Jaire Alexander DOES Want to be Here

The star corner's renewed buy-in could re-ignite the Packers' defense

There seems to be a guide in the NFL for publicly voicing displeasure with your team without even saying or typing a word. Step 1, log on to your social media accounts. Step 2, delete all pictures or mentions of your current team. Step 3, watch the media circus that ensues. Well, that's exactly what Jaire Alexander did in late December and it ignited all kinds of commotion around the star defensive back.

It wasn't necessarily the first time though. There had been a lot of talk in the media that Alexander didn't want to be with the Packers any longer. This particular event was seen as a cry out to display his displeasure following a 34-20 defeat of the Packers at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the day before, and many began questioning his desire to be with the team after the season concluded. Alexander remained with the team but followed this action by attending the coin toss in Carolina despite not being a team captain, an action that many believed had earned him a suspension the following week vs the Minnesota Vikings. 

Interestingly enough, it appears this is where Alexander's displeasure subsided. Head Coach Matt LaFleur noted that the suspension was never for just one action. He also commented that he thought they had a great conversation and expected things to move forward positively. And number 23 seemed to echo this sentiment when he told the media following his interviews in the future might be a little more serious and that he is grateful to play for the Green Bay Packers. Before his suspension, Alexander had allowed 24 receptions against him on 31 targets for roughly 13 yards per catch. He also had five passes defended. After the suspension, he went 4/8 on passes sent in his direction, only giving up 6.8 yards average with an interception and another pass defended. Granted the latter is a smaller sample size, but it was still notable that Alexander had a bit of renewed energy. 

After the Packers' 17-9 victory over the Chicago Bears punching their ticket to the post-season, Jaire video-bombed a local reporter on Live TV stating "The Pack is back" before executing his strap celebration and taking off. Does that sound like a guy who is disgruntled and wants out of an organization? You may say that winning changes things, but heading into the 2024 season, it appears it goes much deeper than that. 

Renewed Energy

Last year around this time, Jaire Alexander had passed up earning $700K by skipping the Packers' offseason workouts. When asked about it a month later, he stated that he knew what worked for him. I guess what worked for him was not showing up. For $700K I would've shown up and brought snacks for the whole team every single day. But that's just me. 

However, this year, it's been noted that Jaire Alexander was working with strength coaches at team facilities 2-3 weeks before Phase 1 of offseason workouts began. Every day of Phase 2 he's been breaking down groups and leading them as a veteran of his caliber should. He's also been spending a lot of time with newly signed safety, Xavier McKinney. Perhaps a high-caliber signing in the defensive backfield re-ignited Alexander's fire, or maybe a decision elsewhere sparked it. 

I don't think you could meet a single Green Bay Packers fan who didn't want defensive coordinator Joe Barry fired toward the end of the 2023 season. Many of the players did a good job of hiding their displeasure, but I feel perhaps Jaire Alexander's wasn't quite as subtle. His displeasure before speaking with Matt LaFleur was loud and clear. But afterward, he seemed to pick it up and is continuing on that path heading into 2024. 

Coach LaFleur seemed to stick by his defensive coordinator until the final down of the 2023 season was played. But was this really what the vibe was inside the walls of 1265 Lombardi Ave? My curiosity has perked up at the notion that perhaps Alexander knew something that we didn't. 

I'll stand by the fact that Matt LaFleur is a good coach, one of the best we've had in Green Bay until I'm blue in the face. However, I think one thing he lacks is the ability to make cold-hearted decisions when it comes to his coaches. It is show-business, not show-friends. I don't care if Joe Barry was LaFleur's father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate, he needs to drop the axe when he knows it's not working out.  (A little Spaceballs reference there for those of you playing at home.) 

Hmm, could Jaire Alexander have known about Joe Barry's impending doom so he picked it up a little? Seems a little silly, but you have to ask yourself, if you dislike one of your leader's actions and your top manager says "Don't worry, their time is short" you might have a little extra pep in your step too right? Jaire could've seen a light at the end of the tunnel. Either that or perhaps his conversation just gave him a new respect for LaFleur where he didn't care who the coordinator was, he wanted to give LaFleur everything he had. We may never know, but we're glad to see our star defensive back buying into the team from the very beginning.  

No matter the reason for how we got here, we're all glad to see Jaire Alexander showing that he wants to be a Packer for now and at any point moving forward. With the returning and added talent in the Packers' secondary, not to mention the new leadership, we all can't wait to see Strap City take over in 2024. 

 

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Greg Meinholz is a lifelong devoted Packer fan. A contributor to CheeseheadTV as well as PackersTalk. Follow him on Twitter @gmeinholz for Packers commentary, random humor, beer endorsements, and occasional Star Wars and Marvel ramblings.

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Comments (47)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Guam's picture

May 12, 2024 at 07:18 am

I think Hafley's willingness to play more press man coverage will be a better fit for Alexander's (and Stokes') skillset. Both have the size and speed to play press man coverage well. Hopefully both can flourish in the new system.

I think the larger issue for both Alexander and Stokes will be their health. They have both missed many games over the past two years and both need to be on the field this year. "The best ability is availability." Hafley's defense will struggle if both are sidelined again.

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TKWorldWide's picture

May 12, 2024 at 08:06 am

Agreed. I also think 23 playing well puts even MORE pressure on the opposite corner, as QB’s will start to avoid Jaire. Stokes, Nixon, Valentine, etc have got to be healthy and up to the challenge. Also eager to see if the pass rush is going to improve without needing to send extra rushers. It’ll be an intriguing and fun thing to watch.

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Coldworld's picture

May 12, 2024 at 02:35 pm

I also think even when we are in zone his approach will be to attack the catch point primarily, which will also help. I’d expect Valentine to benefit as well.

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stockholder's picture

May 12, 2024 at 07:28 am

I don't think we need to read anything into this.
Alexander didn't need a Attitude Readjustment.
It was about Love. And his time to develop.
The whole team knew it.
Playing to win went out the window.
And Douglas got traded.
The problem is always at the Top.
The environment was Toxic.
Alexander is here to make money and Win.
He would have demanded a trade if he wasn't.

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Coldworld's picture

May 12, 2024 at 09:11 am

Alexander’s attitude had about as much relationship to Love as you do with reason.

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stockholder's picture

May 12, 2024 at 12:08 pm

Did It? I say your wrong. Dead Wrong.
1. He skipped camp - Had he showed up.
It would have been tougher for Love.
And his WRs to get on the same page.
2. The Defense was told they had to step
it up because Love was not moving the offense
enough.
3.. A Jones was out hurting the offense more.
Dillion had to be the #1 back. Which put more
on the defense.
4. The Douglass trade- ??? $$$$ The Bills are sure
happy.
5 . Chemistry.
6. If he was out. They couldn't point at him.
The others had to gel better.
7. The discipline move was a push back.
At Barry and personal reasons.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 12, 2024 at 02:07 pm

We all saw the panic move and trade of Douglas mid-season as a catalyst for retreat. They gave Love a better mix of an O line and A.Jones gave them the December push. We will have to see about Stokes, but when you dump a starting CB, you should draft his replacement.

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dblbogey's picture

May 12, 2024 at 09:38 am

Blah, blah, blah.

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stockholder's picture

May 12, 2024 at 12:11 pm

Whats hanging from your mouth?
If you have something to say -
Try Mouthwash. And wish your
Mother a happy Mothers Day instead.

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Oppy's picture

May 12, 2024 at 10:41 pm

Rodgers is gone, and it was 100% the right move.

Get over it.

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Lphill's picture

May 12, 2024 at 07:53 am

Lets hope the McKinney signing is reminiscent of the Woodson signing.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 12, 2024 at 02:08 pm

Right now, he's replacing either Savage, or Amos.

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HarryHodag's picture

May 12, 2024 at 08:31 am

One thing is clear in professional sports: talent one-ups coaching. More talent with sharp coaching means championships.
What I see regarding Jaire is he thought the system was killing the Packers chances. He was right, so Joe Barry was gone. But what I want to see from Jaire is a new commitment to doing his job. That job includes tackling which many times is lacking. "Attitude" is fine, but attitude without doing your job right is just hot air.

When you make the money Jaire does it isn't unfair to expect more from a veteran leader.

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mnbadger's picture

May 12, 2024 at 08:49 am

Amen to that Harry.
It's a business - do your job to the best of your ability.
It's healthy for experienced staff to question and challenge decisions but only if working together with management.
Pouting and giving lackluster effort is not acceptable.
Hopefully JA has matured.
LY he was not a team player.
This cheesehead is very excited about the potential for the 2024 version of the defense.
GPG!

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TKWorldWide's picture

May 12, 2024 at 09:01 am

VLV
VIVA LAS VEGAS

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LLCHESTY's picture

May 12, 2024 at 03:39 pm

The coaches seem very happy with him. He's sitting next to McKinney in DB meetings, probably because they won't be on the same side of the field very often.

https://twitter.com/mattschneidman/status/1788622051810402536?t=_kmq7LWH...

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Coldworld's picture

May 12, 2024 at 09:15 am

Makes one wonder whether the trade of Douglas was a result of an offer for a player that they knew wouldn’t necessarily fit the system they had decided upon. Was Barry a dead man walking even then?

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stockholder's picture

May 12, 2024 at 12:20 pm

Now- why didn't you leave this on my comment?
Attitude? - You just pointed at my first thought!
The Douglass trade hurt him. Not Gute.
Yet if you add up Gute's moves. -
Douglass - Jones -Campbell.
It started at the top.

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packer132's picture

May 12, 2024 at 01:10 pm

Yes, it starts at the top and more good moves by Gute. You would never give him credit, even if the NFL names him the best GM out of 32 teams. Douglas is 30, Jones is 30, and Campbell will be 31 soon. Do you see a pattern? Guess not. Its about age and salary and all are on the down side of their good careers. Packers are the youngest team and almost every Packer fan is super excited to see a faster and more aggressive team. Look at the draft picks this year and last and tell me GB would be better off with your 3 aging players.

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stockholder's picture

May 12, 2024 at 01:25 pm

My reference was Chemistry.
Alexander saw it changing.
These guys all talked and bonded together.
Now they're gone.

But Alexander had No clue who Gute would draft.

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11Bravo1p's picture

May 13, 2024 at 09:47 pm

BG got Douglas off of the Cardinals practice squad after the Eagles, Panthers and Raiders had all cut him. So BG picked up Douglas for nothing, Douglas gave the Packers several high quality seasons, and then was traded for a high round (3rd) draft pick. How was this a bad thing?

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 12, 2024 at 05:24 pm

No, Gutedkunst was reacting to social media postings by Douglas and Barry was not jettisoned, mid-season, when the message should have been sent to get more aggressive on the defensive side of the ball as the Offense struggled to find a rhythm.

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cdoemel's picture

May 13, 2024 at 05:21 pm

Haha. Yeah right, BG is making decisions based on social media posts. 🤣. Good one

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Tundraboy's picture

May 12, 2024 at 07:19 pm

Perhaps they just knew the problem was bigger , and would need an overhaul anyway.

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CoachJV's picture

May 12, 2024 at 09:54 am

The benching was the best thing LAF could have done. Alexander is a poor kid... he doesn't care about the money. That's why he could pass on $700K bonus. But when LAF benched him, that hurt... it hurt his pride and his feelings and made him think. Made him realize that he's not bigger than the team, even with the season on the line. That was the attitude adjustment...

That said, I'm sure knowing that he's going to get to use his strengths in press man with Hafley is sure to have him fired up to show his greatness...

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ricky's picture

May 12, 2024 at 10:30 am

At the time, I thought that Alexander was using his injury to stay off the field. He was unhappy with the coverage used by Barry, especially those excessive gaps between defender and receiver on third down. Alexander was unhappy, it had been building for years, and when Barry was kept on after the 2022 season (to the shock of everyone), he'd had it. He sent a clear message: I'm really unhappy, and something has to change. Did LaFleur tell him that Barry was gone? Probably not. But if he used phrases such as "planning on moving in another direction", or "we expect to reevaluate our past decisions this off-season", the message has been sent, but there is also plausible deniability. But they have retained their defensive backs coach from last season. So, he apparently was not part of the problem.

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golfpacker1's picture

May 12, 2024 at 10:39 am

Does anyone have any real updates on Stokes health? He is such a wildcard for us this year and it would be huge if he returned to form. And also doubly important on if another contract is offered or what we get in a compensatory pick in 2025 if he isn't resigned.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 12, 2024 at 10:54 am

A good Sunday morning 2nd cup of coffee question,gp1.

The Axiom is "no news is good news". And there literally is almost no news about his injury status. So that should be good news.

If he could play for us, that would be huge, but he's going to have to make the 53 man roster, first, and that would mean having a good training camp. IMO, he needs a good training camp to make the team this year. If he misses time with injuries I'm not sure he makes the team at the expense of some of these guys they've brought in like Rochelle or King . Do you keep Stokes on the 53 and cut a younger guy with more of a future with the team?

Six CBs on the 53: Alexander. Nixon. Valentine. Ballentine. King. Stokes.

I'm pulling for Stokes to stay on field this year. But if he can't, then I question whether there's a spot on the roster for him.

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greengold's picture

May 12, 2024 at 11:50 am

I tend to agree, LH.

Stokes being a former R1 CB does bring an awful lot to the Packers table when healthy, and I am hoping for his fully recovered self to return to the field to be a mainstay opposite Jaire in 2024.

I wasn't surprised that he suffered the hamstring injury in 2023 that put him on IR for the 2nd time in 3 seasons. His initial meniscus tear in his knee and his Lisfranc injury in his foot on November 6th, 2022 occurred in a pretty serious twisting motion while finishing a single play. His injuries that day also involved his ankle. He required immediate surgery to repair both the meniscus and the Lisfranc, where he had a plate inserted.

A set of injuries like that, for a speed guy, can require well over 6 months to a year to fully recover post surgery. There's a lotta stuff going on there in recovery from both, and an overcompensation in attempting to make a comeback for an athlete can present other injuries, like that hamstring in 2023.

I appreciated his dedication to rehab, and his attitude in wanting to return to play effectively again. It's possible we finally see that in 2024. GB did their due diligence in not exercising his 5th year option until seeing his return to form. Hoping for his complete recovery and to see his top level play again. That would be huge, and now I think the timing for such is about right, and way more realistic.

Most of those extensive surgeries you can't forget about until well after a year post surgery. And, with so many adjustments your body is making in recovery, other muscles/tendons can become adversely stressed. He didn't return to action until mid December last year, and pop goes the hammy.

Having Stokes back in 2024 opposite a motivated Jaire would be HUGE!

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cdoemel's picture

May 13, 2024 at 06:09 pm

He’s a 1st rounder. They’re not cutting him until he’s had an opportunity. Not training camp or pre-season, games. And he’s still on a rookie contract. So not expensive. We know how it goes with guys coming back from serious injury, and his injury was very serious (the injury prior to the hammy problems, and probably the cause of the hammy problems), the first season back or a good part of it is getting back up to speed and flow(Rashan). If he’s making progress through ‘24 I believe they’ll make him an offer, or he’ll leave and take more $ elsewhere.

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GregC's picture

May 12, 2024 at 12:27 pm

For what it's worth, on April 29th Matt LaFleur said of Stokes: “He’s been full go. He looks great." This was regarding the offseason workout program. I'm going to assume he's telling the truth. The next step for Stokes is getting out onto the practice field and making football moves.

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LLCHESTY's picture

May 12, 2024 at 04:05 pm

He said he looked good in drills but going full speed in minicamp will be a different story.

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croatpackfan's picture

May 12, 2024 at 01:49 pm

If you want to know what is going with Stokes, you have to read between lines . so, look at the draft. Packers drafted multiple players for the team positions they feel slim. They waited till the last (Packers last pick, not far from the last pick of the draft!) pick to pick true CB, K. King. This pick was somebody that may become true starter, but also, regarding his fall down in last season he is something risky pick. It looks like Packers feel good about CBs they have, but still optimistically cautious what to expect from Stokes.

That is all you need to know to understand that Stokes is healthy and ready to compete with others CBs Packers has.

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Bitternotsour's picture

May 12, 2024 at 02:45 pm

Yes. Logic says that if they were concerned about the cornerback room, they would have drafted a corner early. We know Valentine can start and play well. There's plenty of tape of Stokes showing elite speed and coverage ability.

The pressure is only on Hafley. The defense is set.

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Coldworld's picture

May 12, 2024 at 02:41 pm

LaFleur stated at the end of April that Stokes has been a full participant to start the offseason. “He’s been full go. He looks great.” The significance of “full go” at that point isn’t exactly clear to me, admittedly.

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LLCHESTY's picture

May 12, 2024 at 03:52 pm

LaFleur said he was 100% and looked good in drills in their 1st OTA sessions. I think Valentine has a good shot to win the starting spot opposite Alexander but a healthy Stokes pushing him would be great.

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Oppy's picture

May 12, 2024 at 10:49 pm

MLF commented during an interview over the last few days that stokes was in the building training recently and that he looked great and had no restrictions.

Could just be coach speak, but that's as close to a real update as there has been.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

May 13, 2024 at 01:50 pm

From LaFleur last week:

"Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur said cornerback Eric Stokes and receiver Christian Watson, who both had their 2023 season wrecked by soft tissue injuries, look “great” to start the offseason workout program.

LaFleur went as far as to say Stokes, specifically, has been a full participant to start the offseason.

“He’s been full go. He looks great,” LaFleur said Saturday."

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marpag1's picture

May 12, 2024 at 12:02 pm

At this point, I'm just hoping Jaire can "re-ignite" HIMSELF this year, cuz last year he wasn't worth his contract and the hassle. Yeah, he's a very good player, but he needs to get it together. He can work on re-igniting the team when he's done with himself.

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stockholder's picture

May 12, 2024 at 12:28 pm

He was good in the playoffs.
Gute would have dumped him otherwise
And he did pass on CB, early in the draft.

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LLCHESTY's picture

May 12, 2024 at 04:11 pm

Wrong. No way Gutey would have taken $33.9 million cap hit this year.

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cdoemel's picture

May 13, 2024 at 06:15 pm

Showing up 2 weeks before the phase 1 & 2 workouts he skipped last year tells me all I need to know. I think he would have been ok anyway (primarily due to the DC change), but McKinney being there seems to have fired him up also.

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LambeauPlain's picture

May 12, 2024 at 12:59 pm

Here's hoping Alexander can be Great Again! I think he will be, if Hafley, as is his intent, to employ his players on the field in ways to maximize their individual strengths, minimize weaknesses and develop synergies that were lacking under Barry.

Forcing Alexander the Great to play soft prevent (the win) defense would be like Coach Matt making Rodgers run the Veer.

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EnemyTerritory's picture

May 12, 2024 at 07:47 pm

Making Alexander Great Again

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Oppy's picture

May 12, 2024 at 10:56 pm

I'd think that the infusion of play-making talent at the safety position will allow all of our CB's to play far more aggressively more frequently in Hafley's defense. If that's the case, JA could have a field day in 2024.

I mean, look at the transformation at the safety position. While I understand the rookies have to prove it on the NFL level, the infusion of talent is undeniable. I don't remember the last time the Safety group had this much depth and play making ability.

Much like how DL play trickles down and makes all other levels of the defenses' jobs easier, if this safety room gels and performs on the field, the CBs may get a real boost in both confidence and production when let off the chains to get after the ball.

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canadapacker's picture

May 13, 2024 at 05:04 pm

If ever i have had a complaint with Gutey , it is the one thing that he did not from TT - and that was letting guys walk. Now I know that there are guys who need to be paid and guys who value themselves ( usually on the advice of their agents ) more than market value - or at least want the highest value that they can get. And some teams pay way too much - with bad ownership - ie Browns and Watson. But if I have the one big complaints - three big complaints - it is the last AR contract, Bak contract and Alexander contract. All of these contracts were both set up not in the team's best interest and set up bad precedent's for others. Even the Jones contract was negotiated that some sort of too high and when the cap roll aheads were factored in had to be renegotiated. Now whether it was an insult or not who cares - Gutey got him into this mess and now Jones is making a lot less $7 million with the Vikes - revenge will be available to him. I just hope that saner heads prevail with the Love situation. Love is still not a proven hall of famer - and still hasnt won the big one. So I hope that Gutey's contract gives him the incentives to ensure that his head doesnt become too big as did the last 2 guys.

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golfpacker1's picture

May 19, 2024 at 06:52 pm

Good 30 year old RBs are not common Canada. AJ was a great Packer but he will miss as many games as he plays in 2024 because eventually the body just wears out with that much punishment.

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