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Could J.C. Tretter be an Option to Replace T.J. Lang?

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Could J.C. Tretter be an Option to Replace T.J. Lang?

Could J.C. Tretter start next season for T.J. Lang?

Could J.C. Tretter start next season for T.J. Lang?

When it comes to NFL free agency, there is often a fear of the unknown. Sometimes teams have this fear, sometimes players. Other times it’s fans.

When it comes to the Green Bay Packers, there is fear all around. A fear that Ted Thompson will again not spend money on free agency or that he will allow good players to walk.

One player many fans are concerned with is long-time and now Pro-Bowl guard T.J. Lang. And here is why they have a right to be worried.

The Packers haven’t even contacted Lang. He said so this week on SiriusXM Radio.

Now there is still plenty of time and usually these kinds of deals get done late. But what if Thompson and the Packers really do plan on letting Lang leave in free agency? What’s the replacement plan going to be?

It could be J.C. Tretter.

It may not seem likely at the moment. Tretter is a free agent, fresh off knee surgery. But remember how well he played before the injury? At one point, it appeared that Corey Linsley wasn’t getting his job back.

Then Tretter injured his knee and Linsley became the starting center again. But that doesn’t change how Tretter played when healthy. It might have been good enough for the team to think he can be a starting guard.

After all, Tretter started at left tackle against the Redskins in the playoffs two years ago and even last summer, before Linsley got hurt, Mike McCarthy said he viewed Tretter as a starter.

A lot of it may come down to health, but if they think he can get back, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Packers give Tretter a modest one or two-year deal. At the very worst, he can be a backup center and offer some insurance if Lang walks.

Certainly, the Packers would be better off keeping Lang, there is no doubt about that. He’s a warrior, a great pass protector and just a gritty guy you want in your huddle.

But if he does leave, don’t be surprised if sometime down the road, the Packers turn to Tretter.








Chris is a sports journalist from Montana and has been blogging about the Packers since 2011. Chris has been a staff writer for CheeseheadTV since 2017 and looks forward to the day when Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl. Follow him @thepackersguru

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (24) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

stockholder's picture

I'd sign Tretter and let Lang go. Regardless who plays guard.

Duke Divine's picture

This is reasonable but Tretter never ever plays more than 50% of the games in a season. He is versatile and athletic and can be plugged in anywhere in a pinch but is he available? Lot of times the answer is no. TJ LAng is available almost every week toughing it out through injuries while playing at a high level. But Lang is getting old and banged up. Meanwhile Tretter is younger but is ALWAYS in the training room. One thing is for sure, Tinkering Ted will be damned if you do and damned if you don't by us fans.

Mojo's picture

If I were a cutthroat GM I'd go with Tretter (assuming his knee will be alright - we don't even know the extent of that injury).

If I were a sentimentalist GM I'd go with Lang.

Both starting quality O-lineman. Lang has been a warrior, team leader, loyal and for that matter an above average guard. It would be great if he if the Pack could afford to keep him.

Tretter on the other hand, I believe has more upside, is younger and much more versatile. Gets to the second level much more than anyone on the line. If resigned he could play through the remaining ARod years. Obviously injuries are a question mark with him. His first one as a rookie was a fluke, but the other two might have been the result of being undersized. His relative youth and flexibility are huge plusses. I think where ever he ends up playing he's going to have a good career.

I think Tretter views himself as a starter and would demand something near starter money. He's not going to want to be a backup even if the Pack offer him a good salary. Lang on the other-hand will probably stay with a hometown discount. That and his sincere desire to stay not to mention he is a pretty good player lends me to believe GB will sign him and let Tretter trot.

If they do resign Lang it better be a short contract. He's literally on his last legs.


Handsback's picture

Tretter is not a stone wall. He's been hurt I think, every year in the league. So unless he moves away from the absolute center of NFL injuries (Green Bay) his years as a Packer may be frustrating. Or he could remain injury free and be an All-Pro Oline guy. TT will be rolling the dice either way.

Since '61's picture

I'm hoping that the Packers keep both Lang and Tretter. We know Lang is solid and experienced. Tretter has youth, can play multiple positions on the OL and has plenty of upside left. Since the offense in the strength of the team I prefer to keep it as intact as possible. Imagine losing Lang or Tretter or both and then end up keeping Barclay. No way. We have enough questions on defense we don't need to start creating issues with the offense. Keep the good ones and chuck the bums and retreads. Thanks, Since '61

RodFlash's picture

Tretter's not going to accept a contract as a backup. He's viewed as the #1 FA @ Center and someone's going to offer him some $$Jing!

croatpackfan's picture

I think that plan is to keep Lang and let Tretter go. Packers already signed Jacob Flores on future contract and he is center... I think they will make a deal with Lang which will be good for both sides...

Chris Peterson's picture

I'd love if they kept both. I just think Tretter may cost more than expected and Lang too. I'd love for the Packers to keep Lang. I think that he can play well for 3-4 years. Plus his leadership is invaluable. But If he has to go I'd prefer Tretter to a rookie, Spriggs or (gulp) Don Barclay.

Razer's picture

I like them both. If Lang can't be resigned at a reasonable price then Tretter is a good option. My only problem is that we get lighter in the trenches and that is a direction we don't want to go. Barely have a run game as it is - could use some road grader types inside.

Chris Peterson's picture

Yea J agree. I prefer Lang. That would be the No. 1 priority if I was TT. I'd get a deal done now.

Chris Peterson's picture

Yea J agree. I prefer Lang. That would be the No. 1 priority if I was TT. I'd get a deal done now.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

It would be nice if an UFA guard who was not coming off injury was an option since the other 4 linemen are coming back. Tretter is injured and not really strong enough to play guard. Lang will be 30, is injured, and does not play the "Hands Outside" technique that they Packers like to employ.

It does not have to cut into Thompson's precious Compensatory picks either to look else where. If TJ and TC out equals UFA in it a wash just as is resigning them.

lou's picture

Because of the recent surgery the Packers must let Lang test the free agency process to gauge what his value really is, had he been 3 years younger and not had surgery they would have paid market price before he hit the market like they did with their left tackle. Based on what that price is they either get in the game or back off. For Tretter to take Lang's spot assuming he leaves he will have to add considerable weight because as everyone knows his natural position is center but it is noticeable although not that much difference in weight, Linsley plays much stronger than Tretter per all reports, that is why he needs to add weight if he becomes a starting guard. His biggest plus is athleticism he did the job for a game at LT because of it (after the bulky Sitton failed) and it showed at center getting to the next level. Best case is for Lang to stay and Tretter to be the #1 backup offensive lineman and stays healthy for once all of this assume the prices are right. What a bad omen when on your first practice in the NFL you suffer a severe injury on a fumble recovery drill.

Chris Peterson's picture

I think Tretter is worth starter money but I think his Injury history limits him some. I would think unless he gets a big offer which he could get, he would want to play on a one or two year prove it kind of deal. I can easily see him getting $5-6 million a year maybe more who knows. Free agency is hard to predict with funny money.

ironman3169's picture

It is pretty funny what some teams pay in free agency. Definitely agree with you there. Lang on a 2 year deal for the same annual money he's been making. I honestly think tretter is too fragile to start. An excellent backup, however, and worthy of keeping around.

Chris Peterson's picture

Yea that's why I think he won't get maybe as much $$ as others. But yes I would keep Lang If at all possible.

Ferrari Driver's picture

The Packers may be able to afford both.

The Packers have been raising ticket prices on a regualar basis and if they bump them up another 10 bucks this year that will generate 6.5 million more to spend.

I don't expect the TV revenue to increase because of the diminished viewer levels this past season, but some of decrease could be temporary and may be the result of Players taking a knee before the game rather than during it.,

Bearmeat's picture

If Spriggs isn't ready, I'd sign Tretter as a starting RG and let Lang walk. If Spriggs is ready, moving Bulaga to RG and Spriggs to RT might not be a bad idea. Either way, the writing is on the wall for TJ. :(

The NFL is a harsh bidness.

Lancer's picture

When Sitton was shown the door wasn't the narrative that he was told the Packers were focusing on resigning the younger OL guys first? If true it seems TT would sign Tretter and probably let Lang walk. He has done that many times before. My only hope is that he doesn't invest in Barclay, we have to be able to have more upside potential in back ups than that. Thanks.

Art's picture

Keep in mind that whomever the Packers let walk, the Vikings in desperate need of OL's and in love with former Packers will be all out in signing.

Chris Peterson's picture

Yea personally I don't Barclay belongs on the 53. Just don't think he can hack it.

Chris Peterson's picture

Yea personally I don't Barclay belongs on the 53. Just don't think he can hack it.

Packer Fan's picture

Important: The Packers have alot of injuries. Could be the water in Green Bay, but I doubt. Either Lang or Tretter will be OK. What the O-line needs are viable backups to survive the attrition during the season. Spriggs should be a viable backup. Perhaps Murphy will develop, but don't count on it. Ted T needs to get a veteran backup. Maybe even draft one to develop in future years.

Slim11's picture

If Lang isn't re-signed, it would be foolish to let Tretter walk.

If Tretter comes back, could it be at center with Linsley moving to RG? Tretter wants an opportunity to start.

Don't bring Barclay back unless it's to work in the equipment room or in the front office! KEEP HIM OFFF THE FIELD!

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