Packers will pursue Nick Kwiatkoski

The soon-to-be-former Bears linebacker could join the Green and Gold. 

According to two sources here in Indianapolis at the scouting combine, the Packers plan to be in the mix when soon-to-be-former Bears linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski hits free agency.

A former fourth round draft pick, Kwiatkoski has played 57 games, totaling 133 solo tackles (13 for a loss), six sacks, eight quarterback hits, four forced fumbles, one interception and eight pass breakups.

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Comments (68)

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

February 29, 2020 at 04:01 am

Anything they can do to avoid reaching for an LB in an LB-sparse, WR-rich draft class is all right with me.

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flackcatcher's picture

February 29, 2020 at 05:43 am

Or jack the price the Bears (or any other team) will pay for him.... Gute is really good at doing that as the Bears found out the hard way...

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HankScorpio's picture

March 01, 2020 at 05:23 am

The LB draft class ran through combine drills yesterday. There were not as many oohs and aahs as when the WRs went through drills but there were still plenty of them. I would call the TE class sparse. I don't think that word applies to the LB class. There are a fair number of them scattered through all levels of the draft.

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Renllaw's picture

February 29, 2020 at 08:25 am

Ascending player looking for his 2nd contract... sounds familiar, and I like it. The noise about Hooper, and now Kwiatoski, if either or both happen, we can only hope they work out as well as last years signings.

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PackfanNY's picture

February 29, 2020 at 08:33 am

The kind of guy you look at and think “football player”. I also like the he can cover and also has the skill set to pressure the QB with his athleticism. I would like this at a reasonable price. Rumors are fun can’t wait to see what Gute does.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 29, 2020 at 01:26 pm

He, Shobert and Martinez were all taken within a couple picks of each other. Schobert turned in the pro bowl performances.

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PackfanNY's picture

February 29, 2020 at 05:15 pm

I wouldn’t mind Schobert either. However, Schobert may warrant a bigger contract. Money we may need to help us elsewhere. It’s all speculation at this point. I trust Gute and his plan. He earned my trust with last seasons free agent class.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 29, 2020 at 07:46 pm

He has to hit on the first four picks. Just get Players. I would bag LBs in the 4th and get another fourth for a safety/CB.
They all may get a payday as you pointed out. See who is around in the second or third rounds. I would re-sign Goodson as a two down guy.

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Fredrik87's picture

February 29, 2020 at 11:07 pm

A LB I've really liked that could be available in the 4th or 5th is Willie Gay Jr. I really liked the guy to begin with and he just blew up the combine running a 4.46 40 yard dash, 11' 4" broad jump and a 39.5" vertical, he could be a massive steal on day 3.
I also like Logan Wilson quite a bit as another potential late round gem at LB.

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Fredrik87's picture

February 29, 2020 at 09:13 am

I think he'd be a great signing. And better suited for the packers needs than a bigger name guy like Littleton or Schoebert, due to his run stopping ability.
He also should cost considerably less than Littleton or Schoebert.
Definitely would love to see this guy in green and gold next season.

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mrtundra's picture

March 03, 2020 at 08:59 am

Just as long as he doesn't turn into the Hawk-Martinez Linebacker we have become accustomed to here in GB. Leading the league in tackles 6-10 yards downfield.

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dobber's picture

February 29, 2020 at 09:18 am

Almost all his snaps came replacing injured guys like Jerrell Freeman and Danny Trevathan. Played a lot of snaps last year--especially once the roof caved in on the Bears' season--behind an outstanding front in Chicago, which makes you wonder how he'll fare behind a lesser front in GB. TBH, I see a cheaper version of Martinez. If the Packers sign him, I'd love to be wrong, but I don't see a tremendous amount of improvement in him over #50 except in the $$$ bottom line.

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MITM's picture

February 29, 2020 at 10:48 am

Ive seen this guy make more plays against the Packers alone than Martinez ever has and he absolutely DOMINATED Dalvin Cook and the Vikings last year. He is Kwiatkoski is VERY fluid in coverage also, no idea what the Bears didnt see in him and that is why he is leaving.

Kwiatkoski imo is the superior player to Schobert and because the Bears refused to start him for reasons I will never understand he will come cheaper than Schobert.

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CAG123's picture

March 01, 2020 at 08:10 am

He didn’t start because Danny Trevathan is significantly better, Kwiatkoski has the edge over Schobert as far as run def but he ain’t superior in pass coverage or play making.

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MITM's picture

March 01, 2020 at 10:08 am

Was Jerrell Freeman significantly better? Kwiatkoski in his starts last year outplayed Trevathan and Roquan and correct me if i'm wrong but wasnt Akiem Hicks injured for most of his starts as well? Thats not the same dominant line of years past without Hicks

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dobber's picture

March 01, 2020 at 09:36 am

You are correct: I've never seen Martinez make any big plays against the Packers.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 01, 2020 at 05:52 pm

That was funny, but true .

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PatrickGB's picture

February 29, 2020 at 11:18 am

As others have noted. He would be a good addition to our roster and might even be an upgrade. If he is cheaper than Martinez, then it’s a no brainer.

Besides with the way he looks he could help Rodgers star in those insurance commercials.

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NickPerry's picture

March 01, 2020 at 06:00 am

Personally I'm hoping for less commercials out of Rodgers this season. Perhaps he'll spend a bit more time practicing throwing deep balls with less camera time. Mahomes was in several of them last season so maybe he'll start taking a few more of those from Rodgers.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 01, 2020 at 05:13 am

Schobert is off the radar of Cleveland because they are not willing to meet his $10 mil/yr asking price, according to long-time Browns beat writer Mary Kay Cabot, The Packers should not meet it either.

If they pay more than $5 mil/yr for a guy that needs the DL to keep clean and cannot cover, it will be a big red flag that they cannot manage the cap. Russ Ball presided over major, persistent cap issues in New Orleans. If Gute can't keep him in line, he'll do the same thing in GB. And then when it comes time to sign guys like Jaire, Jenkins and Savage to 2nd contracts, they won't have the room to do it.

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CAG123's picture

March 01, 2020 at 08:14 am

He’s one of the better coverage LBs in the league though and he makes plays...

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Fredrik87's picture

March 01, 2020 at 09:23 am

Also one of the worst run stoping LB's in the league.
Not saying it would be a terrible move to sign him, but seeing as our primary need is run defense, I wouldn't love the move.

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CAG123's picture

March 01, 2020 at 10:45 am

Our primary issue is the middle of the field whether that be through the pass or run the Packers can always find a two down thumper LB.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 01, 2020 at 09:08 am

If they project Martinez into the 12-15M range , then Schbert is worth 10M.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 01, 2020 at 09:38 am

Where Martinez projects and what he's worth are two different numbers. Vastly different.

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flackcatcher's picture

March 01, 2020 at 05:40 pm

That's agent talk trying to inflate value ahead of market...

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Leatherhead's picture

February 29, 2020 at 11:54 am

This is all to pressure Martinez to accept a more economical deal from Green Bay. All things being equal, the organization would prefer to keep him, but not as $15 million a year.

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PeteK's picture

February 29, 2020 at 04:15 pm

I agree, if the contract is too high they will not sign Blake. Martinez gets as many tkls in a season as Kwiatkoski has in his 4 yr career. I like his name though, has that Nitschke ring to it.

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CoachDino's picture

February 29, 2020 at 05:59 pm

Normally see eye to eye with you on here Mr. Leatherhead (great handle) "Not so much" on this one. I just don't see Martinez being a good fit in this scheme and 3 down LB. His pass coverage is the main issue. If the DL can land a big NT it would help Blake in the Run but he just doesn't have the skills to be the man in coverage. No matter who they bring in they will miss Blake's intangibles, he did bring 100%, made the calls, availability to play, locker room, community, getting people in position, etc. He just is not good enough at the skills that make up today's off-ball lb.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 29, 2020 at 06:56 pm

Thanks Coach.

Last year, playing basically every snap, he gave up 61 receptions for about 9-10 yards average and two TDS. That’s less than 4 completions per game for about 35 yards.

We could basically bring our entire defense back....and add to it. Or we could replace Martinez and add to it. I suspect that a lot of smart people have calculated market value and IMO there’s a number that the Packers won’t go over for anybody. They’ll say goodbye and draft and pray.

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CAG123's picture

March 01, 2020 at 08:13 am

Apparently he’s looking for a deal that’s in the 10 mil a year range doesn’t look like the Packers are willing to meet that either.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 01, 2020 at 02:18 pm

I ve read that the club wants 8 and Martinez wants 10. Martinez lined up on just about every snap and was far and away our leading tackler. Does that really sound like a player the organization wants to get rid of? But the market is the market, and if the Packers can get him back at a price they can pay a deal will get done.

All this media stuff right now is part of the dance. We can afford to pay about $10 million for an ILB, and if other teams are offering more, then we’re going to have a hole in the middle of our defense pretty soon.

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CAG123's picture

March 01, 2020 at 06:49 pm

If his job was to just tackle I really could see your point but he does have other responsibilities that he failed at. He’s a ILB he will get more opportunities to make tackles than anyone else and at the end of the day just like any other stat someone has to be the leader. I would take 20-25 less tackles for an ILB that can hold up in coverage and play the run better. You won’t see anyone here disputing that Blake can tackle unfortunately that’s not the only aspect of his job.

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wildbill's picture

February 29, 2020 at 12:52 pm

Ahh love the early off season and the rumors pertaining to our needs. I only watch two bears games a year so really haven’t watched him a lot. Stats can be very misleading but he did make some nice plays, but as it has been stated that was behind an excellent defensive line. I trust Gute to address this need, and irregardless of who he picks, I don’t see Martinez coming back. Personally I wish Martinez the best as he was a warrior in the field for us.

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MITM's picture

February 29, 2020 at 04:22 pm

Even if you only watched the 2 Bears games vs the Packers last year, in Week 15 he came right up the middle absolutely murdered Aaron Jones and carried him into Rodgers for a sack in that game

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wildbill's picture

February 29, 2020 at 04:34 pm

Yes I remembered that sack but also remember that he hit Rodgers in the face at the beginning of the tackle and was surprised no flag was thrown

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flackcatcher's picture

February 29, 2020 at 10:09 pm

Field was ice by then. Poor Jones was on skates, had no traction at all. Give Rodgers credit, he knew he could only pass, any other movement would be his falling on his butt. Surprisingly bad field conditions for a day game...

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MITM's picture

March 01, 2020 at 10:31 am

If the field was ice then, what about when he sent Lael Collins 10 yards into the backfield on his behind in Dallas? The clip is on Youtube. I cant figure out how to link it here from my Youtube app but search Amos, Kwiatkoski big hits and watch that clip.

Also in the video attached to this article he runs through and over Dalvin Cook in Minnesota

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flackcatcher's picture

March 01, 2020 at 05:58 pm

Go back and watch that series again. The field was mud early in the second half. By the third neither offense was getting traction, you think Bears rolling out their QB on every play was an accident. The Packers were in a third and long in a field that was not draining. With the temp drop and all the natural grass on a combo turf was dead because of the November deep freeze. Both teams were throwing deep very early and the Bears ran a more than a few gadget plays in the first. Why? Because like every fan watching, both teams knew the field was going to go bad fast. Next time, know your football....

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dobber's picture

March 01, 2020 at 09:35 am

"Even if you only watched the 2 Bears games vs the Packers last year, in Week 15 he came right up the middle absolutely murdered Aaron Jones and carried him into Rodgers for a sack in that game"

I remember back in the late 80s when the Brewers traded for Jerry Reuss. He'd tormented the Brewers' crappy hitters for a couple seasons, but when they brought him in, found out that he was mostly out of gas and was getting eaten when they trotted him out every 5 days. At least by trading for him, they kept him from beating up on them anymore.

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Panties's picture

February 29, 2020 at 08:07 pm

Irregardless isn't even a real word. Using a fake word makes you look like a stupid idiot.

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wildbill's picture

February 29, 2020 at 08:36 pm

It’s in the dictionary moron you can look it up can’t you? Bet you don’t need to look up the word moron as it’s your given name

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Lphill's picture

February 29, 2020 at 01:28 pm

I have been hoping for him as soon as the season ended, Bears can’t resign everyone they are in cap he’ll like the Vikings . Go get him Gute!

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dobber's picture

February 29, 2020 at 01:44 pm

Bears have made a couple roster moves and are currently in the same general cap space position as the Packers. This is without the Packers making any moves (Graham) though.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

February 29, 2020 at 07:39 pm

I take the Packers current cap with a Graham of salt...

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dobber's picture

March 01, 2020 at 09:37 am

COOKIE!!!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 01, 2020 at 03:58 am

Chicago might even probably will move on from Kyle Long ($8.1M cap savings) and perhaps Leonard Floyd ($13M all cash is too much for him). And they certainly should release Cordarelle Patterson ($4.75M cap savings). Patterson is still a good kick returner (29.5 yd average) but Chicago got just 83 receiving yards and 103 rushing yards out of him. Too much for a KR.

Their cap depends on whether they are serious about signing a veteran QB with lots of starting experience to push Trubisky. There are reports about them trading for Dalton (scheduled cap hit would be $17.7M, but that might get negotiated).

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HankScorpio's picture

March 01, 2020 at 07:11 am

"Chicago might even probably will move on from Kyle Long ($8.1M cap savings)"

Given that Long announced his retirement shortly after the season ended, I'd say that is a strong possibility. One might even call it a mortal lock.

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dobber's picture

March 01, 2020 at 09:38 am

If he's filed his retirement papers, whatever share of his contract they get relief from should already be off their cap?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 02, 2020 at 02:18 am

Yes. As soon as it is processed by the NFL. The NFLPA has not updated their cap space report to reflect Long's retirement, but they move at a glacial pace.

OTC still lists Kyle Long ($8.1M in savings) as counting against their cap and show the Bears with $16.6M in cap space. Sportrac has removed Long and shows $26.3M in cap space for the Bears.

Sportrac does things faster than OTC but can be sloppy, while OTC is more meticulous. I am not sure if Sportrac is assuming that the Bears will get Long's $1.5M signing bonus back. Teams can ask for a forfeiture but usually get that cap space in the following year, but there is no 2021 year under the current CBA. I don't think anyone knows how forfeitures will work under the new CBA.

In any event, teams more often than not do not ask for the signing bonus back.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 02, 2020 at 07:12 am

The big day will be the start of the league year in a few weeks. I expect he'll be off both lists by then.

Speaking of being off both lists by the start of the league year....there is still a certain TE carrying a cap charge of $11.67 mil on the Packers books.

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dobber's picture

March 02, 2020 at 09:24 am

There aren't any roster bonuses to worry about, so they can cut him whenever they want.

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Packer_Fan's picture

February 29, 2020 at 01:39 pm

I had Kwiatkowski in my plan as a mid level ILB signing. Young and ascending, exactly what the Pack will need. With this signing, they can attack WR in the draft in the first round and then a third or fourth rounder for the ILB. I like it.

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MarkinMadison's picture

February 29, 2020 at 03:12 pm

Those clips show a lot of ability in space. Clips can always be misleading, but that looked really good.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 01, 2020 at 05:00 am

Smells like smoke screen to me. I don't recall hearing a thing about the 4 FA signings last season until the contracts were announced.

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dobber's picture

March 01, 2020 at 09:23 am

At this stage it seems that most of the information is coming from web sources polling agents...who might be trying to drum up a little business.

In all, I agree with your sentiment. At this time of year, there might be a lot of smoke, but not much fire. There might be a lot of BBQ, though.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 02, 2020 at 02:27 am

I can't remember whether there were media types tweeting out about the 4 FAs GB signed or if they were fans/posters. And sometimes the media will tweet or write that player X would make a lot of sense for GB. There were media types suggesting that GB was interested in Graham and Wilkerson the year before, and IIRC Tramon as well.

It is a memory thing for me. Pretty sure Turner and ZaDarius weren't surprises.

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stockholder's picture

March 01, 2020 at 08:31 am

Blowing smoke at ILB? The combine showed me a lot. Why reach for defense! Don't waste any early picks on defense! The offensive players will change their offense for years. These Wrs put up numbers you just can't ignore. And if I'm Bulaga, I'd give a major discount right now. Thank goodness we got the Smiths last year. If Gute takes any Defense in his first 3 Rds. It will be the biggest mistake since Lombardi left. Gute must go Free Agency with defense. If it costs us Bulaga, Graham, and Martinez, so be it. Right now he must draft the best Offensive player on the board./// Rd. 2 and three is so deep, he could still get a starting WRs for us./// Even a OT. Even a Rb wouldn't be a waste. If I'm a Rookie. I'd want GB to draft me. The future is now.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 01, 2020 at 09:16 am

Stock, there are quite a few CBs in this draft to take a look at. They need a slot CB. The free agency for DT/DE is a better move than tying up cash on free agent ILBs. DT in the fifth like Benito Jones will help the depth.

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stockholder's picture

March 01, 2020 at 12:25 pm

I would only take Troy Pride ND./// If They can't run a Fast 40. Forget them.// Agree on FA DE/DT// I wouldn't draft any DT. I didn't like the numbers on any. What I would draft is Fackrell replacement. EDGE not OLB. I liked Lewis but he didn't run. I sure did like Evan Weaver LB, but he stunk up the combine. I'd take a slot Wr instead.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 01, 2020 at 12:44 pm

Is there a tackling competition @ the Combine?

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stockholder's picture

March 01, 2020 at 01:21 pm

I don't believe the packers need to be concerned. I see 5 WRs in the first rd. I see as many as 10 being selected in the 2nd. Now Choose. With 10 going in the 2nd. Wouldn't you take 1 in the first? First.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 01, 2020 at 06:17 pm

No, but fortunately there is game tape available on anybody you’re interested in and it only involves 70 hour weeks analyzing it with other coaches and scouts.

Seriously, that’s got to be #1 quality you’d want at any spot on defense. Quarterbacks complete passes about 2/3 of the time and when they do you have to tackle some speedy guy ASAP.. YAC is huge. You may not be able to stop the completion but you can punish the guy for catching it. Even with the new rules.

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bizz888's picture

March 01, 2020 at 01:41 pm

Nick would be a great addition to an already strong squad
https://fayettevilleconcretepros.com

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SamJayyy's picture

March 15, 2020 at 03:43 pm

Isn't Schobert popping up on the radar! I think so
https://www.concretingipswich.com/

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AlexHamilton20's picture

May 20, 2020 at 04:25 am

I am a huge Packers fan located in Greensboro North Carolina GO PACK GO!
- Alex Hamilton, <a href="https://www.greensborolandsurveyors.com/">https://www.greensborolandsurv...

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ZacharyC's picture

May 20, 2020 at 04:36 am

I am also a huge Packers fan located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. GO PACK GO!
- Zachary
https://www.albuquerquelandsurveyors.com

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