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Geronimo Allison determined to return to Packers in 2019

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Geronimo Allison determined to return to Packers in 2019

-- If making a team's regular-season roster as an undrafted rookie free agent wasn't impressive enough, quickly ascending through the ranks en route to becoming one of a generational quarterback's most trusted targets should convince you.

That's precisely what Geronimo Allison did throughout his first three seasons working with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, as evidenced by some of the critical moments Rodgers has targeted the 25-year-old.

Rodgers, who has been widely recognized as a perfectionist at times who expects his receivers to always be on the same page with him, has gone to bat for Allison multiple times -- both during training camp and during the regular-season -- and expressed praise for Allison's efforts since being signed by the team in 2016.

Allison was off to his best start to a season in 2018 before an injury-riddled stint in October landed him on injured reserve.

He suffered a concussion against the Buffalo Bills, a hamstring injury shortly after and, eventually, a torn adductor. He tried playing through his seemingly healed hamstring injury against the Los Angeles Rams, but underperformed, even despite his lack of an injury designation. 

Allison, a restricted free agent, is hoping a campaign in which he fought off a barrage of injuries doesn't alter the team's decision to keep him around for 2019.

"Honestly, I'm happy here. This is my home," Allison told Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"If it was up to me, I would want to be here and stay consistent here throughout my career. But, just going over the years, I understand I have a strong faith and a strong work ethic and my talent, my production; that playing in this league is all about mental toughness and then production."

Allison confirmed his current good health and that his previous injuries won't impact his readiness for the 2019 spring program. The Packers, however, will need to decide whether or not they'll tender him before the March 13 deadline. 

The advantage for the Packers is that they have leverage with Allison. They have the opportunity to ink him to a deal before he hits the open market and other teams get a chance to up the ante.

"I had a groove," Allison said of his pre-injury success. "I had a groove. I had a routine. I just felt confident doing it. I was playing with a lot of confidence, and it shows."

It absolutely showed in the form of 303 receiving yards -- a career high -- and a pair of touchdowns through five games. His numbers expanded with more elbow room in the passing game as opposed to his first two years in Green Bay, in which he had to compete for playing time behind Davante Adams, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.

Adams' play has engineered a plethora of "top-five" arguments, Nelson is in Oakland and Cobb is set to become a free agent later this month after eight years with the Packers. If the Packers tender Allison, he'll have his biggest opportunity yet for an extensive role in the passing game.

If they don't, the Packers will have made a position of uncertainty even more uncertain. Even after drafting three receivers in last year's draft, it'd be a dangerous practice to bank on year-two jumps from Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown, both of which flashed in their respective rookie years, but were never able to form any week-to-week consistency.

If it were up to Allison, he'd stick around for the foreseeable and build upon his already impressive resume.

"I feel like if God directs me down another path, I'm going to walk down that path with a mentally tough mindset and I'm going to do what I have to do," he said. "But if you ask me which one do I prefer? I'm going to tell you I'm a Packer for life, baby. If I can do that, if I can make that happen, that's what I prefer."

According to Owczarski, it's more likely the Packers will place an original-round tender on Allison, if they do choose to keep him in town. That'd only equate to a $2,025,000 deal as opposed to a first or second-round tender that would be pushing $4.4 million or $3.0 million, respectively.

If they opted for the latter, the Packers would refrain from entering a bidding war with any team interested in Allison. The pursuing team would need to cough up either one of a first or second-round pick to secure him.

These coming weeks will offer Allison his first look into a world of unpredictability since going seven rounds of the draft without hearing his name called three years ago.

"For the most part, I just try to stay in the moment and consistently understand that this is my home and I'm here. I've been doing well. I'm active in my community. My teammates love me. The organization loves me around here. So I'm happy here.

"It seems like they're happy to have me here. I've been productive since I've been here, so I'm hoping to continue to be here."

__________________________

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 (39) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Nick Perry's picture

A 2nd round tender for Allison would put his salary at $3 million for 2019 then correct? It would also prevent any team from bidding against the Packers and driving up the price for him unless that team would want to give up a 2nd round draft choice for Allison correct?

SIGN Allison to a 2nd round tender. The difference of about $1 million for the 2019 season if I'm understanding this correctly ($3 million or a shade over $2 million) would be worth it for a WR who definitely works well with Rodgers and was pretty key for the Packers in 2018 until he was injured. It's just a smart move IMO especially with Cobb leaving already.

cuervo's picture

I think there is zero chance any other team looking for WR help is going to offer a guy with 55 career receptions and a 4.7 40 time a contract much more than the vet minimum. In my opinion paying him 2 mio a season is too much and unecessary, but it's not my money.

Every teams fans overvalue their own players, Allision is a perfect example.

Nick Perry's picture

I didn't overvalue him, I'm looking at exactly who the Packers currently have on the roster at WR and the value they bring to the offense. We still don't know about MVS or ESB and what kind of jump we'll see from them this season. I'm sure every Packers fan is hoping for the best, but Allison is at least some decent insurance in the event both or even one of them doesn't AND Rodgers trusts him.

Your right, it's not your money or mine. But if I could think of a spot on the roster where a difference of about $1 million pretty much ensures the Packers retain that player for the extra million it would be at WR. I mean it's not 2011 where we have Jennings, Jones, Driver, Nelson, and Cobb in the room plus Quarless and Finley at TE. But hey, if Gute thinks the cheaper option keeps him in GB them I'm all for it and it's good enough for me. I'm just a crazy ass fan. One thing is certain IMO..$2 million for Allison definitely isn't to much. He caught 20 balls for 303 yards and 2 TD...15.2 YPC....Not to shabby for 4.70 40 guy in 4 or 5 games

PeteK's picture

Absolutely, 2 mill for one year is a no brainer. He has more value for us bc of his experience with Rogers.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

The argument made for the lowest tender is precisely because it allows a right of first refusal. If you believe in Allison long-term (emphasis), probably now is a good a time as any to reach a longer-term deal with him coming off an injury. If Allison and GB can't just agree on a long-term contract figure, give the low tender and see what his market is, hoping that due to the injury it is low. If he gets no offers, the cheaper tender stands. If Allison signs an offer sheet, it probably wouldn't be for more than a couple/three million AAV? Not unlike the Fuller situation where the Bears used the non-exclusive tag on Fuller. Issue is GB might outsmart themselves where Allison gets a decent offer but one with a fat roster bonus year one, making the first year cap much higher, or one for considerably more money than anticipated.

If Allison believes in himself (emphasis), he might want to play in GB in 2019 with no Cobb, no Nelson and the chemistry he has with AR: 2019 could be a great year to showcase himself in his contract year and get a fatter contract as a UFA in 2020. In that case, Allison might not sign any offer sheets even if they are for decent money or have some guaranteed money. Of course, GB might draft Metcalf, or Deebo, Paris, etc. He can outsmart himself as well.

The safest thing is for GB to tender him at the 2nd round level, about $3M. Tenders are not guaranteed, so he has to make the team to get any of that $3M. That leaves the door open to competition from Kumerow, Jmon Moore, or a rookie. (Well, if he gets injured and goes on IR for the whole season, then he wouldn't have to make the team to get the $3M.)

jannes bjornson's picture

Return to Tender.

fthisJack's picture

Allison had 20 catches for 300 yards in five games. do the math and stretch that over a 16 game schedule and tell me he's not worth 3 mil! sheesh! and its not all about the 40 time!!!

Coldworld's picture

Precisely, those weren’t yards in throwaway games they were in big early season games against healthy defenders. It only takes one team to believe Allison has something beyond his time stats.

4thand10's picture

I don’t think he is a legit #2. Also, as essentially a #3 or 4 his special teams contributions (KR ) would have to be stellar which they are not imo.

porupack's picture

Hope he is signed. It is not likely that Allison has reached his potential, as receivers often continue ascending as they hit years 3-4. Pay him, and don't give up on a solid contributor, even if not spectacular. Seems a quality guy. Work ethic and dedication can compensate for lack of elite speed attributes.

stockholder's picture

Anything for Rodgers. Believe it or Not.

fthisJack's picture

nooooo...its about keeping a good receiver.

Old School's picture

Yes, fthisjack, it IS about keeping a good receiver.

We normally would keep 5 or 6 and at least one more on the practice squad. Allison is not eligible for the practice squad, so it's the 53 man group or nothing.

We have some guys at WR who already under contract, starting with Davante Adams. Additionally, MSV and ESB survived a full rookie season and the expectation is that one, or both, of them will be better in 2019. They're under contract for a couple of years yet. So that's 3 on the 53 unless they end up on IR somehow.

Also under contract: Trevor Davis, JMoore, Teo Redding and Alan Lazard. Cutting Moore would result in about 330K in dead money, the most of any of them.

And then there is Kumerow, who Gutekunst has liked since before he became GM when Kumerow was in college.

So that's the WR unit.

Questions about Allison: He only lasted 5 games as an every down player. He had to have surgery to correct an injury that wasn't even a contact-related injury. Do you really think you bet millions of dollars that he can be our #2 guy? Do you want to pay millions for the #5 guy?

In our offense, the secondary is going to try to keep Adams covered. That means the other WR is going to draw single coverage quite a bit. I think you're looking for a guy who can win battles for the ball against a shorter corners who might even have been a backup earlier in the year. That's MSV. That's Brown.

And blocking. If we are planning on using the outside zone run then you're going to want a guy out there who can block a corner.

So...if you want to offer Allison a "make-good" contract that's contingent on him making the team in training camp, fine. I actually think other teams might offer him some guaranteed money, but it shouldn't be Green Bay.

jannes bjornson's picture

Lezard is an interesting guy. A bit slow off the ball but great in routes and strong at the point, great hands . Still prefer getting a guy like Tate to fill the two spot and let the greenhorns fill the other four slots.

stockholder's picture

I think he makes the roster. My problem is rewarding guys who didn't play a full year. 2 mil? Your paying draft picks. If Allison was the answer. Gute made a mistake drafting 3 Wrs. I'm not a believer in Allison being a #2 WR. Sorry but Allison is standing in the way of progress.

mamasboy's picture

"He had to have surgery to correct an injury that wasn't even a contact-related injury" What happened to Jordy before he was comeback player of the year? An injury that wasn't even contact related!

Old School's picture

Good point, mamasboy. But Jordy had completed numerous seasons as an every down player, and Allison has completed 5 games.

I guess my point is that I'm not confident Allison has a body that can survive the NFL season if it's on the field all the time.

RCPackerFan's picture

I hope Allison returns. He was really playing well until he got hurt last year.

This offseason there has been a lot of changes. Hopefully all good changes. But it appears that Cobb won't be back. Meaning that the last 2 years Rodgers will have lost 2 of his most trusting WR's. While he has Adams and he likely has earned trust in the rookies, they still are just going into their 2nd year. Allison will be going into his 4th. Allison knows where Rodgers needs him to be when plays break down. That is invaluable.
Now with the new offense it may change that some, but he will still need to have trust in players of knowing where they will be when plays break down.

I would like to see Allison return. I don't think it will cost a lot.

Handsback's picture

Allison was never an athletic type of receiver. His work was cerebral and consistency in his route running. Saying that remember this, his 40 time was the same as Jerry Rice. If Cobb goes...you will absolutely need Allison for those 3rd and 3-4 yards to go for 1st downs. Jimmy Graham didn't show it last year, but Allison has proven to be a chain mover.
So sign him and hope the rookies from last year perform as well as Allison does.

Guam's picture

Just doing a little math... Assuming the Packers have $22-$23 million in available free agency money and they have already offered Fadol Brown and Justin McCray (around $1.3 million total) and will spend $2-3 million to retain Allison (I certainly support the $2 million), that leaves them $19-20 million still available. They have yet to offer Breeland or Wilkinson and they are trying to pursue an OLB or Safety in free agency. This is going to get very tight.

cuervo's picture

Precisely, which is why 1 million here and another 1 million there makes a difference.

Will the Packers be a significantly better team if Allison is on it? IMO, no. If you can sign him for no guaranteed money and the vet minimum or slightly above, that's fine.

porupack's picture

based on that logic, let's cut about 20 players....none of which make the packers a significantly better team....and save a million here and there.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

McCray will lessen our cap space by $150K ($645K-$495K) because we are using the Rule of 51 and he knocks a player at $495K off of the top 51 players. Fadol Brown lessens the cap space by $75K assuming he signed for the minimum (1 credited season).

It is likely to get tight, particularly if Gute thinks GB can win in 2019 and tries to squeeze in a few extra FAs.

jannes bjornson's picture

The CAP will be up another 8-10 M in 2020 and your QB is locked in. If they cannot manage salaries around those parameters they have a problem. Well, they do have a problem in low Ball,russ. See what next week brings.

Donster's picture

Allison has improved each year. As others have stated, he was playing really well before the injury bug hit. I believe you keep him. If he has a bad season, or is injured again and misses a lot of time, you haven't invested a lot so far, and you then can move on.

MVS and ESB look promising, but you never know, as it is to soon to tell, still lacking experience. J'mon Moore I feel will be Gute's first draft bust. They said he had troubles grasping the offense. He couldn't do it all season? Plus he had problems dropping the ball in college, and still did last season, when he did play. Now he has to learn another new offense. So will that take him another year to learn too? I am hoping, with another year of maturity under his belt, and that he worked his ass off during the off season, he can turn things around.

Dzehren's picture

2M for Geronimo. What this offense really needs is another outside zone RB that can also catch out of the backfield. Aaron Jones is that guy but needs to be on a snap count. Jamaal Williams really isn’t that elusive outside zone back. Remember that MLF only has 3 receivers 85% of the time. Add a TE and OL in the draft & a potential slot WR like the board has mentioned with Isabella from UMASS. Boom!!!

albert999's picture

Go get Beasley from Cowboys

Doug Niemczynski's picture

No! Draft Andy Isabella!

Twister's picture

Offer a 2 year contract with $1M guaranteed.
Base salary of 1.5M in 19 and 3M in 20 with incentives for games played. More incentive in 2020.
then if it looks like everybody has made a jump and you have no room for Allison (hard to believe at 3 M you have no room - unless he is bad), let him go or trade him after the 2019 season, no harm done - except maybe to Aaron.

TXCHEESE's picture

The guy has done nothing but produce when he's healthy. He's one of AR's trusted guys, plus it only takes an injury or two to get extremely thin at wideout. If Adams were to miss time, the Packers are then trotting out nothing but 2nd year players. They may have more physical talent than Geronimo, but there are many examples of extremely productive receivers, that are not necessarily top notch physical specimens.

mrtundra's picture

I hope MLF gives Allen Lazard a shot in OTAs and in camp. We picked up the Iowa State WR late in the season last year and he only got to play in a few games, which is not enough time to earn ARod's trust. I think this kid will surprise people with his receiving abilities.

ILPackerBacker's picture

Amazing nobody posts the obvious. No team wants to pay big money for a packer receiver and leaves out the injury.

Signing packer receivers away from Rodgers has burnt the payor over and over.

Nobody is going to risk millions of dollars on a guy who had a system and great QB and is recovering.

No competition for him

sam1's picture

Crazy to let him walk, too much upside here to downside! Plus a known quantity with qb trust!

Doug Niemczynski's picture

I like GMO, but his last chance was last year. So, it's time to move on.

dobber's picture

There's nothing lost in tendering Allison. It's not guaranteed. He still needs to make the cut.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Draft Hockenson #12 and CUT J. Graham and L. Kendricks use the extra money foy def player and back load their contract.

D Ernie's picture

Maybe Time to move on. He was downhill since day one. Really like the guy and his name but he started to go missing over the past three years, and yes due to injury but were talking a lot of injuries.
We have receivers who need work, regular work and can get a new fresh face in the late rounds or free agency, why spend the needed bucks on him. One of the problems last season was maybe we had too many guys fighting over the football and not developing the few who could get the job done.

White92's picture

I get it that rookies/draft choices are the shiny new objects. Receivers not named Randy Moss take until years 2,3 or 4 to really blossom. Letting Allison go now would be a huge waste.

Skip greenBayless's picture

I like Geromio as a person. He seems like a great guy willing to help out the community. I also like the fact we have a man of Native American Indian heritage on the team as well. There's not many players of Indian descent in the NFL as far as I know so it's kind of cool we have Geronimo. Having said that I think we are beyond the point where the other young receivers on this team are simply faster and more talented than Geronimo. I would take MVS, ESB, Moore and Kumerow over Geronimo. Good feel good story for a few years but it's time to say Geronimo to Geronimo.

Dash

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