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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions: Blake, AB, and Free Agency

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Decisions, Decisions, Decisions: Blake, AB, and Free Agency

It is hard to believe that we are just over a month away from the new NFL calendar year beginning. This means that teams have just over a month to get their blueprints in order to execute a plan to dethrone the defending world champion New England Patriots.  

Toward the end of the 2018 season, I was convinced that Brian Gutekunst would actively try and rebuild the roster through the draft and target young free agents who could grow with the team and possess a tremendous upside over a 3-5 year period. Gutekunst may indeed still opt to take that route, however, when the Packers brought Jimmy Graham back at just over $12.6 million, that signaled to me, that they may just go for broke and try to make the Packers a Super Bowl contender in just one offseason.  

As unrealistic as that proposition seems to me, Brian Gutekunst, in just one short season as general manager does have the reputation to take a swing at high priced free agents and trade acquisitions.  After all, he did sign Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller to a massive contract that was matched by Chicago and tried to trade for Khalil Mack, despite reports that suggested otherwise.

Now that he missed out on those big fish and the Packers were fried last season because of it, is it really out of the realm of possibility that Gutekunst tries to land multiple impact players through free agency or trades?

Here are a few moves that Gutekunst could try to make between now and after the draft:

  1. Sign Earl Thomas or Landon Collins: With over $30 million in cap space going into free agency it is hard to imagine Gutekunst failing to address the always maligned safety position in free agency.  Both Thomas and Collins have very high ceilings when healthy but if Gutekunst senses that he could bring either of them in at slightly below market value for a multi-year commitment, expect a 2-3 year offer to go out at $8-9 million per year.
  2. Sign one premium edge rusher and take a flyer on someone like Shane Ray or maybe even Dante Fowler: If Gutekunst elects not to sign a safety in free agency or acquires one below market value, two edge rushers could be in play for the Packers in free agency.  After striking out on Khalil Mack, I see Gutekunst being willing to commit anywhere in the neighborhood of $20 million in 2019 (even after a big signing bonus) to a premium pass rusher and still take a shot at another talented young player that Mike Pettine could develop into a star.  
  3. Extend or trade Blake Martinez:  I know that Blake Martinez is a somewhat polarizing figure in some circles but I have always been one who has appreciated his play and sees him as a valuable member of the Packers linebacking core.  He is a high I.Q, low maintenance guy who brings his lunchpail to work and gives you his best effort every single play.  Personally, I would give Blake a team friendly 4-year extension and try to bring back his counterpart Jake Ryan on a 1-year league minimum "prove it" deal to add more depth to the linebacking core.  However, should Gutekunst spend high-level draft capital trying to make a blockbuster trade during the draft, the Packers may be forced to make a difficult decision and trade Blake for a third-round pick to replenish their draft capital.
  4. Trade for Antonio Brown (there it is, "go, crazy folks, go crazy"): It was apparent that Aaron Rodgers had trouble trusting his young receivers in 2018 which was one of many factors why Green Bay's offense looked like a disjointed dumpster fire at some points.  Antonio Brown could provide Rodgers with another weapon that he trusts, or he could turn the team into even more of a dumpster fire.  Personally, I would not touch Antonio Brown with a ten-foot pole, but for all of you who have written about Green Bay being a destination for AB, here is your moment in the sun.  The Packers could address free agency with a safety and a combination of edge rushers like Fowler or Ray potentially leaving themselves with $15-17 million left under the cap.  They could then release Nick Perry and save $3 million and trade Blake Martinez to save $2 million and replenish draft capital for this year or next year.  This would then give the Packers $20-22 million in cap space to fit Antonio Brown under the cap if they traded for him.  Under this scenario, Gutekunst could draft an offensive lineman or edge rusher at 12 and use the 30th pick to trade for Antonio Brown.

What would I do?

  • I would spend my cap space on young free agents with a tremendous amount of upside, and try to sign Kenny Clark to a team friendly extension.  I would then try and maximize my draft capital in each of the next two drafts so that I could have a playoff contender in each of Aaron Rodgers final two seasons under this current contract.

What would you do?

  • Let me know the direction that you would take the Packers during this offseason.  Would you rebuild? Would you retool? Would you go all in? Would you do some combination of the two? What would you like to see Brian Gutekunst do to make the Green Bay Packers have a bright outlook for 2019 and beyond?  

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

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Fan friendly comments only: on Comments (104) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jeepingmakooi's picture

I would extend Blake and Kenny Clark. I'd let Ryan walk... I would try to get Smith from the Ravens and Fowler Jr and draft high for a solid rookie edge guy... I would try for Collins or honey badger if he is available.. I'd stay away from Thomas.. two years in a row he has been hurt and wants big Dollars to play.. plus he just wants to be a cowboy... Adrian Amos would be a solid signing tooif the bears choose to let him go... Take a saftey in the first 3 rounds that isn't a box saftey.. Green Bay has enough of those already... Bring back ibraheim Campbell... Tramon I'd try to restructure for less money if he wants to stay otherwise I would cut him and Perry.. Perry has to go.. ball and Ted had to have created that contract after a long night out at the bar... The linebacker from Tampa Alexander would be a good signing to play next to Blake and Morrison and Burks. Bring back breeland. He makes a difference on this defense. I would try to bring in Demetrius Harris from Kansas City Spain from the Titans I would be okay with bringing in as well... I know everyone wants to bring in a receiver like Tate but I would try to get Patterson from the pats.. can be a great gadget player and seems to be a much more durable returner the. Davis has been

albert999's picture

Love all of that !

jannes bjornson's picture

I would not extend Martinez. I would replace him with a better player in 2020s draft. The fantasy floating about is C.J. Mosely for the Inside LB. Unlikely Baltimore would let him go, but that trade scenario would be interesting if the Crows decide to go into rebuild mode.

jeepingmakooi's picture

Mosley is set to be a free agent so no trade needed if you went that route... And Martinez is a solid player who has been near the top of the leaugue in tackles ..

PeteK's picture

Compare their numbers, Blake much more productive.

Coldworld's picture

Let’s suppose we draft a future stud at ILB, do you really expect him to be that year one?

Right now, letting Martinez go would leave us bereft if a player with functional talent and experience. Not a sound development move in my mind.

Ryan is coming off a bad but early injury. Assuming he is recovered, I see zero issue with bringing him back unless one believes Morrison is an overall upgrade. Ryan was our best ILB in weather and against the run.

Keep them, or maybe Martinez and Morison after camp and by all means draft an ILB prospect for the future behind them, but not as an immediate assumed replacement.

The big question that could reduce the draft priority for me is Burkes. Is he going to get it and if so how will they use him in terms of his fellow ILBs. He vanished this season. Was it injury, lack of physical readiness or what? I am just assuming any progress is a plus not in the bank.

A more left field question is the ILB we kept for special teams prowess. Is he a Bishop needing time to learn but with real potential or a pure ST roster spot?

holmesmd's picture

Isn’t Burks already an “ILB project”? His shoulder was jacked up all year but I think the young man can develop into a pretty good ILB given some physical maturity & experience.

fthisJack's picture

no way would i trade Martinez. the guy is solid and never gets hurt. if Devin Smith is available at 12, i would jump all over him. he and Martinez would make the middle of the field solid against the run and pass. something that has been lacking in GB for the last 7 years.

i would add a veteran S and edge rusher. preferably Thomas and Fowler and if Smith is not available at 12, trade down and get more draft capitol. i would love to see Tate in GB. the tandem of him and Adams would be scary. both great RAC guys. i wouldn't mind the best OL and/or DL with the 2 picks in the first round. BPA all the way.

fthisJack's picture

correction....Devin White.... ILB LSU. not the WR from OSU.

Bure9620's picture

Do we extend Clark now? Why? He still has a 5th year option. I like the young FA route. Landon Collins or Fowler would be great options.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I was thinking the same. They can wait a year. Unless Clark wants to take a more team friendly option to get guarantees now. But ,that usually works with guys who are older than Clark.

Coldworld's picture

Clark, assuming no injury derailment, is a stud we know we need to keep. While certainly not a fan of Russ Ball’s impact when let out of the contracts cage, this is where he signs. You do the deal when it’s the best perceived opportunity to lock him in for years. A lot of that depends on Clark’s wants. Sign him this year if that looks like securing the best overall deal and cap. If not, ride the option and delay the hit.

PeteK's picture

I live in Giants territory and fans were greatly disappointed in Collins. I'd go with Thomas with low guaranteed money.

albert999's picture

I believe not as many top free agents will be available at positions we need. They will be resigning probably.
That said move up in draft order to get the most nfl ready players.
Deal away matthews and cobb and a 4thround pick to get either higher draft pick and or free agent if he’s top tier

Uncle Albert

dobber's picture

"Deal away matthews and cobb..."

They would need to re-sign them first.

jannes bjornson's picture

Thanks for the reality check.

Coldworld's picture

Not going to get much for them even if they were on continuing contracts. Matthews is aging and they apparently couldn’t get a bite on Cobb last year.

That said, moving on from them is something I think must happen.

I agree with you that many of the free agents attracting buzz will not hit the market. Good players are not let go lightly.

freddisch's picture

We are so sorry Uncle Albert, but we haven’t done a bloody thing all day. Sorry I couldn’t help myself

dblbogey's picture

Just saw a Beatles tribute band this afternoon.

sonomaca's picture

Clark is really top priority.

Sign FA’s at non-premium positions: safety and inside LB, for example.

Save your high draft picks for premium positions: OT, edge, and maybe guard (which should be premium at this point in #12’s career).

Use picks in rounds 3,4 for developmental prospects at TE, receiver, and corner.

One problem the Pack May have is that they probably won’t sniff an elite edge at 12. Probably will get a crack at a top tackle there, however.

Better hope Murray commits to football and that teams fall for Lock and Jones.

Bearmeat's picture

WWBMD? (What would Bearmeat do?) ;)

1. I would cut Graham's ass immediately.
2. Perry would quickly find his way to the door too.
3. Goodbye Randall and Clay.
4. I would keep Bulaga for the last year of his contract and draft his replacement this year.
5. I would find a better journeyman swing OT and cut Spriggs at cutdown time if he didn't improve.
6. I would place two buy low contracts on talented pass rushers like Fowler, Barrett etc...
7. I would get a mid-tier RG in late March.
8. I would sign Breeland
9. I would move Josh Jackson to FS and let him learn under Tramon this year.
10. I would draft an OLB and Hockenson in round 1, followed by OL and RB reinforcements in rounds 2-3.

albert999's picture

Very interesting BM
Like a lot of that. I would also add a small fast slot receiver in there per draft or free agency

Bearmeat's picture

Yeah. I could see that too. We do not have a small/twitch guy inside. As long as he was cheap, that could work. That said, size guys can work inside too - Jordy was great in the slot in 16 and 17. They're not faster than the slot CBs, but they're so much bigger...

albert999's picture

Well said

Coldworld's picture

Isn’t that an obvious role (bigger slot receiver) for EQS? Can only have two outside. MVS is an outside player. Adams is the other. Moore and EQS seem possible answers as base slot receivers who can be moved around to outside routes when needed. Small twitch players, Cobb being an example, tend not to provide that option.

Old School's picture

We have a small, fast, slot receiver with a lot of familiarity with Rodgers. His name is Cobb. He's going to cost about $15 million over two years.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I might not cut Graham, but I would do something similar to the rest. I want to see Graham in LaFluers offense. Graham at least tried to play hurt, even in a meaningless game. More than that I do not want to take 2 cap accelerating hits in one season in Perry and Graham.

IMO, Perry has to be cut to have any credibility at all. If Perry is not cut, no Packers player has to do anything to earn their keep.

jannes bjornson's picture

Agreed, you cannot carry dead money for two guys, but I have a feeling Perry will be scheduled to return as a DE. Management made the Snyder-like deal and they hate to part with money even if it goes to a waste of space.

dblbogey's picture

There's at least an outside chance he stays healthy and has a pretty good year. He does that every 4-5 years or so. Cut him and you've got a bunch of dead money. He'll be gone after this year regardless.

Coldworld's picture

Agree entirely. Without knowing his injury status there seems to be a suggestion that he doesn’t try? That is not my impression with him. He may not be durable, but he has been cited for being willing to play when injured.

We gain zero by cutting really. What we need is some depth. If Matthews goes, and I believe he will, Fackrell and whom if Perry is gone? To even ask that question seriously makes me shudder.

HankScorpio's picture

"Agreed, you cannot carry dead money for two guys"

Sure you can. There is no rule. The Packers are already carrying 6 of them for 2019.

Especially if you think accountability is important. The far bigger issue is cash outlay in 2019. If you think Graham and Perry are not going to earn their $9 mil and $11 mil (respectively), holding them accountable by voiding their contract tells everyone on the team that coasting on past performance won't fly.

I'll grant you that having 2 big $$ dead cap hits is not ideal. But those mistakes were made in the past. The only thing to decide in the here and now is whether the mistake will be compounded or concluded.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I was going to reply, Hank, but I had an article submitted for a couple of days right on point. It is published now. There is no rule, but there is no rule that dead money is bad either. Looking at dead money:

AR: $78M; Davante Adams: $10.8M; Alexander $9.8M; Bakh: $6.4M; Linsley: $4M - few have issues with these players and their dead money.

Perry: $11.1M; Graham: $7.33M;

Maybe??? Lane Taylor: $2.75M; Josh Jackson: $2.7M; Tramon: $1.625M; Bulaga: $1.6M; Crosby: $1.25M. I don't think anyone other than Tramon and perhaps Crosby would be on thin ice, and that is simply because those two have high ratios of cap savings to dead money of close to 3:1.

If anyone else gets released, it probably is purely due to on the field performance since the dead money isn't really a concern.

HankScorpio's picture

Great article, TGR. I'm really tired of all the worship at the alter of "No Dead Money". it just makes no sense to compound a mistake in the interest of something that might look bad but ultimately is irrelevant to the decision at hand.

sonomaca's picture

In reverse order:

10) at pick 12, only Polite and Sweat may be left. Burns seems to be racing into the top 10. Will likely have to chose one of those two, or Hockenson, Jonah Williams, Ford, or Oliver. I’m guessing trade down.

9) maybe, but if Jackson moves to safety, have to draft yet another corner, of which there are few good ones in this year’s draft.

8) agree

7) why not, but still shouldn’t stop Pack from looking for an elite RG in draft.

6) I think even mediocre pass rushers are going to cost.

5) I’d move Spriggs to TE. We know he’s going to be an exceptional blocker for a TE. Question is, can he run a basic route and catch the ball. Remember, this is an exceptional athlete. He can backup at tackle in a pinch.

4) Totally agree

3) Agree, but if Matthews comes in cheap, can play inside or out, which is valuable. Sounds as if Gute trying to keep Cobb.

2) Agreed. Perry isn’t good.

1) They’re keeping him, so moot point.

jannes bjornson's picture

Spriggs has to go.

dobber's picture

Honestly, I think it's in his head more than anything else. A new OL coach might be able to reach him, but one more camp will tell the tale.

Coldworld's picture

There were some signs he was getting it in the second half of the season I thought.

Coldworld's picture

There were some signs he was getting it in the second half of the season I thought.

Dawg0808's picture

I would dump Spriggs even before I had a replacement for him and definitely some where along the line get another QB for back up and get rid of Kizer and see what Boyle is worth!

jannes bjornson's picture

YES, YES, YES, Veteran QB. They don't have the Luxury to draft a QB with a High pick. If one is there @ #4 I would take him. Stidhem from Auburn, the kid from North Dakota State.

dobber's picture

I think that in all likelihood, Jackson gets at least one more year at CB. Good CBs are harder to find and you need more of them than safety. They need to be certain of what they have there before they start to move him and shift his attention to a new position.

fthisJack's picture

yup....i don't like the idea of Jackson at S. RELAX..... give the guy a shot at another year at CB. the light may go on and if it does you have a solid backup after signing Breeland and hoping King stays on the field. i agree that shifting these guys around hurts them more than helps them.
Spriggs haters....you remember how long it took Lang to become solid at guard? he deserves another shot before sending him packing.
sign a solid FA safety and OLB. i like Tate as a FA pickup although he may go back to the Lions.
i like Smith at 12 if he falls. when was the last time we had a dynamic playmaker in the middle? Bishop? he would add so much to this D against the run and the pass. the middle of the field has been a weak spot in this defense for 7 years.....this would help fix that! if he's not there, trade down and take your pick of second tier guys that will be there.

fthisJack's picture

Devin White...ILB LSU....i had the WR from OSU stuck in my head....sorry.

sonomaca's picture

He’s a great player, and Pettine could certainly use him, but an ILB at 12. That's where you’re supposed to get an edge, tackle, corner or QB.

PeteK's picture

Agree, we're strong up the middle(Clark, Daniels, Martinez) plus we usually replace an ILB with a CB in todays pass happy offenses.

PackEyedOptimist's picture

Devin White will be one of the league leaders in sacks. he's almost unblockable because of his explosive speed and strength combo. Would you not pick Ray Lewis, Mike Singletary, Junior Seau, or Brian Urlacher, at 12? White is going to be at their level.

stockholder's picture

Ray Lewis, Mike Singletary, Junior Seau, or Brian Urlacher, at 12? How can you compare him to such greatness? He's Nick Barnett. Nothing more. This defense lacks heart. Why did they draft Burks? Ryan is to slow for some. Martinez plays like a safety. ( How many Sacks?) The Cbs are the strength of the club now. The trouble with the defense is/// not enough three down players. Age is taking it's toll. Clark didn't take long to establish himself. Others are.

Coldworld's picture

Everybody today seems to think the norm is for players to come in and play close to their full potential.

That is not, and never has been, the norm. Outside of maybe running backs it is extremely rare, even more so at skill positions.

Planning on the basis of bringing in plug and play stars via draft picks is simply delusional.

holmesmd's picture

RB reinforcements? I think Williams & Jones are fine. Too many holes on the roster to waste them on RB IMO. If you’re talking about 5th round or later, sure.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I don't understand the rationale behind extending Clark. He is under team control for 2 full NFL seasons at $2.97M in 2019 and probably $8 to $9M in 2020 on a fifth-year option. Goldman just signed last year for $10.5M AAV. Clark is just flat better than Goldman, but he isn't in the same class as Fletcher Cox (34 QB hits to Clark's 9) or Suh. Comparisons get difficult because most of the highly paid DI guys aren't playing 1 tech as much as Clark. Some are ends or 4-3 tackles.

Clark is already in the $11-12M range. Unless he continues to improve, he isn't going to get JJ Watt or Fletcher money. Goldman got $11M a signing bonus so Clark should be north of $15M.

Martinez is a guy who I think is fine at ILB but I am not beaming about him. GB can win with him. I would expect him to sign for $5M with an upper range of $7M. He is not in the class of Avery Williamson or Demario Davis. Extending him can wait until after the draft. 3 yr/$17M?

The real point of this article is deciding whether GB is in a rebuild in 2019 and looking at 2021 or 2020 at the earliest or if we're in a reload. A lot of decisions flow from that. If you're convinced that GB won't contend until 2021, there isn't much point to paying Graham and Williams, is there?

albert999's picture

I agree
Martinez is a workhorse, low maintenance, high return kinda player

sonomaca's picture

Kind of guy you want. Smart. Leader.

jannes bjornson's picture

The position can be upgraded in the 2020 draft. He gets a lot of tackles in the same manner as Hawk. He cannot move well enough to cover. He had 5 sacks first half of the year when Daniels and Clark could absorb the double team then he tailed off. It would be best to use a High pick to get a three down guy after this season.

fthisJack's picture

if Devin Smith is there....you snap him up!

fthisJack's picture

Devin White.....correction.

mrtundra's picture

In some Mocks I was looking at, Devin Smith gets drafted at #11. He may fall to GB at #12. Also, Ferrell, Sweat, Polite and Burns have been mocked to GB at #12. If we go on the offensive side of the ball, Cody Ford, O line mauler, and Dalton Risner, who can play several spots on the O Line, were both available at #30, in some mocks. Nasir Adderley, Safety from Delaware, was also there at #30. The draft will be closely linked to how FA goes.

PeteK's picture

Love Dalton Risner because of his versatility at 30 or if we're lucky in 2nd round.

PackEyedOptimist's picture

I believe Devin White is going to be the player from this draft who will end up with the most Pro Bowl selections by the time his career is done. He may end up setting NFL records for sacks by an inside linebacker if he ends up in Pettine's defense. If anyone doubts this, please watch one of his highlight tapes on youtube. He's a "shot-out-of-a-cannon" linebacker.

rstain99's picture

I like him as well, smart tough player. Sounds like a NE kind of guy. Stay away from anyone on wrong side of 30. AB no way dealing with a diva will not help, smart team players in a copycat league follow the NE blueprint it kills me to say it but they are a model team everyone buys in no clubhouse lawyers. Hope AR gets on board with new coach and they can plug some holes I know there are plenty. DB's are good just need pressure guys can't cover forever. Special teams make them special so sick of hearing block in the back 15 yards worse yet half the distance to the goal.

Bearmeat's picture

Agree TGR. I think most of us see here that GB is in a rebuild right now with a cap heavy QB. Not easy to do.

Does Gute think that though? Or is he allowed to? I think perhaps not. And that's IMO too darn bad.

Ezra's Hotdog's picture

Martinez reminds me of AJ Hawk, decent player and rarely misses a game. Proving to be an effective blitzer in Pettines defense with 5 sacks this past season.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

It seams like a lot of the folks who don't like Martinez also want CM3 to play ILB. I definitely prefer Martinez.

Lare's picture

Hawk played for 10 years in the NFL and averaged 94 tackles & 2 sacks per year. Martinez has played for three years and is averaging 120 tackles and 2.3 sacks per year. Plus he calls all the plays on the field.

People criticize Martinez for not being flashy or making more big plays, but if he isn't making the 144 tackles he made this year, many of them would probably have to be made by the defensive backs.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Martinez is a very good player....a football player! Maybe not flashy but a player you can win with. He isnt going anywhere. Martinez represents everything about being a Packer. We need a hell of a lot more Martinez's on the team. Get 2 or 3 OL, an edge rusher and safety with Martinez lunch box attitude and the Pack is back.

fthisJack's picture

why wouldn't you be able to play both Martinez and Smith together? its not like you have to pull Martinez to put a Smith in. Smith can play the run or the pass right next to him.???

fthisJack's picture

i mean Devin White...sorry.

sonomaca's picture

I think the longer they wait on him, the more he’s going to cost. At 23, he’s likely going to improve. Plus, Daniels is already in the downside, and there’s no obvious replacement.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I am not against drafting White at #12. He'd have to have a decent chance to be the next Ray Lewis or Bowman. I haven't watched any tape. At $2M I'd keep Martinez just for depth, and if he is still the starter, that is fine as well. GB can win with Martinez and there is no sense in creating holes. I might be torn if someone offered a 3rd rounder for Martinez after we already took White, but I am fine otherwise with Martinez being penciled in as the starter in 2019.

jww061356's picture

We are not going to get Thomas to come to Green Bay. He prefers to go to a) Dallas or b) San Francisco, where he can stick it to Seattle 2x a year. I think Honey Badger or Adrian Amos if you can't get Collins in FA. I also think an edge rusher and a an OL. Stay away from AB. Don't need the drama, especially with a young HC.

nostradanus's picture

With a new young coaching staff this will be the honeymoon year for the Packers, nothing will be expected but improvement and hope.

How should they go about the off-season?

1. Identify your core players and if they are your guys moving forward extend them.

2. Dump anyone else with fat contracts whom you do not see as the future.

3. Draft best player available only, if it fits and immediate need great!

4. Sign good young talented free agents on the upswing, not over inflated stars on the downside just to fill holes (see: M. Bennett & J. Graham)

That is all...

Bert's picture

Nostradanus. You hit the nail on the head. We need to be realistic about 2019 and prepare a solid footing for the future. You make some very valid points.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Why choose? Packer koolaid?

I do think the Pack could come back and challenge and go high in playoffs next year. However, many things have to fall in line nicely in terms of offensive scheme and utilizing players talents to max, cpl of starter FA pickups, current players like Cobb and Clay signing friendly deals that make sense, some health fortune in 2019, and lastly the draft needs to fall our way. Lots of if's but it certainly could happen.

As fickle as the NFL is with parity combined with opportunity if you have a healthy Rogers I think Gute believes the Pack can both make a run at a SB next year even while rebuilding for future. I believe the Pack could do both all this off season.

Guam's picture

Gute is going to have to hit some home runs in free agency for the Packers to contend for the SB next year because we can't fill all the holes via the draft.

Packer needs:
DL 1
OLB 2
ILB 1
Safety 1
RG 1
Backup RT 1
Backup Guards 1
TE 1
RB 1
Slot WR 1

That's eleven holes to fill and we have seven picks in the first five rounds (I tend to discount rounds six and seven as they rarely produce starting quality players). Even if Gute hits on all seven picks in the first five rounds (greatest draft ever) he still needs four solid free agency pick ups to fill the other holes.

A contender in 2020 perhaps?

stockholder's picture

Packer needs:
DL 1, = Simmons/ Oliver/ Wilkens @12
OLB 2= Ferguson/ Omenihu/Joseph/Walker/Jackson/Bryant/ Ximinis @44&76
ILB 1= Bush/@30 See OLB #2 ( late Cam Smith was inj.) @140
Safety 1= No! Not this year! T.Williams ,T Brown and maybe Jackson.
RG 1= Risner, Lindstrom @30 ( if Bush is gone)
Backup RT = McGary @ 73 Scharping. @112
Backup Guards- FAs Here
TE 1= Sterberger,Kaden Smith,@108
RB 1=T Williams @172
Slot WR 1=D. Adams goes to the slot.

stockholder's picture

The packers hold the key to this draft. Rd 1 @12 Trade Down for 19 and extra second.// Or Trade #30 for a second and third. Why ? @19 Burns, Bush, Polite. Get 3 2nd rounders. For OL. Risner, Lindstrom, They could get both OL and a De. Save two 3rds for Wr, Rb, or TE.

jeepingmakooi's picture

How can you take a DL at 12 when that's is probably the deepest position we have on defense going into 2019... I stopped reading after that...

stockholder's picture

DL @12. Let me explain this to you because you missed my other posts. 1. Wilkerson is done! Ankle injuries are career ending. Why spend 5 mil plus again? 2. Daniels is a Free Agent next year. His age, and IR this year, could be the start of regression. 10 mil plus to resign him. 3. Is Adams ready? 4. Could LanCaster be that starter in the middle, and bump Clark outside, like Raji. 5. Bet Lowrey leaves. Clark is the best player on that DL. If you get Oliver, Simmons or Wilkins. You beat the bust, and doubt, in the edge players @12. The DTs are Blue chip BPA. And it just brings down the age, and sets club control for the next five years. I get the fact you don't believe a CB can play safety. But T. Williams was better then Dix. And Butler made the switch too. The draft is bad at Safety. I see no Palomala, Lott, and guys that can tackle. T. Brown can! 2 FFs! He can be a FS. Think of how many guys moved from Strong Safety to ILB.

sonomaca's picture

If you want. a DL in first, a trade down is best way to go. Much depends on who’s left at 12. As we saw with NO last year, they’ll trade up for a QB or an EDGE. I’m fairly certain that the Pack would find a trade partner. How about a 2020 first rounder?

Guam's picture

I find myself agreeing with stockholder on this one. I have been nursing the idea that the Packers need to shift to a 4-3 defense for some time. I expect we will be cutting both of our starting OLBs this off-season and the draft is deep in d-line talent. Since we are already starting with a decent d-line, why not complete the move and draft enough d-linemen for the conversion to a 4-3? I think we wind up with a better pass rush than over-drafting an edge OLB at 12.

Dzehren's picture

Mike Pettine has run a 3-4 defense since 2002 (staring with the Ravens. Also ran a 3-4 with Jets - Bills and Cleveland.

jeepingmakooi's picture

And Tony brown at saftey? Man... No way.. I can agree with you at all... And do you not get that saftey is not the same as a corner. Williams was able to play it because he has done it before.. you can't just put a guy there and expect him to be great... Not how it works stockholder

dobber's picture

I'd read several scouting reports that indicated that Brown's natural position was likely a downhill SS or even ILB at the next level, and that he lacked the flexibility to mirror receivers and keep up with quicker, shiftier pass-catchers. I agree: not everyone can seamlessly move to S from CB and be effective, but many had that (and STs) being his best shot at sticking in the NFL.

stockholder's picture

Brown had Off-field issues. Thats why he dropped. His speed is 4.4.

Community Guy's picture

agree with enough to comment.. obviously, a lot here. your #12 pick is interesting.. everyone and their mother has the Packers taking EDGE.. yet:
DL: will likely be BAP at 12.
OLB/EDGE: your list is too much to unwrap here.. i have Joseph at ILB (and not that high), the other names intriguing tho.. add Collier and/or one of the Oregon guys??
ILB: Bush, meh.. for ILB talent, this draft does not excite me.
Safety: if no ET in FA, then Gardner-Johnson, or Abram, Edwards or Thornhill.
RG: your guard thoughts are interesting.. Lindstrom @ 44, if possible..
RT: love your RT picks!
TE: nice.
RB: T. Williams @ 172: steal.
slot WR: tiny Penny Hart, a Combine snub, might be a discounted Day 3 possibility.. otherwise, yes: Davante/rotation of current guys.

Dzehren's picture

Like the idea of building the D-Line & O-line thru the draft. College DE’s & LB transiting to 3-4 OLB have a high bust rate. Draft OLB maybe in the second round OL & DL in round 1.... we would have to trade up for a TE possibly in this scenario as GB has 10 draft picks.

albert999's picture

Excellent comments!
BUT don’t forget Tom Brady went in the 6th round
Brady was selected with pick number 199, a compensatory pick!

Uncle Albert

Coldworld's picture

You forget about development. Without going all TT, no nfl team is going to succeed without some players making the step up.

Overall I agree with the holes you identify mostly, for example I think we need two safeties and RB 3 maybe an UDFA. Realistically players like Burkes and Jones (Safety not rb) have to take the step. In Jones’ case the team has to determine his position too. Not all will. Maybe most won’t, but the team must have identified whom they expect to and plan accordingly. That is a key part of the GM gamble.

To add to that, we did draft a guard last year who never showed up. Fate made that particularly unfortunate. If he does show up this year, that is a draft pick already in the bank.

It is not all doom and gloom and big splash free agency or else necessarily unless the team realizes that the recent drafts really were busts and they have to clear out players who simply will never cut it.

For the most part, I see no reason to give up on all the young players. I am also hopeful that we will be more willing to give them chances in roles they are suited to at this point. Under MM in recent years that has just not been part of the mindset. Whether that was MM, Rodgers or both, that has to change.

I agree that Gute needs a very strong off season, but it may be rooted as much in who he moves on from as much as it is in FA and our draft picks are numerous enough that a lot of the depth can be filled that way.

stockholder's picture

1. If You don't win in the trenches, you don't win. (Re Stock both sides) Wilkerson must be replaced! 2. I would move T. Brown to Safety. (2FF 30 tackles.) Save a draft pick! I believe T. Brown can play SS too. 3. Trade No one but Perry. No Takers, pay the man. Unless you find somebody to take his place. (Then Don't resign him. ) 3. Jackson is our Hayward. I say; Keep him at CB! ( But it would be interesting to try him at FS and T. Brown at SS. (I don't see collins or Thomas coming to the packers.) 4. Cleveland loves Randall. Trade them jones. 5. I would sign Breeland, to move Jackson or Brown. 6. Martinez and Ryan. You can't change this position if you want to change the OlB/Edge. The draft sucks at ILB. Beyond rd. 1. Ryan should be resigned and Morrison traded. 7. With new coaches, comes better ideas. They should know who could come here and play RG, WR or TE. I am willing to let the staff figure this out. I don't feel any of these positions needs to be drafted in Rd. 1. The TEs are getting Faster, stronger, and show more pass catching ability now.

Ferrari Driver's picture

David M., I like your take and gave you a thumbs up which was well deserved IMO. I think A. Brown would be a locker room negative. His attitude in Pittsburgh disappointed many and I certainly don't want that with our Packers. Nice job on a number of your other articles as well. Thanks for writing.

Ryan B Dub's picture

Jake Ryan might be a nice guy, but he shouldn’t be on this team. He is a slow run support player at best.

albert999's picture

agreed

Dzehren's picture

Could see Ryan signed for 1 Mil on a 1 year deal. Backup and special teams player....

PAPackerbacker's picture

No to any player that puts themselves ahead of the team such as Bell and Brown from Pittsburgh. The price would be to high financially, and also disruptive to team morale. Something they both have already done in Pittsburgh. Why bring that baggage to Green Bay?

Since '61's picture

It is actually easier to figure out who the Packers should keep rather than the positions they need to fill.

QB - Keep Rodgers and Boyle, chuck Kizer
RB - Keep Jones and Williams, draft a bell weather RB
WR - Keep Adams, Allison, ESB, MVS, and Kumerow. Draft a game break WR if available. Chuck the rest.
TE - Keep Lewis, and Tonyan, chuck Graham and the others. Draft a new starting TE, maybe sign an FA.
OL - Keep Bak, Linsley and Bulaga. Possibly move Bulaga to RG. Keep Taylor either for LG or depth. Chuck the rest. Sign an OL in FA and draft an OL.

Defense: Keep the DLs. Draft a DL if available.
OLB - chuck them all and start over. Draft Edge at #12 or #30 or both. Sign an Edge in FA.
ILB - Keep Martinez and Burks chuck the rest. Sign an FA and draft an ILB.
CB - Keep Alexander, King, Breeland, and Jackson. Sign FAs or draft for depth.
Safety - Keep Williams, Jones and Campbell. Draft or sign another Safety.

Absolutely no to A. Brown and L. Bell from Pittsburgh. they are great players but their price is too high and who knows what they would do to the locker room.

MLF needs to build or rebuild a winning culture in the locker room. He needs leaders not dividers. He and Gute need to build their team without adding players with too much of their own baggage if possible. Thanks, Since '61

stockholder's picture

61- I 've never seen you so negative on players. To much Rebuilding. No wonder you got two negs already. I'm not ready to chuck Kizer, Moore, Graham, and several OLs. Even if Spriggs has played bad. The light may go on with a new coach. The more the competition, the better the team. Defense - DL is a must. but I wouldn't draft a DT after the first 15 picks. OLB- I would draft as many OLBs over Tes as I could. But I would still target Risner and Lindstrom if I could. I believe these two guys could be better then Sitton and Lang. And most Guards are taken in the second rd. So I would trade the #30 pick for two guards. The thing about OLBs no one is going to play all three downs after the second round. One trick Ponys. ILB- I agree here but would sign Ryan more then CM3 just in case. The guy is hungry. And Burks needs time. CB - - agree. But keep T. Brown. Safety, Ok, but don't draft one early. He'll be a bust. MLF - Locker room. Comes with winning.

Since '61's picture

The current roster was 6-9-1 last season. We have about a dozen, maybe 15-16 NFL quality players. How does keeping any of the players that I would chuck make us better in 2019. I realize we can’t chuck them all because we need the bodies. But the fact is most of them are just bodies. Perry, Graham, CM3, Cobb are little or no upside left and are overpaid. The guys behind Perry and CM3 are Jags at best. Maybe keep Fackrell. ILB Martinez is the only keeper and that is due to his experience and age. Burks might still come on. Chuck the rest. I agree to add Brown to the CBs.

This roster needs a makeover. The sooner Gute starts the sooner he gets it done. This team needs a sense of urgency starting with player acquisition down to their performance on the field. If we keep most of our current players we probably keep similar results. If we are going to expect better results from Gute and MLF we need better players throughout most of the roster. Thanks, Since ‘61

stockholder's picture

You wouldn't keep Moore? To soon. They compared him Adams. The biggest problem I see with the Wrs, "They Can't Multi Task". Moore, St. Brown, Davis, Allison, Kumerow, Mvs, Cobb, can't do other things now. (Line up all- over and catch. ) Cobb isn't worth the money. I was very critical of D. Adams. Because TT dumped James Jones, and deVante's Drops. If Moore is Adams, you can't give -up yet. We are about to do the same thing with Cobb that we did to James Jones. But James Jones didn't drop as many passes, and spend time on the IR like Cobb. He wasn't over- paid. So drafting these 3 Wrs was a mistake? The Brass is still taking players to replace players. A cheaper option then going after veterans. But if you want Graham cut. Morrison, cut. Perry cut. Cm3 not signed. You get what you pay for. And Rookies. So MM had to work with these guys. Why doesn't a new coach? Arron Rodgers will only get hurt and collect his bonus money. Any good vet will want out. Causing the return of poor teams and a return to the 70s and 80s. (The days after Starr and stars.) No Reggie White will come here. This must be a slow process. Competition must bring out the best in the players again. The old guys are mentally exhausted. Losing does that. So take the All-Pro. Not the busts. More Injuries are on the OL then other positions. Keep Perry 1 more year. Try to keep Ryan. Guys must be given a second chance. Let the preseason weed them out. Lucky must start in this draft. Starting to soon will throw this team into the past and not the future.

Since '61's picture

Double deleted.

Dale Waterstreet's picture

I like your thoughts on the Packers. With an aging Rogers OL has to be a priority. It is time to draft one or more during the first two days of the draft. ILB should be another priority perhaps at pick 12. If the draft is as deep at edge rusher as everyone says could wait to second round to get one. This team with a fairly healthy Rogers only went 6-9-1they are more than 1 season from the playoffs. I would trade down from both first round draft picks to get more draft picks and maybe another first rounder for 2020 to go after Rogers successor.

PackEyedOptimist's picture

Don't be too hasty to dump/forget the bottom-of-the-roster guys. The coaches may have seen a lot in practice that we really haven't seen at all. Light and /DeBeer may come back this year as very solid backup OTs. Looney, Brown, and Cotton may be much better DL this year. How much do any of us know about Greene, Jamerson, Redmond, Pleasant, Matthews, or Thompson as DBs? How about RBs Bibbs, Coleman, Vitale, Johnson, and Carson? WRs Lazard and Redding, not to mention Moore?
I'm particularly interested in OT Light, S Greene, RB Bibbs, and DL Looney; they all have solid credentials.
It's possible that the coaches don't see the cupboard being nearly as bare as we do.

Booner's picture

OCT 2010

AR

Hey Ted you can get the Beast Mode from the Bills for a 4th round daft pick.

Ted
Are you kidding me Rodgers? I value my draft picks and I am smarter than any GM in football. NO WAY!

AR

Ted I played with the guy at CAL he is the real deal a difference maker!

Ted

THE PROOF WILL BE IN THE PUDDING WITH MY DRAFT PICKS RODGERS!

AR

What a Puddin head!

Booner's picture

WITH THE 4TH PICK IN THE 2011 DRAFT THE PACKERS SELECT DAVON HOUSE!

holmesmd's picture

Let Rodgers throw to this freak! That would solve quite a bit in the short & intermediate passing game!

DK Metcalf!! 6’3, 225lbs( more like 240lb) Projected to be an X WR in the NFL! Wow, what a freak!

https://thedraftnetwork.com/2018/12/05/2019-nfl-draft-player-profile-d-k...

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