Could the Packers Make Drastic Changes to Their Offensive Line to Save Money?

Decisions, decisions...Could the Packers actually part ways with some of their best offensive lineman to save money? 

Brian Gutekunst has definitely created some offseason speculation as to what the Packers starting offensive line will look like during the 2020 season.  You can never have too much depth at the offensive line position, but, the Packers have some veterans that are either up for new contracts or incur some substantial salary cap hits.  Here is a look at the cap hits (or potential) in 2020 for a few of the offensive lineman:

  • RT- Brian Bulaga: projected $7.5-10.5 million (depending on how Russ Ball can work his magic)
  • C- Corey Linsley: $10.5 million
  • LG- Lane Taylor: $5.4 million

These three veteran players are projected to account for as much as $26.4 million of the Packers cap space in 2020.  The obvious solution that no one will dispute would be to waive Lane Taylor and save $4.2 million.  However, in a sport that is driven by the salary cap, general managers are always looking to save a buck.  

During the 2019 season, Brian Gutekunst made two interesting moves that have led to speculation on the futures of Brian Bulaga and Corey Linsley.  First, he brought Jared Veldheer back out of retirement and then inked the versatile, Lucas Patrick to a team friendly contract extension.  

With the Packers desperate for impact players at the linebacker and wide receiver positions, Gutekunst could theoretically start Lucas Patrick at center, bring back Jared Veldheer on a team friendly contract, and draft Brian Bulaga's replacement with a premium draft pick in order to go "big game hunting" in both the trade and free agent markets.  

The only reason this scenario could potentially pan out is because of the hard work and solid play of Patrick and Veldheer during their opportunities during crucial times of the season (Veldheer starting the divisional game against Seattle and not missing a beat).  

Here is a look at what the cap situation of this new look Packers offensive line could look like:

  • T- Premium Draft Pick at rookie pay scale.
  • C- Lucas Patrick $1.275 million
  • RT- Jared Veldheer $1.5 million (2 years- $3 million, $1.75 guaranteed)
  • Don't forget that Billy Turner and Elgton Jenkins are extremely versatile.

This scenario is definitely a high risk, high reward situation, but I feel like the Packers have seen enough from both Patrick and Veldheer to make a calculated gamble like this.  These transactions would leave the Packers with almost $42 million in cap space* (After cutting Jimmy Graham and putting $9-11 million aside for their 2020 draft class, the Packers would have between $31-33 million to spend in free agency).    

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David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Comments (71)

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Bear's picture

February 08, 2020 at 12:06 pm

Turner is a very below average tackle, I wouldn’t call him versatile. Veldheer becomes the key issue at right tackle as a rookie tackle will take time to develop.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 08, 2020 at 02:04 pm

What if the rookies are already developed? 8 out of 9 OTs drafted in the first two rounds started in 2019. We are not talking about drafting a guy at #4 or #5 and hope he shows like Bhaktiari, or transitions to a Guard spot. Veldheer is not going to play for much less than the 3.5M contract he worked under last season. Why would he take that risk with his injury history? Bulaga at 10M minimum to stay onboard. The Patrick move was interesting by Gutekunst. Maybe he asks Lindsley to renegotiate his deal to be more CAP friendly? Lots of games going on.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 08, 2020 at 10:40 pm

Let’s save money by getting rid of the people who protect Rodgers and open holes in the run game.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 09, 2020 at 04:12 pm

And you know this about Turner because...? Or are you just repeating what you've heard?

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 12, 2020 at 11:53 am

Turner gave up 12 sacks, 13 bad runs and 41 pressures trying to play the RG spot.. This is the guy to worry about keeping Rodgers upright.

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MWendlandt's picture

February 13, 2020 at 03:52 pm

Don't just blindly quote McGinn's numbers. If Turner really gave up 12 sacks it'd have been a much bigger story. Most analysts had him between 3-6, which still isn't ideal, but much more manageable. Turner was a serviceable guard last year and a major upgrade from the past few years.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

February 08, 2020 at 12:07 pm

If Veldheer comes back to be a starter then he's going to want more than 1.5 million.

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blbertoc's picture

February 08, 2020 at 12:58 pm

Can’t find a run of the mill backup for that kind of money. No idea why someone you believe could be a solid starter won’t cost at least 3x that contract. Regardless of the free agency move I draft a tackle within the first three rounds. Veldheer notwithstanding, past history shows the offense nearly implodes when one of the starting tackles misses time. Go Pack!!

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stockholder's picture

February 08, 2020 at 01:09 pm

The Packers honor contracts. If they don't, it won't be because of the cap. Bulaga isn't a tough decision. Thank him. The worry is Bahk. Replacing a Rt now, will be the best move for the future. Linsley will come back. The packers at some point will go younger. But for right now the player to extend is Bahk. This draft will give you bargains. It will also fix holes. Holes before they get to big. Where there is a will there is a way.

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tincada's picture

February 10, 2020 at 08:45 am

The Packers honor contracts.. Really. You might want to ask Mike M about that. Plus all the other folks they let go at their discretion.

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Guam's picture

February 08, 2020 at 01:09 pm

You are missing one other piece to the cap puzzle David. The Packers have traditionally reserved about $7 million in cap space each year for in-season emergencies/opportunities. Without that reserve, there would have been no Veldheer or Ervin this year and no flexibility to respond to injuries to existing players. I think you are also a bit high on the amount needed for your draft class - I think $7-8 million would be sufficient.

I am more and more coming around to the idea that either Bulaga or Linsley needs to go. The problem is the Packers will have about $35 million in cap space assuming Graham and Taylor are cut and they will have to spend about $7 million on their draft class and reserve another $7 million for in-season issues. That leaves the Packers with $21 million in available cap space. If you re-sign Bulaga for $10 million, Crosby for $5 million and Lewis for $2 million, that consumes $17 million of your available $21 million in cap space, leaving the Packers with $4 million to go after other players. (In actuality, they may have slightly more since Russ Ball tends to low ball the first year of a contract to about 80% of AAV, but still leaves the Packers with only $7 million in cap space)

$4-7 million in cap space means one mid-range FA. No Littleton, no Schobert, no Hooper, no high end WR, etc. etc. If you don't resign Bulaga or cut Linsley, you create the means to sign one higher end FA and one mid-range FA. Given the holes on defense (DL and ILB) and the draft is flush with OT and WR talent, you can probably replace Bulaga (or Linsley) with a high draft choice and plug most of your other holes between FA and the rest of the draft.

I don't think you need to cut both Bulaga and Linsley, but one...……….IDK

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 08, 2020 at 02:11 pm

Has the maximum value of the 2020 CAP been determined at this point, or does this number become known at the Winter meetings?

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LeotisHarris's picture

February 08, 2020 at 04:27 pm

jb, in December 2019 the NFL notified teams the 2020 salary cap will increase to between $196.8 million and $201.2 million.

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Adorabelle's picture

February 09, 2020 at 07:06 pm

Thats over a 4mill difference. Thats one whole guy different lol

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dobber's picture

February 10, 2020 at 08:52 am

...for every team.

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Guam's picture

February 09, 2020 at 08:12 am

I don't believe the exact amount has been set yet, but LH is right, a narrow range has been established.

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Bearmeat's picture

February 08, 2020 at 05:23 pm

I honestly would think Bulaga will be gone and we're going to roll with more risk and less cost at RT. We desperately need a veteran WR2 and a rookie.

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CAG123's picture

February 08, 2020 at 01:12 pm

Okay you cant be serious Turner isn't that versatile to play RT because if he was the Broncos (who have their own olines problems) wouldn't have let him go in his prime and if we're so worried about Bulaga and his injuries at 31 why wouldn't that apply to the equally injured Veld at 33? The Packers find themselves in a bit of a jam but it would a bad idea to bank on a 33 year old RT with his own injury history to stay healthy for 16 games just because he's cheap. They might as well draft Bulaga replacement and make him a day one starter with Veld as the backup.

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PatrickGB's picture

February 08, 2020 at 01:23 pm

I agree CAG, Turner is the weak link in the line. The other teams that he played for did not think much of him and I don’t know why we brought him in and payed him way too much. He is average at best. But maybe average is the best that we can hope for at guard. I see a disaster brewing if he moves to tackle.

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Stroh's picture

February 10, 2020 at 06:37 am

Turner was brought in and paid like he was for exactly the same reason they overpaid Amos. To provide stability and reliability to a position that was a dumpster fire the previous year, and because his athleticism makes him a perfect fit for the Zone blocking Lefleur uses. He was the weak link on the OL and opponents did have some success against him. But the other 4 positions were among the best in the NFL at their positions, so it was natural they were going to target Turner often. Put into proper context Turner was worth what they paid for him. I don't think they have any intention of moving Turner to RT, as you mentioned that would be the makings of a disaster.

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PatrickGB's picture

February 08, 2020 at 01:19 pm

I can understand cutting Taylor. And maybe letting Bulaga go if the cost is too high. But cutting Linsley, in my opinion, is dumb. I could see it only if it looks like his back problems will get worse. He has been the anchor of the line and is smart with his protection calls. According to PFF, he allowed the least pressures of any of our linemen.

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Bearmeat's picture

February 08, 2020 at 01:22 pm

Agree completely. If Bulaga gets too $$$, thanks for the service, but bye. But Linsley is still under contract and was highly effective last year overall. Keep him.

That all changes if his medical is awful. :(

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 08, 2020 at 02:20 pm

Turner is the weak link at this point, given his pressures and sacks yielded. They will have to look for a value Guard if one gets cut or reinforce that spot from the mid-rounds. Doubt Madison will be ready by the start of next season.

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NickPerry's picture

February 08, 2020 at 01:22 pm

I would imagine much of what they might do with Bulaga and Lindsey would be contingent on what the plan to do in FA. One thing many of us haven't talked about are possible trades the Packers could make. For example...

Trade for Odel Beckham... Beckham isn't a bad guy like for example Terek Hill or Antonio Brown. The man has had his moments on the sidelines but I'd imagine you would too if Eli Manning or Baker Mayfield were your QB. The dude wants to WIN...Badly and that's it. Teaming Beckham with Adams, Lazard, Jones, Sternberger (Yes Sternberger) and maybe EBS who sat out last year. Put those players in MLF system IN YEAR TWO and I think they can play with anyone and be a top 3 offense. Also look at Beckhams contract. He's under contract for another 4 seasons at VERY affordable numbers $13 to $14 Million a year. That's a BARGIN. Plus we'd actually have someone not named Geronimo to catch those quick pass to the right of left or those quick slant patterns. Not to mention having a Player who can RIP off the top of a defense.

Trade for Robert Woods if you can't land OBJ. Woods is obviously a different kind a WR but he would flourish nonetheless in this system He's PLAYED in it or a variation of it for the last few seasons with the Rams. Personally I'd rather have Beckham but Woods would probably cost the Packers much less in draft capital.

If the Packers could pull that off, either one of those trades I think it's gives you that much more flexibility in FA and the draft. Last thing is we let Scott Wells walk after 2010 and didn't miss a beat, not really with EDS. Light filled in well this past season. Is the drop off if there is one worth $8 million in cap space? I think it probably is, especially playing between Turner and Jenkins.

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PatrickGB's picture

February 08, 2020 at 01:35 pm

Nick, I like your idea about a trade but I still think that the cap hit from Beckham would be too high. Maybe woods would be ok. I remain kinda bummed that we don’t have more money on the cap. Clark is going to cost a bundle and that doesn’t leave much wiggle room. Perhaps Ball can work some magic with the salary cap. Unlike other years I know that Gutie will be active but he doesn’t have the capital like he had last year. And he said that he likes to follow Teds idea of draft and develop.

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NickPerry's picture

February 08, 2020 at 02:09 pm

It's not bad...

2020 $14.25 Million
2021 $15.75 Million
2022 $15 Million
2022 $15 Million

But here's the REAL kicker...NO DEAD MONEY AFTER 2020!!! Even the dead money in 2020 is small ($2.75 million) but after that it's Zip, Zero, Zilch, Nada! Once you cut Graham and Taylor your there as far as his salary for 2020, well almost.

Now I must confess this wasn't my idea. The guy who does the Podcast "Locked On Packers" (Peter Bukowski) talked about it on his show. He writes for Acme Packing Company and IMO he's pretty good writer/podcaster. He's also the guy who's talking Woods from the Rams.

I'm just loving these ideas by Peter. Not only would they help the Packers offense immensely, there both ideas that Gute could make happen.

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fordguy's picture

February 08, 2020 at 03:15 pm

Why would you ever trade for a receiver with a high cap hit when the draft this year has an abundance of good receivers? You give up at least our 1st round pick and possibly more, then where does the money or picks come from to address the other areas of need?

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Bearmeat's picture

February 08, 2020 at 04:39 pm

Um, because we have crappy weapons outside of Adams and Jones NOW and an aging QB who will be just about done in 3 years? Rookie WRs - even the HOF'ers - so very rarely have breakout years right away. It takes between 2-4 years depending on the guy and the system.

Why not trade for OBJ and take a day 2 WR?

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NickPerry's picture

February 09, 2020 at 04:15 am

My thoughts exactly BM...People REALLY have to start considering Rodgers age here too. It's not like they have a ton of time. They HAVE to keep Rodgers for at least 3 more years. They've done everything they could with his contract numbers short of extending him they really can. He has a very manageable cap number next season but in 2021 and 2022 it's HUGE. We've already seen a decline of some sorts in his play though I still believe in him 100%. They can't afford to wait on a rookie.

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NickPerry's picture

February 09, 2020 at 07:16 am

When was the last time you've EVER saw a rookie WR make an impact in GB? Now maybe under MLF it would be a little bit different, but it's normally taken at least 3 years. Then there's the "Trust" thing a rookie is going to go through with Rodgers. Sorry Bud but Rodgers just isn't going to throw the ball to a rookie, not right away anyways.

Like I said above cutting Graham and Taylor pays all but about $2 million this year. OBJ for a 1st is a DEAL. The Packers are picking 30th, not in the top 10 where they might get a Jerry Judy. OBJ could come right in and be a #1A. Obviously I wouldn't want to sell the farm, but IF the price was just for example say a #1 this year and 3rd next year well then HELL YES!!

The Packers won a ton of one score games last season. In all but one game the offense sputtered for at least half the game. They were very fortunate to win several of those games, especially without Adams. In 2020 they have a VERY difficult schedule, especially on the road. They play 3 division winners all on the road (Houston, SF, New Orleans)… Yeah, I want OBJ or Woods for that.

Take a LOOK at Rodgers career the last 5 or 6 seasons. Obviously he's been injured in a few of them, but Rodgers was at his best, has always been at his best, when he has MULTIPLE receiving options...I.E. Jennings, Driver, Jones...Jennings, Jones, Nelson... Adams, Nelson, Cobb.

If you aren't convinced the Packers #1 or #1A need is at WR I don't know what to tell you. Paying Rodgers what the Packers are on the hook for over the next 3 years and not doing everything they can to give him the talent to win is ridiculous. HOPING a rookie could come in and do what OBL or even Woods would do is exactly why this team has won only one SB under Rodgers.

To quote Kevin Greene "It Is TIME"...It's time the Packers make a push to win this next season and the season after.

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stockholder's picture

February 09, 2020 at 08:07 am

Nick- OBJ for a 1st is a DEAL.?? And a 3rd? I disagree! Thats desperate! Way Too Much! There is No doubt Rodgers was at his Best, with Multiple Targets. Even Favre! ( And we saw what happened with injuries and decline.) But Rodgers is NO ROOKIE! It's up to HIM! Either he throws it to a OPEN ROOKIE, or he'll face the music! The problem with most of the WRS: is they try to turn everybody into a DRIVER. Sharpe and Lofton were Good. (#!s.) But with the later picks, IT TOOK LONGER! They DID get the return in the long run. (ADAMS, NELSON , JENNINGS) It's "Time" to pick that WR high again!!! And this draft is too deep at WR, to sign a veteran. The only reason Rodgers has 1 super-bowl is because of " Bad Defense. " Signing Defense is the best way to get Rodgers his 2nd ring. Your wrong Nick. Just as wrong as DORSEY. Had the Packers had OBJ or Woods. It still would not have helped them in SF.

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NickPerry's picture

February 09, 2020 at 10:11 am

Hey Stockholder...I'm TOTALLY guessing at compensation but I honestly wouldn't opposed to giving up this years #1. He's under contract for 4 more years with ZERO dead money after 2020 which is only $2.75. OBL would fix a lot of what was wrong with this offense and included giving it some consistency.

Okay I got a bit overzealous with what he's worth. BUT he's worth this years 30th pick. I also don't believe Dorsey was actually wrong either. I think Kitchens was that big of a boob. THAT'S where Dorsey was wrong...Keeping Kitchens.

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CAG123's picture

February 09, 2020 at 06:44 pm

Longer is something the Packers just don't have and Jennings had almost 1000 yards and 12 TDs in his second season Jordy was buried by the surplus of Talent at the WR position. By saying 1st round pick is way too much you're pretty much implying that whoever the Packers get would be better than OBJ. Teams in win now mode don't give a damn about picks that may or may not pan out. Look at the Steelers trading a first round pick to get Fitzpatrick at a time when the season seemed lost now they have a bonafide PROVEN commodity on their defense instead of rolling the dice on a rookie. The Rams gave up a first round pick for a PROVEN cb. Packers don't have time for rookie mistakes and wrong routes.

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stockholder's picture

February 09, 2020 at 09:48 pm

Roy Williams to the Cowboys. Remember that Trade.? Not all #1 picks at Wr work out. The Lions drafted So many failures. And yes there will be failures in this class. Some trades do work out. Favre! And Some like John Hadl Killed us. Most now question the John Jefferson trade. The bigger side is the Cap. Like I said, "No Wr would have kept us from losing to SF." The draft represents the FUTURE. Why jepardise it?

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CAG123's picture

February 10, 2020 at 04:48 am

I see your Roy Williams to the Cowboys and will raise you a Moss to the Patriots. Future smuture if the Packers can improve the WR position right now which is the time frame the Packers are in then they should do it. No WR picked at 30 or later will be better than OBJ this so called deep draft will do the same thing the last deep WR draft did (2014) produce 3-4 legit studs and the rest will do okay.

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NickPerry's picture

February 10, 2020 at 07:52 am

Stockholder... Okay Buddy how about this one? The Packers sign Austin Hooper in FA, another guy who is familiar with MLF offense. Draft a WR, ILB, DT, and OT in the first 4 rounds.

IF they can land an ILB with the 30th pick and it represents better value than any WR, OT, or DL they could get at 30 then grab him.

I think I like this even BETTER.

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stockholder's picture

February 10, 2020 at 11:21 am

Hooper would be better. But No.//// Depending on Martinez; I'm not against Murray. But he is dropping. The problem is he doesn't get off blocks, according to some scouts. I believe Gute needs to PAIR his ILBs. Murray, Brooks,Harrison and Weaver are your best Tacklers. Dye, Sweet and Phillps have the speed. But I'd take Dye of the 3! All will go in the second rd.!!/// Aj Hawk was considered the safest pick. Were you Happy? I wouldn't draft a DL. Free Agency! And that will eat up the Cap before your Hooper. OT - Yes rd. 4= Yes Rd 5. Cleveland and Durant. Also Sean Polland has played all over the OL without giving up a sack this year./// So Wr fits the packers more then any position. #30 And you'll get a game changer! The Combine will separate them. But being so many people wanted a FA - Wr like yourself. Gute will draft a Wr first.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 09, 2020 at 01:40 pm

Obviously, they have only drafted from the first round three times since 1980. James Lofton is in the HOF and there is no doubt Sterling Sharpe would have been a HOF candidate if he didn't suffer a career-ending injury. Javon Walker was not in their league,but he brought a game-changing presence to the offense. If a Playmaker is there in the first round that displays these qualities , get him. Gutekunst comes from the Wolf lineage that doesn't value high picks on WR, difference makers. He hit on Aaron Taylor, Wayne Simmons, using the one pick for Favre, but not many others. Ted was risk averse inthe first round but parlayed the two picks to Pro Bowl guys. The jury is still out on Gutekunst. Who in the first round is a can't miss WR in 2020? There will be on run on the wides in low 1st to 2nd round as per the 25 year trend.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 09, 2020 at 01:43 pm

Newsome and Bubba also had some big moments in their time.

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stockholder's picture

February 09, 2020 at 10:12 pm

Gutekunst comes from the Wolf lineage that doesn't value high picks./////// Gute Traded Randall to Clevland, How did that work out. /////. You make a Trade it has to work out.//// Trading the future doesn't work, spend the money instead.///. Higgins and Jefferson are my can't miss. ///

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 10, 2020 at 02:38 pm

Confirmation noted, in regard to the talent scouts @ 1265 Lombardi. Once again, the ghost of Andy Reid disproves the antiquated hierarchies of the Packer Way. I like both of those selections with Jefferson my choice btw. these guys.
I would move on Reagor by moving Up. This is a quick-fast guy with hands. Get to the spot , FAST, is the name of the game. Bulaga may sign for more than 10M, we're not privy to the negotiations. You want to sign him to cover your right flank,but there is still talent in the second round for RT. We'll have to wait out February.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

February 08, 2020 at 05:04 pm

Josh Jones S $304,712
J'Mon Moore WR $226,180
Davis Koppenhaver TE $4,667
Randy Ramsey OLB $4,667
Manny Wilkins QB $4,667
Javien Hamilton CB $2,800
Kabion Ento WR $1,667
Nydair Rouse CB $1,667
Larry Williams G $1,334

$550k dead money in 2020 before cutting Taylor and Graham

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 09, 2020 at 06:37 am

OTC and Sportrac have already deducted those amounts when they provided their cap space estimates.

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stockholder's picture

February 08, 2020 at 05:58 pm

Nick I'm against trading any draft Capitol this draft. I remember Wells and Saturday. The Center position is just to valuable. The Wrs are so deep, you could take one in any round and be happy this year. I Just can't go along with bringing in a veteran per costs. Haven't we seen enough with the TE revolving door? Bringing in a Wr was Dorsey's mistake. Veteran showboats just never are happy. Most lose their speed then their skills. Megatron was so good too. The Lions paid him, instead of Suh. (Dumb!) More mistakes are made with Wrs then any other position. Didn't John Jefferson show us why too? Veteran Wrs are nothing more then a quick fix.

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Sol's picture

February 08, 2020 at 06:40 pm

I wouldn't think that OBJ is a good fit for our team. He seems to only think of himself. I seem to remember just a couple of years ago he took off to go clubbing in Miami on a yacht when his team was in the playoffs and was caught on film in Europe doing some very questionable things in the off-season. Here is a quote straight from the horses mouth about his trip he instigated with his other receivers after he came back from his clubbing trip.

“We were going to get our minds right,” Beckham told ESPN of the trip that included Victor Cruz, Sterling Shepard and Roger Lewis Jr. “That’s what we were doing.”

I agree he is a very talented player but something is missing upstairs when it comes to being a team player. Not what you want to build team chemistry.

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Stroh's picture

February 10, 2020 at 06:50 am

OBJ is a constant distraction. He has always been and will always be that way (A leopard can't change its spots?!). Its just the way he's wired and he can't help himself. The Packers will not bring him in to mess w/ the team chemistry they have. No chance. Nothing is ever going to be smooth sailing w/ OBJ!

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wildbill's picture

February 08, 2020 at 01:52 pm

Games are won in the trenches, as we witnessed against S/F. We have a top rated offensive line and I see no reason to mess with that. Cut Taylor but not Linsley. No OBJ!! Sounds like we have a great locker room and between his head and salary he is not worth it. After signing Crosby, OT is our number one priority and I trust Gute to make the right decision

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Ryan3468's picture

February 08, 2020 at 01:55 pm

Why so fast to cut Lane Taylor and Cory Linsley? Lane Taylor filled in at left tackle and it worked. Cory Linsley is an above average center. Bulaga is the one long in the tooth. If Jimmy Graham, and Jeronimo Allison make the team we will have larger issues than just money. We need guys who can play. Veldheer is duct tape. If he isn’t under contract, why wouldn’t of called upon do the same retire, then come out at the end of the season? I doubt he wants to play the whole year, and if he does, how many games till he starts to fall apart? I doubt the Packers do much at all in free agency. I could see a trade at some point for a wide out. Gambling with the offensive line when you have the twilight years of Rogers seems insane. We saw what he can do with less. It’s time for more on offense, and a little more on defense. Hope this draft can bridge the gap. Maybe we can steal a decent player in free agency.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

February 08, 2020 at 05:04 pm

Did the talk about cutting Linsley start with the botched snap in the SF game? Or he just a cap casuality? Before that I never heard complaints about Linsley. Creating holes doesn't save money it just means we have to reinvest with draft capital or a FA.

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Turophile's picture

February 08, 2020 at 03:42 pm

No it isn't about that at all.

First, it's about having a high quality replacement in Elgton Jenkins who is currently playing guard. Guards are one of the easier positions to fill. Even more than that, it's about the $8.5m cap saving, Linsley has one of the bigger contracts on the team so if they are looking to generate more cap space the size of his contract makes him a potential target.

I don't think the botched snap figures at all in any calculations, as Linsley has proved very reliable over time. If Patrick starts at either center or guard in 2020, then the only draft capital that needs spending is a later pick for a backup guard.

I don't expect Linsley to be cut, though it IS possible that they let his contract run out at the end of 2020 and do not re-up.

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Duneslick's picture

February 08, 2020 at 02:51 pm

I think the real problem in the OFF line is Turner. He is a backup not a starter and is getting 8 million a year. Draft a guard and let him go.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 08, 2020 at 03:20 pm

Too big a CAP hit. Enough dead money shelled out to Perry etc.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

February 08, 2020 at 04:19 pm

Perry's dead money is gone it's 2020 get with the times.

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flackcatcher's picture

February 08, 2020 at 06:48 pm

Best available free agent in the group. With Taylor's ripped shoulder the Packers had no starters ready at either guard slot this past season. Remember, the Packers started Taylor despite his injured shoulder for two games before subbing Jenkins and putting Taylor on IR for the year. Tuner got paid up front so the Packers could eat the rest of his contract. He's a one year rental with a club option. Played well this year, but his limits in the pass game showed up. So, the Packers have four to think about. Lindsey, Taylor, Buluga and Tuner. Glad I'm not Gute...

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CalPacker's picture

February 09, 2020 at 11:31 pm

I agree on Turner. Does anybody know the projection on Yosh Nijman's development? He was moved up from the practice squad, and he has all the measurables to replace Turner, it would seem...
In general, I say we keep our OLine intact, with maybe one Rd#3 addition for depth. But clearly, what that means is resigning ourselves to a meager free agent haul, and instead counting on the draft to plug holes.
I think it can be done with the draft, but we need to lay off those Rd#1 wide receivers that get mocked to us by everybody. Instead, do something like this: Rd1: Gallimore DT; Rd2 Bowden WR; Rd3 Charles OT; Rd4 Benito Jones DT; Rd 5 Strmad LB; Rd6a Thomas/Proche WR; Rd 6b, 7a, 7b best available RBs and LBs

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BBlake's picture

February 08, 2020 at 03:49 pm

I learned last year not to try and predict what Gutekunst will do in Free Agency and the draft.

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packfan1k's picture

February 08, 2020 at 05:09 pm

Changing multiple OL positions would be a catastrophe (remember what TT did when he tried Allen Barbre and Adrian Klemm) - which means you have bring back Linsley or Bulaga. I think BG knew this and is planning to let Bulaga walk. You are the right track with Veldheer though, but he would command 3M per year, not 1.5M. I would bring back Linsley and Veldheer and draft a OT (R1 or R2) and a C (R4-5) so we can let Linsley go next year and pick up a good compensatory pick as well.

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stockholder's picture

February 08, 2020 at 06:33 pm

Changing multiple OL positions would be a catastrophe. Agree 100% to the multiple! We can get a RT in R4/5 too. Ezra Cleveland Ot Boise, Sean Pollard OT Clemson. Were not desperate like last year.

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Packer_Fan's picture

February 08, 2020 at 10:04 pm

My thoughts for offensive live. Release Linsley, don't sign Bulaga and keep Taylor. Patrick will play center, Jenkins and Taylor play guard and Turner tackle. Then sign Veldheer and draft a tackle in rounds two or three. Releasing Linsley frees up more cap space. And again, the defense needs more help.

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wildbill's picture

February 09, 2020 at 01:09 am

You just downgraded three offensive line positions. Center, right guard and right tackle. The rest of the NFC North salutes you!

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AgrippaLII's picture

February 08, 2020 at 11:20 pm

If Bulaga leaves the plan becomes real simple.Keep the OL currently on the roster and draft a RT in the first or second round.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 12, 2020 at 12:01 pm

The RG spot is still open for competition. The low-ball,russ deal with Turner is another set of handcuffs.

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AgrippaLII's picture

February 08, 2020 at 11:20 pm

If Bulaga leaves the plan becomes real simple.Keep the OL currently on the roster and draft a RT in the first or second round.

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CuttySnark85's picture

February 09, 2020 at 01:44 am

It’s as if Lavar Ball came up from Hades to speak Linsley getting cut into existence. To save a few bucks to lose one of Aaron's most reliable Olineman? Strong as an ox and carries the G?? Stop people. Lane gone? Totally. Bulaga takes more money elsewhere? I can see it. But don’t take Corey away because he and Aaron botched one snap... in the most important game

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 09, 2020 at 07:48 am

You folks are all pikers. Cutting Bakhtiari is the obvious solution. He will be 30 in the first year of his extension and 34 in the last year (assumes a 5 year extension). Talk about the team assuming some risk on an OL who will be in his early to mid-thirties and had some back issues in 2019. RT Lane Johnson got $18M AAV, so Bakh should command $19M AAV with a $25M signing bonus.

Bakh's cap number is $14.7M. Trade him. GB would get a 3rd for him easily since he'd come with an $11.5M cap number for the acquiring team. His cap savings would also be $11.5M which could be added to Gute's kitty.

As long as many are talking about drafting a tackle to replace RT Bulaga, why not just have that rookie OT play left tackle and replace Bakhtiari? It is just an extra half-step further.

Veldheer looked really good playing 35 snaps in one game against one team. I am sure he will do as well against a variety of teams with different schemes and opposing players with different types of game. He signed with NE for $3.5M with $3.5M in NLTBE incentives (70% playing time). There is no reason to think he wouldn't accept a similar deal. And GB would just insert Lucas Patrick at OC and cut Linsley, or move Jenkins to OC. GB could keep Lane Taylor just to play it safe (particularly if they think his drop off in play quality was due to injury) and move Turner to RT, no need for Veldheer.

With that additional $20M ($8.5M + $11.5M) added to $21M to $24M that already is spendable cap space, GB could sign:
One of Littleton/Schobert/Martinez/Kwiatkoski; AND
DL: Pierce? Nah, you're pikers. Hargrave, Gerald McCoy, Shelby Harris, Leonard Williams; AND
WR: AJ Green/Sanders/Anderson/Watkins if released; AND

TE/CB which is the best value.
Henry/Hooper (Olson/Witten for geezers), Barwin of Dallas as a RFA
One of the 18 CBs on PFF's top 100 FAs list. Harris/Waynes, MacKensie Alexander.

Remember, $40M in cap space = $60M to $70M in AAV, depending on whether they are all young or if you have some geezers iun their who would get short deals, which means GB can't manipulate the cap number as well. TT signed Julius Peppers for 40% of his AAV as a first year cap number.

Draft: Rd 1 has to be an OT. Rd 2 should be a WR. Rd 3 probably IOL. Rd 3 ILB. Rd 4 RB. Rd 5 FB 6th BPA x 2, 7th x 3 BPA. Gute might want to use the extra 3rd from the Bakh proposed trade to move around in rounds 1 or 2.

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Guam's picture

February 09, 2020 at 08:25 am

You had fun with this one didn't you TGR?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 10, 2020 at 01:28 am

Shhhh....

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stockholder's picture

February 09, 2020 at 08:31 am

If you dump Bahk??. (GOOD LUCK WITH THAT) Never Happen. I'd never give Bahk a 5 year ext. I'd rework his last year, and add two more. W/ Bonus'! Otherwise he is probably gone next year. But resigning Bahk means they could ATTEMPT to trade a #1 next year possibly. This draft must be WR not RT. RT in 4 or 5. (MM used Barclay until he got injured.) Just lots of RT available there. WR, WR/LB, LB, LB, OL

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 09, 2020 at 03:16 pm

Barclay, yes, the not so good old days...

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fthisJack's picture

February 09, 2020 at 08:48 am

i like the "outside the box" thinking.

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flackcatcher's picture

February 09, 2020 at 04:43 pm

Completely logical. Totally brutal. The end state of playing PFF general manger. Cookie!

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