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Packers and Mike Daniels Reportedly Break Off Negotiations

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Packers and Mike Daniels Reportedly Break Off Negotiations

From McGinn

Sources told the Journal Sentinel that negotiations between Daniels and the Packers broke off recently with the two sides far apart in their positions.

Mindful of the ever-increasing NFL salary cap, Daniels is seeking in the neighborhood of $10 million per year, according to sources, while the Packers have made multiyear proposals averaging several million less per year.

I absolutely can not blame Daniels and his agent for wanting to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the suddenly ever-escalating NFL salary cap. Players who signed deals a few years ago (Antonio Brown comes to mind) have watched as those deals have come to be regarded as excellent bargains for their respective teams. (I would posit that Mychal Kendricks' recently signed new deal with the Eagles will be regarded as a bargain for the team at some point down the road.)

It's pretty simple. Daniels doesn't want to sign something that looks good now but suddenly looks bad in a year or two. 

On the Packers' side, I'm a little less understanding. It's not like they don't have the cap space.

It's also not like the Packers are bursting at the seams with a bunch of young, promising talent along the defensive line, though the team has to be encouraged by the play of Bruce Gaston and especially Mike Pennel so far this preseason.

They do, it should be noted, have a number of guys coming to the end of their deals that will need addressing, but's not like they don't have the cap space

That's not to say I'm surprised. This is how Ted rolls. He's not going to throw money at a player if he doesn't need to. (Unless it's some middling linebacker that reminds him of himself, but I digress...)

Packers fans, if they're being honest, were worried about Randall Cobb leaving right up until it was announced he'd be back. I tend to think the Daniels situation will play out in similar fashion. 

Daniels is a young, core player. Thompson tends to keep them around. Here's hoping Daniels and the Packers end up in a place where both are happy with a new deal, even if it isn't agreed upon until just prior to Daniels hitting the open market. 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (34) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I've commented on Daniels and his contract before. I wrote that the market for Daniels is between $10 and $11.5 average annual value as a FA (I'd say he should get a bit less if it is an extension). Guess that puts me in Daniels' camp, per the reports. What interest there was from other commenters mostly suggested he was worth a lot less, maybe $7-$8 million per year.

Watt is the outlier. Then there are Jordan, Campbell, Heyward, and Liuget all making $10 to $11 million/yr, with Jurell Casey making $9 million. There is a steep drop off to the 7th highest paid 3-4 DE with Hatcher making "only" $6.8 million and another drop off to the 8th highest paid 3-4 DE Allen Bailey making only $5 million average annual salary. Muhammed Wilkerson of the Jets is looking for big bucks when he becomes a FA after this season. Daniels can make a pretty good case that he belongs somewhere in the Cam Jordan to Casey class, probably somewhere in the middle. He'll also want to look to inflation in the cap in the coming years. As an extension I would be fine with $9 to $10 million per year with a TT-like structure. If no extension is reached such that Daniels becomes a FA, then we'll see if how well he plays (and how well other guys play, but I don't expect anyone to really challenge for elite status) and whether he gets injured. In other words, I'll think about it next February.

croatpackfan's picture

I remember B. J. Raji. I hope Mike Daniels will play better than Raji played his final year of his rookie contract... So, I think it will be similar to Randall and Brian. Mike will give some home discount at the end, but he will get reasonable and correct price for his contribution to the team success,,,

Nick Perry's picture

Personally I don't think $10 million is too much for Daniels, not with TT draft history of D-Linemen or a team that's proven they won't go out and sign a FA, at least more than every several years. Draft, Develop, Keep your own right? This is a list of Ted's DL picks since 2005. Obviously some (Elmore) was projected as a LB but I just went with what they played in College.

2005 - Montgomery
2006 - Jolly, Tollefson
2008 - Thompson
2009 - Raji, Wynn
2010 - Neal, Wilson
2011 - Elmore, Guy
2012 - Perry, Worthy, Daniels
2013 - Jones, Boyd
2014 - Thornton

Lets face it, it's not the who's who of D-lineman in the NFL. I'd venture to say at this point, the start of the 2015 season, Thompson is MAYBE 3 for 16 for D-Lineman who aren't JAG'S or worse. The 3 are Jolly, who was really more than a "JAG" before he started drinking his "Juice", Raji, for at least the 2010 season when he was able to play his natural NT position, and Daniels, who's really the ONLY guy of the 16 to do it for more than one season.

Before the start of last season I said this team will be capable of winning multiple SB starting in 2015 if they stay reasonable healthy. The 2013 & 14 drafts had made up for the 2011 & 12 draft debacles. Like Reynaldo, I'm not going to worry until it's time to worry. Having Daniels signed beyond this season would be one less thing to worry about moving forward. They have $18 million or so in Cap Space now with the Cap scheduled to go up next year too so they have the room.

TT is a master with the Cap along with Russ Ball. He's the best in the business. If you need a WR, Teds your guy. If you need a OL in the 4th or 5th round, Teds your guy. If you need to find a gem of a UDFA CB, Teds your guy. If you need a D-Lineman well lets face it, shop somewhere else.

mnklitzke's picture

It is crazy that a guy can find gems all over the draft but can't draft a DL for the life of him. Only two on the list made it as DL in Raji, Daniels... But can find WR all over the draft and DBs. Wonder why that is?

Evan's picture

No one is perfect.

Belichick can't draft WRs or CBs to save his life, but seems pretty good at DL and LB.

Now imagine if BB and TT joined forces?

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

It should be noted that TT has used a bunch of 2nd round picks (& a 3rd rd. pick) on our best receivers. OTOH, he hit on all of the 2nd and 3rd rd picks so far, including Home Runs on Nelson, Cobb, Jennings, and extra bases at least on James Jones (I have Davante as a + since he looks good but can't fully grade him yet -same with Monty). Thus TT has drafted 14 WRs from 2005 to 2014:

2nd: (5) Jennings, Nelson, Cobb, Adams, Murphy- 3 HRs, 1 +, 1 injured;
3rd: (1) James Jones - very good pick given the round;
4th: (1) Corey Rodgers was a bust.
5th: (2) David Clowney was a bust (HT/WT/speed guy. Abby injured/TBD
6th: (1) Craig Bragg was a bust.
7th: (4) Swain (meh), Dorsey (bust); Charles Johnson (clearly was a good pick that didn't work out in GB); Janis (TBD).

14 picks, of which 2 were injured and 1 is TBD. Looks like 7 of 11, with 4 excellent picks. That is very good. Adams and Monty look good so far so I listed Adams as a positive + guy so far and Monty I don't inc. in the 14 WRs since he is TBD. To my eye test, the WRs on the PS have often looked strong enough to play for many other teams. Yes, TT is good with WRs.

RCPackerFan's picture

Also to be noted. In 2006 Thompson traded back with the Patriots, Patriots selected Chad Jackson - WR Florida, Thompson drafted Greg Jennings.

Nick Perry's picture

True but Belichick will use Free Agency, Trades, or any other avenue available to him to get his teams to the SB. As much as I hate to say it, he's been a hell of a lot more successful than Thompson and it's not even close. He's been in 6 of the last 14 SB winning 4 of them. Thompson? He's been to 1 in 10 years and that's with having the best player on the planet. For a league that wants parity that's pretty damn close to perfect.

Dan Stodola's picture

Belichick the GM also has Belichick the HC and possibly the best HC in the NFL since Lombardi. Not too mention that Brady guy who's a championship QB as good as Rodgers. Nothing against McCarthy but Belichick the HC is leaps and bounds better than any other HC.

Spud Rapids's picture

I'll tell you why... big men with talent are rare... think about how unlikely it is to be a 300 lb man that is not only fast but strong and quick. Mike Daniels ran 4.6 in the 40. I ran 4.6 in high school and thought I was fast and I was a measly 165 lb.

I bet if you looked at the draft success of other GM's on big men they all strike out at high rates. I would say outside of QB defensive lineman are the second hardest position to draft.

Jersey Al's picture

That would be an interesting study for someone to do.

John Galt III's picture

Just curious as I truly do not know. Is it TT's fault on D Lineman or is it the scouts and position coaches who tell Ted: "Player X from Y State University is the most underrated D-Lineman in the draft. If he drops to Round Number Z you gotta draft him."

Tarynfor12's picture

Seeing is believing and I don't see Daniels as the $10-11 million a year player that some might.

Daniels has played better than average at times but his consistency level is a C+ struggle at best.

As like Raji,both Daniels and Guion need huge prove it seasons and Daniels more so if he wants to be payed as the anchor of the DL in GB and for Guion to continue anywhere but GB.

With Datone Jones inching closer to a Nick Perry faith,no option year pick up,over paying this talent level doesn't help matters but rather secures replays of the same issues as the better years of opportunity continue to pass by.

Over paying a player because the salary cap rises doesn't guarantee better/consistent play from him but guarantees you're actually paying more for less.

Just my opinion. :)

ray nichkee's picture

Just to be fair, how do you think daniels would grade with other big guys on the line performing at an above average level. The last 2 years he was the focus on the line and facing the left OL. He surely made guion better and matthews helps out too. Im leaning towards if he gets help on the other side we will hear more of him.

Tarynfor12's picture

I think Daniels would offer more if the others on the DL were to be a consistent above average play which would make him appear to be above average more consistently.
However,he cannot be paid as such if the loss of his better has him sinking back to average or less.
The money he asks for is for those that don't need average guys to play better,they are the guys that play to that level regardless of the others.

egbertsouse's picture

A leopard can't change its spots and TT isn't going to suddenly change into Daniel Snyder because he has a few mil to play with. They don't call him Tightwad Ted for nothing. He'll make Daniels produce this year before he pays him big and, if he pulls a Raji, he'll sign him for a bargain bin price. As stated above, that's the way TT rolls.

Evan's picture

I freely admit to not fully appreciating how good Daniels is. I hear it all the time from people whose opinions I generally respect (Nagler, et al), but I honestly don't/can't see it. Maybe it's just the nature of 3-4 d-linemen not named JJ Watt.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I am a little surprised, Evan, but I have to say that you're not alone thinking Daniels is overrated. I got blasted pretty good for writing that Daniels is a $10 million/yr man a few months ago. Perhaps it's because his sack #s are not great, but his total pressures (sacks, QB hits and hurries) rank right up there, and the PFF and DVOA rankers put Daniels high on both the run defense and pass rush list. I was not sold going into last season that Daniels could hold up against the run, but he proved me wrong. There are enough guys like you, Evan, whose opinion I respect, that I try not to use absolutes on his worth. Right now it sounds like TT and Ball agree with you.

Evan's picture

Oh - don't get me wrong. I'm not saying he's "overrated." I'm not making any claims about Daniels' talent or worth. I'm talking more about my own inability to recognize his contributions.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Oh, well the same applies to me, Evan. I think it is really hard to assess linemen w/o All-22 or a lot of film study, and I wouldn't be very good at it even with that help. I'm happy to admit that I am going off of Football Outsiders, PFF, this website and other websites (and allgbp before).

I tend to agree with Danny S below. Just on football performance, I'd rather pay Wilkerson $2-$3 million/yr more than Daniels. Thing is, Daniels has a very good reputation for personality and work ethic, and I am not so sure about Wilkerson's.

Dan Stodola's picture

Agreed. Like Daniels and right now he's the best player on the DL. But I don't see him being elite and paying him as such. 10M seems like an elite DL contract to me. That said it seems like a fair contract based on his rating w/ the other DL listed. I can see why the Packers won't go beyond it. Not worried, it'll get worked out soon enough. I'm guessing before FA next offseason. Personally, I would pay Wilkerson a couple Mil more than Daniels.

Chad Lundberg's picture

If I know Daniels, this has a lot more to do with the fact he wants to focus on the upcoming season than it has to do with him wanting as much $$$ as possible. This guy is a baller, and will refuse to let anything keep him from playing at his absolute best, even contract negotiations.

Personally though, is this guy really worth that kind of money? Sure, if you compare him to the rest of the defensive line, he's a freaking star, but looked at individually, he's hardly even a pro-bowler. That's just me though.

Nick Perry's picture

This is his 4th season and lets face it, he hasn't played with anyone close to being average at best. Capers D-Linemen have always been asked to eat up blocks so OLB can get the sacks. Labeaus defense is exactly the same, the OLB are the one who rack up sack numbers. Unfortunately the Packers haven't been able to draft a counterpart to Matthews finally going out and signing Peppers.

When Daniels lines up he's THE ONLY DL PLAYER opposing teams have had to worry about. The run defense has been a sieve for a reason, poor DL play and horrible ILB's. Not until the Packers moved their best defensive player to ILB did it begin to change and against elite teams it still wasn't enough. If you don't believe it go back and look at the rushing totals of the Dallas and Seattle Playoff games. The Packers have just failed to draft a decent DL other than Daniels, at least up to the end of the 2014 season.

Everybody is talking about Pennel and Gaston as though they're going to be the next who's who of Defensive Linemen. For the Packers sake I hope all of you are correct. When I see them beating premier O-Linemen in a regular season game vs 3rd and 4th string players who will be working stiffs like you and I in 3 weeks, then I'll believe.

Dan Stodola's picture

"Everybody is talking about Pennel and Gaston as though they're going to be the next who's who of Defensive Linemen."

No, not really. Only one person is talking about them like that. Everyone else acknowledges some ability, but as you said, so far the only success they've had is against backups to date. They have some ability, but they have to prove they can do it against NFL starters, as you said.

EddieLee's picture

The franchise tag for 2014 for a DT is just under $10 million. That is what Daniels is asking for per year. Packers are offering around $8 million per this article. My guess: If Daniels plays very well the first half of the season during the bye week he'll get ~$8.5m yr deal with a nice amount of guaranteed $ and favorable term/structure that allows him another crack at a big contract. He takes less then market value. 1) DT franchise tag reduces his bargaining power. 2) You don't risk the loss of life changing money ($15 guaranteed) over $1.5m per year.

Evan's picture

Daniels is a

DE in base and moves inside in nickle/dime?

I wonder if we'll have a Jimmy Graham position dispute. Though I seriously doubt it'll get to that point.

Dan Stodola's picture

Daniels should be classified as a DT based on the position he plays in a 34 D, and nickel DT. The DE designation should only qualify for 43 DE that are pass rushers. I would classify it differently as inside DL (43 DT and 34 DE) vs pass (edge) rusher (34 OLB and 43 DE)

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

The links below indicates suggests that the franchise tag for a DT in 2014 was $11.19 million. Since the salary cap is projected to rise, the tag number probably will be more. The Franchise tag for a DE was $14.8 million. $11.19 million might not be horrendous, but Franchise tags have disadvantages too. It is fully guaranteed when signed by the player (there is one technicality that the player must maintain his fitness - otherwise it is fully guaranteed). The whole amount hits the cap in one year.

If Daniels is not a DE but is a DT, that might help. TT has used the franchise tag in the past, though not often. It is just my opinion, but I can't imagine Daniels accepting $8.5 million, unless the guarantee is really high and/or there are lots of possible to earn incentives. (Shields got more than I thought, Bulaga less, so I am hardly infallible.)

EddieLee's picture

He is listed as a DT on the official roster.

4thand1's picture

The business side of football sucks. If nothing else, Daniels should play lights out. He'll get his money by playing, not talking.

johngalt's picture

You guys take yourselves pretty doggone serious.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Are you related to John Galt III?

Duke Divine's picture

"Theyre a bunch of f*%$ing amateurs!"


4thand1's picture


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