Sitton A Reminder That Packers Mean Business

Josh Sitton is a Chicago Bear and will face the Green Bay Packers twice this year.  If I told you this would be the case a week ago, you'd all have me in a straight jacket surrounded by the men in white coats.  Many of you still will, but I digress.  The shocking news broke early Saturday that Sitton would be released if the Packers could not find a trade partner.  The reaction ranged from complete outrage aimed at Packers general manager Ted Thompson to "in Ted we trust" and that it will work out OK.

Regardless of the actual reason why Sitton was released at all let alone this close to the beginning of the season (and after playing his usual ration of snaps during preseason) the Packers offensive line just got worse.  With a team that could be on the cusp of competing for a championship, this move reeks of something major going on behind the scenes that we don't know about.  Or does it?

Yes, the Packers will save some money towards the salary cap by releasing Sitton, but they weren't in bad shape financially to begin with and as far as we know, there isn't a need to clear more space for a big move to be made so, why Ted?  Why?  Like I said, we may never find out the real reason or reasons why.  It's now obvious that extending Sitton wasn't a priority heading into his contract year and with three other linemen with expiring contracts (David Bakhtiari, T.J. Lang and J.C. Tretter).  I have said before that of those four linemen, the Packers would be wise to let Sitton test the market or let another team over pay him.  With his chronic back issues, he becomes more of a "buyer beware" proposition with every passing season.  

The Packers like to stay young and rumor has it that they made it known to Sitton that they were focusing on bringing back some of their younger players first.  Whether that led to Sitton asking for his release is unknown, but it wouldn't surprise.  That Thompson and the Packers may have obliged it would be surprising and out of character.  Thompson is not often swayed by player sentiment nor the best interest of a player over the team's.  If he was in this case, he would have to have an incredible soft spot for Sitton.  Does that sound like Thompson?

To me, this is just another example of how NFL teams don't really care about winning it all.  That may sound asinine and some of you will argue that I'm out of my skull.  After all, Green Bay is Title Town and they have more league championships than any other franchise in the history of the NFL.  And let me preface that by also making clear that Josh Sitton is hardly the linchpin to this Packers season.  Pro Bowler or not, a guard isn't going to make or break Green Bay's season nor their chances to make the playoffs.  But to knowingly and willingly let one of your best players for years walk away a week before the opener is questionable at best.  The move gives the Packers no compensation for the loss, which is completely at odds with how Thompson operates during the offseason.

Front offices and coaching staffs are judged and evaluated on their ability to win games.  Draft the right players, bring in the right guys in free agency and lead them to maximize their potential on the field.  But once a team has made the postseason, it's already in the upper half of teams around the league.  Mission accomplished, to most.  Some teams have higher standards and still need to see a progression.  Teams like the New England Patriots and Packers have come to expect to be playing in January.  Perennial wild card round exits will eventually get a guy fired in those situations.  But to get into the tournament is still largely seen as a success and a chance at the big prize.  I said earlier that Sitton won't be the reason the Packers do or don't get into the playoffs this year, but why risk any potential slip now?  This roster, when healthy, is one of the best in football and now you're replacing a top-tier offensive lineman with an average-at-best guy in either Lane Taylor or Don Barclay.  That is, at least until Corey Linsley comes back and they can slide Tretter out to Sitton's old left guard slot.

That, to me, says that the Packers may already have known that they weren't likely to bring Sitton back after this season and they didn't want the situation or possibility of a disgruntled veteran tainting the locker room.  Sitton has always appeared to be a high character guy and player during his time with the Packers.  To think that he wouldn't have handled a tough contract situation with class seems like a reach.  Still, perhaps the Packers thought they could survive without him.  If they can get over the hump, great.  If not, Thompson and the staff can hang their hats on a decade of success and get a pass for an "off year".  Without a true owner who is emotionally invested in their team and business and who might wake up and decide to clean house, Thompson doesn't face the regular questions and scrutiny that some others do around the league.  Bob McGinn wrote a piece in late January about that very dynamic.  Here is an excerpt:

"After arriving back in the wee hours Sunday from Phoenix, Thompson spent a few hours in Green Bay before flying that night to Florida for the East-West Shrine Game practices that began Monday. With no owner to answer to, Thompson can choose not to deal with the uncomfortable issues associated with the end of any season."

So while this move probably wasn't strictly about money, the Packers did make a business decision.  A decision that carries a message on a few levels.  It reminds the players and us all that, at least while Thompson is calling the shots as to who is in the mix for roster spots, the Packers will remain a younger team.  It reminds the players that nothing is guaranteed in Green Bay.  Anyone may or may not be asked back by the team.  And Thompson continues with his ideal of letting go of veteran players before their play declines severely or the team is left with a gaping hole at any position.  He's made his share of mistakes: Jon Ryan in 2008, Cullen Jenkins in 2011, the safety and quarterback positions in 2013 to name a few.  But Thompson won't be swayed from staying the course.  He and the team are now hoping that Sitton doesn't get added to that list.

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Comments (110)

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Bearmeat's picture

September 05, 2016 at 07:04 am

Man. To go to a losing team? Just so you can play GB 2x a year for 3 years? That feud with Ted really must've been bad. The Bears overpaid. They're not catching us. Things could be worse. I'd be livid if it was SEA.

You've got to have brass balls to be an effective GM in the NFL, and TT certainly made a ballsy move here. Cold blooded. Just like BB. Parcells. Elway. Walsh. Noll. Johnson. Lombardi. He gambled that Sitton will get old fast. And he didn't get anything for him. And he went to a rival. If Taylor can't play, he's going to get raked over the coals. And he should.

I wonder how much of the "Sitton was unhappy" story was true. That makes a difference. Sending at least a red chip player packing on the eve of the season just doesn't make sense any other way. Especially if you don't have a proven replacement. Not when your team is a true contender to win it all. We won't ever find out, but if there isn't any more to it that TT wanting to go young, he should be fired. Immediately.

I want to hear AR talk about this. Now is when we see if he turns into Favre diva part 2 for the last 6-8 years of his career.

Bottom line is that this sucks. But better the Bears than a contender. What I really didn't want is Sitton heading to SEA, CAR or AZ. Preferably not MIN either, as they were in theory closer to GB than CHI or DET. I’m not worried about winning the division, and I wasn’t worried before Minny lost Teddy either. It’s superbowl wins that I want, and IMO SEA is the biggest obstacle to that for GB. Behind them CAR and AZ.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 05, 2016 at 06:25 am

Seattle has $10.45M in cap space. To use a lot of it on Sitton would be close to "going all in" this season. Seattle was never a likely landing place in my mind, because I suspect Seattle thinks they'll be in the hunt for the next few years. Of course, Seattle could manipulate the cap # to delay it, but the piper has to be paid eventually.

Edit: Carolina has $6M in cap space. Probably not them. NE has $12.3M in cap space, so that was iffy. I think TT probably concluded that only a team with large cap space would sign Sitton, and teams with large cap spaces generally are the weaker teams, though there are some exceptions. If so, not a sign of respect for Sitton, or disrespect, IMO. Jaquars had tons of cap space - $44M, and Chicago, where Sitton ended up, had $22M, enough to fit Sitton in comfortably.

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EdsLaces's picture

September 05, 2016 at 06:36 am

Don't kid yourself bear..if Minnesota was a contender before with Teddy they still are now.

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Bearmeat's picture

September 05, 2016 at 07:06 am

Yeah. That's the thing. I didn't think they were. Bridgewater was mediocre. Bradford is mediocre. And made of glass. And freezes in the face of a stiff pass rush.

Did I mention that Minny's OL can't pass block? And now they have no #1 pick next year.

Beautiful.

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BluesFan182's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:51 am

We attended Packers public practice on Aug 23. A local fan there told us that Josh Sitton's house was for sale, and said that Masthay's was for sale and his family had moved to a duplex. Would you say those two players knew the writing was on the wall?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 07, 2016 at 04:10 am

Yes, I would. It takes a bit of time to sell a house. In Sitton's case, it could as easily mean that he knew TT was not going to extend or re-sign him for 2017. Every beat writer and most posters I've read have thought the same. It suggests that there is absolutely no reason for Sitton to be upset that GB was negotiating with the younger players - that has always been a given.

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croatpackfan's picture

September 05, 2016 at 05:32 am

Well, I understand that this move is stunning for fans and some media. But, very often fans calling Ted Thompson on being hard, non emotional guy. I came to Packers Nation late (as fan, of course), few years after famous Favre story was actual and what I read about that event from authors who had time to look at it with some objectivity. My final thoughts was and is that Ted Thompson did it superb. Favre was diva and he was blackmailing franchise.
Now, we have several reports that Josh Sitton was not happy with how Packers looks at his future and his contract. At his confirmation to the reporters, who asked him about that, he said that he did say nothing to Packers, so they did not know about his feelings. Well, question is how reporters knew about that feeling if nobody knows about them.
I would like if Josh stays for another season, but I say that nobody is larger than franchise itself, so I am on Ted Thompson side. He needed to get rid of Josh Sitton!
Packers will be fine...

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zeke's picture

September 05, 2016 at 05:46 am

"To me, this is just another example of how NFL teams don't really care about winning it all."

I agree with a lot of what you wrote, but you lost me with that one. Making the playoffs consistently certainly ratchets the pressure down, but I think the idea that there are franchises that strive for that and only that is a reach. And I'm biased, but I'm happy to have the ownership structure that exists in GB, especially when you consider many of the alternatives (Snyder, Haslam, even Mark Davis) that seem to be as likely to make change for the sake of change as they are to make change for the sake of winning it all. Maybe Thompson doesn't have to look over his shoulder to the extent that others do, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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Chad Lundberg's picture

September 05, 2016 at 05:55 am

My interpretation of that line was that Thompson is focused on making this a consistent playoff team every year, and giving them a chance to win it all every year, as opposed to banking everything on just one year and tearing down you chance to win in the future. And I whole-heartedly agree with him, it really feels like Thompson gets so close to building a perfect team, and if he would just once sign a couple of big name free agents, most likely the team would win that year, but then you likely lessen your chances for the next 5-10 years.

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lucky953's picture

September 05, 2016 at 09:39 am

Going "all-in" is always going to be a massive roll of the dice. There are far too many unpredictable variables (injuries, other teams, players having 'career years', etc). The downside is too big. Play the percentages, get in the playoffs, and you could win it all. Nobody saw 2010 coming, everyone thought we had the NFC game vs Seattle won. I'm sorry to see Sitton go and our line is worse, but it's the entire roster that gets you there. Remember we had 16 guys on IR in 2010? I still like our chances this year, if we can stop the run consistently.

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Portland Mark's picture

September 05, 2016 at 10:20 am

I agree. In 2010 the defense was actually better than the offense. When I saw that the Packers are keeping 9 linebackers I wondered why they didn't keep Sitton and let one of the LBs go. They must be trying to get their defense to an elite level. In 2014 the Packers had a much better offense than Seattle. Still, the Seahawk defense kept them from putting the game away when they had the chance. If this year's Packer defense can do that then we may see another SB trophy.

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WKUPackFan's picture

September 05, 2016 at 07:41 am

@zeke - Absolutely correct. The debate has raged here for years regarding getting to the playoffs v. "going all in" for a certain year and mortgaging the future.

I prefer a team that makes the playoffs seven years in row. Some prefer what Denver is, SB champion last year (and darn lucky to get that), horrible this year.

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Chad Lundberg's picture

September 05, 2016 at 05:56 am

To me, something about this really stands out. Desmond Bishop didn't have an immediate replacement, and everybody freaked out. But Bishop also had a severe leg injury, so it was likely that Ted knew that he was no longer starting material. There was just enough room open for interpretation, and many took the side that he was making a mistake. But we were wrong in the end.

This however, is on a whole nother level. Josh Sitton hasn't had any injury severe enough to warrant this action, nor did saving 6 million in cap space. To me, this is so one sided that even Ted has to know that this move would be totally, completely, and utterly ridiculous, and therefore I can only conclude one thing: SOMETHING is going on here that only he knows. And I won't be a bit surprised if the news at some point leaks just why he did what he did, and it will be one of those situations where everyone goes "ooooh... so THAT'S what was going on.. got it".

Thompson has to know that maybe Don Barclay or someone else is fully capable of plugging up that open left guard spot, and maybe he plans to give someone a big raise soon and needed the money. Something like that.

Trust me guys, this is too one sided. Put it this way, do you REALLY think Thompson would be that dumb to throw away one of his best players and NOT have the foresight to know he would absolutely will regret it almost immediately? There's just no way he would do this unless he was absolutely certain it was the right thing to do! He HAS to have some kind of plan here! As Spock would say, it is simply the only logical conclusion.

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Bearmeat's picture

September 05, 2016 at 06:04 am

I dunno Chad. TT has always loved his younger players. Maybe he just went rogue here?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 05, 2016 at 06:26 am

"SOMETHING is going on here that only he [TT] knows." Often enough, that is true. Sometimes not. Where have I read that before? I know Bernice the Baker wrote it a few score times x each user name.

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dobber's picture

September 05, 2016 at 07:18 am

Has Sitton taken a physical with the Bears, yet?

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Packer_Pete's picture

September 05, 2016 at 06:11 am

I agree with most of your points. And one of the things that really stands out is that Ted has free reign since he really isn't reporting to anybody, and really has no obligation to anyone. Mark Murphy? Just going along as he always has. I certainly believe that Mike McCarthy had input, but at the end he is just an employee who can be fired at will by Ted.

So I agree with Chad also that there is something else that must be going on, and also with Bearmeat that if this was just about getting younger then he should be shown the door immediately, but the problem is, nobody really has the power to show him the door...

I still cannot believe that the Packers go nothing for one of their red chip players. One week before the season opener. No apparent injury, no apparent decline. And from all the years past one can conclude that Sitton is the consummate professional, at least to the outside. And he certainly was one of the veteran leaders of this team. Maybe there was a falling out internally (but certainly not with TJ Lang), maybe he said something critical of Ted or Mike or #12, who knows, but at least not publicly. I just find it sad that this happened now without compensation for the Packers. Just before a season when Jordy comes back, there seems to be a TE now who can stretch defenses, the OLine seems to be healthy again, and the D seems to be capable of at least respectable play. and no major injuries to key players in camp...

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croatpackfan's picture

September 05, 2016 at 09:33 am

I do not believe this is reaction from Ted Thompson on some Josh Sitton line he might said. He is excellent manager and excellent managers are not doing that kind of decisions... They know better. They know sudden, not well decisions are always to expensive. Only one thing may be in question in case of sudden reaction - Josh Sitton was said or did something that crosses the line regardin franchise, not any person...

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jh9's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:01 am

Something is not right with this whole Sitton affair. You don’t get rid of a all-pro caliber player one week before the season starts unless there are extenuating circumstances. I can only think of two such circumstances that could be so detrimental to the team that a GM would make such a drastic move--and TT is the last GM I would expect to make a drastic move.

First of all, Sitton’s release can’t be explained completely as a money move. TT knew two years ago what Sitton’s salary would be this season and most certainly would have factored that money in with any move he has made. The money may have been a contributing factor, but I don’t believe it can fully explain a move of this magnitude at this time of the season.

The only two reasons I can see for the Packers to make a move like this are: 1) When Sitton arrived at training camp he was in such bad physical shape that the Packers knew it would be physically impossible for him to play out the season and they kept that information to themselves and tried to find a trading partner. I’m sure Sitton will have to go through a physical first before any team will fully commit to him so we should know very soon whether or not this is a valid reason. 2) Sitton did not like the way TT was handling his contract negotiation (or lack of), and either started bad-mouthing TT and the Packers to other players or in some other way let it be known to TT and the Packers that he would be a disgruntled employee and bring to the locker room a negative attitude that could affect other players.

If Sitton plays this season, in my mind reason #2 makes the most sense. However, if that is the reason, TT and Sitton will never publicly admit to this and we will always have questions as to what really happened with Sitton’s release.

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dobber's picture

September 05, 2016 at 07:25 am

I agree: there's a feel that there's another shoe left to drop, yet. Stay tuned.

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EdsLaces's picture

September 05, 2016 at 06:38 am

On a side note ...happy draft day! And Go Ole Miss!!!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 05, 2016 at 06:48 am

I think the bottom line consensus is as follows:

1. Cutting Sitton reduces are chances of winning the SB this year somewhat but we still have a decent chance; how much of a decrease and how much chance we still have obviously is subject to debate.

2. Cutting Sitton and saving his salary increases our chances of winning a super bowl in the future somewhat; how much is debatable.

And that, IMO, is the essence of TT, love him or not.

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wimiller's picture

September 05, 2016 at 09:18 am

Dougherty's Press Gazette article is by far the best take on the Sitton event.

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dobber's picture

September 05, 2016 at 09:36 am

I would call it the one that gives fans the most reason to be OK with this move...

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Horse's picture

September 05, 2016 at 07:29 am

The timing. Otherwise, it's not much different from Belichick getting rid of Logan Mankins, and it's the only reason the Packers got nothing for Sitton. Which points to an incident or an accumulation of factors that suddenly needed attention from the team. This would also explain TT's reluctance to meet the press. TT will not throw a player under the bus, at least publicly.

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Nick Perry's picture

September 05, 2016 at 10:46 am

BB got a draft choice for Logan Mankins.

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Horse's picture

September 05, 2016 at 01:11 pm

He got something. TT doesn't give up that opportunity unless it's necessary. In this case the most necessary thing was ending Sitton's relationship with the Packers.

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Hematite's picture

September 05, 2016 at 06:58 am

It's my "opinion" that Thompson has become senile.
I'm recalling the thousand yard stare and his mouth hanging open like a torn pocket during the Chiefs game on Thursday night.
I think we'll see more erratic behavior leading up to his "retirement".

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 05, 2016 at 07:59 am

I just criticized Dougherty for writing an article containing ad hominem attacks on Sitton w/o, IMO, sufficient sourcing. I don't know how to respond to this comment, Hematite. I know I should condemn it, but the truth is I LOL.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 05, 2016 at 01:21 pm

Dougherty says he has a source:

"An NFL source with ties to the Packers told me that in the team’s eyes Sitton had become haughty and uncommunicative"

So how is the article ad hominem?

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EdsLaces's picture

September 05, 2016 at 02:03 pm

That's code for Sitton is an asshole. If you have ever seen an interview of him you realize real quick that he is in fact ...an asshole.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 05, 2016 at 05:38 pm

I've always taken him for more of a "No BS" guy but maybe that is the same to other people.

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GatorJason's picture

September 05, 2016 at 07:03 am

Conspiracy Theory: Ted is only the shadow GM. Eliot is already calling the shots. Why: Ted blocked EW from taking the Lions GM position this past Spring and consoled the young man by giving him unprecedented control of Packer personnel decisions this year. A series of illogical, bordering on irrational moves follow: 1. Packers stack roster with 6 rookie free agents ("I'm smarter than everyone else by finding gems no one else can see"); 2. Packers keep 12 DBs when 10 is the max any team can use and still have active backup depth (paranoid belief that your free agent gems will be stolen by Schneider or some other GM) 3. Keeping a free agent 3rd string QB on the 53 while cutting all but 3 ILB on team; 4. Keeping only 13 OL/DL total on the roster while at the same time keeping 7 WR (plus 3 more on practice squad) and 12 DB; 5. Cutting a healthy, under contract blue chip (with no compensation) and replacing with a cow chip during a year the team is poised for SB run. Collectively these moves are shocking, bordering on irrational IMO even for Ted to make. There has to be another explanation for these collective personnel moves that leave the team unbalanced and dangerously thin at multiple positions.

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dobber's picture

September 05, 2016 at 07:14 am

I'm actually of the opinion that the Packers have conceded the 3-4 and their base defense this year will be what we've traditionally called a nickel. More DB, fewer ILB, how many elephant ends?...to support a faster defense geared at stopping opposing passing games. Maybe they see this as getting ahead of the curve on the ILB/SS hybrid thing, I don't know.

Power run teams might have their way with the Packer front 7, but how many true power run teams are left out there? The Packers will see one of them twice...

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EdsLaces's picture

September 05, 2016 at 08:13 am

This just in ....starters at MLB have been named. Martinez and Burnett!

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zerotolerance's picture

September 05, 2016 at 08:56 am

I believe that to be totally true (dobber's position above).

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Bear's picture

September 05, 2016 at 09:51 am

Dobber, you get it!!

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Nick Perry's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:08 am

Week One...Chris Ivory
Week Two...Peterson
Week 6...Elliott
Week 10... Murray & Henry
Week 13... Lamar Miller
Week 14....Seattle
Week 16...Peterson

They all may not be "Power", but they all have "Power Backs" except Houston and Miller is pretty damn good. Especially in O'Brians offense.

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dobber's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:36 am

Week 2 is the one I'd be especially concerned about. Otherwise you're talking about teams built around QBs or teams that will pop up on the schedule once Pennel is back.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 05, 2016 at 07:46 am

"Cutting a healthy ... blue chip (with no compensation) and replacing with a cow chip...." LOL.

I agree, Dobber. Just read a PFF article that states the nickel is the base defense in the NFL. Teams are in the nickel 60% of the time across the NFL, IIRC. One of the reasons I was hot on keeping Brice and Evans too, in part to replace Burnett and Hyde eventually, or to use as a hybrid ILB like Deonne Buchanon.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

September 05, 2016 at 07:44 am

I am really troubled by this development. How will they replace him for Pitch Perfect III? Does anyone believe Taylor or Barclay can sing? I've seen nothing on this...

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phillythedane's picture

September 05, 2016 at 08:59 am

Yay! Humor always wins the day.

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tiffankj's picture

September 05, 2016 at 08:33 am

I know this gets into 'Chasing Crazy', but TT runs 3 boards, and on one of those boards is the destiny of every player and their time up with the team. Remember, this team is built on Draft-and-Develop, so 6 UFAs and cutting a ProBowl Guard is lack of our knowledge at the Coaching and Executive level. Trust me, they have done their homework and there is a bigger picture you and I are lacking.

IMO, Josh was kept around long enough this preseason as an insurance policy on the new guys showing enough maturity, and potential to make a SB run, and next year. With this preseason being so strong for both existing young players, rookies and UFAs, they must have had enough confidence in the players they have to cut bait with Sitton. They have plenty of coaches, decision makers at GM level evaluating all the possible combinations. What makes sense to you and I seems borderline on almost crazy, is easily justified in those key meetings, where we lack the insight (e.g., arrow pointing up, or down on each player to include injury what-if scenarios).

Forest through the trees! Only time will tell if it was a good or bad decision.

On a positive note...

Enjoy the season as the planets have aligned! I've never seen a team so stacked, as this one and with easiest schedule in the NFL as 2nd seed as well as NFC East and AFC South along Bridgewater going down, this team has the potential to run the table. I can't wait for the Seattle game, as this one will set the tone going into the playoffs. MM and AR will be making a statement with this offense and defense is the best I've ever seen it, too. There will be a lot of games this year the 2nd and 3rd tier guys will be playing by the 3rd quarter this year.

Hundley, get your throwing arm ready, you'really going to need it!

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Tarynfor12's picture

September 05, 2016 at 08:40 am

I expect the loss of Sitton to be the #1 excuse....wait, reason, the vast majority willl use for any and all loses suffered this season with incredible rise if another one and done in January.
Easiest assumed schedule in the NFL is not now any harder with the loss of Sitton...or is it.
A couple have asked to know what Rodgers thinks. Why?
Will he not play to his ability and through a tantrum and lose to spite Thompson.
Sitton is now a Bear and I'm sure we will hear him tell us how great Cutler is and the Bears are a Championship team.
Will his political correctness be cause for you to hate him more than some do Thompson at this moment.
It's a business and a game and a game for business. : )

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MarkinMadison's picture

September 05, 2016 at 09:06 am

What is undeniable is that Lacy and the #1 OL looked very effective this pre-season. If/when Lacy has a less effective game there is no doubt this move will be scrutinized. And it should be.

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Tarynfor12's picture

September 05, 2016 at 09:21 am

So previous East-West runs may now be pointed at Sitton, more diirectly, if Lacy now runs North - South with screaming success.

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dobber's picture

September 05, 2016 at 09:31 am

There's no good reason for Lacy to be running East-West.

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al bundy's picture

September 06, 2016 at 07:02 pm

He runs east west because the hole closes or aint there.

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Mojo's picture

September 05, 2016 at 12:05 pm

I'll take Lacy running east-west versus south. If he runs south we're in big trouble

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 05, 2016 at 09:32 am

"What is undeniable is that Lacy and the #1 OL looked very effective this pre-season."

Lacy looked good when Sitton was not playing as well.

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dobber's picture

September 05, 2016 at 09:30 am

"I expect the loss of Sitton to be the #1 excuse....wait, reason, the vast majority willl use for any and all loses suffered this season with incredible rise if another one and done in January."

I'll go a different way: an inability to consistently stop the run will be the main Achilles heel of this team. This team--especially without Pennel--is awfully light in the pants in the DL. They're planning on playing sprints this season, not marathons.

If you'll remember last year, even early on when the OL was intact, there were way too many rushers coming up the gut to pressure ARod. We will never know what this team would look like offensively with Sitton this year, but we'll sure know what they'll look like without him...so I suspect your assertion is going to be on the mark.

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PaulRosik's picture

September 05, 2016 at 10:59 am

As always you mistake the discussion of what areas need to improve as creating an excuse for losing. There is no excuse for losing. But there are always areas that need to get better.

Just as it is always a good thing to get to the playoffs and win a division. Just not as good as winning a superbowl. You remain unable to see that distinction.

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Tarynfor12's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:04 am

I fully understand the areas that need adjustments but I also know the use of any roster move, injury becomes the leading rant excuse/reason of any loss at any time of the sesson.

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ray nichkee's picture

September 05, 2016 at 01:52 pm

Just this time taryn. STFU.

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egbertsouse's picture

September 05, 2016 at 09:31 am

I'm amused, but not surprised, by how soon the fanboys went from shock and outrage to their usual robotic "Ted's a genius" mantra. Same for the totally owned "Wisconsin Sports Media" whores. I exempt Nagler and McGinn from this group since they have been mildly critical to this point.

BTW-Where is Ted "Big Pussy" Thompson? Why is he not having a presser like most of the other GMs?

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dobber's picture

September 05, 2016 at 09:38 am

Who cares about pressers? Certainly not TT and what would he say in front of the camera, anyway? You want someone who's not a slave to the media, TT is it. That's all pretty much been covered here.

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PaulRosik's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:01 am

Big Pussy? Wow, now that's Packer hatred for you. I suggest you find a different team to watch. it will be better for you.

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Oppy's picture

September 05, 2016 at 06:15 pm

Ted's not holding a presser because he doesn't owe you a gotdamting.

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Oppy's picture

September 05, 2016 at 06:18 pm

Side note, Egbertsouse, I'm pretty sure "Big Pussy" Thompson would have rolled you without breaking a sweat back in his playing days. Hell, TT might surprise us all and take you out back for a whoopin' even now. I certainly wouldn't be shocked.

Don't worry, if he does whip your tail, he won't call a presser to brag about it. He's too big of a pussy.

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fthisJack's picture

September 05, 2016 at 10:08 am

i like what TT did with the cuts to the final 53. why stick with the so many wr, so many OL so many DB theme. keep your best players and if its 7 WR so be it! this is a passing league now and keeping 12 guys for the secondary is a no brainer. they play nickel most of the time anyway. these undrafted free agents looked great in preseason and showed speed and an ability to hit and tackle and defend. a point that noone has made is the value that some of these young guns will make on special teams with their speed and aggressiveness. i think we see an uptick there.
i was never that thrilled with the play of Sitton. he was a good pass protector but when it came to the run game, i believe he wasn't that great. when Linsely comes back Tretter can slide to guard and they won't miss a beat. Tretter has shown the ability to get to the second level that Sitton rarely could.
Wish Josh well in Chicago but it was a perfect time to move on.

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zerotolerance's picture

September 05, 2016 at 03:53 pm

So many DBs - because many of the S kept will be in the box. All about increasing team speed in this new era. That's why only three ILB.

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Bedrock's picture

September 05, 2016 at 10:28 am

So what is the real reason TT waited to make this move? The contract idea had to have been known well before this.
As of right now, I see two things. One, TT wanted to make absolutely sure of his replacement and needed that last game. Two, waiting this long makes for no training camp for the team that takes him. It will be a few weeks before he's knowledgeable about the playbook in chicago.

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Point Packer's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:16 am

If this move had anything to do with Barclay's play, it was a bad idea.

If this move doesn't have a strong rational (so far none have been diagnosed), and it results in #12 getting injured, it was a bad idea.

The Doughtery article was idiotic, at best. This is the NFL in 2017, managers don't make personnel decisions based on an overarching philosophy that's over 50 years old.

This smells of TT arrogance. A knee jerk reaction that leaves an "all world" QB vulnerable. Lane Taylor and MMs soul mate Donnie Barclay are well below average. Who knows what kind of shape Linsley wil be in when he comes back.

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dobber's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:43 am

I doubt this was "knee jerk" in any way. I would argue this is likely something that has been stewing in the minds of personnel folks for at least a couple weeks if not longer...obviously I can't back that up. But until someone who doesn't play in the media says something concrete, nobody else can back up their assertions, either.

Barclay in 2015 was not a good football player. When he played more than half a season for Bulaga in 2013 at ORT, he was at least serviceable. There's no guarantee that he's going to start (it looks like Taylor has the inside line, there), but let's see how he performs with the #1s now that he's almost 2 years removed from his ACL tear and can play in a phone booth where he's likely better suited to be.

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Since'61's picture

September 05, 2016 at 10:59 am

From all of the speculation and alleged reasoning as to why Sitton was released that I have read the one factor that has been overlooked is Josh's agent. There is no doubt that his agent was pretty certain that the Packers were not going to resign Sitton at the end of this season. He likely approached the Packers for an extension and TT said no way. At that point the Packers tried to get something for Josh via trade which sent a message to other GMs that he would be released and therefore no takers. Josh is released. While the Packers were unable to get anything for Josh his agent signed a nice 3 year deal with the Bears. Therefore the winners in this little drama are Josh and his agent. Josh gets $10 million guaranteed and his agent gets a nice commission. The Packers lose their best OL for no reason other than unnecessary stupidity and the Bears overpay a 30+ OL at the end of his career. For those who speculate that TT pulled a "Lombardi", at least Lombardi had a few championships to his credit and had demonstrated that he knew how to win championships consistently. TT has yet to demonstrate that he has reached that level of excellence. Yes he keeps the Packers young, maintains the cap and gets to the playoffs consistently, but the difference between Lombardi and TT is that Lombardi did same (minus the salary cap) and won championships consistently. This would be easier to accept if TT was winning championships consistently rather than having his young inexperienced team getting knocked out of the playoffs every season. We can credit TT with a Lombardi move to make ourselves feel good but he is still a pretender. Sitton is the only winner here and the Packers are entering this season, for better or worse without their best OL. How is this a good thing? Thanks, Since '61

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Tarynfor12's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:10 am

I'm pretty sure Sitton's agent after learning the Packers weren't going to extend him now, would gave made Sitton aware and need to get an ok to begin looking for deals elsewhere or interested parties. This would give credence to Sitton being more than willing to leave at seasons start which Thompson was willing to accommodate when the agent polluted the trade waters by looking for interest of teams.

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dobber's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:44 am

There are tampering rules in place that prevent this kind of talk prior to being given permission by a team or a player being released, no? And if that kind of permission had been given, this would have leaked long before Saturday.

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Tarynfor12's picture

September 05, 2016 at 12:24 pm

Like the no tampering before FA tampering that has been made legal without actually saying so.

This is a business and no business allows blast illegal activity but behind the door stuff always takes place.

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Tarynfor12's picture

September 05, 2016 at 12:26 pm

Like the no tampering before FA tampering that has been made legal without actually saying so.

This a business and no business allows blatant illegal activity but behind the door stuff always takes place.

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zeke's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:29 am

I am not suggesting that Thompson and Lombardi are equal in any way, shape, or form, but please. The game has changed so much from the Lombardi era to now that I imagine it would be almost unrecognisable. There was no collective bargaining, no free agency, etc., that it is not an apples-to-apples comparison. Could Bill Walsh (or even Jimmy Johnson) replicate the success they had if they operated in today's NFL?

My own opinion is that people are putting too much into the fact that Dougherty used Lombardi as an example. He could have easily used Ron Wolf, who also believed it was better to jettison someone a year too early than a year too late. My guess is that every GM likes to think they have the same philosophy. The key is identifying the year.

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croatpackfan's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:54 am

Well, I already asked you about how Vince Lombardi was managing Packers Salary cap. Also, I would like to ask you, how many players Vince Lombardi had under the contract while he was Packers GM and HC. What was limits for practicing while Vince Lombardi was Packers HC. Draft was at that days? How many rounds? ...
Rising Vince Lombardi over Ted Thompson (or any GM or HC of today) is something like claiming that older cars where better, because fuel was cheaper. I respect greatness of Vince Lombardi, but understand that he will act differently in todays game (as every great person would do things differently), or better to say he would adapt to the new rules.
Also, there is no significance who blackmailed Packers - Josh Sitton or his agent - and after this came out, I support Ted Thompson completely. There is no player larger than franchise! Go, Pack, Go!

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Tundraboy's picture

September 05, 2016 at 10:32 pm

Calling it for what it is. I agree. Until proven otherwise a risky move.

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cheddarhead's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:30 am

Hey Cullen Jenkins is available. Lol

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4thand1's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:37 am

A lot of WR's, d- backs. All players have been put on notice to produce or else. A lot of teams have o-line issues, Colts, queens, barelies, seachickens to name a few. Teams will pay marquee players but guys in the trenches. I thought success always started with the big guys up front? We seem to be missing that on both sides of the ball. Teams don't give a shit about stopping the run or running the ball. It's all about overall team speed in today's NFL . From what I've seen this pre season is a lot of players around the ball. The Packers appear to be a lot faster, something that was lacking the last few years.

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dobber's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:46 am

"The Packers appear to be a lot faster, something that was lacking the last few years."

For better or for worse, that seems to be the take-home message here.

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Mojo's picture

September 05, 2016 at 12:23 pm

Yup, this Packers team is going to play even less in the base than ever before. Lots of secondary guys. Better hope than can wrap up and tackle, else it's going to be a long season up the middle on runs.

Not convinced Burnett will be the answer as the moneybacker. He just doesn't have the bulk of a Bucannon or Barron. He supports the run as well as any secondary guy, but I just don't see him holding up especially with back issues.

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Colin_C's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:50 am

As much as I hate this move, thank God he went to the Bears. One guard will not put them and their dumpster fire offense into playoff contention. It would be much worse for us if he'd gone to the Vikes or Seahawks.

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Mojo's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:54 am

After hearing MM's presser today I'm convinced that the Sitton cut was due to his contract situation and subsequent vocal displeasure over the Pack looking to the yungins first.

MM rarely reveals anything, but when he emphasized the importance of the locker-room it became apparent he was displeased with Sitton's attitude.

When it's all said and done, I think we'll find out MM was the major impetuous behind the move.

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MarkinMadison's picture

September 05, 2016 at 12:09 pm

As he was with #4...

Sitton was never one to keep quiet. This will play out for a while yet. We'll see if he gets through the season healthy, and what he has to say after the Bears games this year.

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stockholder's picture

September 05, 2016 at 12:36 pm

Regardless, no team would of signed Sitton with a bad back. TTs comments are that a player has to be a Good "Team Player". But this Gm shows us that he is not a "TEAM" member. He is cutthroat GM. I believe Lang will be moved back to LG. But Again in TTs history we see this team without another team leader. Yes we gave TT a pass on Farve,Bishop,Woodson,and now sitton. But the move of punter / Holder and now sitton shows TT is a prick. He will sacrifice that player window for his own whim. Regardless if it means going to the Superbowl. These moves would have been justified next year. Not now. He's made the bookies in Vegas more money. He's delayed the packers from Lombardi trophy again. And lets get a secret vote from the players. DO THEY STILL TRUST IN TED?

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dobber's picture

September 05, 2016 at 01:24 pm

"But this Gm shows us that he is not a "TEAM" member. He is cutthroat GM."

As he should be.

"And lets get a secret vote from the players. DO THEY STILL TRUST IN TED?"

As long as they trust each other, trust the coaches, and trust themselves, I don't see what their trust in the GM really matters.

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Patrick Helms's picture

September 05, 2016 at 01:39 pm

Exactly, Sitton is another reminder that TT doesn't care about veterans who gave him all those wins. What another huge disappointment. Trust and respect is earned, it's not a gimme. How awesome it must feel in that locker room knowing that you can be replaced by younger guys that nobody else wanted....lol

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dobber's picture

September 05, 2016 at 01:54 pm

There's no place for loyalty in this league, anymore. Players get their chance, through FA, to make their coin IF they can earn it. Players have gotten their respect from the GM through their paychecks. Likewise, teams can't hang onto ineffective players or players that diminish the sum of the team's parts.

I don't see why people hang onto this romantic notion of teams and players growing old together. Just about every other business functions this way: someone else can do your job at or above your level for less money? See ya. Why not professional sports?

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Patrick Helms's picture

September 05, 2016 at 02:06 pm

Not all businesses run this way...lol...those that survive do not run like that. It's why quality has diminished and work place environment has eroded. Me thinks most of the comments here are from guys in their 20's. Speed does not win the race and the game is won in the trenches.

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dobber's picture

September 05, 2016 at 03:28 pm

"Me thinks most of the comments here are from guys in their 20's. "

I remember my 20s...sort of...

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Patrick Helms's picture

September 05, 2016 at 04:00 pm

Well I'm still working and I've forgotten more than most of the kids know now...lol...they can't keep up either. Point is, this game hasn't changed and never will, it's won or lost in the trenches. Arods throws were bad enough last year and much of that had to do with a horrible o line. Sitton wasn't one of the reasons for that. If the couches are mad about his comment on terrible play calling.....he was right...play calling sucked.

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lucky953's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:34 pm

Donald Driver, AJ Hawk, Jarrett Bush. Kept too long? Ted does what he thinks is best for the GB Packers. I think he's honest about that. Unfortunately, he doesn't always do the right thing. None of us do. It's a cold, hard league. It's $$$. I understand that's very hard on us sentimental fans. Did Ted blow it here? We can't know because we'll never see the future that had Sitton staying. I'm ready to move on to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Go Pack Go

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Horse's picture

September 05, 2016 at 01:12 pm

I know what happened. There was 0 chance Sitton would have been kept on the team. TT is falling on a huge sword to protect the locker room from media.

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Horse's picture

September 05, 2016 at 01:13 pm

Beat writers have heard about it. But can't get anyone to confirm, so far. That's all Ted. My respect for TT just went through the roof.

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GatorJason's picture

September 05, 2016 at 01:54 pm

I saw a comment that Josh used "inappropriate language" in a locker room argument, but thought it was wild speculation. If true though, the language supposedly used would warrant dismissal from the team. Kudos to Ted "if speculation is true" for taking bold move that on the surface seems detrimental to this team's chances of winning SB LI.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

September 05, 2016 at 02:16 pm

Uh oh. Interesting.

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Horse's picture

September 05, 2016 at 02:47 pm

On the beam.

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Colin_C's picture

September 06, 2016 at 12:46 am

Interesting.... Do elaborate please!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 07, 2016 at 04:15 am

New username: Horse with no source?

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PaulRosik's picture

September 05, 2016 at 02:00 pm

Along with the receiver issues the O line play in 2015 was terrible and a big reason why the offense struggled. How anyone who played on the offensive line for the Green Bay Packers in 2015 can expect a big contract based on that level of play is being unrealistic.

So cutting a player with chronic injury issues on a poor performing line is not a huge issue in and of itself. You would like to see the Packers work out some sort of trade for a player with name value so that's disappointing. And they did seem to just jump into this roster move without a clear understanding of who is taking that spot. With Linsley ready to go no one would have blinked an eye at this move, but left with Taylor and Barclay out there as now starter and top reserve at all inside positions you're left crossing your fingers a bit.

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GVPacker's picture

September 05, 2016 at 05:17 pm

Bears GM Ryan Pace gave Sitton a contract that includes $10 million guaranteed! I guess Mr Pace thinks Big Josh's Back Issues aren't that serious!

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Patrick Helms's picture

September 05, 2016 at 07:34 pm

How many games did he miss...lol....but more importantly, how many times did he protect the blind side? His back had nothing to do with it unless you are talking about having his QB's back. Regardless of TT and MM's arrogance, I will still stand behind the Packers.

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4thand1's picture

September 05, 2016 at 09:43 pm

One more thing on the Sitton thing. Just watched an interview T J Lang and he is not happy. I'm worried that TT just may have went too far. Disrupting team chemistry for no reason because of $$$ and letting a team veteran walk may cause problems in the locker room. lane Taylor better not fall flat on his face or he will have to answer some tough questions.

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LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:28 pm

Hey 4thand1, Over all I agree with your assessment of Sitton being cut. In a year that GB is picked to Win the SB, I don't want to mess with the OL.

I don't know if Sitton was our Best Offensive Lineman, but the fact is, he was our starter. I would have rather had this done last year, & we would have got something for a Damn Good OG.

If I look at the Big Picture, I personally would have gone all in for this year. I really think the window is smaller than most are thinking.

Trying to find something good in this move, This is the NFL. Regardless of team or player, There shouldn't be that much difference between a Starting 31 year old OG, & a young 2ond string player. Something is wrong if there is. If GB doesn't have someone to plug the hole, then they should go out & get someone. That's why we pay Management & Players the Ridiculous Salaries that we do.
LVT

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Packman60's picture

September 05, 2016 at 09:49 pm

I believe there's more to the story than what we've been told. Both Ted and Mike believe strongly in the "team 1st locker room culture" and the need to preserve it as a priority, so if those earlier comments were true that would in and of itself be cause for the move that was made. But Bak, Tretter, Lacy and Datone had strong camps and Ted's focus on balancing the long term and short term needs likely lead him to believe that the 6 million saved could be utilized in resigning those players vs. potentially being lost due to Sitton either being lost to injury or ineffective due to his back flaring .

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Tundraboy's picture

September 05, 2016 at 10:38 pm

So much for a quiet beginning to the season. Going to be a fun year around here.

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Handsback's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:29 pm

One thing I find interesting is that TT tried to trade him.....but no takers. Really? Miami, Seattle, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, and none of those teams wanted him? He's been an all pro for quite a few years and only Chicago picked him up after cuts? There's something wrong and as MM said there's a whole lot of issues they consider. Maybe the league has a whole knows something that the Bears hope is wrong.

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Handsback's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:29 pm

One thing I find interesting is that TT tried to trade him.....but no takers. Really? Miami, Seattle, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, and none of those teams wanted him? He's been an all pro for quite a few years and only Chicago picked him up after cuts? There's something wrong and as MM said there's a whole lot of issues they consider. Maybe the league has a whole knows something that the Bears hope is wrong.

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Handsback's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:29 pm

One thing I find interesting is that TT tried to trade him.....but no takers. Really? Miami, Seattle, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, and none of those teams wanted him? He's been an all pro for quite a few years and only Chicago picked him up after cuts? There's something wrong and as MM said there's a whole lot of issues they consider. Maybe the league has a whole knows something that the Bears hope is wrong.

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al bundy's picture

September 06, 2016 at 07:11 pm

Of course no one is going to bite figuring good ol ted wants to dump the guys salary so if they sit pat he gets cut, they end up with him and gave up nothing

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Handsback's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:29 pm

One thing I find interesting is that TT tried to trade him.....but no takers. Really? Miami, Seattle, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, and none of those teams wanted him? He's been an all pro for quite a few years and only Chicago picked him up after cuts? There's something wrong and as MM said there's a whole lot of issues they consider. Maybe the league has a whole knows something that the Bears hope is wrong.

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Amanofthenorth's picture

September 05, 2016 at 11:40 pm

The Tao says we must often go backward to go forward.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 06, 2016 at 01:58 am

Thanks, Oppy, for responding to me about the respect thing. I think we are agreed on the issue. I'd note that Wilde engaged in proper journalism by talking with someone with actual knowledge, a player in this case, and though I don't require a reporter to do so, even naming that player as TJ Lang.

1. It boggles my mind that Sitton would be upset that GB was negotiating with the young players and/or was upset that GB wasn't going to extend him in-season. I can't think of a single regular poster who thought GB would re-sign Sitton; I can't think of a single beat writer or blogger who thought GB would re-sign Sitton. No one thought GB would extend him. Most only suggested that there was some chance of re-signing Lang; all of them thought GB would try to keep Tretter, and would play Bakh by ear a bit - i.e., see how Spriggs looked. I suppose Sitton might live in some kind of cocoon, or monumental arrogance, or had an idiot for an agent, or an agent who did not tell Sitton the facts of life in the NFL. One would think that Sitton must have known for 9 months that his chances of playing for GB in 2017 were pretty small. Well, sounds like Sitton did think GB would re-sign or try to re-sign him.

2. The really interesting part though is that GB is allegedly negotiating with the young ones. Of our FAs in 2017, only Tretter, Bakh, Hyde, and Lacy qualify as young ones (other than some fairly minor RFAs). I advocated for keeping Brice and Evans on the 53 to replace Hyde, and ultimately Burnett, so I jump to GB negotiating with Bakh and Tretter, (but I grant that is my own bias that is discounting Hyde and Lacy).

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zeke's picture

September 06, 2016 at 06:06 am

It could be that Sitton thought he was the most worthy of an extension of any of the others, so if he's upset maybe that's one reason. I still have a hard time seeing them extend Bakhtiari, unless they think Spriggs projects to RT.

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al bundy's picture

September 06, 2016 at 07:17 pm

My only issue, why not work it well in advance. Ted knew before the draft he had 4 ol guys coming up for renewal and he could not afford them all. Trade the oldest guy,draft a replacement would seem rational to me.
Instead he did not replace him, did not trade him, lost him and got nothing in return. Just sayin. Hope lane taylor is the answer

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