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ESPN: Five-step plan for Packers' offseason

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ESPN: Five-step plan for Packers' offseason

-- Entering one of their most critical offseasons in recent memory, the Green Bay Packers have a tedious to-do list this spring.

They're currently sitting just north of $35 million in cap space, possess 10 draft picks -- four of which fall in the top 75 -- and have several decisions to make on expiring contracts. Two of those contracts belong to wide receiver Randall Cobb and linebacker Clay Matthews, who two of the longest-tenured players currently on the roster.

Under a new regime led by new head coach Matt LaFleur and his finalized coaching staff, the Packers could field a team that offers very little semblance to the 2018 version by September.

ESPN's Bill Barnwell helped make these looming tasks a little easier for the Packers, laying out a five-step plan that could help the Packers get back into competing shape by the start of the 2019 campaign.

        1. Let Clay Matthews walk

Matthews will absolutely have a market once the Packers decide to part ways, but 10 seasons in Green Bay is where the line is drawn. Matthews has gone from being an absolute terror off the edge to simply not having the same burst or power against opposing tackles, requiring the team to get creative with his usage. A swap to the inside -- much like 2014 -- seemed plausible, but Matthews has been adamant in his disdain for playing a middle linebacker position. Barring any kind of discounted contract, it's highly unlikely the Packers do much bargaining with themselves to keep the 32-year old Matthews in town.

        2. Retaining Muhammad Wilkerson

Wilkerson was one of the Packers' most coveted free agent signings last offseason, reuniting him with his former defensive coordinator in Mike Pettine from their days in New York. He was expected to help solidify the end of the Packers' defensive line, but instead, suffered a gruesome injury in the team's third game of the season. After being carted off the field against the Washington Redskins, Wilkerson's future was uncertain, but inking him to a new deal and presenting him with another opportunity to revitalize his career would do both him and the Packers wonders. The best teams in the league have deep defensive lines, and the Packers can follow that blueprint by coughing up some cash in Wilkerson's direction.

        3. Hit the market for a free safety

The Packers have lacked that true centerfield talent since Nick Collins went down in 2011. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix helped mitigate their woes -- briefly -- but he's a Washington Redskins and the Packers have an extra fourth-round pick in their pocket as a result of that. The safety position as a whole was a liability for the Packers last season, so much that Tramon Williams needed to swap from cornerback to free safety after Clinton-Dix was traded. Barnwell mentions names such as Tyrann Mathieu and Lamarcus Joyner, but there will be options for them to pluck in the draft as well. There's still a lot of hype for the possibility of former Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas landing in Green Bay, but don't get too excited.

        4. Edge, edge, edge

Barnwell says what we were all already thinking: Draft an edge rusher at No. 12 overall. This is a deep class for the Packers to choose from and it couldn't have come at a better time with them likely moving on from Matthews this spring. Florida Gator Jachai Polite is a hot commodity amongst a lot of draft buffs and could end up landing with the Packers with their first of two first-round picks. Florida State's Brian Burns is another name to watch as well. Don't rule out the Packers potentially even double-dipping at No. 12 and No. 30 overall if they're serious about their edge crisis. Remember, they could also end up moving on from Nick Perry sometime within the next few months, too. While Mike Pettine doesn't necessarily need absolute studs coming off the edge considering his ability to dial up pressure in various avenues, make his job a little easier and get him a monster.

        5. Add another wide receiver

The Packers' current depth chart: Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Geronimo Allison, Marquez Valdes-Scantilng, Equanimeous St. Brown, Jake Kumerow and J'Mon Moore. Cobb and Allison have expiring contracts, Valdes-Scantling and St. Brown haven't been able to show any form of weekly consistency, Kumerow is 27, has durability concerns and didn't play in his first regular-season game until this past season and Moore struggled to see any significant snaps in his rookie year. The Packers will have options to add another wide receiver in free agency, whether it's Golden Tate or Jamison Crowder like Barnwell mentions, or even DeSean Jackson if he's ever released from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Cal connection!). But the Packers can't sit on their hands here and act like the situation there is solidified. Cobb's replacement is in this year's draft class, which just so happens to be deep in the slot, and they could find him in the mid-rounds if they wanted to stock up other areas of need before anything else. That could be Georgia State's Penny Hart, Andy Isabella out of UMass or whoever else tickles your fancy.

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (60) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

I certainly cannot find much to disagree with in this article. I would let Cobb go but would resign Allison if he can be signed for a reasonable contract. Allison is a very good #3 and possibly #2 receiver. Last year was to be his year to show what he could do.

As mentioned, I would let Cobb go as I just do not see the on field production. I'm not even talking about what it would cost to resign Cobb. I do not believe I would resign him even if it was a team friendly deal. Great guy and teammate and a great Packer but lacks on field production. The Pack definitely needs a game changer in the slot position. I sense the Pack will be throwing to the RB's coming out of the backfield more than in the past. I really wonder how Jones will be used this year since he has had 3 knee injuries in the past. Will Jones be creatively used out of the backfield?

If it is at all possible I would like to see Clay be resigned with the Packers if on a team friendly deal. Clay still has on field value and he is a Packer icon. His role would just need to change and he would be an awesome player for the Pack in 2019 and 2020. I am a business man but I truly do not understand some of these players who like Clay has made tens of millions of dollars and for him to sign elsewhere for a little more on the downside of his career vs continuing to build his legacy in Green Bay. The money he would make signing elsewhere should in my opinion have zero bearing on his decision to resign. He can never spend all the money he has made in his lifetime but continuing to build his Packer legacy will be a positive daily memory that he will be able to enjoy the rest of his life. Additionally, his family could continue to enjoy and benefit from Clay's community and Packer contributions/legacy. Look at how unhappy Jordy has been upon leaving the Packers. Jordy was just another player as a Raider vs being a Packer icon and loved being a GB Packer. A little more money on the back-end of your career just isn't worth it from my perspective. Think about guys like Starr and others who played their whole career in GB vs a Favre and others.

LambeauPlain's picture

One thing Gutey has already shown is he will not keep players for sentimental value. He’s stone cold business minded to what he can to improve the roster.

CMIII and Perry are both hurting the roster. Perry is in the tub more than he is on the field. One year stud several years ago.

CMIII is single blocked all the time now and he can’t get off blocks. He’s lost several steps. And last year he had jaw dropping whiffs on tackles he used to make with a thunderclap....just took terrible angles.

Tough business but time to turn the page on the 2 multimillionaires.

Gilbertbrown4lyfe's picture

Unfortunately, money does matter over legacy to these players, even to Jordy Nelson. If I recall correctly, the Packers did indeed offer him a team friendly deal and he said FUCK NO and went to Oakland. However, according to sources, the Packers basically offered him the league minimum. Can you blame him?

EddieLeeIvory's picture

I'd like to keep Clay too. Not Cobb.

RCPackerFan's picture

overall this seems to go along with almost every Packer fans thoughts.

Myself I am one of the few that would like to see Mathews come back. Not used solely as an edge rusher but moved around.

I definitely bring back Wilkerson. It sounds like he really wants to be back as well.

There will be some pretty good options at Safety. One guy to keep an eye on is Landon Collins. Reports from NY is that the Giants and him aren't negotiating and they will let him go.

I stated yesterday that my hope is that they get 3 higher end OLB's this offseason. 1 FA, 1 draft pick in the first round, and another draft pick whether its in round 2 or 4. This is a position that we really need an upgrade at. They may move on from Mathews, and may move on from Perry. That would leave us with Fackrell, Gilbert and Donnerson at OLB. We need a talent upgrade.

WR is a position that I firmly believe we need to add to each and every year. The Packers were absolutely at their best offensively when they had an abundance of weapons. Right now I really like the WR position, but it needs more depth. They have Adams who is a top 5 QB. They have a duo of will be 2nd year players that really played well as rookies. Another 2nd year player that didn't play as much but had time to develop. I like the overall talent. But I don't want to rely on all the players. With a new system it may take longer for some to learn. There maybe injuries. I want to keep the talent level higher!

stockholder's picture

WR is a position that I firmly believe we need to add to each and every year. No, It's Poor planning! Gute drafted 3 Wrs. We must give these talented guys time, like Adams. ( Why were none drafted for the slot? ) This is on Gute! Also; The release of Monty. And now Cobb will leave. Gute can't keep making draft mistakes and just hit on his first. TT said more mistakes are made at the WR position then any position in Football. Most teams are putting their best Wr in the slot now.

RCPackerFan's picture

How is it poor plannning? Continuing to add to a position and keeping it a strength is actually really good planning. I'm not saying they have to draft a WR in the first or 2nd round every year. But adding players in the draft is a really good idea IMO.

Yes he drafted 3 WR's. But outside of those 3 WR's plus Adams what do they have? Allison, Davis and Kumerow. Cobb will likely be gone. Unless they add a WR in FA, the depth is not overwhelming.
We have no clue if Moore will even be on the team. We don't know how much of a jump either MVS or EQ will take. And there are always injuries.

I like MVS and EQ as much as anyone. I really think they are going to be great. And the experience they got as rookies is invaluable. That being said, we need players behind them.

Old School's picture

Stockholder and RCPackerfan….

I think that the WR discussion is skewed because for the last 15 years or so, we've primarily run the pistol with 3 WRs. WRs get a lot of snaps with the Packers, even if you're #3 or #4 on the depth chart.

But times have changed, I think, and LaFleur is probably going to play more snaps with two TEs and two WRs on the field. One of those WRs is going to be Adams, mostly, backed up by somebody like St. Brown. MSV will be our #2 WR.

Additionally, we're going to be running the ball more, and that's going to mean fewer passing attempts overall and that's going to impact the WR situation most, because another TE we draft is going to need to be targeted, and Adams needs to be targeted, So...a lower percentage of targets and a lower number of passes, period.

Adams, MSV, Graham, and a drafted TE and those will be our four receivers. That's effectively a 7 man offensive line, meaning 6 gaps that have to be covered in addition to four receivers. Simple math tells you that spreads a defense pretty thin.

stockholder's picture

Continuing to add to a position and keeping it a strength is actually really good planning. It is! But what Gute did was poor planning. He didn't draft a guy that could play in the slot. The #1 position in the NfL now. Everybody is moving their best WR to the slot. ( If they can play it ) He also used a 3rd and 4th for replacing Joe Thomas LB. When he should have stayed pat. Taken a Guard/Wr and Thomas at TE. Instead he took a no show in the 5th! Quote: We need players behind them. Well said. The problem is needing more then Wr behind Wrs. Especially this year.

Swisch's picture

I wonder if Davante Adams would be a great slot receiver, because he seems so shifty in such a strong way.
He seems amazing not only at generating body speed, but being able to maintain that speed while quickly changing in multiple directions. Then he seems excellent running after the catch.
At the slot, he would be more assured of continuing to get catches, even if our offense diversifies with more running plays, and more throws to our tight ends and running backs.
I don't know if that's a good idea overall, but it seems MVS and EQB are really talented receivers for the outside but not so much in the slot.
Plus, putting Adams in the slot wouldn't mean that he couldn't occasionally go downfield for deeper passes. He actually may be more effective going deep from the slot as a surprise to defenses.

Old School's picture

If we play the pistol 3-1-1, using Adams as a slot this idea has merit. I think what we'll actually see is two WRs and two TEs on a lot of pass plays, and the "slot" guys will actually be the TEs so we can put them in motion, etc.

Fewer snaps for WRs under LaFleur, and more for TEs. I think Adams will remain where he is, and unless our opponent believes they can single cover him, he'll be doubled quite a bit of the time. But MSV, Graham, and our draft pick TE are going to have single coverage by much smaller guys.

stockholder's picture

OK- The two top slot Wrs in the 2019 draft; are M. Brown (Foot surgery) and Isabella. Both toothpicks and under 6 foot.

Rebecca's picture

I agree about the importance of the slot, but will the hydra-headed QB coaching committee get Rodgers to throw to the middle of the field? Maybe. Wait and see.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Gute hasn't made many draft mistakes. Let's at least wait another year at minimum.

Lphill's picture

I would like Clay back, how much more effective could he have been last season if he played a few less snaps but because of no depth he was on the field too much. I think he still has something left in the tank if he has some help. I rather keep him over Perry.

jannes bjornson's picture

How much do you pay him for a half tank? Some other team will snag him for a higher price, maybe not? He has his Commercial endorsements and maybe a career in wrestling.LOL.

Minniman's picture

I think that the point quoted in the article about Clay having disdain for ILB is moot now that he's a 32 yo FA. He was healthy this year and his tape wasn't flattering as a high snap count pure outside pass rusher.

If he's retained then it's purely because he's the BPA FA OLB at the relevant price-point to give the Packers the depth to shoot gaps (inside or out) and pressure the QB. If he's not, then it's because the Packers signed who they think would be an upgrade depth piece at that position........ replacements HAVE to be an upgrade to discards.

As an aside Clay's homework this off-season should be to refocus on attacking the ball in hand of the QB rather than trying to pancake him - else he's a just going to be a penalty liability waiting to happen.

Jonathan Spader's picture

With Clay's "tank" he has an incredible motor. Even if the tank is half of what it used to be that's still as much or more than JAG. I'd like to see Clay on a contract similar to Peppers when he signed with GB as a situational pass rusher.

Minniman's picture

Yep. Agree. that's where I was going with my comment - as well as to say that if he is not retained, then his replacement needs to be an upgrade....... or the Packers have effectively gone backwards.

Rebecca's picture

That idea has merit. Some creativity on Pettine's part as he did with Fackrell could get some value out of Matthews. Paycut or gone.

Handsback's picture

I don't see edge, edge for the first two picks, but maybe DE, safety and edge is a possibility. I think most Packer fans will read this article and agree with it.

Cheezdik's picture

I agree. Perry has to be let go. He is a waste of cap space. At least Matthews is still a force and can be a good mentor to a young OLB we draft this year. Also need to dump Kevin King if he doesn't produce after this year. He has one(1) int in two seasons and just can't stay healthy. He is a corner version of Perry. GB has to start getting rid of guys like this. Keep the guys who produce.

Old School's picture

Actually, Perry compares pretty well to other late first round OLBs. His issue is durability, but when he's on the field, he's an NFL caliber OLB.

The contract.....is one we offered him. Nobody held a gun to our head and made us do it. Why should we hold that against him?

Yes, you can create some cap space by releasing him, but you cannot replace him for the amount of money you save. You think you can, but you can't.
VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV

I'd pass on Wilkerson. We only activate 5 and carry 6 DL on the 53. Under contract for 2019, we have Daniels, Clark, Lowry, Lancaster, Adams. None are eligible for the practice squad. I'd rather use that last space on a guy we drafted.

VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVv

We have two OLBs under contract, Perry and Fackrell. We could/should resign Gilbert. That only leaves us one more spot on the gameday roster. I'd rather have a draft choice there than Clay Matthews.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

IF we really need a slot receiver, none of the FAs really is much of an improvement on Cobb and none of them have his familiarity with Rodgers. Personally, I think a lot of people who obsess about a "slot" receiver are slow to understand that we're going to run less 3-1-1 pistol and more 2-2-1 double TE.

I'd pass on adding another WR, and I'd pass on Cobb, too.

stockholder's picture

If thats the plan I see No future. 1. Resign CM3. He's Peppers for sure. 2. and 4. I see No future in Wilkerson. His history says he just wants the big payday now. We've had so many guys try to be an elephant and fail. Not to mention TTs draft picks. Biegal failed. And Perry just keeps getting hurt. Draft a DT, not edge. It's insurance. And my preference over Polite and Burns. Oliver or Wilkins! Should be there. Wilkins is a Classy kid, who stayed in school , and could replace Wilkerson easy. We've brought in other FA's DTs only to see them fail. The upside of Oliver and Wilkins is much greater then a gamble at edge. 3. I can easily go along with a safety FA. 5. Just No! Move Adams to the slot. I want guards! A Wr is not going to keep A-Rod on his feet. We have a problem at Guard not WR.

Minniman's picture

Some really good points.

Re Wilkerson it really does depend on his recovery and the $$$'s that he's asking for. If (big if) he's healthy and cheap he could be a valuable piece.

I personally don't disagree re Oliver or Wilkins at #12. I do think that their selection would be contingent on getting good FA Safety help though. This could allow a slightly lesser "athletic project" OLB to be bought in and given a season or 2 to develop......... I'm thinking here about Harold Landry and Marcus Devenport from last year's draft. They were touted like Burns, Polite and Sweat - and while it's still early days for them - their respective year one production was not extraordinary (although I'll be watching them both with interest this coming year - along with the other year 2 edge rushers from R2-R4)

stockholder's picture

The biggest FA signing. must be P. Smith. Wash.

LambeauPlain's picture

If KC doesn’t tag Ford...and it is possible because they are going to a 4-3 this year, would you rather have CMIII + Perry or use their cap hits to sign Ford?

Like Wilkerson was convinced to come to GB beacuse of Pettine....Ford may put the Pack as a favored suitor due to Smith being his OLB coach again.

Community Guy's picture

i think a lot of commentary has written off J'Mon Moore at WR. people easily forget that it takes a while to learn WR. the Pack drafted 3 WRs last year.. give the draftees a chance.. and there are holes to fill elsewhere.. O-line, e.g.

that all said, if Penny Hart falls to them mid-Day 3.. hmmm.

Cheezdik's picture

Takes awhile to learn WR? If you are being drafted, you should already know what's expected to make it in the NFL. No excuses. It didn't take Jordy Nelson long to learn. He produced right away and is still good putting up 740 years after missing a game and barely playing. And on the worst team in the NFL. If you are still dropping passes when you get to the NFL, you should get cut. Packers shouldn't have drafted Moore. His draft review stated that he has "bad hands". Another miss by Gute. He hit on 2 of 8 or 9 players. Jaire and Scantling we're only good players out of draft.

The TKstinator's picture

No.
Just no.

Old School's picture

Agree wholeheartedly. Many people want to give up on guys way too early.

Jordy Nelson wasn't that impressive as a rookie. By the end of Davante Adams' second season, people wanted to cut him. Donald Driver toiled near the bottom of the rotation for years before he became our #1 WR.

This is a new season for Moore. He should be working with his nutritionist and his trainer every day because his opponents and competitors are. Let's see what he brings to camp, we might be surprised.

Swisch's picture

I think Jerry Rice was a guy who had some bad drops his rookie year, and J'Mon Moore probably didn't get nearly as many opportunities as Rice.
With an offseason for More to work on his game, and a new coaching staff, it seems worthwhile to give him another opportunity.

LambeauPlain's picture

No way do you write of Moore after his disappointing rookie year. But if he doesn’t step in 2019, he may be.

Of the three drafted WRs I always thought ESB offered the most and had the highest ceiling. By season’s end he was definitely the best of the 3.

He is big, fast, runs smooth routes to the right spot, catches the ball AND is a very good down field blocker.

I could see him starting in the slot.

Minniman's picture

Many are coveting AB. His rookie year wasn't indicative of the player that he became. He did break out a little in his second though.

All three WR's should reasonably be able to be graded with some confidence for potential ceiling at the end of this year.

Cheezdik's picture

Should have let Cobb last year instead of Jordy. That just shows Gutes inexperience as a GM. Cobb has constantly been injured bit Jordy only out one year because of an ACL injury. Jordy barely played last year with the Raiders(missed a game) but still ended up with 740 yards and 3 tds. On the worst team in the league. Not bad. Green Bay biffed on that one. You dont give away your QB's go-to target. Just dumb. Another typical GB move that no other team would ever do. Then Gute has a garbage draft hitting on what? 2 of 9 players? GB needs to draft a #1 OLB like they should of done three years ago when they dumbly passed on TJ Watt for draft bust Kevin King. King has been a total waste. Has one career INT and can be heard saying "Im no draft bust, I've been down this road before". This is his "make or break year". If he doesn't produce this year, dump him. Along with garbage Perry this year. What a waste of cap space.

White _tornado's picture

I laugh when King says he is not injury prone. His explantion is "ive had some soft tissue stuff, but everyone has that" Oh well that explains it huh daisy? You are a true iron man!
We all know the amount of games he has missed, does anyone know how many games he didnt finish due to injury?

CAG123's picture

Wes Welker, Victor Cruz, Anquan Boldin, Deion Branch, Mike Wallace, Marquise Colston all players that were traded/cut/not retained and at one point could call themselves the favorite target of their respective QB. There isn’t a single GM that would have chosen a 32 year old WR with obvious signs of decline over a 27 year old that does have injury concerns but can still play. I wasn’t particularly happy they cut Jordy but don’t act like this was the first time a team has ever done this.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Jordy played 845 snaps (80%). He more than barely played. He missed just one game.

Jordy didn't produce right away (correcting your comment above). He had 366 yards as a rookie, and then 320, and 582. MVS had 581 and ESB had 320. ESB is in the ball park with Jordy for rookie production and MVS is pretty far ahead. I actually think Jordy was ready to play in his second season, but that's just me.

Gilbertbrown4lyfe's picture

6. Sign Gilbert Brown.

4thand1's picture

Andy Isabella stock is rising fast. If he blows them out of the water with a ridiculous 40 time at the combine, he may go in the 1st round. Teams see what a nightmare T Hill is to defenses in KC and speed kills. I see G/T at pick 30 .

CAG123's picture

I’m all for them bringing back Clay on a cheap deal for maybe 2-3 years can’t forget the importance of depth and Clay despite his decline is definitely better than Reggie Gilbert a guy that joins the list of hyped up undrafted scrubs in GB and Kendall Donnerson. A lot of older defensive players have extended their careers by coming in on pass rush situations and having their snaps reduced to keep them fresh guys like John Abraham, Peppers, Robert Mathis, Elvis Dumervil, Dwight Freeney, Jake Long etc

Slim11's picture

I agree that bringing CM3 back on a team friendly deal provides some better depth. Gilbert reminds me of Jayrone Elliot.

I think Green Bay has to move on from Nick Perry based upon cost and availability.

blacke00's picture

I agree to some degree with the first 4 but certainly not the 5th.
Drafting a WR high in a very dumb Idea. Only very premier WR contribute much in the 1st to 2nd year, it just takes time to learn the transition from college to pro. You wouldn't get much more production than what you already have.
This team needs quality OL help. You'll get much more bang for your buck by drafting a OL/DL high than you will a "skill" player.
After an Edge rusher, an OL or TE. After that OL, DL ,Safety and inside LB....then an only then consider skill players.
Stay away from the Prima Donna FAs!

ILPackerBacker's picture

Most all packer fans would read and agree with this article.

That is a true statement.

Why is it true? Because each and every one of them was true a year ago. And because packer fans have had an additional year of having the same issues rubbed into their faces.

Due to the cowardly act of the carpet bagger letting MM dictate terms of the reorganization it is not totally on GUTE that the obvious problems were not fixed last. Throw in the coaching melt down and injuries and Gute gets an incomplete and the failures go to the title town master

bbarryirish's picture

Sentimentality does not win football games.
Clay must go. Please watch film from last year. He was an enormous liability.
Bring him back- a few years down the road to honor his time as a Packer- not to play another down.

Packer Fan's picture

2019 Packer recommendations:
1. Dump Cobb and Perry to free cap space. Especially Perry as his cap hit is bad and gets worse each year.
2. Sign good FA OLB, Then a FA OLB vet for depth (could be Matthews) and draft Edge high.
3. TE: I am ok with signing Cook, keeping Graham for one more year, and draft a TE in round two or three. Keep Tonyan.
4. OL: Sign FA guard. Guy from Oakland if he gets cut. Then one more OL for depth. Draft OL in round three or four. Madison will never play.
5. Safety: Sign a highend FA vet. Then draft a safety in rounds 4 - 6. Keep Williams as second safety. He will play better his second year playing that position. Consider moving Jackson.
6. WR: Pick up a FA like Beasley (if he gets cut) or Tampa guy. Cobb is too old and expensive. Then draft Andy Isabella. Brown and Scantling have enough potential and one should make a good jump in second year. Keep Allison.
7. Other FA signings: Keep Breeland and Wilkerson. Wilkerson will be cheap. For DL a mid to late round draft pick.
8. Draft: Consider trading pick 30 for more 2nd and 3rd round picks.
I believe BG has enough money to do all this. Perhaps not all highend FA's, but enough to fill with good guys.

CAG123's picture

What is this unwarranted obsession with Cook? He’s 32 and is actually looking for a 4 year deal paying between 8-9 million a year not to mention he didn’t do squat in GB. The Packers would be better off signing Jesse James he’s a solid TE and he’s still young and then drafting Grahams replacement.You say Cobb it too old and expensive but he’s only 28 and Beasley is 29 the reason to let Cobb go isn’t his age or the money it’s his injury history.

Old School's picture

Even his injury history isn't as bad as people want to believe. He missed a big chunk of 2013, if you recall. And a big chunk of this year. Other than that, he's been able to line up for most of the games of his career.

Nobody mentions that we couldn't possibly bring in a replacement for Cobb that has anywhere near his familiarity with Rodgers. I guess stuff like tat isn't important.

Ditto on Cook. We're going to draft a TE early. You can't run a double TE offense without TEs and we only have two under contract.

Jonathan Spader's picture

You truly live in a FF world Packer Fan. Read some of TGR's posts on how cap space works and tell me how you would sign your wish list it's beyond unrealistic. You can't cut Cobb to gain cap room he's not under contract. Cutting Perry saves you 3.7 mil which might buy you half of a decent FA or JAG.

How hard is it to Google Tampa FAs to find the name Adam Humpries? Why sign another TE on the end of his career when Maxx Williams is younger, less expensive, and can actually block. Wr already have Graham we don't need another old catch only TE in GB.

Rak47's picture

"Cutting Perry saves you 3.7 mil which might buy you half of a decent FA or JAG."
You are correct if they cut him before June 1st, but that would leave the Packers with 11 million in dead money. However if he's cut post June 1st those numbers flip and the Pack gets 10,737,500 million in cap relief while taking a dead money hit of 3.7 million. I think it's safe to say Perry will be a post June 1st cut if Gute does release him. The Packers can spend big on FA's if they want to with an eye toward several post June 1st cuts if they do.
Post June 1 cuts that could net the Packers cap room are Jimmy Graham 9 mil in cap space and 3.6 mil dead money. Mike Daniels 8.3 mil cap space and 2.4 mil dead money. Bulaga 6.7 mil cap space and 1.6 mil dead money. Tramon 4.7 mil cap space 1.6 mil dead money. Lane Taylor 4.1 mil cap space and 1.37 mil dead money. Mason Crosby 3.6 mil cap space and 1.25 mil dead money. Just releasing Perry and Graham alone post June 1st frees up 20 million in cap space that can be used to sign more than a JAG or middling FA.

Jonathan Spader's picture

All depends on who actually makes it to the FA market Rak. Fans are calling for a Clowney FA signing which would be awesome but seems unrealistic. Even with freed up cap space there are still a lot of other teams out there with more. I'm excited to see which players Gute retains/releases.

It's exciting being a Packer fan again. No player feels "safe". Packers are active in FA. I can't wait to see how FA shakes out for the Packers.

TXCHEESE's picture

I don't understand the obsession with Beasley. The only reason he had any production last year is because Dak was always looking for him prior to them getting a major upgrade in the middle of the season. You blow hard on Beasley, he goes down. Anyone ranting about how we should have kept Jordy over Cobb, is only basing this off of hindsight of Cobb's injuries last year. Go look at the film the prior year when Rodgers was out. Jordy half ass tried most of the time.
I believe Wilkerson should be brought back. He knows he's still in prove it mode, so should be relatively cheap; plus one injury and your depth goes out the window. I hear rumblings from a couple of Steelers fans that Morgan Burnett is wanting out of Pittsburgh. I would favor bringing him back over a high priced FA. Lastly bring back CMIII. He still has a passion and high football IQ. He's a great spot player and chess piece for Pettine to use.

CAG123's picture

We don’t need another injury prone 30 year old MB didn’t make enough plays or hard hits to warrant being brought back him and HHCD were the ultimate ying and yang one could get picks (no matter how they came) and the other was a willing tackler neither could do both. The Packers need safeties that can do both.

Lphill's picture

Draft Devin White at 12 and the defense is already improved, a fast linebacker who can cover sideline to sideline and can tackle , the pressure from the middle with him , Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark would be fantastic and would make edge guys job easier.i think this is what Pettine likes .

Old School's picture

If we put Devin White in the middle of our defense, we'd have a better defense. Alongside a guy like Martinez who makes a ton of tackles and behind a stout defensive line, we'd be pretty solid in the middle.

stockholder's picture

Better yes. But not the answer. 1. He's not Roquan Smith! Possible Nick Barnett. Projection Starter! Nothing more. He'll need coaching, and a couple of years. Ability is Sideline to sideline. Bush will be a better LB.(Trade Down)

CAG123's picture

Yes Bush is definitely better (giggity) despite him being smaller he just seems more aggressive and dissects plays quicker and his pursuit is relentless.

Bret Iverson's picture

Don't sign AB! What a head case! They get a big contract and cannot play team ball. Why do athletes throw it all away when they think they are bigger than the game.

Swisch's picture

Interesting that this piece from ESPN doesn't mention the offensive line.
To me, this is the most important area to address, then edge rusher and tight end.

AgrippaLII's picture

It's better to let your FA's go a year too soon than too late...so I would let Cobb and Matthews go. Wilkerson won't be ready to play next season...it seems like the big guys take a whole season to get over major injuries and if they do play they are not effective. I would not resign him. The thing that struck me most during the playoffs was that the most successful defenses were the ones that could generate pressure on the QB by rushing just the front four...that made the Blitz devastating when it came! So my emphasis in the draft would be DL not Edge. The DL's that could be available at #12 are impressive...the edge guys are not!

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