Cory's Corner: Three Subtractions That Need To Be Made

The Packers can save $14.9 million by releasing three defensive players. 

Now is the time when people like to fill out Packers wish lists. 

They hopelessly throw free agent names around like Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst is doing bargain shopping at Target. 

But in a salary-capped sport, in order to make an addition, there needs to be a subtraction. It just so happens that I have three. 

First and foremost is Preston Smith. He played 97 percent of his defenive snaps on the defensive line and barely made an impact. He averaged 2.6 tackles and 0.7 quarterback hits a game. On the plus side, the sixth-year pro played in every game, but it was hard to tell if he was on the field. This is especially frustrating a year after he tallied 12 sacks and 3.5 tackles a game. 

Cutting Smith, 28, makes economic sense because he is the fifth-largest contract in 2021 and would save the Packers $8 million. It also makes sense in terms of Rashan Gary. He took a gigantic leap in his second year and deserves to be on the field all the time. Gary was the best defensive player on the field in the NFC Divisional Game vs. the Rams and his ascension will only continue heading into next season. 

Next, the Packers have figured out their inside linebacker position and Christian Kirksey isn't a part of it. Kamal Martin and Krys Barnes are the athletic sports cars that is demanded at that position. With teams throwing the ball to running backs more and more, the Packers need dynamic playmakers at that vital position and they have that with the "K Brothers." Kirksey is OK, but when you're this close to a Super Bowl, you don't want to be just OK. 

Kirksey, 28, will be the Packers' eighth-highest paid player next year and Green Bay will save $5.6 million by cutting him. What's distressing is that Kirksey had 10 missed tackles — his highest total in three years. That cannot happen at inside linebacker. That is supposed to be the quarterback of the defense and you cannot keep striking out on tackling. 

Finally, the question the Packers have to ask themselves is, how important is special teams? Because, Josh Jackson has proven that he can play special teams but just cannot get on the field at corner. Jackson, a second round pick in 2018, only played 29 percent of the defensive snaps this year, well behind 2018 undrafted rookie Chandon Sullivan, who played 72 percent. 

Jackson came to the Packers with a lot of promise. At the University of Iowa, he was a shutdown corner. He played great man-to-man defense and even returned two picks for touchdowns. Things haven't translated to the NFL game as he is allowing a quarterback passer rating of 112.5. 

The Packers would save $1.3 million. That doesn't seem like a lot, but during a year where the salary cap will likely go down, every little bit helps. 

That's a total of $14.9 million on three guys that can easily be replaced. This is what separates the good from the great teams. Good teams have a hard time seeing regression and often reward past success. But great teams look to the future and can predict when a player won't be able to meet expectations. 

Knowing who to release and when to release him is arguably more important than knowing who to bring in. 

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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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Comments (87)

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scoonie_penn's picture

February 06, 2021 at 06:26 am

I would add Dean Lowry to the list of guys to cut who would help free up salary. I wonder if GB could look at trading P Smith and or J Jackson for a draft pick or player? I think both would offer some value to another team.

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NickPerry's picture

February 06, 2021 at 11:34 am

Trading Smith would be pretty tough. First of all teams pretty much know the Packers HAVE to make some cuts. Cutting Smith and having Gary who played better last season makes pretty easy arithmetic.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 06, 2021 at 12:07 pm

Jackson might be traded for a similarly unproductive 2nd rounder who also needs a change of scenery. OTOH, with a new DC, maybe there will be some new scenery in GB.

No one is going to trade for P. Smith, short of perhaps something like swapping 7th round picks. Trading versus releasing Preston Smith doesn't change the cap numbers for GB.

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PatrickGB's picture

February 06, 2021 at 06:52 am

I did not know that Jackson was good on special teams. Or maybe he just simply played on them. In any case it’s been determined that he was too slow and too grabby to play CB full time. Like some have noted I have often wondered why he was not moved to safely.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

February 06, 2021 at 07:41 am

They did try him at safety in the preseason a couple years ago, but chose not to play him there. I'm guessing he wasn't good at it.

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flackcatcher's picture

February 06, 2021 at 02:34 pm

He got injured while playing at SS and was IR for most of that year. He did play in the slot his rookie year, not bad.

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Demon's picture

February 06, 2021 at 08:59 am

Not arguing with you Patrick, but how good could Jackson be on special teams? Keeping a player purely for his special teams ability on a team who's ST'are god awful terrible seems like a reach.

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TarynsEyes's picture

February 06, 2021 at 09:31 am

The Packers cut Janis, and he was by far the best SPT guy they had, so the idea of retaining Jackson for his SPT play is absurd, or the FO is clueless to what player makes SPTs more a non-issue than another, or their just clueless. I vote clueless.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

February 06, 2021 at 02:13 pm

Janis is one that still intrigues me. He was a great gunner, good but not game changing return man, and in MLFs offense he could have easily filled that gadget position for sweeps, end arounds, etc. You have to wonder if his career would have been different if he had a coach willing to carve out that specific role for him vs. wanting him to be the route runner he was never gonna be for MM.

Same goes for Monty - think the that bridge was clearly burned in 2018 and he has shown himself unable to break through anywhere else.

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Demon's picture

February 06, 2021 at 03:21 pm

Montgomery is a total and complete waste! Uncoachable, selfish tweener too short and stocky for WR. Too weak and injury prone for RB. Didnt he have a health condition too? Sicklecell? Where it took him longer to heal iirc? and just remember this, MM had A Jones 3rd string behind Monty and J Williams. Thats laughable!

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The_Justicar's picture

February 06, 2021 at 03:48 pm

Been a while since I’ve seen a “Jeff Janis could have been somebody “ post if MM would have used him correctly. Since Green Bay cut him, Every single team in the league has had a few years to allow Janis to blossom on their roster and turn into the superstar that GB and Mm didn’t allow him to be, Can we put it to bed by now that Janis is NOT a superstar waiting to happen?

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TarynsEyes's picture

February 06, 2021 at 04:29 pm

Nobody said superstar, but keeping Jackson for his SPT play which is near zero impactful compared to releasing Janis who was the very impactful on SPTs.

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The_Justicar's picture

February 06, 2021 at 09:35 pm

I agree with your comments about his special teams skills. I was actually responding to another poster about janis’s lack of development,

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 07, 2021 at 02:46 pm

Then they should have kept Kumerow as a gunner. Not Playing/keeping draft favorites doesn't help teams win.

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Slim11's picture

February 08, 2021 at 06:57 am

In the interest of accuracy, Janis played out his rookie deal and wasn't re-signed by the Packers. He was signed by the Browns, but was one of their last cuts.

Based upon what I read in the article and this thread, I was under the impression Jackson was of zero value. His ST play was under my radar...just didn't see it. Another fringe player who was a ST ace was DB Jarrett Bush. Bush kept returning to GB on one-year deals so he clearly had some value which Jackson may not have.

Janis MIGHT have turned out well had McCarthy used him as MLF does with Ervin. We'll never know...

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Matt Gonzales's picture

February 07, 2021 at 11:36 pm

Literally the opposite. I specifically said Janis was never gonna blossom as an actual receiver and maybe he could have carved out a more productive career in GB as a gunner/returner with a coach who knew offensively he was never gonna do more than run across the formation and maybe catch the occasional pitch in space (and who would be ok with having him just in that role).

Like Monty, who was a decent returner and could have been a fine third down back/James White-type "back" who gets almost all their offense on passes behind or near the line, but who soured this organization on him and whose career prime was derailed by not being able to stay on the field.

People here are too damn touchy. I don't want either player back. Just remarking how these past players could have been better fits for MLF than MM had MLF had them then.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

February 07, 2021 at 11:36 pm

Literally the opposite. I specifically said Janis was never gonna blossom as an actual receiver and maybe he could have carved out a more productive career in GB as a gunner/returner with a coach who knew offensively he was never gonna do more than run across the formation and maybe catch the occasional pitch in space (and who would be ok with having him just in that role).

Like Monty, who was a decent returner and could have been a fine third down back/James White-type "back" who gets almost all their offense on passes behind or near the line, but who soured this organization on him and whose career prime was derailed by not being able to stay on the field.

People here are too damn touchy. I don't want either player back. Just remarking how these past players could have been better fits for MLF than MM had MLF had them then.

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PatrickGB's picture

February 06, 2021 at 01:48 pm

It’s not my contention that he was good at it. Just that the author noted that he did play on them. I never knew that he had any real contribution to them. I thought that I read that before the team was going to be serious about moving him to safety they thought that it would be best to have him try and master playing at CB. It seems that did not pan out.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

February 06, 2021 at 02:17 pm

The fact that we can't call him anything more than present at ST says it all. To make the roster and earn a second contract as a primarily ST player you have to be able to be able to do more than not be a liability in your role(s).

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4thand10's picture

February 10, 2021 at 10:11 am

Nor slow, just grabby. I would take him over Kevin “ just throw a shoulder tackle “ king.

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stockholder's picture

February 06, 2021 at 07:36 am

With a new DC. Comes a new Defense. I've said Gute must undo his last season moves. Kirksey had cement shoes. And since he was injured. - GoodBye. Wagner was dumped by Detroit, because he doesn't play good in big games. And was injured. - Good Bye. Jackson like King had injuries.- GoodBye. Funchess Incomplete - Goodbye. Now for P. Smith. He played hurt. And like peppers. He did contribute. Honor this contract! Lowrey- LanCaster,Winn, Price. It just doesn't matter who we put in there next to Clark. We need to get bigger and better. So until we do. My choice is to keep P.Smith and see what a new DC does for him. He came here to win a super-bowl. Gute did nothing for this defense last draft. "Win Now" was No longer the goal. Hopefully it will be this year.

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PeteK's picture

February 06, 2021 at 10:06 am

I don't see anyway of keeping Smith.

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stockholder's picture

February 06, 2021 at 11:11 am

I do. Linsley , Jones and king= are gone. Gute can't afford any of them. Keep in mind; King will be the only one you have to replace. So IMO. Gute still has Love on his mind. This draft does have Ots. The worse case scenario is Little.(#29) My second choice would be Humphrey C. (Thats if he takes a CB rd. 1.) The Rbs, and Wrs are deep. And there are some quality CBs later in this draft. So why not sign Linsley?. Well, he's to costly. And he sat while his back healed. jones is electric. But not replaceable. Regardless: If No Cb lights Gute up at the combine. IIMO these positions "could" be drafted by him first. OT, C, DL. ( starting with #29.) Call it the " Love" scenario first.

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justjan's picture

February 06, 2021 at 12:55 pm

Combine?

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 07, 2021 at 02:50 pm

I have advocated for Lindsley. Then stock the defensive backfield and get a fast slot WR. Gary has to be the starter and EDGE guys can be snagged in FA.

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LambeauPlain's picture

February 06, 2021 at 11:01 am

If Leonard has taken the DC job, I would have expected Preston to be released. (Dang, I wanted Jim in GB!) Preston was just miscast by Pettine as a cover OLB. I think he is fast enough but just does not have good cover skills. When in space, he was successfully picked on by opposing QBs a lot.

But now it appears Evero is the favorite to be the DC and he likes the 4-3 as a disciple of Vic Fangio. If he is the new DC, Preston has new value a a DE. He was a very good D lineman in college and was college D player of the week 3 straight weeks as a senior. He's fast, and certainly big enough at 6' 5" 265...and could even add another 10-15 lbs. not give up much as a rusher.

However, if the plan is to keep Aaron Jones in GB, no way does Preston stay. The numbers won't work.

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dobber's picture

February 06, 2021 at 04:09 pm

Be sure that if Evero is brought in--and he worked under Wade Phillips--a 3-4 guy--and in a defense that currently runs a 3-4 as its base, that they will continue to run a multiple front with both even and odd looks like they have for the last several years, and Evero will be capable of running it.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

February 06, 2021 at 07:39 am

I'm guessing I'm not the only one who thought Lowery and King would be two of the three...

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Guam's picture

February 06, 2021 at 08:10 am

King isn't a cut, his contract is up and he will be a free agent. Cuts are the designation for players currently under contract for the 2021 season. As much as I am not a Lowery fan, I doubt they cut him simply because his contract is low for a starter although part of that decision will be what the cap is. If it is $175 million, you could be right that Lowery is gone.

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TheVOR's picture

February 06, 2021 at 11:33 am

Awesome and well stated. King simply won't be resigned. What a horrible performance in the NFCC game, my gosh..

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

February 06, 2021 at 07:55 am

Josh Jackson doesn't cost much. If the new DC plays a lot more zone Jackson might play better. He can't play man but has tape playing zone very well.

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Swisch's picture

February 06, 2021 at 10:52 am

I, too, am reluctant to let go of Josh Jackson until our new defensive coordinator has an opportunity to talk with him and take a look at how he was employed in the past.
I keep thinking of Casey Hayward.
Without any top cornerbacks under contract to start opposite Jaire Alexander, and with the uncertainty of any rookie being able to fill in right away, a rejuvenated Jackson could be an extremely important part of the 2021 Packers.
It's hard to believe Jackson doesn't still have a high level of talent, and perhaps his potential hasn't been tapped.
I wonder if Jim Leonhard, for example, thinks Jackson has the tools to succeed in the NFL; and if Jackson is game to renew his determination in what amounts to a fresh start and perhaps his last best opportunity.

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barutanseijin's picture

February 07, 2021 at 03:31 pm

Casey Hayward played well while he was in GB. He made the active roster, got snaps & did things on the field. Josh Jackson has not.

I question whether how much NFL ability he really has. Playing corner well in the Big Ten doesn't necessarily mean a guy will be able to cut it in the NFL as a corner or even as a safety.

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dobber's picture

February 06, 2021 at 12:29 pm

For the reasons you state, Jackson will get one more chance to show he can contribute. They've got a hole at outside CB, and cutting a high pick on a relatively low salary at that position makes no sense.

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Guam's picture

February 06, 2021 at 08:03 am

TGR pointed out that designating P. Smith for a June 1 release would save $12 million versus a March release worth $8 million. Lets wait until June. Additionally, Jackson played mostly zone at Iowa, not man. He has always been more of a zone defender and is much better facing the QB than with his back to the QB. Good eyes and understanding of the game, slow feet.

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LambeauPlain's picture

February 06, 2021 at 11:13 am

I always thought Jackson would make a better Safety vs CB. Agree he was a very good zone cover man playing well in space at Iowa. He saw the field well with good reaction time.

But he just doesn't have the instincts to play man, IMO. Alexander the Great has outstanding anticipatory instincts to go with his speed that Jackson doesn't have. Jackson has good speed but his opponents shake him off fairly easily, unlike Jaire who looks like HE is the route runner.

I also agree to keep Preston around for the new DC to evaluate. If it is Evero (who is a Fangio 4-3 disciple), I expect P. Smith will have new value as a DE.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 06, 2021 at 12:19 pm

Preston Smith has a $4M roster bonus due March 20. He'd have to be released prior to 3-20 to get the $8M much or the $12M (with a June designation). Not much time for the new DC to evaluate Preston. If GB waits until after March 21, the most they can get is $8M.

Now if GB waits until after TC to cut Preston, that would automatically constitute an after June 1 release (no need to use on of their two designations as everyone cut after June for any reason get this treatment), so GB would get the $8M. I just can't get the Packers under the cap by the start of the new league year (March 17)

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Lphill's picture

February 06, 2021 at 08:43 am

You are missing the fact that Kirksey is a weak side linebacker , when Barnes settled in at strong side , Kirksey was very productive playing weak side ,I think he should stay , Barnes and Martin are good back up and special team backers , the Packers need to take the inside linebacker position seriously and draft an every down linebacker.

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PeteK's picture

February 06, 2021 at 10:24 am

Barnes--80 tkls in 13 games, leading tackler in playoffs while hurt and a rookie. If Martin makes a mediocre improvement , which is likely since he was a rookie, he can be a starter. Unless a great prospect falls to us, CB is our greatest priority and probably T next. However, a ILB should be drafted.

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CAG123's picture

February 06, 2021 at 12:53 pm

No no no here we go again with “The *insert undrafted player/late round pick hype” we do this almost every year “Well they showed promise” No f**k that I’m tired of promise take the position seriously for once in 15 years and draft a ILB we haven’t had a single one stick around for a second contract since AJ Hawk.

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Demon's picture

February 06, 2021 at 04:22 pm

And hawk stuck around 4 years too long

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Coldworld's picture

February 06, 2021 at 10:52 am

I agree, Kirksey looked a different player after he moved. I wonder if it was also being further removed from injury.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 06, 2021 at 12:22 pm

I agree he looked better. Mostly he looked more physical.

It wouldn't be impossible to comply with the cap if the Packers kept Kirksey, but it would be significantly more difficult.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 07, 2021 at 02:54 pm

Kirksey with a renegotiation, keep him.

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Ernesto's picture

February 06, 2021 at 11:12 am

Didnt we pass on Watt? Wow. The reason we did is, the pack value people who they think can play more then one position. What a stupid idea unless you are planning a team of undrafteds who cant play full time.

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Coldworld's picture

February 06, 2021 at 09:30 am

The team blamed Jackson being inactive on lack of special team prowess late in season, so doubt that is in his favor.

I’d add Lowry since Pettine is gone

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TarynsCrank's picture

February 06, 2021 at 12:55 pm

Right. I saw that article. Headline: Packers Blame Shitty Special Teams Performance on Josh Jackson. See, I can make things up too and pretend it’s not just an opinion.

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flackcatcher's picture

February 06, 2021 at 02:43 pm

Ha Ha Ha... Like something you see on Twitter.

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Since'61's picture

February 06, 2021 at 09:55 am

Agree with chucking P. Smith, Kirksey, Jackson and even Lowry. 13-3 with them, 13-3 without them. In fact giving Gary a full time starting role could be enough to get this team over the hump, assuming that we replace King with a good CB, add a DL and an ILB.

I would also chuck Burks, although that probably would not add much to our cap savings. The Packers cannot afford to keep non-productive and/or often injured players.

Focus on winning now, worry about 2-3 seasons from now when those seasons get here. Thanks, Since ‘61

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 06, 2021 at 10:54 am

Add Redmond.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 06, 2021 at 10:21 am

We should blow as many holes in the Gameday 21 defensive roster as possible. King, Burks, Jackson, Lowry, Sullivan...... I can’t believe Gutekunst was stupid enough to pay money to Lowry, Kirksey, and PSmith. He clearly has no clue. Cut them and spend that money on a WR.

/sarcasm

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PeteK's picture

February 06, 2021 at 10:30 am

King, Burks, and Jackson spent more time on a message table than even Kraft.

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flackcatcher's picture

February 06, 2021 at 02:50 pm

(drags fingers away from keyboard)

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mnbadger's picture

February 06, 2021 at 03:46 pm

Thank you for keeping the story about kraft and his kidnapped sex slave alive. The NFL placed this outrageous act under the rug. Any of us and this is front page news for years. He should have been forced into selling the team like the racist former owner of the clippers. His behavior was way worse than Sterlings. Sterling offended people and decency. craft violated and helped traumatized a person. GPG

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Ernesto's picture

February 06, 2021 at 11:09 am

Ya could save even more dumping Murphy and Gutt. Gutt is a moron as far as I'm concerned. When he commented he was decided on Gary - his 12 pick, before the combine that is nuts. Gary wasnt that good at Michigan, more hype then anything so what the hell Gutt saw in the guy to make him a 12 pick is beyond me but then again the took love in the first. Go figure.

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CAG123's picture

February 06, 2021 at 12:59 pm

You say holes as if these guys aren’t replaceable you don’t think the Packers can find a CB to play okay to average in the slot? Or a d-lineman to essentially just be on the field? Or a CB2 to be injured and inconsistent? Or do whatever it is that Burks does? Come on now

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Leatherhead's picture

February 06, 2021 at 01:40 pm

Do I think we can draft a CB who can replace a veteran starter? Maybe. I like experienced guys.

They are holes that have to be filled. You can’t just say”we’ll put some Day Two guy there and we’ll be OK

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dobber's picture

February 06, 2021 at 04:16 pm

Agreed in that they need to be smart. There's no reason to let a lot of these younger guys go--when the roster limits are 90--until they see what they've got in camp. You only get to draft so many guys. You can't keep piling needs on to a draft and expect to meet them all.

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CAG123's picture

February 06, 2021 at 04:20 pm

I mean is there really a difference between Brady picking on vets like King and Sullivan as opposed to a rookie?

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flackcatcher's picture

February 06, 2021 at 03:00 pm

Right now there are no replacements for King on the roster. None. P Smith is a starter and core player in the defensive scheme. Gary does not replace him. There are no quality replacements for either of them on this roster now. Short term I have no idea how Gute threads this needle.

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RickSorci's picture

February 06, 2021 at 10:56 am

If Gutekunst hadn’t wasted his 2020 No. 1 on a back-up quarterback and had selected MLB Patrick Queen, GB’s defense would have been much better. Instead, well, you know the story.

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barutanseijin's picture

February 07, 2021 at 03:33 pm

Then the offense still doesn't get in the end zone enough and the Packers still lose.

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Ernesto's picture

February 06, 2021 at 11:01 am

I cant disagree with any of what you said. King has to go to and dont know about Sullivan. Brady picked on him from the get go so the bucs for sure knew he was a weak link and we recently saw how weak links lose playoff games.
The team needs size and speed at corner, plain and simple and some more rushers and linebackers.
They can work around receivers and running backs but not the defense. You fix that or you perish.

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Ernesto's picture

February 06, 2021 at 11:06 am

Here's a concern. We had a guy from Michigan/USC called Perry. Oft injured, played so so for the first four years then lights out - gee it was his contract year. Then he went bust again, costs us money, let him go and I dont think he did anything much after that.
I said when they drafted Gary he reminded me of Perry a lot. Goes missing in games, doesnt play lights out until its contract time and then what? I personally aint raising a glass to this guy until he starts playing solid d consistently.

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dobber's picture

February 06, 2021 at 04:19 pm

Actually, no. The Packers declined his fifth year option, and in his fourth year he started to show signs of life. That was his contract year, but he still only had 5 sacks that season. The Packers resigned him to a modest one-year deal, and he had his 11 sack season, playing as the 3rd OLB behind Peppers and Matthews.

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nostradanus's picture

February 06, 2021 at 11:22 am

Jackson is on a rookie contract, he was a 2nd round choice and obviously has talent. Combine that with King leaving and a new DC coming on board this is the perfect time for Jackson to step up and prove it! It is too early to give up on the kid.

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NickPerry's picture

February 06, 2021 at 11:40 am

Absolutely, couldn't agree more. Lets see who the DC is going to be and the type of defense he runs. You just never know.

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barutanseijin's picture

February 07, 2021 at 03:35 pm

Talent maybe. NFL level DB talent? Haven't seen anything yet.

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jhtobias's picture

February 06, 2021 at 12:32 pm

Well Thankfully some dolt on this site continues to mention King and Watt that is not getting old at least .. Kirksey is interesting because when he was back in his natural position he graded well but is not worth the money nor will he get that on the open market so lets see if something can be worked out . Josjh Jackson thing is silly , but the great oren burks ain't waorth whatever they pay him .. Agree with one commenter about smith either way he goes .. Is he worth a 5th round pick to some team at 8 million a yr ? who knows but his production is not worth nearly 16 million next year ..

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Swisch's picture

February 06, 2021 at 01:14 pm

It seems a good sign if the Packers offered the job of defensive coordinator to Jim Leonhard.
It's understandable if Leonhard may truly prefer being a college coach.
It's sad to not have Leonhard with the Packers, but at least he seems to be staying with the Badgers.
Let's hope there's another guy like Leonhard out there in the defensive coaching ranks with good experience who has solid judgement but also a good measure of dash and daring.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 06, 2021 at 03:16 pm

Here's the problem with the DC job in Green Bay right now.

Pettine has gone 28-8 over the last two years, and in those 8 losses, most of them are for reasons other than bad defense. By rankings, we've been in the top 10 in both points allowed and yards.

So that's the bar. The New DC is expected to put a Super Bowl defense on the field. First year, right away. mostly with the players we have (which our own alleged fans think suck). It's a tall order. You're expected to put a Top 5 defense out there. It's not like you're a new DC on a team that went 6-10 and was 26th in scoring defense. There's no honeymoon with this job, and you can't just go out and buy/get the guys you want. It doesn't work that way.

I'd rather take the DC job in Detroit. Less pressure to succeed.

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flackcatcher's picture

February 06, 2021 at 03:31 pm

And if I were Detroit I hire Mike Pettine as DC. He builds winning defenses in an offensive league.

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The_Justicar's picture

February 06, 2021 at 03:43 pm

Yeah,, that’s not how type a coaching personalities at the top of their profession think. They see this as an opportunity to stamp their name into a super bowl run. A loser decides to take the, as you call it, the less pressure job, at a woeful franchise at Detroit. Where in all likelihood the entire staff will be fired in 3 years or less- again.

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Swisch's picture

February 06, 2021 at 04:29 pm

Pettine may have done a lot of good things, but he seems to have been lacking in games as far as being too conservative in general, as well as being too slow in making adjustments.
Also, it too often seemed his players did not know their assignments on any given play.
So a confident candidate for defensive coordinator may see those deficiencies -- or perhaps others -- and say to himself he can make some major improvements next season, and soon thereafter put our defense over the top into an elite unit.
As put forth by The Justicar, that seems the kind of coach we would want, someone who wants to make our defense comparable in caliber to our offense.
P.S. It seems that with the salary cap just about all the teams in the NFL are challenged as far as which players to keep and which to let go of, plus having to really get it right in the draft.
That salary cap seems mostly a good thing, though, to avoid the unfairness of baseball where small-market teams such as the Brewers have to compete with the likes of the Dodgers with bulging budgets for payroll.
One thing the NFL may be able to do is give each team a little advantage in signing its own players by softening the cap space to some extent in those situations.

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TarynsEyes's picture

February 06, 2021 at 04:46 pm

"to avoid the unfairness of baseball where small-market teams such as the Brewers have to compete with the likes of the Dodgers with bulging budgets for payroll."

Get better scouts and develop players better, something that the Dodgers do regardless of how deep their pockets are. You apparently fail to realize how many homegrown players are on the Dodger now and in the many seasons before. Now they simply fill the need to get over the hump for Championships, or at least to be in the Championship game.

Yes, I'm a Dodgers fan and have been since being a baby and my Dad being a Brooklyn (Bums) Dodger fan.

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Swisch's picture

February 06, 2021 at 05:06 pm

Well then, let the Dodgers compete with the Brewers without Mookie Betts at some $30 million per year. That's not filling a need but backing up a Brinks truck.
Plus, the Brewers have it much harder in keeping the guys from within their system who turn out to be good major leaguers and move on for bigger contracts.
The Dodgers are so rich they could take a chance on Cory Knebel returning from injury to his all-star form -- but the Brewers don't have that luxury.
I wonder what the payroll is between the Dodgers and the Brewers the last couple of years. Do the Dodgers have a payroll of five times higher, or just four times?
It seems the Dodgers shop on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills for players; while the Brewers are going around to garage sales.
As it is, the Brewers have made the playoffs three years in a row.
It's cool, though, Taryn, that your Dad was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan.

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TarynsEyes's picture

February 06, 2021 at 06:08 pm

They got to the World Series twice without Mookie. He filled a need.
The Dodgers have been under the luxury tax for a few years until now.
The Dodgers don't lose any farm system guys because they coach them and whether in LA or traded, they get a great opportunity when their time comes.
Yelich was a big get and pay day after the trade from Miami.
Again, the Dodgers haven't gotten many big players. They lost out on Harper, luckily IMO, they lost Machado to SD, fine with that also. So other than Betts and now Bauer, who are the big money guys outside resigning their own.
The Rays seem to do well without big FA buys,
The Brewers do OK, but could do better, if the farm system was better.
The problem is like the Packers, the draft and develop has been failing more than winning, and they do more FA signings than the Dodgers every year.

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splitpea1's picture

February 06, 2021 at 06:19 pm

No sympathy for the Brewers--I'll bet they were glad to escape the AL East (where they belong!).

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flackcatcher's picture

February 06, 2021 at 03:27 pm

It's going to be in-house. Likely Gray. There was no way any outside hire comes in with little to no job security. The big issue with Lafleur is Pettine had a three year contract, and Gute did not want to fire him without reason. (Fans on Twitter/CHTV wanting Pettine fired are not a serious reason) With Lafleur now entering the final year of HIS contract, it will be hard for him to hire anyone without Gutekunst's backing him with a new contract. If that were happening, we be hearing about it via Lafleur's agent or leaks out of 1265. And so far, nothing out of either.

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dobber's picture

February 06, 2021 at 04:24 pm

I disagree. If LaFleur was going to stick in-house, he wouldn't have offered to Leonhard first, and he wouldn't let the in-house candidate dangle this long. Hiring an in-house guy at this stage does nothing but make that guy look like a booby prize and make the process look like abject failure. Evero or Barry will be the guy.

https://dairylandexpress.com/2021/02/06/green-bay-packers-joe-barry-repo...

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CAG123's picture

February 06, 2021 at 04:26 pm

Pettine didn’t even do it in year one though the def improved over a 3 year span they definitely took a step back in a category I would have loved for them to remain tops in and that’s red zone def last year the Packers were hard to score on when the field shrunk.

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Since'61's picture

February 06, 2021 at 09:22 pm

CAG123, the Packers were ranked 11th in red zone defense in 2019. In 2020 they were ranked 12th. Virtually the same.

The Bucs only scored once from the red zone in the NFCCG. That was after Jones’ fumble and they started on the Packers 8 yard line. Their other scores including their FG were from the 20 yard line or beyond.

Red Zone D was not the problem in 2020.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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badaxed's picture

February 06, 2021 at 09:58 pm

Barry? 0-16? Three strikes your out. If barry fails.....he may pull the head coach down with him.

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canadapacker's picture

February 07, 2021 at 10:57 am

Not all coaches are successful their first few tries - just look at Bill B - and then look at Pete Carroll - in the head coaching . Now in Detroit maybe Barry was nothing but a puppet for his father-in-law who was the HC. Might have been too hard for him to really run his scheme with interference and a really bad roster. So lets cut him some slack and since Lafleur worked with him and since we have retained some quality coaches - ie it wasnt a total purge - there is reason to believe that a different voice with some other perspective might just work - ie we are not just starting from scratch.

Now the big decision might be - are we staying with this hybrid 3-4 or going back to a 4-3? Preston on a 4-3 with a renegotiated contract might fit. Jackson at only 1.3 might still fit. But we need some faster more intense linebackers to go with the development of Barnes and Martin.

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Slim11's picture

February 08, 2021 at 06:54 am

Canadapacker said...

"Might have been too hard for him to really run his scheme with interference and a really bad roster."

Wasn't this also the final season of that player personnel genius and GM Matt Millen?

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canadapacker's picture

February 08, 2021 at 09:28 am

Ya - and then he became one of those geniuses that we see on Sunday offering their expertise on game day broadcasts.

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CoachDino's picture

February 07, 2021 at 12:48 pm

Actually I thought Kirksey really turned it around and though Martin makes big splashes with his big hits he sucks right now. That said saving over 5mil on Kirksey is too much to let slide. I'm just not as high on the Barnes and Kamal duo.

I hope they can salvage Josh Jackson with this new DC. Its such a small savings compared to what hye could possibly bring.

The big savings that would be risky to me is on offense, Billy Turner.

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