Packers Question of the day - Christine Michael Returns?

He's shown spurts of excellence during his short-lived (so far) tenure with the Packers. But is it enough to bring him back on a short-term deal in 2017?

The backfield is beginning to crowd, with Ty Montgomery taking the reigns as the presumed starter moving forward and Eddie Lacy likely to return after testing the waters in free agency as a result of an expired contract, will there be room for Michael?

It's unknown whether or not Starks will be calling Green Bay his home in 2017, but all signs are beginning to trend downward for the seven-year veteran.

Will Michael return to the Packers in 2017? Should he?

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (49)

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MarkinMadison's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:10 am

I think Starks is done regardless of what the Packers do with anyone else.

I don't question Michael's physical talent. Two teams didn't drop him for no reason. I think he has a lot to prove about whether he can handle the mental side of the game. The communication error two games ago, his look at his teammates was one of clear frustration and bewilderment. Can he handle it in Green Bay? He might be o.k. with a limited package, but I don't see anyone spending big money on him. Short-term low dollar deal? Sure.

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dobber's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:24 am

I think you're right. Here's Michael's current contract situation:

http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/green-bay-packers/christine-michael-12343/

He ain't gettin' paid squat and he's not likely to demand much more on the open market than what he's being paid currently. I'm sure he'd like to walk into a situation where he'll be the starting RB and will test the waters for that, but who is going to give that to him at this point? Assuming the coaches and management like what they see of him, I'd resign him and bring him back and let him fight for a spot. At what it would take to bring him back, he's an easy cut next fall if he's not up to snuff.

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Since'61's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:08 am

For me, it's too soon to tell whether Michael should be returned. I'd like to see him with more snaps and how well he performs in these upcoming big games. Thanks, Since '61

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Tundraboy's picture

December 20, 2016 at 01:34 pm

Yes. As great as it was, it was only one big run. Let's see how it plays out.

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Hematite's picture

December 21, 2016 at 07:22 am

I agree, I think if he is given a decent chance in the next two games we will all have a better idea of what the future is regarding both him and Lacy.
I think Starks is as good as gone no matter what.

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RocsCave's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:22 am

Packer fans should never accept/allow the thinking that one good run/play erase or minimize the many bad. The erasure or minimizing the bad should be because of the many good ones a player has done. Michaels has not earned erasure or minimizing of anything. Though he does have at least two and possibly more games with increased pressure to alter this. More positive plays are needed over one good coupled with multiple negatives.

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BigCheese2's picture

December 20, 2016 at 01:36 pm

Christine Michael has been an excellent addition to the Pack. Don't purely base your opinion on his stats. He was continuously asked to close out games with loaded boxes and was able to chip away at Seattle and be an excellent addition against the Bears. Give him a chance to learn the offense. Rodgers with Monty and Michael next to him is an extremely talented backfield.

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RocsCave's picture

December 20, 2016 at 03:00 pm

I don't believe I used the word stats or implied it's use as a basis for my opinion.

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Handsback's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:22 am

Let him compete with the rookies and see how he does. If he still can't figure out which side/hole to run, then he is probably gone from Green Bay as well. If you don't know, or can't understand the play...you can't be productive in the NFL.

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zoellner25's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:23 am

I'd bring back Michael and Lacy (if price is right). If Lacy leaves, we gotta draft a guy. Starks is done, let him go. Michael has very good burst and is the fastest RB we've had in a long time. But Michael has some baggage, so we'll see how he fits.

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bears suck forever's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:24 am

I agree Starks should be Packer history.

Michael? A spurt of greatness is better than none at all.
I could come down to who else is available.

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mnklitzke's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:24 am

Cut Starks after this season cause he is washed up. Bring Lacy back on a prove it deal and same thing with Michael. If Michael can keep his head on straight then keep him if not send him packing... But for the Love of God TT don't go into next year with Monty, Starks, any of the other kids as RB need at least one more vet, other then Monty.

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stevehj's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:46 am

I thoroughly do not understand why we even ask these questions. It's such a waste of time. We fans don't determine who stays or goes and really aren't even qualified to decide. If you are going to continually come up with these dorky fans questions, can't you all come up with something more interesting?

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dschwalm's picture

December 20, 2016 at 03:04 pm

Sounds to me like it's time for your nap.

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Razer's picture

December 20, 2016 at 09:51 am

Most of us are taking the "prove it" attitude. We are in a good position and Christine has the perfect trial opportunity to "prove it". He definitely has talent but you gotta wonder what is missing. He only got 4 carries in a game that had running attack written all over it.

You also gotta wonder why Seattle who have two rookies RBs, with one coming back from injury, let him go - particularly down the stretch. I wonder if Michael Christine has some Johnny Manziel in him?

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stockholder's picture

December 20, 2016 at 10:18 am

Get rid of them all. It's time to draft a franchise RB. I see 2 new Rbs being drafted by the packers. I'd much rather see the money go to Perry, Jones, and even peppers before Lacy, or Starks.

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Houndog's picture

December 20, 2016 at 01:05 pm

Jones?
Do you mean "I show up for two or three plays per week with at least one being a stupid penalty Datone Jones" ?
What's he done,? Are you counting on him to become the next "I'll pick it up and be OK in my fifth year"? Nick Perry's done a nice job with that scenario, so maybe you've got something there!

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Mags's picture

December 20, 2016 at 06:13 pm

Jones and Perry both need to go. Perry doing more in the beginning of the season and then fading before he got hurt. Two first round picks that sure haven't shown that they deserved to have been taken where they were.

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stockholder's picture

December 20, 2016 at 10:35 pm

1. were talking about just 3. Monty stays. I understand you want perry and Jones to go. Peppers is on the edge too. But lets look at who TT could draft to take their place. Nobody! It will take 3 years for a draft pick that is not a 1st rd. pick. ( Lets say TT goes DE. ) Well garret,Hall and walker will be gone. Who could possibly step in. See he's better off signing Perry and Jones. Regardless how you look at Perry and Jones, they are serviceable. I want you guys to see that the Secondary was so solid with Collins and Woodson in 2010. It's what the Packers have to have. The teams that are in their division hunt improved their secondary. The packers have been to banged up. And what has Moss done to improve the LBs. TT gave him fresh meat. So look at who can come to GB. #1 BPA . it sure won't be a DE. Lets keep perry and jones. If anything Jones goes back to DE. And he still would be better than Raji was there.

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BigCheese2's picture

December 20, 2016 at 01:57 pm

Are we talking about Lacy and Starks? or Monty and Michael? Or all four?

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T-Buck's picture

December 20, 2016 at 10:29 am

I believe the answer is dependent upon how well Christine Michelle plays in these final two games. Mr. Michelle, including college, has never been a featured back for a full season. That signals to me, something is lacking. My guess: intelligence and inability to pick up a full playbook. Along with being an asshole. Seattle's backfield was a dumpster fire this season and Christine still managed to get a yellow slip.

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Razer's picture

December 20, 2016 at 12:02 pm

...Seattle's backfield was a dumpster fire this season and Christine still managed to get a yellow slip...

This is exactly what has me wondering. Packers do a pretty good job of keeping bad apples to a minimum so he won't get too far if there are character concerns.

One good thing - we'll get a compensation pick if he is signed by some other team in the off-season.

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Duke Divine's picture

December 20, 2016 at 10:48 am

Lacy, Monty, Michael 2017 backfield.

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Spud Rapids's picture

December 20, 2016 at 11:31 am

Yup... you have Power, Slasher, and 3rd down receiver... it would be the most complete backfield in the league. Not to mention a stud Fullback

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Art Vandalay's picture

December 20, 2016 at 11:27 am

Thank you, Mr. Michaels, for stopping by and helping Green Bay to win Super Bowl 51.

No room for all three - Monty for sure, and the team seems to believe in Lacy and I see him coming back. The dynamic of a Monty/Lacy backfield leaves no room/role for Michaels. Late round pick or undrafted prospect to fill in for the 3rd down back role - if that concept even exists anymore.

Also, too many other vets who are bigger priorities to bring back for Michaels to really be considered.

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Dzehren's picture

December 21, 2016 at 04:32 pm

It's Christine Michael.

We need 3 RB's next year and 1 or 2 on practice squad

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WKUPackFan's picture

December 20, 2016 at 12:42 pm

Off topic (forgive me): Your, my, everyone's Conference USA champion Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in the Boca Raton Bowl tonight against those pesky Memphis Tigers. Desmond Howard on the call, 6:00pm CST. Go Big Red!!

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BigCheese2's picture

December 20, 2016 at 01:54 pm

I would rather the packers take the money saved on not signing Eddie and use it elsewhere... Re-signing Perry, Cook, etc. . At some point you have to get tired of checking somebody's weight. If Ty Montgomery AND Christine Michael both show the ability to break tackles (and they do) then they have already covered everything that Eddie can do. Don't get me wrong, love the guy-- good player. But isn't worth the paycheck he will demand. Also watching a running back that has big-play ability is refreshing. Maybe we can use the saved money from not signing him and dabble in free agency. . We are still struggling despite the return of Damarius...

I might get some fire for this comment but...... I would be very happy if we re-signed Jared Cook again (for the right price). If he stays healthy and now has thoroughly learned the offense-- he becomes a major weapon for the Pack offense.

All in all, no do not sign Eddie unless the price is amazing (don't see that happening). Keep Ty and Christine. I think we all know James is gone.

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Finwiz's picture

December 20, 2016 at 03:37 pm

Good points on the CB - clearly they need to spend multiple draft picks, preferably high, or dip into FA for another Chuck Woodson to get a top flight CB to replace Shields. The guys they got are all role players and not top tier talents. You need a core player back there. This has to be a priority.

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Chad Lundberg's picture

December 20, 2016 at 01:45 pm

A ty, Lacy, Michael, Ripkowski back-field has potential to be one of the best in the NFL, no way Packers look past that this offseason. Especially because all of those players can be retain for a very low price. HUGE opportunity people! And all TT would have to do is shrink his overstocked WR list to do it.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

December 20, 2016 at 03:06 pm

Christine Michael had a Wonderlic score of 11 so he may need more repetitions than the average player to adequately learn the plays and reach his full potential (whatever that may be).

He has good size and speed, but I believe some have reservations about his natural running skills and the ability to read the line blocking.

If the Packers management team feels his attitude is good, I would like to see him in camp next summer on a one year minimum contract.

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Finwiz's picture

December 20, 2016 at 03:34 pm

My opinion after watching 50+ years of Packer football - he's got burst we haven't seen in a long time around these parts. Not even a question - short term deal and you bring him back. This appears to be an awesome pickup by Thompson, for all the criticism he gets around here, you have to give it up to him on this one! Get him through a training camp and off season so he can learn the playbook, and then see the full potential of what ya got.

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BELIEVER's picture

December 20, 2016 at 03:38 pm

Micheal is the real deal and along with Montgomery will be the best backfield the Packers have had in sometime. Starks gave his all and the game has passed him up. Class act, I hope to see him in the Packer Hall of Fame. I would not bring Lacy back no matter how cheap. Pick up a rookie.

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Bert's picture

December 20, 2016 at 03:54 pm

I like Starks too but if you see him in the Packers HOF it's because he paid the admission price like the rest of us schmucks.

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Dzehren's picture

December 20, 2016 at 08:37 pm

No way Starks will make Packer Hall Of Fame Holmes

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fthisJack's picture

December 21, 2016 at 07:31 am

yup....Monty and Michael and let fat Eddie hit the buffet and take the comp pick. he is slow, fat, runs too high, and is always hurt. draft a RB in the mid rounds and maybe look at a veteran FA.

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L's picture

December 20, 2016 at 03:39 pm

Would love to see the Packers role with Montgomery as the #1, Michael as the change-of-pace, and Lacy as the short-yardage and grinder back. Add Ripkowski as the FB and that's one hell of a RB group.

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EdsLaces's picture

December 20, 2016 at 04:22 pm

We signed McCaffrey!!!!!!!! Oh wait ....wrong brother....

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RCPackerFan's picture

December 21, 2016 at 06:53 am

You know. I have to admit, I would love to see what kind of offense McCarthy would come up with if he had McCaffrey and Montgomery as our top 2 RB's. Still would like a power back, but that would be an explosive offense.

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fthisJack's picture

December 21, 2016 at 07:34 am

power back? Monty broke more tackles in one game than Lacy did his entire career. he runs low and has great balance and leg strength. he is a power back.

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RCPackerFan's picture

December 21, 2016 at 07:53 am

I don't disagree.

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Gforcetrivers's picture

December 20, 2016 at 04:26 pm

We need to let Michael play unlike the last two? three?? four??? backs we tested this year. Cant even keep track at this rate. Who will ever want to come to GB as an RB? If its a revolving door and they aren't even given time to learn the playbook. Why come here? Bounce Starks, let Lacy walk ( he is probably 400# by now ), keep The Stud Monty and Michael ( until it is evident he sucks ). He hasn't dropped the ball yet, he did botch a couple of plays but he is still new. I say give him a fighting chance. Give him something to play for.

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Allan Murphy's picture

December 20, 2016 at 05:13 pm

? will Eddie Lacy be back .

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bears suck forever's picture

December 20, 2016 at 05:23 pm

New question. Would you rather be blocking for him or trying to stop him? If you dump him, make the dump in another division or conference.

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LayingTheLawe's picture

December 20, 2016 at 07:26 pm

Ok I admit I have not looked at the NFL's long list of tiebreakers at all and am just asking you guys. But if the Packers are ahead of Tampa right now based on whatever tiebreaker it is. And if Tampa plays two division games yet and the Packers play two division games yet (against teams with better records as well) - if Tampa and Washington lose and the Packers win are they not in for sure as at least the wild card after this week?

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sheppercheeser's picture

December 21, 2016 at 05:26 am

I believe Michael has earned an opportunity. I love his energy. If he is not up to complicated offensive schemes, then give him easier ones. A good coach will find plays that showcase his skills. If he is affordable, I think he has more upside than Starks.

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TCLAX33's picture

December 21, 2016 at 07:16 am

why not bring him back if price is right, no one going to beat down the door for Micheal or Lacy. Starks has been a warrior over the years but time has come. Monty is the real deal can run between tackles Lacy if price is right maybe. Micheal shows signs never have enough backs or CBs with this group. Where are John Brockington, Macarthur Lane, Donny Anderson GB power sweep thing of beauty replaced by bubble screen that does not work with this group of WRs

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Couch Cleats's picture

December 21, 2016 at 01:30 pm

I would like to see what Michael could do after a training camp of practices. He might be a slow learner but if he can get it down eventually he could be an outstanding value. There are not that many backs that have take it to the house speed and most of them would likely cost a first or second round pick.

I'm not sure our line is quite used to blocking for a back like him yet either. He hits the hole so fast it might not be open yet but when it is, man it's got to be tough for a defender to get a hit with leverage together that fast. A glancing blow or an arm tackle is not going to get it done on runs like the one he scored on last week.

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Big Moe's picture

December 23, 2016 at 04:52 am

IMO C. Michael is the Andre Rison of this season, the vet brought in for the playoff run, and hopefully a SB 51 victory! A guy capable of performing. Will he stay? Not likely, unless he can step up in a huge way, one run isn't enough. Now if he can earn A. Rod's trust, well then yeah he's back.

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