide over to guard when Linsley gets off PUP. Some will say, "That's messing with two positions!" But the reality is that Tretter is much more experienced at multiple positions than Linsley. So that is the plan, in my estimation.

In the meantime, we have a brand-new starter who is going to have two road games and a lot of growing pains. No doubt the OL will be worse in the short run. I think the gamble is that the younger players will be better in December and January than Sitton will be. We'll see.

Couch Cleats's picture

I have to think that there is more to the story of Sitton's release since Ted passed on getting a compensation pick for him next year by letting him go in FA at that time.

My guess is the back problems and the concern that things might get ugly with Josh upset over playing all year without a contract extension led to his release.

If he plays in GB without being re-signed during the season and gets hurt again, he just lost a ton of money / offers for next year. If I was his agent I would be trying to get him extended before that back went out again. That whole situation gets less surprising to me by the day.

As for Mastay, just because we knew his name and he can hold a football thats about to be kicked doesn't mean he's a good punter. I screamed for his red head a million times after seeing him shank a punt with almost no pressure from the defense.

I'm sure he's a great guy and I wish him well, but this team did not get worse when he left the building.

RCPackerFan's picture

I agree with a lot of what you said.

Like I said earlier, I am wondering with Sitton if his play slipped and the coaches saw it. Sitton didn't play much in the preseason games but the coaches saw him every day in practice.

croatpackfan's picture

You got one "admirer" here...
Finally some voice of reason.

cuervo's picture

The article bemoans taking a gamble by signing a punter that "may not be able to flip the field"? We've had a punter that hasn't had the ability to that in 3 years.
Cutting Masthay wasn't a head scratcher, it was overdue. We could sign a new punter every week until we find one worth keeping and wouldn't be any worse off.

Way too much is made of holding for kickers as well....Longwell isn't kicking for us anymore.

dcharlesc's picture

JC moves to guard. Linsley at center. I'm sure MM believed that would be our best 5 moving forward. TT did Sitton a favor, hence no complaints from his camp. Gets $10m guaranteed. Doubt he would have finished the season as starter.

stockholder's picture

Guesses, assumptions, TT is smarter than anyone. I see fan loyalty being taken advantage of. The interesting word that TT uses is "Build". WE should have been past that word 5 years ago. Just like nothing about this is logical, when used with the word super- bowl. Too many fan favorites', have felt TTs whim now. I'm tired of the wait and see, in TTs approach. When will you guys just admit it. That the TT gambles have finally F***ed up this team chances. Oh, he'll sugar coat it just like the excuses i'm seeing for him. And the writers will PR this to the extreme. But Are OPPONENTS are just laughing their butts off now. Be practical, TT is human. To error is human. But why should we forgive him after this? He can be replaced just like the people he's replaced.

Nononsense's picture

Didnt Sitton lose 20 lbs this offseason to help his back and to practice more. How much does that effect will that have on his play.

I simply have to look at his loss like a season ending injury. I dont need to make sense of it, it happened and like any injury, most likely the guy replacing him wont be as good. I just hope it doesnt have a rippling effect where it hurts the offense in general or Rodgers in particular.

Tarynfor12's picture

Every time I say something about a player, veteran or rookie, I usually get the " the coaches and staff know more or are you smarter than them" retorts.

We now have two veterans cut and many are claiming they know more than the coaches etc.

What happened to they know more than us.

I gave strong support for the play and retaining of Callahan and was told by many he isn't any good. No pocket passing, weak arm. Yet, MM says, " Did you see him, hell, how do you not keep him on the roster."

Either you believe they know more than you, or you accept they don't at times at varying levels.

We all knew either Sitton or Lang would be gone sometime and had an article asking our opinions are which and I think Sitton was the man out.

The coaches and Thompson believe Sitton doesn't hold the key to a SB this season and neither do I. Sitton knew his days were numbered and so did most here. Don't be surprised if same happens to Lang depending on money and the play of youth.

Lastly, is every writer putting out an article about the Sitton event or will get stuff that pertains to the Packers and our players. : )

RCPackerFan's picture

Don't you love that when you question what a coach does, you get the 'coaches know more then you or are smarter then you'.

Which in all honesty they do, but at the same time it doesn't necessarily mean your wrong either.
You don't have to agree with everything they do either. I have disagreed with stuff McCarthy has done in the past. For example last year, I felt that they needed to find a way to get Janis on the field. They were lacking speed, and he was one of the few guys that provided it, yet they didn't find ways to use him.
Was I right? maybe. Was McCarthy right? maybe. But that is how I felt.

Finwiz's picture

I was sitting in a bar in northern WI watching the Badger game when a guy next me say's "the Packers cut Josh Sitton", and I thought he was joking with me. Just a couple of guys having a drink while watching some football. Then he persisted and I still didn't believe it. Finally after 5 minutes it sunk in, but it took me a better part of an hour to process what in gods name was going on. This makes so little sense. Would I have had a problem with them letting him walk after the season, no, but to do it now a week before the season? The only conclusion I can draw is, between Masthay and Sitton, management is trying to send a message to the players that complacency will not be accepted. Even that doesn't make sense to me unless they honestly feel they got better by letting either player go. In the case of Masthay I'm sure they did, but Lane Taylor for Josh Sitton? Count me very skeptical. You got a great QB and an offense ready to roll, so why do you mess it all up by creating a potential disruption in the center of your line? I still don't get this. I've read a hundred comments on here and I still can't say I understand this any better than I did on Saturday. And you know what, I'm getting a little sick of this GM that answers to no one and never tells the press or the fans what he's thinking. The only thing he has on his resume is ONE Super Bowl, not 5 NFL championships in 7 years like Lombardi. TT is NOT Lombardi. This isn't some crazy genius we're talking about here. If this move fails, I hope the pressure really ramps up on this guy, and it should. You cut the leader of your offensive line, a respected, well like player a week before the season. I sure hope he knows what he's doing.

mnklitzke's picture

I don't understand why TT waited till Saturday of cuts to try and trade a player.. Why trade when you know they are going to be cut... I think when Lindsey is healthy he will go back to center and tretter slides over to LG which I am good with... I am scared we will have another 2008 with our punting.... ugh...

PETER MAIZ's picture

With all duerespect, I think Tretter may be too light to play LG.

stockholder's picture

The packers stated when they started the pre-season: That they wanted a lighter ,faster Offensive line. I believe Tretter will be moved again when Linsey is ready. But regardless, the offensive line should have been cleaned up before the season started. My prediction. A-Rod will get hurt this year. Because of LG. And I feel keeping a 3rd QB justifies that prediction.

Oppy's picture

Some people are talking about strength, not just size.

The 1" and 5 lbs. between Tretter and Lindsley does not encompass the massive difference in strength and frame between the two men

LIndsley came out of college "pressing over 500 lbs and able to squat a small house", as one combine report stated.

I don't know that he's the strongest man on the roster, but he's the strongest offensive lineman by a good margin- he actually was even as a rookie. Two years in the pros and he's even stronger.

RCPackerFan's picture

While Tretter is strong and plays with really good leverage, Linsley is an ox. The way he throws guys around is insane. He has more holding penalties based on his strength and throwing guys then he has actually holding penalties.
That is why I think he would make for a good guard. He also moves well. Tretter is a lot more athletic, but Linsley is a stronger.

Finwiz's picture

I agree with you, I'm sure they see Tretter as their guard and Linsley at center. 305 or whatever Tretter's weight is, just fine for playing guard, he can pull and move. It's more about pass pro with the Packers anyway so you don't need to drive block as much where you need the mass to push. My first thought was obvious they had this in mind with the trade, but my fear is what happens in the meantime. Taylor was awful last year when he had to play.

jlc1's picture

A couple of things that have been said just don't, or shouldn't, apply here. One is that TT is "evaluating" the younger players this here. Sorry, the regular season is for winning not evaluating. And win the Pack will but probably not the Super Bowl. Which leads to the second thing. Every franchise is profitable in the NFL, very profitable. Super Bowl wins makes them even more so. So there is no logic in the Sitton release in that regard, the Pack is a lesser team this year without him.
But just to spark some comment here, I think TT did it because he's decided MM has to go and by giving him a weaker roster the odds of MM not winning it all this year go up.

PaulRosik's picture

Sitton may been a MM move as much as a TT move. Remember after the Arizona regular season game last year Sitton criticized the playcalling. And McCarthy's response was to tell him to shut up and play football - well it was pretty darn close to that. Add in the announcement that there would be no talking about a new contract during this season and you start to think this may have just been someone they didn't want around anymore.

PETER MAIZ's picture

Sitton's back was a concern. Had it flared up for quite a few games, Taylor would have replaced him anyway. What concerns me with Taylor is that he may not be able to handle the bull rush and not provide adequate pass protection. If he is weak, you bet every team the Packers play against will exploit it. It may also seem that Tretter may not be heavy enough to play LG and my limited football mind can't figure out if Lindsley could play guard when his complete training has been at center.

dcharlesc's picture

After further review, I think they had no choice but to release Sitton when they did and it was the honorable thing to do. They would have probably preferred to release him when Lindsley comes off of PUP, but they would have had to expose Callahan, Hawkins, or Davis to waivers. Sitton 20lbs lighter might be a good thing for his back, but probably not great for pass protection. I think TT did this at Sitton's request and doesn't give a shit about fan reaction. Classic NFC North, Bears overpay for a has been Pro Bowl guard and Vikes give up a 1st & 4th for an average QB.

marpag1's picture

"I think they had no choice but to release Sitton when they did."

Yes. As a "vested veteran" (a player with 4+ years of experience), Sitton's entire base salary for the year would have become guaranteed if was on the roster even just for the first week. So in other words, if they hadn't cut Sitton before the season started, they would have had to pay his full salary anyway, and would have gotten zero cap relief.

marpag1's picture

I think many fans are drastically underrating the financial aspect of a move like cutting Sitton.

Some seem to think that there is virtually no benefit for the Packers - that the Packers gain nothing at all by cutting Sitton. They most certainly do... about 6 million dollars of cap space.

Others seem to think "a mere six million" is chump change in today's NFL. That's nonsense. It can easily make the difference between being able to extend a good player or not.

Others think that because the Packers have some cap room this year "they don't need the money." This seems to ignore the fact that a lot of important contracts are expiring at the end of the season, and the Packers will want to sign some big money deals. They will need a lot of cap space to do it. See below.

Some fans don't seem to realize that "unused cap space" from one year can be carried over into the following year. For example, all 32 NFL teams carried over unused cap space from 2015 into 2016. The average carryover amount was 6.4 million per team. Individual amounts ranged from Seattle's paltry $11,587 to Jacksonville's whopping 32.7 million. In other words, this year Seattle will have a salary cap that is 6 million dollars less than the average team's, and 32 million dollars less than JAX. Does that make a difference? Call me crazy, but I think it does.

It's much, much easier to judge the immediate impact of the Sitton cut than it is to judge the long term impact. But if keeping Sitton for one year means that we will have to let two quality UFAs walk....

It's complicated.

P.S. - Personally, I don't buy into the theory at all that TT was afraid of Sitton becoming a locker room cancer. Then again, I don't think that any of us really have a clue what has happened behind closed doors, either. I'm guessing it's about money and Sitton's age/health, pure and simple.

ray nichkee's picture

Two horseshit articles in a row cory. It has been a long time since I've felt the need to comment like this. We already have a skip bayless. I challenge you to step it up again. I know you can do better. We all do. Thank you for your contributions and kick it up a notch, please. Even Nick Saban was looking for improvement in his team after handing that ass whooping to USC.

Otto's picture

You had ONE job Cory!

fastmoving's picture

in 2 weeks this whole sitton crybaby stuff is over and long forgotten.

thanks god

stockholder's picture

No way. Everyones forgot. If IT ISN'T BROKE DON'T FIX IT!

gr7070's picture

One thing i have yet to read anywhere about this move is the potential effect of keeping Sitton has on game-day active roster management.

I don't know but I'd guess bringing a starter to games who might be chronically hurt has a pretty significant impact on how a GM/coach determines their game-day active roster.

Maybe that's one of the many factors in consideration here. Maybe it has a serious impact negatively on roster management, especially so if there's another OL (Bulaga) with a big concern, too.

Unlike Sitton, Bulaga doesn't have a contract friendly to a roster move like this. Plus tackle is a bigger priority and a much more difficult hole to fill.

It amazes me i haven't read a single sentence about this potential impact.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Probably because Sitton played 1040 snaps last year, 99.3% of possible snaps, the highest on the team. Sitton played: 2014: 94.8%; 2013: 100%, 2012: 100%.

Old ruthless TT sent a message to the team alright, one that I am sure Tretter, Bakh, Lang, Lacy, Cook, Perry, took particular notice. Does anyone think the last year of the contracts signed by a player is going to have zero to little dead money involved? Even if you're still playing well, TT just won't be able to help himself.

toolkien's picture

Sitton's profootballreference's AV in 2015

Relative to OL's

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/tiny/ZoyVr

On the Packers-

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/tiny/XANy2

There's no simple writing off of Sitton. The Packers are weaker now than they were to execute 16+ games in 2016-2017. It just doesn't feel like this was handled maximally. I've had nothing but respect for TT - his "batting average" has been one of the highest in the NFL the last decade. But this feels like a guy swinging at a ball way out of the strike zone and corkscrewing himself into the ground. SOMETHING wasn't handled right - if it's money, if it's decline in ability, or Sitton's attitude reaching a breaking point. You don't let a key piece to the puzzle walk a week before the regular season and getting exactly NOTHING for him. A lynchpin of the logic behind the whole Favre thing was making the best "business decision" by not just letting Favre go for nothing. Well? Granted Sitton is not Favre, but he was very valuable and he's now on the Bears' asset list and not the Packers' and the Packers have more cap room. Yippee.

With guys fat and out of shape, guys getting hurt (IMO due to poor technique), and now Sitton, there's seems to be HUGE dysfunction on the Packers the last several years. I've put most of the blame on MM, but TT has to be in the sights on this one even if MM in the picture too.

Oh well, spilt milk at this point.

marpag1's picture

It's more than a little contradictory to say that the Packers got "exactly NOTHING" by releasing Sitton, while at the same time admitting that they gained more cap room.

Cap room = the ability to sign players. Not having cap room means letting good players walk. That is hardly "nothing."

Finwiz's picture

Come man.....really? So you get rid of one of your best players just PRIOR to the season, so you can sign other free agents AFTER the season? What great logic. They got less than NOTHING in return, because it's an overall NEGATIVE for this season. The more I think about this, the more idiotic it seems. The one contingency would be IF he feared they were going to "lose" the locker room with a key disgruntled player. Sitton didn't strike me as that type of guy, but none of us know for sure.

marpag1's picture

So if Finwiz gets to be an NFL general manager, you would never give thought to anything beyond the current season? Um... OK.

And you're saying that an extra six million dollars in cap room is "nothing" to you? If someone offered you an extra 6M of cap, would you toss it in the garbage because it's nothing?

I did not say that gaining six million in cap room would totally offset the loss of Sitton, and I certainly didn't say that it would offset the loss of Sitton DURING THE CURRENT YEAR. I said that gaining 6 million in cap room is not "nothing." And if you look at some of my other posts, I said that they probably should have just let him play out his contract.

Finwiz's picture

I guess you haven't heard....the salary cap goes up next year anyway?
The reason they let him go had nothing to do with salary cap, otherwise why run him thru the entire training camp and OTA's to dump him a week before the season rather than after last? They saw enough last year to know how he played. If you said they should have let him play out his contract, I agree with you. This is all about the timing, I'm not saying gaining 6 mil in cap space isn't beneficial, but they could have planned this far better. As other people have said, did the GBP get better or worse with Lane Taylor playing for Josh Sitton? It all comes down to that, bottom line - 2016 team strength.

marpag1's picture

"I guess you haven't heard....the salary cap goes up next year anyway?"

Of course I've heard that. What did I say to suggest I hadn't? But the simple fact that the salary cap is projected to go up certainly does not mean that every team will have enough money to do whatever they want.

During the offseason, the Packers ranked 21 out of 32 teams in available salary cap, which means they have less than the average amount of money available. More troubling than that, although their available money is small, they have an unusually large number of important free agents that will need to be either resigned or replaced. At the end of the year, all of the following contracts will expire: Eddie Lacy, Nick Perry, Micah Hyde, Datone Jones, David Bakhtiari T.J. Lang, JC Tretter and Jared Cook. Of course, there are other lesser names who are playing on expiring contracts as well.

The fact that these contracts do not expire until the end of the season certainly does not mean that the Packers need to wait until then to extend them. In fact, there are many advantages to giving in-year extensions now rather than waiting until they hit free agency.

"The reason they let him go had nothing to do with salary cap, otherwise why run him thru the entire training camp and OTA's to dump him a week before the season rather than after last?"

Holding Sitton until the last round of cuts in no way impacted the Packers salary cap. It would not have made any difference to the cap if they had cut him four months ago. If you want my honest opinion why they did not cut him until now, here it is: They did not want Sitton to have time enough to practice with another team. So when he eventually signs with the Bears, at least he is going to the Bears without having any practice time with them. It's a cut-throat business, and the Packers are looking out for themselves.

"As other people have said, did the GBP get better or worse with Lane Taylor playing for Josh Sitton? It all comes down to that, bottom line - 2016 team strength."

In my opinion, the GBP are WORSE in 2016 without Sitton. But in my opinion it does NOT "all come down to 2016." Every NFL team needs to make decisions with an eye to the future.

ben's picture

homer logic

Since '61's picture

Up until Sitton was released I felt that the Packers had assembled one their best rosters if not their best roster of the TT\MM era. And TT deserves the credit for that. The team is finally going into a season healthy and to me the only serious question mark was the DL except for Daniels. Then the roster takes a pretty serious hit with Sitton's apparently inexplicable release. Were his age, salary, and injury history factors? Yes. Locker room problem? Pure speculation at this point and even if true could there have been that big a problem that the only way to resolve it is by releasing your best OL? Unlikely. I think that Sitton was caught in the numbers game of a very talented roster and the Packers made the decision to release him rather than expose a Callahan, or a Trevor Davis, or a Brice or whoever to being snatched up before they made it to the PS. MM said that there is a hierarchy of position groups and obviously OG is lower in the hierarchy than WRs, DBs, pass rushers, and so on. They knew they would not resign Josh after this season and he could be injured as the season wears on so he became expendable in the face of younger talent that the Packers are expecting to contribute beyond 2016. Let's face it, Josh can really play only one position on the OL and TT and MM prefer players like Tretter, Lang, Barclay and maybe Spriggs who can play multiple positions. I for one would have preferred to keep Sitton but the business side took precedence yet again. The timing is lousy and we've lost a solid, reliable player but this is still a strong roster, just not as strong as it was before Saturday. Thanks, Since '61

RobinsonDavis's picture

Well stated, 61. Unless I missed it, nobody has spoken about Demovsky's column on the "Locker presence" comment by McCarthy. Although not widely reported last year, Sitton made a commment about the play-calling, which was met with some wrath by McCarthy later in one of his press conferences. Whether this was part of the reason for Sitton's release, who knows? But, I think Sitton was pointing out something most of us recognized throughout the year whether it was play-calling or scheme. Last year, McCarthy changed a number of responsibilites including putting Edgar as new OC, and Clemants started the year calling plays. To be polite, it was a rough transition that resulted in McCarthy taking back over play-calling. I do not want to place too much emphasis on this one issue, as McCarthy himself stated it was multifaceted. However, this one statement, obviously grabbed McCarthy's attention,

ben's picture

I don't know everything of this situation. But I know enough to know that this move negatively impacts the chances of Aaron Rodgers being able to capitalize on one of his few remaining opportunities for a championship.

Other than to save a few bucks this move could have been made after this season.

Dumb move any way you cut it. In a couple years Ted will have squandered possibly thee greatest opportunity in sports history in being handed the best football player ever at the most influential position in the history of team sports but having only 1 LUCKY super-bowl to show for it.

A shame the best player in football history hasn't been given the opportunity to be its greatest.

I can see it now. Ted's book, " The Great Squandering"

What a waste.,

In Ted you trust.

fastmoving's picture

funny.......probably the best human being who ever walked on any planet in the history of the universe.

wasnt even a top 10 qb last year and in the most playoffs anyway...

Otto's picture

Complete unfounded speculation on my part: I think we'll find out his health was the issue. TT has always been a proponent of "I'd rather cut them a year too early than a year too late" team management. It won't surprise me if Sitton misses games this season due to his back (or whatever else is wrong with him).

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