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Gutekunst Needs To Be Decisive

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Gutekunst Needs To Be Decisive

Many have urged GM Gutekunst to be aggressive while others urge caution, but I think he needs to be decisive, and, if necessary, both ruthless and courageous.  The first thing is he needs to do is to analyze the quality of the overall roster, including several players in particular. If he doesn't think there is enough overall quality to win in 2018, then he needs to act accordingly.  

That should lead to asking Nelson whether he can commit to playing through the 2019 season, and for Gutekunst to decide independently whether Nelson has gas in his tank to be worth keeping around for 2019.  He should then apply the same analysis to CM3 and Cobb to see if they should be extended or released. The analysis for Bulaga is more complicated since medical opinions are involved. If GM Gutekunst is dubious about our talent, then front-loading AR's extension makes a lot of sense.  He should divert much of our current cap space and whatever cap space he manufactures to AR's cap hit for 2018, letting it balloon up over $40M for 2018. It would be much easier to build a roster around an elite QB whose cap hits for 2019 through 2022 stay in the mid-twenties. Such a decision probably means GB should not sign any FAs in 2018.  An exception would be if GM Gutekunst identifies the next Casey Hayward: someone playing for another team who is young enough to warrant a long-term contract and whom he believes would blossom in GB under Pettine or MM. The only other exception is if Gutekunst decides that the right side of the OL needs reinforcement lest AR be irreparably damaged.  

Under this scenario, the focus is on 2019 and beyond.  CM3 turns 32 in May and has $11.337M in cap savings with no dead money.  Nelson turns 33 in May and has $10.2M in cap savings, with a $2.3M dead money hit.  Cobb turns 28 in August. He has $9.47M in cap savings with a $3.25M dead money hit.  Bulaga turns 29 in March and offers a $4.7M cap savings with a $3.2M dead money hit. The dead money is largely a red herring: it represents a sunk cost already invested in these players and which can't really be reclaimed.  I take leave to doubt that any of the 4 will be able to justify their cap savings with their productivity in 2018, much less their dead money figures, where applicable.

The links below are for studies on the age of decline for NFL players at various positions.  A PFF article suggested that WR peak between age 26 to 28, then start a long, steady but slow decline through age 34, and most drop off a cliff by age 35.  This suggests that Cobb is a candidate for a reasonable extension through 2024, and Nelson through 2019 at the latest. Bleacher Report's study suggests that elite LBs peak in years 3 through 5, drop a bit to a long plateau during years 6 through 10, and then have a steady decline thereafter.  It does mention that CM3's father played well during his 18th season. Some note CM3's bloodlines, but CM3's father missed just 9 games during his last 14 seasons, a mark that CM3 hasn't replicated. Since CM3 so far doesn't have his father's durability, perhaps one should also question longevity as well.  Given that CM3 is entering his 10th year, I'd hesitate to extend him for longer than 3 years (through 2020). Bleacher report and Mile high report suggests that elite OTs take a jump in year 2, have a steady climb through year 7, decline a bit but stay at a steady plateau between years 8 through 12, and then decline, often around age 32 or so.  This suggests that age is no reason to worry about keeping Bulaga, but his current injury and his accumulated injuries might be another matter. I think we can defer this decision until Bulaga is further along in his rehab.

What if GM Gutekunst's self-evaluation leads him to conclude that GB is just a good draft and few veteran FAs away from being able to battle the best in the playoffs?  Then he needs to find the wherewithal to pay those FAs. As to our cap space, OTC, the least reliable of the websites, appears way off. I agree with Sportrac and the NFLPA's numbers, roughly.  The cap of $177.2M plus our rollover = $181.134M. Subtract $159.918 (the top 51 contracts, roughly) and $4.718M in dead money to reach $16.498M. Then all of the sites subtract our draft pool number (about $9.32M depending on the source), but those numbers are always way off.  The rule of thumb of the amount needed to actually sign our rookies is that one should take the official draft pool number ($9.32M) minus $480K times # of draft picks to sign our rookies, which equals $3.56M, not the official draft pool number of $9.32. Thus, $16.498M minus $3.56M for rookies leaves us $12.978M.  The NFLPA (link) notes GB has $15.417M in cap space, but it deducts the entire $9.32M draft pool. So, $9.32M minus $3.56M (what the rookies should actually cost) makes their estimate of our cap space $5.76M too low. But NFLPA also doesn't consider dead money, so:$5.76M - $4.718M dead equals a $1.04M net plus that should be added to the NFLPA's cap estimate of $15.417M.  That gives us $16.457M vs. Sportrac's $16.498M, both using the rule of 51, which is most common at this time of year. Since Sportrac and the NFLPA are within $50K of each other, and OTC's numbers defy explanation, I accept $16.457M. Then deduct $3.56M for the rookies to reach $12.978M as the amount available for FAs under the rule of 51. One should remember that we usually churn through $1M to $2M in cap space during TC and the actual season for injury settlements, in-season acquisitions  The PS squad will cost at least $1.29M, (10 times the minimum salary of $129K), and we will have 53 not 51 players on the roster in September: so about $10M to spend seems more reasonable. Perhaps some rollover into 2019 is desirable as well.

What can we buy with $10M?  A young, near-elite $10M AAV player easily can be signed to a deal with a cap hit for 2018 under $5M or $6M.  4 yrs/$40M with 33% signing bonus ($13.33M/4 yrs) = a proration of $3.34M plus $1M base and $0.5M in roster/workout comes to a cap hit of $4.84M in year one.  One year stop gaps make it hard to manipulate cap hits. The one real exception to not being able to exceed the cap is through incentives. If they are not likely to be earned, those incentives don't count against the cap.  If they are earned and that causes cap problems, the incentives are applied to all available cap space and the amount remaining is counted against the cap for the next league year (and there is no penalty!). So, signing Eifert, who missed 14 games last season, to a contract for a $4M base and millions more in incentives that he should in reality reach if healthy would be possible.  The same principle could be applied to Burton and perhaps to Moncrief/Wilson,etc. since they'd be starters in GB, and to Wilkerson as well. In the case of Moncrief or Wilson, etc., GB would probably have to assure them that Jordy is being cut or moved to the slot with Cobb being cut, and Wilkerson would have to be sold on the notion that Pettine can rejuvenate his career. A second year could be added for an amount attractive to the players but with little dead money.  In other words, the second year is meant to be re-negotiated. Depending on how much free agency help GM Gutekunst believes is necessary, he might have to manufacture more cap space from Nelson, Cobb, CM3, and Bulaga (and of course from Aaron Rodgers if desired), either by releasing some of those players or by extending some or all of them. How much can be generated? That's another article.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (43) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

ejr450's picture

I’m going to have to read this again, but what fantastic analysis and information. Great call to have you join the site!!!

The TKstinator's picture

BG definitely needs to be decisive.

At least, I’m pretty sure he does.

Lare's picture

The question is, what is the estimated maximum the Packers could free up this year by extending Rodgers and either extending or releasing Cobb, Nelson, Matthews and Bulaga?

I've seen articles stating they could free up around $40 million in cap space in different scenarios if they really wanted to.

Dzehren's picture

They almost surely have several different structures in mind for Rodgers' contract, depending on how much money they need on this year's cap. They can structure it so they pick up $8 million, $9 million in cap room- source Pete Dougherty

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

IDK how I'd do it. Combination of incentives and fines. Yes, reporting bonuses are allowed. Not just one, but for OTA, TC, etc. Actually, Article 13 in the CBA has a long section on permissible incentives. [To give an idea, there is a provision about what happens if a player has 8 or more team incentives. That's a lot.] Since Wilkerson played a full season, snap count wouldn't work as a cap evasion technique, but I don't think that is your concern: more about attitude and effort. Not sure how to do that. There are fines, but they are limited by the CBA. I am just quoting the CBA below:

Team Incentives:TEAM DEFENSE: "Points allowed by Team, Touchdowns allowed by Team, Total defense (net yards), Average net yards allowed per rushing play, Average net yards given up per passing play, Sacks [team, not individual] Interceptions. BEWARE on team incentives - lots of fine print.

Team - All (means available to offense, defense, STs) : Wins, Playoffs, Conference Championship, Super Bowl,
Touchdowns on returns and recoveries, Net difference - takeaways /giveaways.

DEFENSE - Individual: Interceptions, Interception return yards, TDs on interception returns, Opponent fumble recoveries, Opponent fumble return yards, Touchdowns on opponent, fumble returns, Sacks.

OTHER: Roster bonuses, Reporting bonuses, Playtime bonuses (exc. special teams), Special teams playtime,

Honors: Pro bowl, All Pro, MVP, DPOY [- several others] and honors from recognized media only.

Bearmeat's picture

Again, great stuff Reynoldo! Thanks so much!

I'd argue that Green Bay is NOT close to a championship roster, and it makes sense to do a mini-rebuild right now. Get rid of our key aging players, and frontload as much cap hit into ARod's contract as we can.

However, this assumes two things:

1. The coaching staff would accept this tactic by Gute and Ball. (Proabably not, as they'd all be fired with a 4-12 season).

2. That ARod re-signs at all this offseason. (More likely than not, but ARod may just wait GB out to see what they do this year in the FO on defense especially.

If those things aren't likely to happen (and I think they're not), then the best thing to do is to go ALL IN to win right now. That does mean ruthlessness. Again, one of the 4 vets we've been talking about all offseason need to go, and at least 1 other needs to be renegotiated and/or extended so we have the room to shop in Free Agency.

I think this is the most likely tactic to occur.

OnWisconsinGoPack's picture

If we could free up close to $40M with the release of CMIII, Jordy, Cobb and Bulaga, how much production bare we really losing given age and injury history.

That amount could be reallocated in to Trumaine Johnson, Eric Reid, Justin Pugh and Trent Murphy. Our defense could instantly be Top 10-12.

Fill in the rest of the offense and defensive depth through draft. It appears like a rebuild, but we are closer than it appears.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

As a practical matter, Gute might get run out of town. MM is going to hate major cuts. To me, even if Gute thinks we're not close, extensions make more sense to me. If Jordy can't commit to 2019, I might cut him. Too much money.

Gute would have to be passionate about tanking 2018, because I don't think Murphy or MM are going to like it, and the point of ballooning AR's cap number only works if AR would sign such a deal. He might refuse: he isn't dumb, he knows what a $42M cap hit in 2018 means.

Bearmeat's picture

I agree. And there we are - right back at the power sharing agreement problem.

MM is the coach. He should have no say over personnel. RB is the finance manager, he should do what the GM tells him to do. and Murphy is the de facto owner. He should stay the hell out of all football business.

Gute's hands are tied. I expect more of the same next year. Perhaps we have a better defense. But we do not have a super bowl caliber team. We don't have the WRs. We don't have a TE. We don't have any pass rush. We don't have enough cover CBs. And we don't have the money to sign any free agents of note. And not all of that can be fixed in the draft.

If you are ARod, WHY would you resign onto a ship that is listing as badly as GBs is right now?

Chuck Farley's picture

My brain just exploded but reading between the lines the pack have two big issues: Rogers huge contract and four guys up for extension you can't pay to afford fa help. Nelson and Cobb and beluga could be cut, cm3 needs a pay cut.

Lphill's picture

Wilkerson visiting saints and chiefs if Packers wanted him they would have made a deal today.

flackcatcher's picture

There is a third choice James, one we all know and hate. Total rebuild. I do not think Gutekust will take that route this year with the front office situation in flux. But being decisive means making hard choices for the future of your organization. So he may have no choice but to act now. A bit dense ( it's a WHITE PAPER........0:) but very readable. Well done.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Agreed (I mean the writing being dense). I will try to write a light, fluffy piece, despite being limited to cap related subjects, LOL.

I don't think a total re-build is in order, but I limit myself to cap-related stuff in the body of the articles. You yourself, a bunch of others, are probably better at pure Xs and Os and evaluating players off film study than I am.

The O is in good shape. Could easily be fined tuned with a 2nd round OT, and buying or drafting a speed WR. Prefer cheaper FA, and I think suitable cheap players are out there. Like Courtland Sutton, but also other WRs who are faster than Sutton.

Defense: well, IDK, but I do think there is some talent. Buy a good CB (they're out there for $8 to $10M AAV). Draft best OLB/CB, or if a mega talent at really any position drops, can't ignore that. Some good CB prospects in the 2nd to 4th. Gute needs to hit on a few for defense: probably at least 2 good contributors.

We don't have the cap space to hedge our bets. Identify exactly what the minimum necessary requirement is for D and Offense and go out and get it. If that means taking a flyer on Moncrief, of Eifert, be decisive. We are closer to being able to hedge some bets with backing up a FA selection with a draft pick. I mean, buy Eifert if you want, but pick up a 2nd or 3rd round TE in the draft is doable. Thing is, only so much premium draft capital available.

John Kirk's picture

Great seeing the JR byline. Congratulations. If the Packers won't upgrade at least CHTV will. :)

I favor the total rebuild option. It's been fun having a HOF QB at the controls for 25 years, but that's netted us two Lombardi's.

The game has changed to one where if you have one of the all time great QB's you're at a distinct disadvantage as opposed to the advantage you should be enjoying due to the cap destroying nature of the contract needed to placate said HOF QB.

For me, I'm tired of watching all world QB play and bush league defense, terrible TE's and turtle-esque WR's. I'd rather roll the dice on finding a good rookie QB and have the ability to surround him with a great supporting cast than have an all world QB with nothing around him.

Trading Rodgers is as bold as it gets. Deal him to Cleveland. Get that 1st and 4th overall...Josh Gordon, and some other future high picks, or more from their huge cache of picks this season.

Wipe out Cobb, Nelson, Bulaga and Matthews. Do to MM what Ted did to Sherman. Start us over next year with a new HC.

I'll take this to a Ted light approach that seems to be the way we're going.

This is my perspective as a fan of this team. It would make me happier watching a young team trying to get there than an old one that can't. It would be nice to feel hopeful instead of disappointed year after year thinking we should be in the show with a QB like Aaron. If he's gone it would be much more enjoyable just watching the team grow as opposed to expecting Lombardi's and coming up empty year after year. I understand the QB position is the hardest one to fill and we have the best one, but the best also requires the most salary, and given the state our team is in, that big salary is ill advised and not conducive to winning.

I'm already sick of Brian as GM. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Feels like nothing has changed at all. Brian may be an over promiser and under deliverer. If you're going to talk it, you better walk it. Watching the Rams go out and get Peters and Talib and dealing Quinn and Ogletree makes me pine for Ron Wolf. No way this guy would allow that defense of ours to be so bad for so long. Rams are the aggressive Brian's only talked about.

Bearmeat's picture

That's ballsy JK. But it is one way to relaod. This team is going to have a really tough time competing at the highest levels even if Rodgers is healthy with their current salary cap and roster age predicament.

Lare's picture

I'm not so sure it has to be an either-or situation. NE has shown that you can have a great QB and still have enough talent every year to win Super Bowls.

The bottom line is in making really good talent/salary decisions. There's no way NE would be paying Cobb, Nelson, Bulaga and Matthews what Green Bay is.

John Kirk's picture

New England doesn't show that at all. Brady's cap hits have been in the teens the last couple of seasons, and ironically they were in SB's for both of those teen cap seasons.

I agree with your bottom line. It's LAUGHABLE that it's even on the table to pay that quartet what we're paying them. We have to be a league wide joke. People have to wonder what is going on in Green Bay. A weak GM would foster such a perception. A strong one would have blown it away by now.

It just feels like the org is hostage to the pending Rodgers contract and isn't going to do anything until that is all sorted out. Now, watch, they'll sign Wilkerson, today. :)

Go offer Aaron what you think you can do and still win SB's. if that's not happening it's derelict to not trade him now while his value will never be higher. He's a depreciating asset. There is not likely to be another Cleveland scenario next year or for the next few where a team has two picks in the Top 5. I'd capitalize on this unique moment in time to set us up for the next 10 years, as opposed to watching us lose annually in the playoffs because we can't field a competent total team.

nostradanus's picture

Very well done and excellent research on this article. A good GM has to be a team first, visionary and have cahones of steel! What Thompson did with the Favre/Rodgers situation took guts.
It’s like When Brian Noble walked into Ron Wolfs office for the first time and asked what his status was on the team? Wolf replied “your here until I can find someone better to replace you”
Will “Herr Gute” have the hard azz to handle this job? We will find out soon enough.

Bure9620's picture

I wonder if the Packers and Wilkerson are far part on a deal, as he is leaving GB without one? Can't see him playing for less than $11 mil. Can't see him signing with KC as they have some real cap issues. Our primary competition is the Saints.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I can't fathom paying Wilkerson $11M. If that is what he wanted, the visit was pointless, IMO.

I don't think Wilkerson will command that much, but it is hard to tell in his case. What's the discount for being a headcase, particularly attitude and effort? A lot. I think he is under $7M on a prove it deal, probably one with escalators for 2019.

stockholder's picture

Command? Good Question. If I was Gute. Sign House. cheap/discount. if not draft ward /jackson. Burnetts gone! Sign Richardson, 10 mil. take it leave it. ( could be the next Pickett. ) Draft VEA @ 14. trench just became a stonewall. NFL premium is Dt. I'd still take both, if House signs. 3. Were stuck at Wr. Play this out here. Cobb and Nelson stay. Draft Need in 2nd an 3rd. Yes I like the trenches. Because Daniels can decline too.

Bure9620's picture

I know but he was playing for $17 mil with the Jets. I'm sure he's realized his his value has decreased with locker rooms issues and production but not much. He' also only 28. These guys have egos. I think he gets atleast $10 mil average per year somewhere.

Denver's picture

How in the hell do you know all of this stuff TGR? Bravo....
My 2 cents- I still hope they keep Jordy, but I just think Cobb will be better for longer. CMIII is so hard to call given the 'bloodline' you mentioned. He's probably missed more time already than his Dad & Uncle combined and he's still a pup compared to their careers.
Bulaga would be an easy call if Spriggs wasn't so putrid to this point.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I think schematically it makes more sense to keep Jordy than it does to keep Cobb. But age is the opposite. I think Jordy could move to the slot and produce as much and probably more than Cobb in 2018. If whoever replaces Jordy on the boundary is a bust, Jordy can move back outside and we can try Monty in the slot, or possibly one of several slot types in the draft. Jordy provides flexibility. Cobb doesn't. But I see no reason why Cobb can't play 4 more years, meaning he can be signed to a long-term contract with a reasonable cap progression and a low cap number for 2018. Extending Cobb and picking up $4M in 2018 cap savings in the process should be doable. $10.2M in cap savings for cutting Jordy just really tempts me, but getting a pay cut of $4M works for me. I'd have to think we have a solid chance to hit Conf. Championships or better. I think we have a decent chance of that - so there I am being I-N-D-E-C-I-S-I-V-E!!

stockholder's picture

The ends must justify the means. You talk about Hayward. Cut Cobb, Neson, and cmlll. (Their All-pros. ) Well all 3 could be hayward with their next team. The guys coming in. Moncrief and whom? Execution just went out the window. Still takes money and draft picks. And we know Adams was not NFL ready. So you just threw away the playoffs. Why throw the WRs away? Do you belief Allison,Clark, Davis are really going to replace them? You want Langley to replace CMlll. And Richardson can be a bigger risk. Common people Think. A-Rod will not sign a contract at a bargain rate if his WRs go. Talk about decline, what about A-Rod. The numbers will not be in Green Bays favor. Gute must play this out. Any sudden change will start a Fire sale. Good Bye Super-bowl and any Quality Free Agent coming to Green Bay. You Can't Buy Championships! They must be earned!

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Nowhere did I advocate cutting all three guys. I view my purpose in the articles to keep myself to possibilities and then make clear the cap ramifications. If something is based on an "eye test" it should not be in the article (but maybe in the comments).

I also think there is no chance of CM3, Cobb or Nelson being All-Pros next season anywhere.

I don't think Allison/Davis/Yancey can replace Nelson or Cobb. That's why I am discussing FAs. Clark is too early to tell. Yes, Richardson might be a risk, as might Moncrief, Wilson, etc. Gute needs to be decisive - it is his judgment upon which I rely.

IDK what AR is thinking. If we keep Cobb, and bring in Richardson and Burton, you think AR will bolt? IDK, but I don't see why. I do think we will have issues with AR if we were to tank the season and cut everyone. Don't think that is the conclusion that will or should be reached.

Yeah, we need to hit on 3 draft picks who contribute well immediately. Probably could add 3 FAs with extensions, one fairly expensive one and two mid-tier ones. The distribution I leave to Gute and the CHTV commenters.

stockholder's picture

All three guys=equals= Burton, Moncrief, Richardson, & Wilson? ( Equals cut for Cap only. ) Understood you said 1. But the suggested, is more. I don't believe A-Rod Leaves.( IMO the packers won't get a bargain /Discount from A-Rod if they do.) IMO no one leaves. Burnett is Gone. No major signing except the possibility of Richardson.

Royalty Free GM's picture

Good article.
Packers and Gute have a lot of room to act if they want. If we do almost “nothing” we have this 10M to work with, but we could quite easily have over 30M if we want to.

We are in a good position if we want to reform. We have several overpaid, underachieving veteran players right now.

It’s NOT re-build if we cut couple overpaid veterans and restructure couple. Otherwise you could say that Belichick re-builds his team TWICE a year.
Rebuilding would be getting rid of Rodgers, but let’s not go there, ever. Packers will rise and fall with him.

A lot of depends what Rodgers want. Investing a lot of money to one player seems to be not successful road to get Superbowl success. Rodgers needs to think what he wants more. Whatever he does he will be the number one factor in our success.

I read that Eagles are now 15M over the cap limit? What is the timetable to have cap limit arranged?
We could also sign over the cap limit now and it would be a leverage in restructuring current deals.

Green and Gold

Royalty Free GM's picture

Everything is connected. It’s playing chess not tic-tac-toe.
Want to get couple new top defensive FA players? -> Cut Cobb/(Nelson) -> ... and we have a need for a WR. -> And you already know what that means in drafting... ;)

HankScorpio's picture

You don't have to cut either one. I don't know why you keep saying that is the only solution to the cap issues. It's not.

Nelson has hinted he'd listen to talks about taking a pay cut.

Cobb can be extended. Just to put some numbers on a potential Cobb contract:
Cobb @ 4 yr, 31.1 mil total. AAV: 7.775 Guaranteed: $9.1
SB: $8 mil.
Yr1 1.1 + 0 RB + .5 WB Cap: 6.85 (includes carry over SB)
YR2 5.0 + 0 RB + .5 WB Cap: 7.5
Yr3 5.5 + 1 RB + .5 WB Cap: 9.0 (dead money = 4.0)
Yr4 6.5 + 2 RB + .5 WB Cap: 11 (dead money = 2.0)

That gives Cobb the same money under his current deal for 2018 and lowers his cap. This is essentially a 2 or 3 yr deal with some dead money on the end. The Packers would be faced with deciding to keep him for yr 3 at the start of the new league yr or waste the cap space of the roster bonus, in addition the prorated SB money.

A few days ago, I put out a similar exercise for Matthews that extends him with the same dollars in his pocket for 2018 and lower cap numbers. I think you'd need to be more lucrative for Matthews based on leverage. There are fewer viable FA alternatives to Matthews than Cobb.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

This is excellent, Hank. Results in almost $6M in cap savings for 2018. That is a lot, and a most useful amount.

The thing about extending these guys, particularly if they can still command a long-term deal on the FA market in 2019, is the player's mindset. Cobb is due $9.4M in cash under his current deal. He probably should figure he is only going to earn $9+ in a single year two more times: 2018 under his current deal and when he signs another long-term deal in March of 2019 when he can sign a deal that looks just like the one you outlined above. Does he want to bet on himself?

Will he stay healthy? Will he be at least as productive in 2018 with AR back? If he decides yes, then he can make $9.4M in 2018 (staring Gute down over the poker table), and make $9.1M cash in 2019 and then scheduled to make $5.5M to $7.5M cash in 2020, '21 and '22 ($21M total under your outline) with some dead money to help protect his base salaries. And if Gute calls his bluff Cobb probably will command roughly the same deal that Gute/Hank just offered. So, $18M plus $21M = $39M if Gute can be induced to pay him under his current contract for 2018. Under your proposal, he makes $31M plus whatever he can make as a 32-year-old slot receiver in 2022.

Hank, I am not arguing one way or the other. I am just trying to look at it from Cobb's perspective. Add in the chance of a super bowl ring (which Cobb doesn't possess) and perhaps he likes GB. BTW, Gute probably should tell Cobb that with the $6M in new cap space he doesn't plan to buy a FA slot WR. Better to say $6M pays for the 1st year cap hit on a really good, $10M AAV FA CB.

HankScorpio's picture

I definitely get what you're saying. Of course Cobb would want to get two big $$ seasons. The key would be convincing him they are serious about releasing him to the free market if he's unwilling to accept the extension. If he believes that is a bluff, there is no incentive for him to start the timer on what is likely to be his last big bite at the apple.

But if he thinks that is a serious option, the question becomes does want to stick in GB and how badly.

Royalty Free GM's picture

Where do you get this 6M cap savings number?
If we cut him it’s 9.5M
And he states that new deal would be 7M in 2018. “Saves” about 2.5M so that we can keep slow Cobb.

Cut him and no team will pick him with 7M price tag. After that offer him 4.5 if we still think we need a slow WR. I would let him go.

Seems like you guys are afraid of letting anyone go. You try to keep them in anyway possible. You sound a lot of like TT, what we need is fresh thinking and more action.

No more status quo!

Royalty Free GM's picture

Really? When have I said that?
I have stated many many times that we can restructure deals also. But they have to be significant paycuts.
Don’t put words into my mouth.

lecko's picture

Good article. BUT...I dont think Gutekunst in the current structure has enough power to do any big changes on his own. Ultimately, he has to get approval for and actions from Murphy. And also from Ball, MM.

Nick Perry's picture

I'm wondering the exact same thing. For example if Gutekunst REALLY wants Wilkerson and can do it easily with a extension or two to current contracts? Does Ball really have the power to keep that from happening or can Gutekunst tell him to just get it done and do what your best at...Contracts?

John Kirk's picture

NOBODY knows the answer to that. Anyone who types, "Murphy said...", has to realize this guy isn't honest and what he says doesn't matter.

Just another reason Brian is potentially just a further emasculated nominal GM. I'd prefer Ball is out of the picture completely. All this nonsense love heaped on him over the years is just that. Nonsense.

Since '61's picture

Gute needs to be decisive but he first needs to decide to go all in for 2018 and 2019 or go for a rebuild with an SB run by 2020 - 21.

I'm a believer in going for it all now. We've been building for 7 seasons and the result is that we have a mess on our hands in terms of the salary cap and player quality.

We need a TE and OL depth. Sign a TE and draft for the OL. Cut Jordy and draft a speed WR.
On defense, sign a vet CB and a pass rusher. Draft a CB, safety, and ILB. Draft DL depth. Chuck CM3 for cap space if necessary.

If Pettine can turn around the defense, Rodgers can take us the rest of the way in 2018 or 2019. If we go full rebuilds who knows if we even get back to the playoffs, never mind an SB. It could take decades just to find a good QB again, never mind another HOFer. 20+ years between Starr and Farve, although we had some good seasons with Lynne Dickey. The rest were all thoroughly forgettable.

In any case whichever Gute decides, I hope he goes all in and not half way with either choice. We'll see. Thanks, Since '61

Colin_C's picture

I'm with you '61, let's go for it now. I'm surprised at the level of negativity/pessimism there's been this offseason from the community here. Maybe it's just because I'm an optimist, but I don't think we're much worse off than several past seasons where we've made the NFCCG. As long as Rodgers stays healthy, I expect us to make the playoffs this season, regardless of whom we cut, draft, or sign. We need to add a few pieces, sure. But so does every team. Plus, it's hard to rebuild when the team is already one of the youngest in the league. Call me a homer (probably am a bit), but I think the 2018 Green Bay Packers will be a dominant team.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

If you mean our 2016 squad, it was a pretty good team, but it had to be the worst team to advance to a conference championship in recent memory. I was excited but also surprised that we beat Dallas the week before.

The analogy that comes to mind is from tennis. GB was like the player with a serve so awesome almost no one can break it (when it is on) but who can't return serves either.

Since '61's picture

Colin - professional sports are about winning now. To be a dominant team we're going to need a much improved defense. I hope they go for it, we'll just have to wait and see. Thanks, Since '61

Lare's picture

The concern I have in extending Cobb & Nelson is their lack of speed and production.

We already have the slowest WR corps in the NFL, that isn't going to get better by keeping them on the roster at a lower salary cap number.

Ryan Graham's picture

Although I agree wirh you Chris it's been awful quiet at 1265 Lombardi in making cap space for these desired veteran leader free agents... has me a little on edge. I know it's early but there needs to be space cleared before signing anyone, Burnett included. Awful quiet, forr an aggressive approach, is all I'm saying...

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