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McCarthy's Firing is the First of Many Moves the Packers Will Have to Make

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McCarthy's Firing is the First of Many Moves the Packers Will Have to Make

The Packers earlier than expected firing of head coach Mike McCarthy signaled that the organization is fed up with the status quo of the last couple of years.  Many of the pundits have been long awaiting this move and now that it has actually happened, we must wonder where in the world will the Packers go from here.  The firing of McCarthy comes as a shock to no one, but the timing that his firing occurred has sent shock waves through the greater Wisconsin area and has put the league on notice that dramatic changes are coming to Green Bay.  

The reality is that McCarthy is not the only problem on this team, and for the Packers to return to their winning ways in the near future they are going to need a major infusion of young talent.  Last week, I posed the question of whether the Packers will continue to address the needs on their roster through the band-aid method of bringing in aging players in the twilight of their careers, or whether they will essentially burn the roster to the ground and continue the rebuild that Gutekunst started last year in the secondary.  

After watching this dumpster fire of a team for the last twelve games it is apparent that they are simply just past their prime on many areas of the depth chart and need to rebuild much of this roster starting in January.  

The Packers currently have almost $42 million in cap space committed to Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Brian Bulaga, and Randall Cobb, who because of injuries and wear and tear, are considered by most to be past their prime.  The reality of the situation is that the Packers desperately need to get younger and start parting ways with high priced players that are past their prime.  

The question remains to be seen whether Brian Gutekunst will continue to make the tough decisions to move on from the once valuable members of the Packers roster in order to get younger and create more salary cap flexibility.  If Gutekunst does in fact decide to move on from the aging members of his roster, he could potentially end up with over $50 million in cap space heading into the 2019 offseason.  

Some Food for Thought:

According to spotrac, Jimmy Graham is owed $12.66 million in 2019, Tramon Williams is owed around $6.3 million in 2019, and Mike Daniels is owed almost $11 million in 2019. Based on their cap numbers for next year all three players could either be released or have their contracts restructured. 

Let's pump the breaks on that $50+ million salary cap figure for just a second and focus on the areas of the roster that need a desperate infusion of talent:

1. The Edge Rusher Position (at least 3-4 edge rushers)

2. The Saftey Position (Burn it to the ground and start over)

3. The Right Side of the Offensive Line (Both Right Guard as well as Right Tackle) 

4. A young, dynamic tight end

And that is just a list of needs for the starting 22 on the offensive and defensive units. 

The reality of the Packers situation is that in addition to the list of upgrades on the starting units, there also needs to be a dramatic infusion of young talent on the reserve units that will be able to challenge the starters for their jobs and be able to step in and not miss a beat when called upon in high pressured situations.  

It is apparent that $40-50 million in cap space will not be able to address all of the areas on the Packers depth chart in which they lack adequate talent to compete at the highest level in this league.  Unfortunately, the Packers have to take an honest look at the construction of their inferior roster and come to the realization that it is time to rebuild the infrastructure of this team.  

The process will be difficult and painful but must be done in order to give the Packers an opportunity to be a legitimate perennial playoff contender later on down the road. With that being said, let’s get the draft prospect evaluations, scouting reports, and mock draft boards ready because a new era of Packer football starts today.  

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

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (140) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

4thand1's picture

Howdy dooty, Merry Christmas.

zoellner25's picture

I don't know if I've looked forward to the draft this early

tincada's picture

When are you Terrible Ted bots going to give up on the draft. It's not reality.

The TKstinator's picture

Because the REAL way to build a team is...?

Hawg Hanner's picture

Why in the world are you considering Mike Daniels for release? He is one of the few blue chips we have. I think you could bring Bulaga back for less money. Agree Cobb and Matthews are probably finished though CM3 is probably still a serviceable player but at a vastly reduced salary. Cobb's body has had it. Jimmy Graham is an embarrassment but what can you do? What is his guarantee? He looks just useless.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I agree Daniels would be low on the list for cuts. Graham is cuttable. Although given Rodgers seams to need a whole year to gain synergy with a TE, I'd bring him back.

In my world, Perry, Mathews, Cobb and Bulaga are gone.

Barnacle's picture

For $30,000,000/yr Rodgers better learn to get “synergy” faster. It ‘s ridiculous to blame a small budget for pass catchers as the problem.

Look at the most successful franchises to see what works. Having the highest paid players in the league does not seem to be the answer. Remember when lots of fans thought we had to extend Rodgers to make him happy? How did that work out?

There is a limited pile of money and lots of good players, overpaying one position must be balanced with savings elsewhere. It seems whoever has an expiring contract gets lots of support from lots of fans.

We need strong management to offer fair contracts to good players but within a budget for each position. We have way too much locked up in pass catchers and some of the high paid ones are not earning it.

Also, look at our edge rushers. Highly paid and fans were clamoring to bring Mack. How do you justify $42,000,000/yr for three players at those two positions?

jeremyjjbrown's picture

""get “synergy” faster""

That would be great, wouldn't it? But it's not been that way.

dobber's picture

"We need strong management to offer fair contracts to good players but within a budget for each position."

What if you've got impact players in the secondary on rookie deals? Or you're like the Chargers who picked up Hayward at a value well below his play? Or you just happen to have 2-3 quality OL who come up for second contracts at the same time? I think roster/contract management is a fluid thing. With rookie deals and the ability to cut underperforming players, setting budgets doesn't mean very much. The budget is the salary cap.

Barnacle's picture

Dobber

Belichek and I agree on the budget for each position group, but you may be right? Thanks for the tip on using the salary cap as a budget? How could Belichek possibly disagree with that brilliance?

dobber's picture

Look at how teams have handled Clark the last couple weeks with no Daniels to worry about. He's getting doubled and/or held about 90% of the time. I think Daniels earns every dollar he gets...and I think Clark agrees.

henry113's picture

Put Graham on that list at the top. He just did not work out.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I agree with Dobber (which generally is a safe thing to do). As much as I like numbers and compartmentalizing and categorizing things, I don't think a GM can use such a mechanistic method as setting a budget or limit by each position group.

It might be nice to figure that the DL should cost $20M in cap space (say one stud on a rookie deal, one high-priced guy on a 2nd contract, one veteran of middling expense on a shorter deal, and one modestly priced vet - like a RJF - and one developmental guy or a guy who started out that way like Pennel and/or say Lowry and M. Adams). But if a couple of the picks blossom, that's great and to heck with making things conform to some predetermined cap plan. The budget is the cap.

mamasboy's picture

Sorry, Daniels isn't a blue chip player. Real good, not great.

mrtundra's picture

I'll take a really good player and would keep Daniels. Our D Line is the strength of this team, right now. I say we keep it intact and get a pass rusher or two to help get to the QB. Perry and Matthews are not the answers at pass rusher, anymore. We passed on pass rushers and picking players for the O Line last draft. How did that go? I cringed on every snap that Spriggs was on the field for. We need to fix our O line and our pass rush and now, it would seem, our Safety positions, again! Josh Jones isn't a Safety. He plays best near the LOS in blitz packages and has had a lot of problems tackling. Tramon Williams did not inspire any great confidence in his playing ability, either--especially at CB. It will take more than one draft and one FA period to fix all of our problems.

fthisJack's picture

sad to say...I think we have another Nick Perry in Kevin King. he can't stay on the field and I am not confident he will ever be available for 16 games. too bad cause he is talented. I thought Tramon played well enough to keep around and believe Mathews should be brought back for a much reduced salary. he set the edge very well and was close to sacking the QB on a number of occasions. he also got screwed out of 2 sacks. yes...the need for a very good pass rusher is necessary and need to add quality at the S position....it is one of the more affordable positions to bring in a good FA...if one is available. ever since the loss of Collins the secondary hasn't been the same. that guy made the CB's better than they were.

Samson's picture

Best case scenario is 3 to 4 quality free agents & 3 to 4 quality players out of the draft who can acclimate to the NFL game in their rookie season with better coaching from a better coaching staff.

My preference is to allow the new HC to pick his own coaching staff. -- If this means Pettine is also gone, so be it.

I wholeheartedly agree:-- A new era of Packer football has begun. -- There are many, many questions that will need to be answered. -- The offseason will be one of the most interesting ever in my Packer history. -- Thanks, Since 1960.

Stic's picture

Criminality:
Jones 10 touches 1st quarter. 5 rest of game.
Worse still:
Williams 39 snaps.
Jones 38 snaps.
That evenness doesn't happen by accident.
MM guilty as charged.

Lare's picture

McCarthy's already been fired. Time to move on.

dobber's picture

TT was fired 11 months ago...we're still beating THAT rented mule...

Stic's picture

Lol TT gone mm gone and you homers now want to move on. Poor losers.

Since '61's picture

Viking troll.

The TKstinator's picture

I think the full name is Stic (it where the sun doesn’t shine)

Citizen AJ's picture

We will be paying for TT's mistakes for a long time .

The TKstinator's picture

I won’t be.

Nick Perry's picture

"TT was fired 11 months ago...we're still beating THAT rented mule.."

Sorry dobber but IMO I don't think Thompson could ever be beat enough. The Packers have and will be paying for Thompsons ineptness for at least another season or two.

Kb999's picture

Right on, Nick

Barnacle's picture

Lare

You move on.

I enjoy the opinions about what went right and what went wrong. The guy who accepted MM’s short comings for far too long is still here. Maybe this management by committee was a big part of the problem? MM might have thought he wasn’t accountable and could just flow along with the committee.

If you don’t like this type of discussion, maybe you should just ignore it and only participate in those topics you deem worthy?

byu.tech's picture

no team in the nfl is without holes, the CAP is a problem for everybody at some point. we need more playmakers not a tone of normal players. we have clark, daniels (release daniels???? are you crazy???) alexander, martinez, now we need 3 playmakers coming from draft or trade or FA. not so difficult. then we need to rebuild a little the o line that ted thompson destroyed leaving tretter, sitton, lang.

Lphill's picture

Perry, Cobb ,Bulaga could go I would keep Clay at a discount maybe a two year with incentives.

fthisJack's picture

I agree....Clay played pretty well this year considering he wasn't allowed to sack the QB!

Lare's picture

The Packers will need one starting FA and one drafted safety.

They'll need two starting OL, one FA and one drafted (restructure Bulaga for depth).

They'll need two starting OLB, one FA and one drafted. And at least one more for depth

They'll need a veteran WR.

They'll need to draft a TE.

They'll need to draft a backup/future QB.

They'll need a kicker.

This is all doable next offseason if good decisions are made, but it may be more realistic to temper one's optimism until 2020.

dobber's picture

One of the key reasons to be early on the hiring of a new coach is the installation of coordinators (which can take time) and the subsequent evaluation of talent in the lens of what that coach/coordinators wants to do with his team. That's going to take time and will need to happen fairly quickly.

We can talk a lot of what we think the next Packers team should look like and what it needs in terms of personnel, but we really don't know. I think there are some givens (namely that they're going to need a safety, and some help on the OL). We know what was frustrating us in the current system. We don't know if it will matter a lick of piss in the new system. We don't know if the new coach will look at veterans vs. rookies and say: sign this position, draft that position...even though we might be saying the opposite.

We're along for the ride, folks. I hope it's an enjoyable one.

Lare's picture

I agree dobber, and the coordinators, position coaches and strength/conditioning staff play big roles in the success of the players and the team also.

I know this whole process takes time, definitely helps to start before the other teams that are waiting until the end of the year.

dobber's picture

And how. My hope is that they get what amounts to the pick of the litter. That's part of what they need to hope for with their HC choice: someone who can command his pick of coordinators.

splitpea1's picture

I'm glad someone brought up the strength and conditioning staff--if the Packers can bring in the best people and maybe cut down on some of these lesser injuries, it would be a big, big help.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"One of the key reasons to be early on the hiring"

I'm anxious about this given the two guys I like (with my massively under informed opinion) are likely to go deep into the playoffs.

However, one thing I thing might help is that I assume given last off seasons shakeup much of the Packers Assistants Coaches are probably under contract for 2019. The new guy will get first pick from that group, including Campen (just promoted), Pettine (just hired), Whitt (just promoted), Sirmans (just hired), Montgomery (just hired) and Philbin (just hired).

dobber's picture

Don't teams that earn first-round byes frequently give assistants a chance to interview during the first week of the playoffs?

Remember that Montgomery was the asst. DL coach with Trgovac the last couple years. He's been around for a few...

Lare's picture

I just hope they let the new head coach chose his own coordinators and assistants. I think Pettine got a raw deal having to inherit some of McCarthy's hand chosen assistants.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Pettine didn't choose because he's not a HC.

CheesyTex's picture

Dobber,

What is your take on strength and training staff? How big a role did it play in McC's demise?

I don't know where the Packers stand vs. the rest of the league in terms of players lost to injury, ability to punch out third and short, or just overall strength and conditioning. But the last few years, injuries seem to be inordinately high, the O Line lacking road grader ability when needed, and lines on both sides of the ball just being outplayed (e.g., number of hurries, flushes out of the pocket etc. seems to be high on offense and rare on defense).

croatpackfan's picture

Overall strength and conditioning did not help Washington. Alex Smith and McCoy both brake legs in the spin of 2 games... Who is guity?

The TKstinator's picture

Not enough stretching?
Didn’t drink enough milk?

rstain99's picture

guys are soft they need to suck it up, are you hurt? or are you injured. NE is right here in my backyard and as much as I hate to say it they don't put up with this type of soft player. They get players off someone's Practice squad coach them look what happens. Bill Belichick doesn't put up with any side BS play hard and you have a spot if not hit the bricks. One of the first thing BB did in NE was get rid of a very popular strength and conditioning coach brought in a guy that spit nails. He weeds out the softies plays hardnosed FB.

The TKstinator's picture

Ah, New England: the Land of Grass that is Always Greener Than Every Other Place...must be nice. (Sigh)

The TKstinator's picture

I think the O-line lacking road graders is because GB has favored nimble, college LT’s who can pass block, and then convert them to different positions on the line. (It’s a passing league and GB has AR.) I also understand that on most college teams, the BEST lineman plays LT.
That being said, I too would like to see a more balanced offense as well as some linemen who can pass block AND knock guys backwards at times. It’ll be an interesting off season for sure.

HankScorpio's picture

I'm curious to see if that preference for drafting college LTs and moving them to different pro positions will hold under Gute. It was a clean pattern under TT and one I generally agreed was a good thing. But certainly not the only way to draft OL.

The TKstinator's picture

I’d hope there’s room for a couple road grader types.

dobber's picture

My opinion is that the CBA regulates so much of what players do in-house that most teams can't be meaningfully different. Maybe the problem is how they space out workouts. Maybe the problem is off-season trainers who don't know what they're doing. I can't guess.

But you can't win games with players who aren't available. Availability is important...unless you're AJ Hawk. ;)

J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

Just curious, how much is a "lick of piss" going for these days??

LeotisHarris's picture

Can't say for sure, JDG. Last time I saw any data it was priced slightly lower than a crock of sh*t, but more than flying f*ck.

The TKstinator's picture

It truly is a market economy.

dobber's picture

Dude.

Kb999's picture

Mason Crosby needs to go. Too many games lost this year. No excuses.

PatrickGB's picture

Replace Crosby?
And replace him with whom?
But I think that it would be ok to bring in competition.

edp1959's picture

Aron Rodgers wants to bring more Superbowl trophies to GB. It wasn't going to happen if he kept carrying this team. As long as he did the front office was not going to give him the support needed. They were content with Division Championships. A change had to take place.

TheBigCheeze's picture

re-work Rodgers' contract.......it's holding the salary cap hostage....include in the contract that he HAS to get along with his parents, OR ELSE.......also....Graham and Kendricks are useless.....gone.....CMIII, Cobb, beluga, perry, t Williams, Crosby,....all gone.....HIRE MIKE HOLMGREN......N O W !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!......see how easy peazy it is??......

J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

I don't follow what you are writing... You'd like the Packers to include a 'must get along' clause between Rodgers'parents and himself in some sort of re-worked contract? what would be the purpose of such a strange clause?

pacman's picture

My preference is for some old time football and a much better defense. But that is not the game anymore so get Daniels back, one major edge rusher and the D suffices. Pettine did pretty well when players were healthy.

O line is big priority. Fix that, and Jones will have lot's of room and AR enough time.

Whatever else we get will be incremental positives.

But I think it is critical that AR do the play calling when he is in for the rest of the year. If it works, great. If it doesn't, then maybe we have some hope that he will learn some humility and let a new coach do his job.

re: MM - he had an opportunity that few people get in this world. He was paid very well and doesn't have to worry about money for the rest of his life. He will have his name noted in Packer history. That is enough reward without us having to thank him for some lousy coaching that could very well have cost the fans another couple SB's. No need to kick him and I wish him well. But I wouldn't be surprised if he does not have a head coaching job next year.

dobber's picture

"But I think it is critical that AR do the play calling when he is in for the rest of the year"

I think the best thing that Philbin could do--for the next coach, whether it's him or someone else--is NOT give ARod free reign to run the offense. Once you let that cat out of the bag, I think it would be very difficult for a new coach to put it back...and who knows what the impact on a coaching hire would be if they know #12 just won his spat with MM, and now is calling his own plays.

Philbin needs to find a way to convince QB1 that his ideas are ARod's ideas...and they'll have to find a way to pick things up down the stretch. The success of the Packers over the next 2-3 seasons will hinge on getting #12 back to playing at a high/elite level.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"I think the best thing that Philbin could do--for the next coach, whether it's him or someone else--is NOT give ARod free reign to run the offense."

Indeed.

Citizen AJ's picture

It better not be Philbin !!

pacman's picture

I see your position but the best qb's call most of the plays. They can always change it anyways. By all known measures, AR is a smart qb. Let him do it now and succeed or fail.

Tough call.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Both Pacman and Dobber make sense to me. Hmmm. If AR called his own plays and obviously flopped, that might be good. What if AR is mediocre or pretty good at it? What if he is great at it? Hmmm. Yet it probably would be hard to put the genie back in the bottle. What if pretty much everyone thought AR was bad when given free rein over play-calling, except AR?

I think giving AR free rein might significantly limit GB's ability to attract top talent at HC and OC. Don't let the old regime make decisions that handcuff the new regime.

Lare's picture

I wonder who is going to call plays. Did Philbin call the offensive plays In Miami?

The TKstinator's picture

Not sure who called the offensive plays in Miami.
But many of us have called the plays offensive in GB this season.

Rick F's picture

This team just needs more talent and Gutekunst will draft and use free agency. The packers have to get a great leader that Rodgers has to follow and respect. That doesn’t mean Rodgers approval, it means Rodgers leading his teammates in a new format. You have to have everyone invested into the team and change everything so it is a different culture. They can win next year with a different system on offense and year 2 with all those young guys. All the experience these rookies have gotten will be huge in their development. You get a creative system that challenges Rodgers and gets the players into big plays and helps balance the field watch out. Get a great leader and put great coaches next to him and the packers are back next year in the playoffs.

Cubbygold's picture

I hope. This offseason will likely determine if GB sniffs another superbowl before 2030. Between the two first round picks, the huge number of FA decisions to be made and a new coaching staff, Gute and Murphy are going to either set the stage for a great end to Rodgers career, or sink it. If GB is doing things correctly, they'll be 'all in' for a superbowl during Rodgers final years, which likely means paying for that approach in the years after he's gone and rebuilding.

No pressure Gute and Murphy...

Cheesehead dallas's picture

AMEN

tincada's picture

Forget about the Pent. Someone said, "his time in Miami was impressive” if you’re happy with -50% No and hell no. Just sit AR, no excuses but they need to find out if Kizer is a keeper and not wait until AR gets injured. Have AR play a 1/4 and then trot out the backups so you know for real the depth of this team. It doesn’t matter in this screwed up season and their draft picking skills are nothing to get excited about. In fact fire the whole damn scout group.

dobber's picture

Ugh...my brain.

The TKstinator's picture

Still working on my “un-reading” skills...

dobber's picture

An interesting post, even though I'm not a McDaniels fan...

https://www.profootballrumors.com/2018/12/josh-mcdaniels-eyeing-packers-job

4thand1's picture

AR is getting a lot of heat from all the so called experts on the talk shows. Also a lot of sports talk shows are putting a lot of the blame on the cheap front office and piss poor drafts. MM may have lost the team, but he had a lot of help. Maybe he should have thrown some people under the bus once in a while.

Since '61's picture

4th - I have been listening to WFAN NY today and Mike Francesca has discussed that AR has been playing hurt all season. He is not putting up AR numbers but he's playing hurt and his supporting cast is not very good.
Mike also commented that the Packers should shut Rodgers down rather than expose him to further injuries since he is already hurt and the games don't matter this season.

On the coaching change he said that management should speak with AR to see what he is expecting since he is the guy who decides if they win or lose. It would be heresy to trade Rodgers for picks but management may decide they want to go in that direction but he doesn't think that the Packers will do that. He thinks the Packers will and should build around Rodgers.

Thanks, Since '61

Cubbygold's picture

Agree on shutting him down, there's zero reason why GB should win another game this year. Unfortunately the rest of their schedule is against teams that are saying the same thing.

If 12 is hurt, why did he take the brace off? If he's hurt, why didn't the play calling change to promote quicker release of the ball? Seems like either bad information or a stubborn HC/QB

The time to entertain trade offers for 12 was last year, not after signing that deal. Cleveland would have given GB a mountain of picks and Myles Garrett. Another year and another injury, on top of the financial constraints involved with his signing bonus means that any trade moving forward will be difficult and far less productive for GB. 12 is retiring a packer.

Rufus's picture

CubbyG, We need to look at Kizer. Rodgers is not the Rodgers that they signed for $100mill. He looks mediocre at times. If Kizers not the guy, look to draft a QB. I hope Arods not over the hill. At times he looks it. He is not playing with confidence. If an opportunity arises to trade him, consider it.

Since '61's picture

The brace was removed so that Rodgers could regain some mobility. It doesn't mean that his knee is 100%. He likely still has pain when he tries to plant and throw off his injured knee. That is probably why his footwork has been off. Also, his shoulder may not yet be back to 100%.

Who knows what other injuries he may be playing through as well.

The problem with the quick release plays is that the WRs need to break their routes off sharply. MVS and EQ round off their routes which will allow a DB to undercut their route and make a play on the ball. Plus the OL is being manhandled right back into Rodgers due to the poor play of our Guards.

For a QB playing injured with a weak OL and only one legit receiving threat it is what it is, poor execution. Thanks, Since '61

HankScorpio's picture

"Agree on shutting him down, there's zero reason why GB should win another game this year."

Herm Edwards judges you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5-iJUuPWis

Since '61's picture

Once the new head coach and staff are in the place the Packers needs to develop/rebuild the roster.

1. Franchise QB - done
2. LT to protect franchise QB - done
3. Pro bowl edge pass rusher - need desperately
4. Shut down corner - Alexander could be it, plus King is good if he stays healthy
5. Game break WR - Need a real NFL #1 WR, e.g. OBJ or Antonio Brown. Adams is good but not a game breaker.
6. We need 2 guards or an RG plus a solid backup.
7. Need a RT or a solid backup for Bulaga.
8. Daniels, Clark and Martinez are keepers and can be built around. Need another ILB and more DLs. New HC or new DC may want to move 4-3 from current 3-4.
9. Need a legit TE threat
10. Need a solid #1 RB. Jones should be a change of pace back.
11. Need NFL level safeties.

Too much to do in one off season. Focus on OL, pass rushers and safeties for 2019. Fill out the rest by 2020/21. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

Samson's picture

Great analysis.
Gute will play free agency & hopefully get 3 to 4 quality players. -- Gute will also use draft 2019 to pick up another 3 to 4 rookies who can contribute immediately in season 2019 (hopefully).

TT gone. -- MM gone. -- GB on the rise in 2019. -- Look for another North Division crown. -- Thanks. Since '60.

Since '61's picture

Samson if Gute can successfully add 3 or 4 FAs and 3 or 4 draft picks who significantly contribute in 2018 he will have pulled off one of the great off seasons of all time. I hope he does it but I think he will look to improve OLB, safety and the OL for next season and give MVS and EQ another season to see if they evolve into keepers. He will probably go FA for yet another TE and maybe an ILB and/or OLB. We'll see. Let's hope they select the right HC first. Thanks, Since '61

Samson's picture

You added "significantly". -- There's a difference.

Cubbygold's picture

I think Gute did a lot of good things this year, but failing to bring in any of the available saftey's was a mistake. There were several quality names who ultimately signed on the cheap. He needs to be in that market next year.

Since '61's picture

I agree but I think that Gute was trying to evaluate what he had on the roster before making what could become an expensive signing for little return. We'll never know at this point. We'll see what he does with the Safety position during this off season. I think he needs to sign a veteran FA and select a Safety during the draft. Thanks, Since '61

dobber's picture

One good safety can make another look pretty decent. Look at what Harrison Smith, who isn't just good--he's excellent, made that schlock player Sendejo look decent for years, and he's making the backup (Kearse) look passable.

It would be great to have two good safeties, but I'd take one heady player who can make plays. That might be what it takes to really help this defense turn the corner. I'm hoping the safety market is at least somewhat depressed again this off-season...it could really make a difference for this team to get a good player at a cut rate.

mrtundra's picture

Being a Packer fan, I would never say, nor admit, that Harrison Smith was a good anything. I hate hearing how great Minnesota's defense is. Every game that comes on, the announcers faun all over the vaunted Minnesota defense. I say it's a ruse. That defense was on the field when the vikes lost to Phillie in the NFCCG last January. There were on the field when they lost to Buffalo, the Saints and NE this season and nearly lost to the Packers in that stupid tie game. If you are going to talk about great safeties, talk about LeRoy Butler, Nick Collins and Earl Thomas, not Smith.

HankScorpio's picture

Davante Adams is a real #1 WR. He's 6th in yards and 2nd in TDs. He trails Brown by 1 TD and leads both OBJ and Brown in yards. He's consistent despite getting the bulk of the attention among Packer pass catchers. He makes sick plays. That sideline catch yesterday was as good as it gets.

Aaron Jones is a legit #1. Williams makes a nice change of pace option on a 70/30 snap/touch split. But I don't like that the split seems to be done by series. I'd rather they rotated more by situation than just saying "This is a Jones series" or "This is a Williams series".

Add another consistent pass catching option (maybe MVS turns into that). Get Rodgers back to making throws like he can. Fix the right side of the line. If that gets done, i think this is back to being a top 5 offense that can attack via air or ground.

Rebecca's picture

Williams is so average. Completely forgettable. His stats are meh.

dobber's picture

But, man, can he block!

Spock's picture

Since '61. I agree with Hank. "Davante Adams is a real #1 WR. He's 6th in yards and 2nd in TDs. He trails Brown by 1 TD and leads both OBJ and Brown in yards. He's consistent despite getting the bulk of the attention among Packer pass catchers. He makes sick plays. That sideline catch yesterday was as good as it gets." Those are definitely legit #1 stats. I don't get why people think Davante is not a "true" #1. His footwork is phenomenal and he's been the only WR to consistently make plays regardless of the QB. You don't get to be a 1000 yard WR with Rodgers on an "off" year if you're not good!

flackcatcher's picture

Nice Overview '61. At this stage the immediate problem is Murphy. Is the executive committee going to let a time limited front office guy choose the next Packer HC. It was striking that he talked about his Northwestern experience in his presser, when Northwestern fired him for the same power grabbing moves that he just made yesterday. So now the pressure is on the executive committee to act before Murphy can do any more damage to this organization. As I said yesterday, this could get real ugly.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Did Northwestern fire Murphy? A google search returned no articles suggesting that was so. I don't know, myself.

Lare's picture

I found an article from Northwestern in December 2007-

"The University will begin a search for a person to succeed Mark Murphy, who resigned to become president of the Green Bay Packers professional football team.

"We're sorry to see Mark go and we appreciate the tremendous leadership that he has provided here," Bienen said. "At the same time, we understand what a wonderful opportunity this is for him, so we wish him well."

dobber's picture

I keep hearing reports that Murphy is sure to want to interview Pat Fitzgerald for the Packers HC gig. I don't really want a guy with no experience coaching pro players to be in charge of the team, but I've admired Fitzgerald for years (as much as I despise NU) as a leader and for his teams' scrappy play. As with any HC, so much would be on the coordinators he brings in, and I have no idea what Fitzgerald would do. He--himself--is not going to be the source of innovation offensively that so many are calling for, but I think he could be a HC that could bring the locker room back together.

flackcatcher's picture

Sorry, the story I heard is the regents fired Murphy well before Green Bay began their search to replace Jones. Bob Harlan was in his second stint as Packer President and their consult added Murphy late to their list. On paper Murphy is impressive, but there was one common red flag over his post NFL career. He kept getting the boot early. Law partners paid him to go away, Northwestern booted him early in his second contract. Packers knew this when they hired him. Overall, Murphy does his job well, then overreaches and goes BOOM! Well, here we are. I for one, do not want the next coming of Al Davis. Given Murphy's actions on how the GM search happened, and the way he treated Ted Thompson on his exit from the organization, leaves me with very little conference that he would hire a good fit as head coach for the Packers.

flackcatcher's picture

There is back story here for what might have been. James Jones was the Packer President the board selected after Bob Harlan's retirement. Do a web search for Packers in 1999. What happen was insane to the front office, coaching staff and changed the direction of the organization in a way it has not recovered from. On Murphy, a causal Google search won't cut it. Need to go a bit deeper, but the pattern is there, and fairly clear, along with why he was let go, but it will require a somewhat close read. Understand that Murphy has another goal other than being Packer President. He wants to be NFL commissioner, and stomping over the back of the Green Bay Packers to get there, is for him a small price to pay.

flackcatcher's picture

To be clear on Murphy, that is my guess based on his actions since late 2017 that he aiming to impress the other owners. I should have made that clear earlier in my post.

LeotisHarris's picture

I love a good conspiracy theory, flackcatcher, but Captain Touchback aka Roger Godell is only 59 years old. Humble and lovable Mark Murphy is 63 years old. Odds that ol' Murph will be NFL Commissioner are slim to none. Maybe there's a coveted spot for him in the League Office. IDK.

I don't doubt the road to where he is was paved by who he knows. That's the way the old boys club works. But at age 63, Mark is probably looking for less time in the barrel, not more.

Wilment's picture

Lots of moves coming....no doubt that unless Cobb is coming back for a pittance, he's gone. Bulaga when healthy is great....unfortunately, he isn't healthy much. Gone.. Mathews...why not keep him and move him inside? He still has the tools to play ILB, but his days as an edge rusher are done-he no longer has the ability to overwhelm the tackles and get home. Id keep him if he is willing to move inside and do a team friendly deal. Mike Daniels?? Move on from him to who? Montravius Adams? Daniels is the toughest SOB on the roster Jimmy Graham was a mistake from the go. Cant block, too soft{except for those stone hands of his}. Gone Finally Tramon Williams...he is searching for the fountain of middle age after a great year last year. I think he is done, way to many times he was scorched this year, though I will give him a mulligan on the punt return fumbles, A vert different roster in "the bay" next year....

Cubbygold's picture

Agree for the most part. Bring back matthews on a reasonable deal and keep daniels.

I think Graham should be willing to renegotiate. Not sure on his contract details, but I didn't see anything worthy of keeping him and paying him his full contract. On a reduced deal, sure.

I want Cobb gone. Time for a more dynamic player that can stay on the field.

I'd love to see TW resigned as the veteran depth type of player. He can't be a starter next year.

Cubbygold's picture

Looking at the 2019 numbers, it appears that Graham has $7M of dead money and $5M of cap savings if cut.

To me, that's not a scenario in which he can be cut. If he was a FA, we'd sign him for $5M in a heartbeat. Still would be nice if he renegotiated though.

Lare's picture

TGR can confirm it, but to me it looks like the Packers would save around $2.3 million in cap space of they cut Graham. They would still have to count the remaining portion of his signing bonus ($7.3 million) but would save around $9 million in salary, roster bonus and workout bonus.

HankScorpio's picture

It depends on how you look at cap savings. You got all the numbers right, as far as I can tell.

Graham has 2 hits of $3.66 mil for his SB remaining. One of those is already on the 2019 cap. So is the $9 mil in new money he'll get in 2019. That's a 2019 total cap hit of $12.66 mil.

It they cut him in Feb, they move the 2nd $3.66 SB hit into 2019 while eliminating the $9 mil in new expenditures. So most typically the "cap savings" would be calculated at $5.33 mil, even though they are dumping $9 mil and keeping $7.32 mil

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Right. $5.33 cap savings unless he's designated as a post June release, in which case it would be $9M in cap savings for 2019, but the team punts $3.66M dead money into 2020. In the case of a post June designation, GB would get none of the $9M cap space until June 2, so it is not spendable until then. [This is the short answer.]

I don't believe a team can cut a player in January or February and use a June designation: the team must wait for the new league year.

If cut in January, the entire $7.334M accelerates into 2018, so our rollover would be reduced by that amount, making our effective cap space the same as if he were cut March 13 (first day of the new league year) without a post-June designation. That is, a gain of $5.33M in cap space for 2019. Cutting Graham early is only useful only if GB wants to use more than two post-June designations, since two is the limit. For example, Perry has too many prorations that would accelerate into 2018 to cut Perry in 2018 - we don't have $11.1M in cap space left. All the other such players are guys we want to keep anyway: we couldn't cut Davante, Bahk or AR in January or February because we don't have the cap space.

HankScorpio's picture

TGR,

That's for clarifying the Jan/Feb release mis-information I gave. I tend to think of the SB as the end of the league year but it's not.

And there is something I've been meaning to ask about. How does the presence of a roster bonus due early in the league year impact a post June 1 cut designation? Since we're talking about Graham, he can be the example. His contact has $5.3 mil RB due on the 5th day of the 2019 league year. Let's say they cut him on the 4th day of the league year and want to use the post June 1 designation. Do they carry the $5.3 mil cap charge through June 1?

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

True Answer: Not as sure as I'd like to be.
Short answer: Good bet is no relief gained until June 2.

Long Answer: First, I just had a back and forth with Tex Western on Dec 1. He wrote he hadn't been able to find the details on that issue. I left this question for Jason Fitzgerald of OTC on a thread a couple of years ago, but he didn't respond.

Article 13, Section 6 (b) (ii) (1:

" each Club may designate up to two Player Contracts that, if terminated on or prior to June 1... shall be treated (except to the extent prescribed by Section 6(d)(iv) below) as if terminated on June 2, i.e., the Salary Cap charge for each such contract will remain in the Club’s Team Salary until
June 2, at which time its Paragraph 5 Salary and any unearned LTBE incentives will no longer be counted and any unamortized signing bonus will be treated as set forth in Subsection (2) below."

So, sub 2 specifies that Graham's 2019 proration ($3.66M) counts in 2019 and the last proration counts as dead money in 2020. That's standard and well known.

So, Graham's $3.45M base salary counts until June 2. Graham's LTBE $250K workout bonus also counts until June 2 because all workout bonuses are considered likely to be earned because they are in the sole control of the player. Ditto for Graham's LTBE game active bonus of $300K. So is the $5M roster bonus a LTBE incentive? One wouldn't think so because it is inherently uncertain and Graham didn't get one the year before. However, 9 pages after the quote above comes this:

"(xxiii) Any roster bonus which is deemed not “likely to be earned” based upon the player’s performance during the prior year shall immediately be included in Team Salary when earned [this means game active bonuses]. ***Preseason roster bonuses are automatically deemed “likely to be earned.”***

So is Graham's 3/15/19 (3rd day of the league year) $5M roster bonus a 'preseason roster bonus?' I'd have to say yes. It isn't a post-season roster bonus and it isn't an in-season roster bonus. Thus Graham's roster bonus is an LTBE incentive, and the first quote specifies that those count until June 2. Since GB won't pay the bonus on 3-15-19 due to his release, it will be known, i.e. certain, that Graham won't earn that money, but it also will be known that he isn't going to earn the workout bonus or any game active bonuses for that matter, and those are known to count until June 2.

You'd think this would have happened already. Surprisingly, in the NFL IIRC in 2018 there were only 5 players released with a June 1 designation. Anyway, I googled looking for previous examples and didn't find any.

Well, actually I am pretty comfortable stating that it counts and there is no salary cap relief until June 2.

4zone's picture

Perry bye bye, not Daniels.

LambeauPlain's picture

Except the deal TT gave Perry saddles the Pack with $11 million in dead cap money next year.

You gain nothing by cutting him except feel good vindictiveness.

May as well keep him in 2019 and let him bring donuts and coffee to the LB room.

PAPackerbacker's picture

No doubt that Matthews, Cobb, Bulaga, and Perry could become the next expendable players. But there are others who have not performed well either. Graham and Kendricks haven't lived up to expectations either. There are some young players who seem to be injured more than they play too and they need to be evaluated as well. A lot of work ahead in the off season. It may be a good time now to allow bench warmers on the field and give them some playing time as all is lost for any chance of playoffs. See what they can do or not do. May be surprised at what some can do if given the opportunity.

GVPacker's picture

I hope the new coach brings in some new strength and conditioning personnel! The amount of soft tissue injuries the Packers incur each season is mind boggling!

henry113's picture

With Rodgers big contract, were no better than last year. I am starting to think it may have been a mistake.

stockholder's picture

Murphy has been making moves since the end of last season. Gute has been making moves during the season. How'd that work out for all of you? From 1965 -to the 90s this team traded, drafted, and promised us a world champion. We believed everything that was music to our ears. We ate it up blindly. Only to be disappointed, and laughed at by our friends , family and the AP press. Many have pointed to the stubbornness of MM and A-Rod. But were seeing that same thing as these moves are being made. Stubbornness.! Wasn't TT stubborn in his last years as GM? he showed them the door in contract negotiations. The players must be loved and respected. They won't play for tuff Love. And thats exactly why this team failed. They didn't know how to open the door to a player making the club. They said wait your turn. If your good you'll get your chance. It's my job to keep you on the bench. But thats not what drives success. Turning into godsilla is only going to push help away. So congratulations on learning nothing from the past.

Kb999's picture

Stockholder, this team failed because they stink. Lack of talent, and there old. Cutting Mike M McCarthy loose was a good first step.

HankScorpio's picture

I really don't know what to make of the defense. The eyeball test suggest they are better. But they seem to have 3 quarters in them per game--there is always a breakdown and usually in the 4th when things are most important.

They have rushed the passer well despite a lack of any outside pass rush. But they cannot force turnovers.

Given all that, how big of a deal is it that Pettine stays? I generally like what he's done but want the next HC to have the freedom to make his own choices. Settling that is a priority before you can even begin to assess what kind of personnel changes to pursue this off season on the defensive side of the ball.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Agreed except I am convinced Pettine is the real deal. I don't see much confusion. I think Pettine is putting the players in positions to succeed, but due to youth or lack of talent, they have been incapable of making plays.

GB has forced more stops and 3 and outs than in prior years, despite the offense losing the time of possession battle by far too much in far too many games. Besides being gassed too often in the 4th quarter, we also haven't been able to pin our ears back and rush the QB hard since we've been even or behind so often, and with our pass rushers, we need that advantage more so than most teams.

I do think there are some quality DCs out there, so the loss of Pettine wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing or a dis qualifier for a new HC.

Kb999's picture

Tgr, I'm not sold on Pettine. Maybe it's the talent he was dealt.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

That's fair, Kb. Mostly an eye test for me though I like numbers. We're 17th in points allowed at 23.9 in 2018 so far. In 2017 under Capers, we gave up 24.0 pts/game (but were ranked 26th). Practically no difference in raw numbers, but apparently scoring is up this year league wide. IDK: we improved in rank by 9 spots, but hardly at all in pts allowed.

Clark and Lowry played 95% of all possible snaps (58 and 59 of 62 possible). That's been going on for Clark since Wilkerson went down. We only played 3 OLBs and CM3 sat out for a while. Fackrell played 92% of all snaps. A more reasonable rotation would be better. Martinez played 100% of snaps. ILBs and CBs (Jaire, Jackson and Tramon played 99%) often play most or all of the snaps, but not so for NTs and OLBs. I bet Clark was doubled on 50+ snaps.

Time of Possession has been against us in most games. Against ARI, it was only 5 minutes (32 and a half to 27 and a half), but it has often hit 8 or 9 minutes more.

So yeah, raw numbers are about the same. Most of the Pts allowed have been scored legitimately (no pick sixes, not too many short fields due to fumbles - some but probably less than league average.

Southside's picture

The Packers at this point have 10 draft picks in the 2019 draft. For those looking for an instant impact tight end...there isn't any in this upcoming draft. If the Packers do not bundle their 2 first round picks to move up, I would like them to consider taking a quarterback with the second fist round pick.

Southside's picture

Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State would be a great pick-up if he comes out and would be available to the Packers in the late first round.

sonomaca's picture

Uh, no. Very likely to be a top 5 pick.

ErnieErnie's picture

He won't be there then. I see him going 6 or earlier. Time this team moves up to get some skill players.

Packer Dave's picture

It will be interesting to see if the team keeps tanking. We could pick up an Oliver, Ferrell, or Q Williams type and take a linebacker at the end of the first round. This plus a big FA signing would go a long way towards a competent pass rush.

Next would be moving Jackson to safety and drafting a CB. King is too fragile to count on long term.

I would resign Bulaga because he should be on a reasonable contract. We should be able to draft a usable OL guy that in the third. Madison may come back and do well at OG.

MVS and EQ should grow a lot for next year. Kumerow needs to play too. Moore I'm not confident in. We need to draft a shifty guy for the slot or FA.

TE is likely a problem going forward. Hopefully we get a crafty coaching staff to work around that, but there is hope for the team next year for sure.

ErnieErnie's picture

Two things , dead wood like perry has to go. Injury proners like beluga, have to go or take steep pay cuts.
Way too many needs to solve in one draft. Absolutely must to get free agents with gas in the tank. Has beens not wanted.

mrj007's picture

Need to draft football players who 1) aren't converting from another sport 2) don't have injury histories 3) are drafted for roles different than the ones they played in college 4) don't have off field baggage

lecko's picture

I dont expect that Mike Murphyl led PAckers will do much. I just dont trust him, and he played football too long . If he wanted to be more involved into football opratiosn he shoud act 3 years ago. I would prefer Gute to make decisions.

Lare's picture

Who is Mike Murphy?

HankScorpio's picture

Mike Murphy was a Navy Seal that was posthumously awarded the Meal of Honor after being KIA In Afghanistan in 2005. Murphy was the team leader of a 4-man recon team in Operation Red Wings. Team members Danny Deitz and Matthew Axelson also lost their lives. Marcus Luttrell was the lone survivor and wrote the book titled "Lone Survivor" that told the tale.

4zone's picture

This gonna take two years to catch back up to the NFL elite. A good coach, draft and FA this off season should get us back in the playoffs though. Unless ARs talent takes a nose dive.

Donster's picture

Some of MM's problems as the years went on was he got to soft on his players. Little contact in practice, easy practice schedule, letting Rodgers skip OTA's, barely playing in pre-season. Hard to get that chemistry that he says he needs when you don't practice with the guys you are supposed to throw to.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised that Rodgers will have surgery on that knee after the season is over. Probably just a clean up, but something is wrong there. It would be a good excuse to shut him down for the rest of the season so he can get it taken care of.

CM3 really did play well against AZ. Hurt his ankle and went back in. We have said before, move him inside. Give him a reduced contract, or let him go. Cobb has to go. Graham must go. I always thought that dumping Jordy, then signing Graham who is the same age as Jordy didn't make a lot of sense. There were younger TE's available that should have been signed before Graham. Of course, if TT wouldn't have been such a penny pincher, Cook would have been re-signed and we wouldn't have had TE issues the past two years. Perry must go. Mistake to give him a big contract after just one good season. He was always injured before that, and has since. Plus he just isn't that good. Outside pass rush has been an issue for a number of years, and it seems to get ignored. Or TT drafted guys that were to small or tried to make a LB a DE. That must be addressed in either the draft or FA. The inability of the Packers to effectively rush the passer has been a shortcoming for years, it has major effects on the secondary.

Need to bring in a very good FA WR or two. Look at what Rodgers has had to throw to this year. Adams is great, Allison was having his best season until he went on IR. Then you have rookies. A 4th rounder who had the dropsies in college, and has hardly seen the field this season. A 5th rounder and a 6th rounder. These two have done reasonably well. But they were drafted as works in progress, not immediate starters who could light up defenses. That was part of MM's problem too. He just always figured that Rodgers could make any player an instant success. Didn't happen this year. They haven't been able to grasp the offense, which in their defense, isn't easy. They don't know how to run excellent routes. And they don't know how to come back towards their QB when he is flushed out of the pocket. They will learn, but to have expected them to be great out of the gate was a tall order.

And we all know we have two good RB's. MM just wouldn't use them enough. Again, relying on Rodgers to take care of all the shortcomings. Well this year there was to many shortcomings to overcome.

Booner's picture

I agree Donster great analysis of what the Pack need to do now! Send it on to Gute as a road map. Also if Murphy puts Ted Thompson in the GB Hall of Fame fire his ass!

WinUSA's picture

Seems to me that no one has addressed on major weekends of the Packers Organization and that is the head of the Serpent- Murphy.
Murphy’s strength is in business (building TitleTown) not in football Operations.
Over the past 10 years the Packers front office has been robbed of the envy of talent in key positions that has resulted in Brain Drain: McKenzie, Schneider, Wolf, Dorsey...scouts Dotson, Highsmith...etc.
The idea of a tri-headed management approach with McCarthy, Gute, and Ball having equal input was in this writers opinion a drastic mistake. In any organization there must be a leader who has accountability!
The rehiring of Offensive coordinator Philbin has not done an iota of positive results for the lackluster offense the Packers fielded this year.
The Packers need to be bold and get young, innovative football minds to replace the inept management presently in place.. and that means the head of the organization,

HankScorpio's picture

Yesterday during the presser, Murphy was pressed hard by the media on the structural of power in GB. He made a big alteration to it last year and they were probing to see if that was temporary or permanent. He gave a clear indicator that he thinks a more hands-on approach by him to football operations is going to be the path forward for the Packers. He cited his success as an AD at Northwestern & Colgate and that he's been "in football" his entire life to justify that view.

I was very disappointed to hear that. I hope I am reading more into the statement than he intended or that he's better at it than I think he is.

Lare's picture

Murphy has put the bullseye squarely in the middle of his back. If the Packers fail now there will be nobody to blame but him. And if the Packers are successful in the future, everyone here will be posting how much they supported the new management structure from day one.

Nobody on the planet knows how this is all going to end up. I suggest sitting back and recognizing it for what it really is- entertainment.

LambeauPlain's picture

I do not think this team is very far off. On Sunday, the D played without 6 preferred starters and still kept the Pack in the game.

Two EDGE/OLBs via the draft & FA + another starter drafted at S and added S depth + healthy Wilkerson and Daniels and the D will be fine.

O needs two guards and a starting Tackle but with a HC who actually uses AJ plus an upgrade at TE and the unit will be fine too.

A new ST coach who can coach would make that team fine too.

dobber's picture

I think you hit on the fact that we seem to feel a lot better about the defense this season, but it still has real problems. In many ways, just one or maybe two players who know what they're doing can make a big difference on this team...I think FS will be the key position, but you're right in that OLB needs a tremendous amount of help. Even though we pan #52, his contract running out creates a need.

Remember also that Wilkerson signed a 1-year deal, so it's not a given that he'll be back (although, if Pettine is still in-house, I wouldn't be surprised if he comes back).

I would assert that one above average player at RG will do a lot to make this OL much better. A second quality starter at RT (whether it's bringing in an outside player or getting a healthy Bulaga (knock on wood)) makes this OL really good.

fthisJack's picture

I hope the Packers use these last 4 games as an audition for some players who haven't had a chance to show what they've got. several come to mind in Kumerow and Tonyan and J'Mon. I think both of these guys are keepers so lets find out now. one of MM faults was letting talented guys ride the pines for too long.

as far as the head coach, I would like to see an offensive minded guy. we need someone with fresh concepts and schemes to get this O rolling again. add a few pieces on the OL and TE and RB and the skies the limit. also, getting Van Pelt back could get Rodgers back on track....he said he wants to be coached and no one is doing that right now.

jlc1's picture

There is mention of GB using a late first round pick. This organization is clearly going to draft pretty early this year, set your sighs accordingly.

Lare's picture

The pick they got from NO is going to be a late first round pick. Their own is obviously going to be earlier.

Hawg Hanner's picture

You need Two addl Edge, not four and one FA signing along with a pick there. Perry is back like it or not as well as Fackrell. You need a DT unless tou want to resign Wilkerson on another prove it deal. Agree on the OL and TE. At safety we need another decent FA. All this can be done in the off season. Jimmy Graham looks like another bust. What do you do there? He must be over 5 in his current 40 time and cannot separate.

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