The Lass Word: Quarterbacks Have Become Too Powerful

Ultimately this will not be good for fans.

There is a major transition taking place in the National Football League, and the Green Bay Packers are right in the fulcrum of it.  Control of the league is transferring from management to players.  More specifically, to quarterbacks. 

The Aaron Rodgers situation in Green Bay is a perfect example.  The layout of his contract gives him, in effect, virtual control over the team’s immediate future.  The Packers can do nothing of any significance until Rodgers decides what he wants to do.  Rodgers all but controls the salary cap. The Packers don’t really even have the option of trading him.  Rodgers controls that.  He can void any trade by simply refusing to play for the new team, forcing Green Bay to take him back. 

The Packers can’t cut him.  Doing so sets off a $99 million nuclear bomb on their 2023 cap. They can try to convince him to retire, but even that stuffs a $40 million dead money hit into this year, and likely another sizable hit next year.  And the team would get nothing in return, no draft picks, no players, zilch, zip, zero. 

The Packers can ask their future Hall of Fame star to rework his deal for some immediate relief, but here again, Rodgers is in control.  He doesn’t have to, and if he does, he can pretty much dictate the terms.  And the team will still have to cough up the money, either now, or well on into the future. 

Speaking of the future, Green Bay is being forced to restructure several other contracts, extending financial burdens into several years to come.  Even so, the money saved this year won’t be enough to make it practical to be in the bidding war for top free agents.  Unless.......yes, unless Rodgers deigns to give them a restructure that provides the money.  Such is his power over the team for at least this season and the next. 

We can criticize the front office for putting the Packers in this predicament, but in reality, they had little choice.  The league is succumbing to the notion that you can’t contend for championships without an elite quarterback.  And if you have the opportunity to get one, or keep one, no price is too high.  The result is signal callers who separate from the normal player-coach relationship and become, at the very least, collaborative bosses of the franchise.  

Green Bay is not alone.  Look at Russell Wilson.  A story in The Athletic reports that, while still playing for Seattle, Wilson asked Seahawks ownership to fire head coach Pete Carroll and General Manager John Schneider because he didn’t agree with the way they were handling the team.  (Wilson has denied this.)  The former Wisconsin Badger even reportedly expressed his preference for a new coach, Sean Payton.  Fearing that giving into his requests would give the quarterback too much power, Seattle, to its credit, shipped Wilson off to Denver, a franchise which had no such reservations. 

Not only did the Broncos give up two first round picks, two second round picks, a fifth rounder and three players, they also signed Wilson to a $245 million contract extension.  They gave their blessing to Wilson having his own office, separate from the rest of the team, and letting him hire his own personal quarterback coach, in addition to the team’s QB coach.  The report goes on to say Wilson asked players to come to meetings in the facility on their day off, meetings which he personally conducted. 

Is it any wonder first year head coach Nathaniel Hackett had trouble earning the respect and control of his team?  Who was the boss?  Oh, and by the way, the Broncos just hired Sean Payton, the quarterback’s personal choice, as their new head coach replacing Hackett.  Who’s running this show?  Packer fans might well ask the same question about their team. 

Yet there are several other franchises headed for a similar dilemma.  Huge new contracts are soon to be negotiated for guys like Joe Burrow in Cincinnati, Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia, Justin Herbert in Los Angeles, and possibly even free agent Derek Carr.  The new frontier is guaranteed money.  That’s what puts the player in control.  The Deshaun Watson contract in Cleveland blew the top off the market.  Watson got a five year extension for $235 million, all of it fully guaranteed.  Once a team commits to that kind of guarantee, the future of the franchise is basically in the player’s hands.  

If this trend continues, and there’s no reason to think that it won’t, the NFL will become a clone of the NBA, where a handful of superstars control the league.  This is not good for fans, especially for fans of small market, cold weather teams, like the Packers.  Professional athletes work hard and put their bodies through hell, and I don’t begrudge them earning as much as they can get.  But when their contracts give them de facto control of the franchise, the fans lose.  Players are in it for themselves, whereas management must keep their business viable by trying to please the customers, so they are more likely to make fan-friendly decisions. 

Can NFL owners stem this trend of guaranteed money?  Keep your eye on the situation in Baltimore.  Lamar Jackson wants a huge contract and the Ravens are willing to give it to him.  But Jackson wants the entire deal guaranteed, and the team so far is resisting.  He’s headed for a franchise tag but eventually the Ravens will have to make a decision.  Will they take a lesson from the Seahawks and trade him for a king’s ransom?  Or will they take the Cleveland route and fully guarantee a massive deal? 

You can bet there is a front office in Green Bay watching closely as well. 

 

   

 

 

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Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

NFL Categories: 
7 points
 

Comments (111)

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

February 27, 2023 at 06:29 am

"Will they take a lesson from the Seahawks and trade him for a king’s ransom? Or will they take the Cleveland route and fully guarantee a massive deal? "

"You can bet there is a front office in Green Bay watching closely as well. "

I RERLLY enjoyed this article by Ken but isn't it a bit too late for the Packers to be watching closely?

The Seahawks so far are the only smart ones. The Chiefs will ride Mahomes through this contract but how many more? As a Packers fan all I can say is I wish I was in the Seahawks position right now who BTW MADE the playoffs with Geno Smith.

Gezzzz...Just when you thought it couldn't get MORE embarrassing!!!

10 points
13.5
3.5
murf7777's picture

February 27, 2023 at 09:45 am

NP, time will tell on whether the Seahawks made the right decision. One year doesn’t really tell a lot. The Seahawks were one and done and barely made the playoffs. They lost 5 out of the last 8 games and got blown away in the playoffs. Next year, with more film on Geno , you might just see a 6 win season. I wouldn’t want Geno as my starting QB. IMO, he’s a quality back up. I’ll bet Wilson comes back and has a very good year under Coach Payton. He didn’t just lose all of his abilities last year.

Many get enamored With draft picks, as if that is the answer to a championship. IF that’s the case, Detroit, Chicago, Browns, the list goes on and on would actually win more than once a decade. The draft is a crap shoot where less than 50% of the first rounders become a hit and make a single pro-bowl, much less becoming an All-pro. The only true way to consistent winning is to have a Franchise QB, one that is rated top 5 year in and year out. Yes, there are outliers, but that is one or two years and the team goes back to mediocrity.

Whether anyone on this board likes it or not, Rodgers gives this Franchise the best chance to get to a SB. Let’s face it, a valid debate can be made that a 39 year old Rodgers is better than all but maybe 5 QB’s in the NFL right now.

That doesn’t mean you have to want him back, it’s just the hard reality that Rodgers gives the team or any team with a Top 5 QB the best chance to get to the SB.

-1 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 27, 2023 at 10:47 am

Is Rodgers a top 5 QB? Last year he was not in my eyes, or most here seemed to think in season.

The NFL has him ranked at 14, one below Fields.
PFF at 17,
PFN at 11,
CBS at 16.
USA Today at 20.

Average those out and you get the 15th or 16th best QB.

Of course those are inevitably subjective to some extent, but metrics alone don’t argue differently. His QBR rating was 26th, which seems too low to me.

Of course one can cite extenuating circumstances, but others could too. The fact is that this argument that he was a top 10, let alone 5, QB is at best highly questionable and this team has the same coaches and isn’t likely to be radically better in 2023. Some will grow and some areas will weaken.

If the assumption that Rodgers remains a top 5 talent is specious a year on, then what you propose is the very worst strategy. I fear that it is.

1 points
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murf7777's picture

February 27, 2023 at 12:13 pm

Your cherry picking one year when he had a broken thumb. That's hardly a good debate. The two years prior he was MVP, that equates to one of the best. Anyways, these are the QB's I see as better going into 2024 and that's for that year, not the future:
Mahommes
Burrow
Allen
Maybe Jackson or Hurts..... although, I'd argue about equal.

Who would you want to start over Rodgers, the list gets short quickly. Even if you could add a couple more, which would be very debatable, my point is correct.

-2 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 27, 2023 at 05:04 pm

Is and was are different. Would you really argue that Rodgers is more likely to be 2020 Rodgers? That was a rebound year too. Maybe, but now he’s 3 years older and he was not good before the thumb last season. Even if he did somehow repeat. Eve. With Adams and Z that didn’t get us the outcome you posit that he represents the best chance delivering next year? If so it’s so small as to be ephemeral

0 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 28, 2023 at 02:02 am

Agreed in general, even though I strongly think GB should trade AR.

AR does give GB its best chance at a super bowl. He is still a top 5 to 7 QB in the NFL. I am not a fan of Lamar Jackson or Hurts as long-term investments. These guys get hurt and both have great defenses making their shortcomings less noticeable. Ravens have been a top 3 defense two out of the last 3 seasons. I don't know Herbert that well - I am not sure where he fits in the hierarchy.

2022: Lazard, 1/2 Watson, 3/5ths of Doubs, Cobb, Tonyan.
2023: Watson, Doubs, Toure, rookie, rookie, rookie TE.

I think Watson could be a legitimate #1 WR. The big play is there, now the volume and chain-moving receptions have to appear. I really like Doubs' talent (no one who read my practice articles should be able to doubt this) but it needs to more fully translate. I liked Toure's talent as well. I don't know Melton.

I can see where the receiving options in 2023 might be better than 2021, but I can see where it might be worse.

1 points
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NickPerry's picture

February 27, 2023 at 12:48 pm

My remark about Geno Smith was more about making a point, not the QB himself. Denver got Wilson, a much younger QB instead of Rodgers. If Rodgers was really the first choice, then I'd venture to say they would have gotten the same return as the Seahawks did or VERY, very close to it.

Most of my issues with Rodgers is he just doesn't put in the time. Did he and the Packers REALLY expect to pick up where they left off with just a TC showing by Rodgers? Mahomes, and even Wilson all want their teammates to meet PRIOR to OTAs.

Hell, Mahomes had all new receivers this year too for the most part and had his best season. He also had all the new players down as his guest in Texas to start the process of chemistry and then SHOWED up to OTAs and Mimi Camps.

What did Rodgers do? Not a damn thing. Matter of fact he's given hand signals to receivers for years ago. Like how in the fuck are they going to know those?? I no longer believe Rodgers gives them the best chance to win. NOT if he's not willing to do a THING additional.

5 points
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mrtundra's picture

February 27, 2023 at 06:29 am

Yikes!

2 points
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Johnblood27's picture

February 27, 2023 at 06:39 am

Gadzooks!

Exit stage left....

Bdee... Bdee... Bdee... B...That's All Folks!

-1 points
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Johnblood27's picture

February 27, 2023 at 06:38 am

Great read Ken, thanks for addressing this building issue in the NFL.

Questions;

When will the people with a stake in this that never get to speak at the table, the fans, say "enough is enough", we are forming a consumer group and leveraging our way to a seat at the bargaining table.

When will the players get tired of seeing the majority of their brethren signing to below market dollars to maintain a roster spot while a very select few receive most of the salary cap monies?

Perhaps... The future of a healthy NFL lies in positional max contracts through the CBA, thus balancing the wealth available to each and every NFL player. When will the NFLPA actually negotiate within its own ranks for the benefit of ALL of its members and not just its most wealthy?

Kind of like the US politically, eh? When will the PEOPLE rise up and break the chains the current 2 party political system places on them? There is enough commerce in the US to tax and fund the federal government that acts within its Constitutional bounds without taxing the income of the common man.

Freaky parallel.

6 points
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Dragon5's picture

February 27, 2023 at 06:45 am

Or perhaps cowardice management that doesn't believe enough in their own ability to overcome adversity resulting in a rudderless vessel.

Reap what you sow.

9 points
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Boneman's picture

February 27, 2023 at 06:55 am

Great points Ken! Pure and simple it is management acting without courage. Uncle Ted would have never allowed the Packers to fall in this situation. Say what you like about his methods he had the courage to stand behind his convictions. To me this trend is utter madness in a sport that is ultimately and absolutely about the sum of its parts and not about one 'star' player. The NBA is truly different in this respect because one player 'can' win championships. We won two in thirty years with HOF QB's. You would think we should know better. Mahomes is a great player but you're fooling yourself if you think he alone is responsible for KC's success. It's the system that organization put together and some luck mixed in. For years we had the system but just didn't find the luck. Now all we have is hoping for luck. Good luck with that.

8 points
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stockholder's picture

February 27, 2023 at 06:59 am

So you hate Rodgers; because he's in control.
Money controls Fools.
Money will wreck professional sports.
You never fix something until it's broken.
The NFL put the cap in to curb the rich.
Rodgers has the accolades to be paid.
And when he leaves.
You'll see management for what they are.

-6 points
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12
jurp's picture

February 27, 2023 at 08:22 am

Delusional, again.

At what point did Ken say - or even insinuate - that he hates Rodgers? He stated facts, stockholder. We in the reality-based community appreciate these things.

We already know management for what they are, as has been discussed ad nauseum on this board for the past month, at least.

A solid 9 on the Bonkers Scale.

5 points
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stockholder's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:40 am

It's time you look at who keeps
adding games to schedule.
This isn't the 60s.
It's about owners still making money.
And just look at the renovations, and new stadiums.
A far cry from when you grew up.
The cap grows every year.

1 points
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jurp's picture

February 27, 2023 at 01:17 pm

What you've written is quite obvious, but it does allow me an insight into your thoughts that I've not been able to discern before, so I like it and will give you a thumb's up, if you care.

The cap does indeed grow every year, and every year GB continues to add dead money to future caps, thus harming the future success of the team. We're doing that again this year, just to make up for potential dead-cap from your favorite quarterback (I want to reiterate - this is NOT AR's fault, He didn't force Murphy to be an idiot). Had the team traded AR as they ought to have done, the team would be in a far better financial position.

Interestingly, you and I are in general agreement as to the cause of the Packers' potential imminent demise - the "front office". Our difference, I think, lies in what the term "front office" means. In my case, it's Murphy and Ba'al, with Scooter tagging along as an afterthought. With you, it seems to be Gutey Gutey and Gutey.

Remember who controls all the strings and who signs all the checks - that would be Mark Murphy, Idiot in Chief, not Gutekunst.

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 27, 2023 at 09:19 am

The QBs are another example of the "Star" system from Hollywood. The box office icons get the big cash. Blame Jack Nicholson.

-1 points
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pantz_bURp's picture

February 27, 2023 at 07:08 am

Can we have Giannis spend some time with #12 and see if he can explain what a leader is all about? #12 in the last several years seems more intent to conquer and divide his own team rather than the opposition on the field.

The FO, stop digging deeper and put the shovel down. What the hell are you doing? Bueller, Bueller, anyone... anyone?

Here is a take about a year ago I found interesting:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nsaNLz09LlA

3 points
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murf7777's picture

February 27, 2023 at 09:22 am

Certainly, I think Giannis is the better leader, no dispute. But, Giannis took the max contract, how is that different? It’s not like he went to the Bucks and said I’ll take 10M less per year so we can get ___________ player.

3 points
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pantz_bURp's picture

February 27, 2023 at 09:35 am

I am talking strictly being a leader and pulling a team together rather than a divide. I wasn't referring to compensation when referencing Giannis.

*I know, not apples to oranges, but it is what I thought about with a superstar athlete and attempting to embrace the WI community as well as lead a team. Giannis seems to practice trying to be humble as well.

Time will tell, like many things in life. Some years ask the questions, other years provide the answers...

2 points
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murf7777's picture

February 27, 2023 at 10:44 am

I agree, I would rather have Giannis's personality, attitude and drive over Rodgers all day long. sorry, I took your comment out of context.

3 points
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pantz_bURp's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:32 am

No, you didn't...you brought up a fair point.

1 points
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T7Steve's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:34 am

His height might be intriguing too. LOL. Could you see him passing back behind the line? Let's see those get batted down.

1 points
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pantz_bURp's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:38 am

I would pay bug bucks to see a Giannis QB sneak into the end zone with the celebration afterwards! 😀

The Greek Freak Sneak

3 points
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T7Steve's picture

February 27, 2023 at 12:38 pm

Too bad he'd have to take too much of a decrease in pay to play in the NFL.

1 points
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CheeseAndBourbon's picture

February 27, 2023 at 07:10 am

“ The Packers can do nothing of any significance until Rodgers decides what he wants to do.”

This is garbage. What about Rodgers and his salary is preventing the FO from replacing Barry? Or bringing in a decent OC? It didn’t stop them from restructuring contracts for Jones or Smith or Jaire, it wouldn’t stop them from doing the same with Clark, or Bakh.

Not knowing what Rodgers is going to do only really impacts picking up Love’s 5th year option but Gute said they already made that decision months ago. Also, nothing can change the dead money so best case scenario trading AR would result in about $9M extra cap to spend… a mid level WR—the difference between maybe bringing Lazard back.

Also, GB is free to restructure AR’s contact and save cap space by converting salary to bonuses and adding void years WITHOUT AR’s approval.

15 points
15
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 27, 2023 at 07:13 am

I've been writing that fully guaranteed contracts are bad for the NFL for a long time. While I like the idea of contracts that have guaranteed components, perhaps a provision requiring players who make the game one roster to have their minimum base salary fully guaranteed, I am concerned about that creeping ever higher and higher. For example, at one time only the first 15 or 18 rookies selected in the draft got fully guaranteed contracts for all four years, but now if is essentially every first round player. Soon, some of the high second round guys will get four years fully guaranteed if that creep continues as I expect it to.

Also:
Revenue sharing is absolutely essential.
A hard cap is absolutely essential for small market teams.

9 points
9
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Coldworld's picture

February 27, 2023 at 09:08 am

Cleveland’s behavior was bad on so many levels. That’s an outlier by a team wishing to play Russian roulette because it was in a hole so deep and wide and long lasting. The hole and that contract are inextricably linked in both cause and effect.

3 points
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murf7777's picture

February 27, 2023 at 10:46 am

Yes, and that behavior starts with their Owner Haslam, who is reported to take over 25% ownership of the Bucks...YUK! At 25% he has some say, but I'm afraid he has the money to offer other owners an amount they can't refuse and get majority someday.

3 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:08 am

For such ethical signaling owners, that seems a surprising bedfellow to accept.

0 points
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jurp's picture

February 27, 2023 at 01:19 pm

Money always talks. Large money talks the loudest.

0 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

February 27, 2023 at 09:15 am

It's getting so bad I'm waiting for the day one team decides (maybe the Ravens) to just ignore their stars, and draft instead of giving them those contracts.

Letting guys walk at the end of their contracts instead of extending them. Just refusing to pay guys, like the whole NFL did when they all just ignored Colin Kaepernick.

Cleveland giving Watson what they did was just stupid and in hindsight a couple more years from now may be just one more reason the Browns will never win anything.

3 points
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1
Swisch's picture

February 27, 2023 at 02:04 pm

To give just one guy, however great a quarterback, a contract with several years of huge money that is mostly guaranteed throughout seems like such an incredibly high risk.
These days, many of the quarterbacks coming out of college are ready to start in the pros from year one.
Play these QBs the length of their rookie contracts, four or five years, and then maybe start over with another rookie if a new contract with the current QB is going to put the future of the team in jeopardy.
The more the guarantees to the player over time, the more the risk to the team over time.

0 points
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1
LLCHESTY's picture

February 27, 2023 at 09:10 pm

That's what the creamsicle Buccaneers did back in the late '80s and early '90s. It didn't work out very well for them. Those owners were some frugal people, to put it nicely.

0 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

February 27, 2023 at 07:17 am

The NFL is circled around the QB. Essentially the QB is the sun in the NFL universe. A lot of people don't want to admit it, but the QB is the single most important position in all of sports. And that is why the QB's have as much leverage as they have.

Teams that don't have a QB desperately try to find the right one. Look at the amount of assets they trade away in the draft to try and get the next QB. (most recent was the 49ers). The teams that find the right QB desperately do everything they can do to keep the right one. Then there are teams that have an average QB, sometimes overpay these QB's because they are better then the average QB. Or they overpay to get an average QB. (Think Kirk Cousins).

Then teams try to put the right pieces around the QB, between protecting him with OL and getting him weapons to try and take some pressure off of the QB. And teams try to find the best pass rushers they can to try and affect the QB as well as find the best cover guys to shut down WR's to slow down the QB's.

Like it or not, this is a QB driven league. Almost everything is to help the QB on offense and everything is to stop the opposing QB on defense.

10 points
11
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pantz_bURp's picture

February 27, 2023 at 07:26 am

I personally don't like it that "this is a QB driven league", but you are so correct RCPack.

2 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

February 27, 2023 at 08:14 am

Its just the reality of it.

3 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 27, 2023 at 08:40 am

The question here is not that it’s not a QB driven league but the extent that one is willing to be driven and the real direction that takes one.

If anything, the lesson is that there is always a point beyond which any deal is a loser. No one is omnipotent in a team game.

-2 points
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Guam's picture

February 27, 2023 at 10:27 am

Yes it is now a QB driven league but it didn't used to be. Rule changes in the 70's and 80's and later shifted the game from running to passing. Change some of the rules back and you devalue the passing game and the QB. You may not like that change but there is a solution to QBs becoming "too powerful".

3 points
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murf7777's picture

February 27, 2023 at 10:49 am

Guam, I don't disagree, but much of those rules were put into place to make it safer for the players and to bring more offense to the game. That offense creates more viewership. So, I don't see anything like that happening.

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:07 am

I tend to agree, though they could reverse some of the rules back in favor of pass defenders and improve the game in my view. That’s would shift emphasis somewhat. I know the prevailing wisdom is that casual fans want 50 points a game, but personally I find that dull when I’m neutral.

They could also change the rules about QB rushing. So far those changes have limited what defenders can do to protect the QB and, in doing so, incentivized rushing QBs. Limiting formations or opportunities to cross the line of scrimmage or hold the ball within 5 yards if it could be managed I think. That may come anyway for QB safety reasons.

1 points
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Guam's picture

February 28, 2023 at 08:29 pm

I wouldn't change the rules regarding QB safety. Three hundred pound DL's clobbering stationary QBs is not a good idea. However allowing DBs to be in contact with receivers as long as the ball is not in the air would slow down the passing game without jeopardizing anyone's safety.

That would also slow scoring which Goodell and the "average" fan might not like. I would love as I find no drama in 49 - 45 games where the last team with the ball wins. That, to me, is boring football.

0 points
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egbertsouse's picture

February 27, 2023 at 07:25 am

Trade him. If he refuses to play he doesn’t get paid. Or make him sit on the bench while Love starts. How long will Diva do that before he demands a trade? He is all about personal records and you can’t get them riding the pine. Where there is a will, there is a way. Unfortunately, all the will left 1265 Lombardi Ave. a couple years ago along with Murphy’s manhood.

Is Diva going to announce his decision on Tank Tops show tomorrow or drag this thing out a couple more weeks?

9 points
12
3
Packerpasty's picture

February 27, 2023 at 08:07 am

wouldn't the Packers want to get something out of a trade?? If Rodgers doesn't approve of the trade they get nothing...no draft picks, nothing...so your idea to trade just to be mean is stupid...and like it or not in training camp he would prove to be the better QB so management would certainly not "sit him"...hahaha...thats more stupidity..

2 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 27, 2023 at 08:45 am

Take the 9 million hit now and start to regain our future. That’s enough payback for me, given the futility of the alternative. Yes, Murphy built this, not Rodgers, but that’s no excuse for not getting out from under it.

4 points
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MainePackFan's picture

February 27, 2023 at 10:03 am

" Or make him sit on the bench while Love starts."

In your hypothetical scenario, why "make" him sit behind Love? Have a competition, may the best man win. If Love outplays Rodgers he should start. If Rodgers outplays Love he should start. It seems logical to me that if you're going to pay both anyway, you want to play the QB that gave your team the best chance to win.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think spite is a winning formula in team decision making.

6 points
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2
pantz_bURp's picture

February 27, 2023 at 10:24 am

Sounds good Maine. To keep it even. Let #10 pick which WRs #12 throws to and what routes designed by Coach LaF. In turn, #12 gets to pick which WRs #10 throws to as well as what routes Coach LaF calls.

We got this, we are dealing with grown adults after all. :)

*Spite isn't a winning formula Maine, I agree. Someone whisper that in #12's ear hole please.

-1 points
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jurp's picture

February 27, 2023 at 01:21 pm

Spite seems to be working well for #12...

0 points
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1
Packer_Fan's picture

February 27, 2023 at 07:31 am

I like the article. Rodgers has asked for specific players for next year. Like Cobb, etc. The FO has some influence, not control, by not signing those players until Rodgers commits. Then likely Rodgers will retire or ask to be traded. Influence, not control. Regardless, a lousy situation.

Best solution will be for the players to limit what the QB's get as percentage of the total take. They did this for draft choices about 10 years ago. And they should do it for the QB's

7 points
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fair_weather's picture

February 27, 2023 at 07:49 am

Jeez. Wrap this up and lay it at Murphy’s feet. What a dumb way to kill your organization.

4 points
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freddisch's picture

February 27, 2023 at 07:49 am

Excellent article Ken

1 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 27, 2023 at 07:55 am

Two leadership groups that acted out of desperation and took huge gambles. That is not new, but the extent of influence and control that they ceded to the player concerned is. In the end Faustian pacts only work if the player is that good and the team around them can live up to it. In both cases, the blame lies with the suits that signed those terms.

Know your boundaries and protect them: neither did. Now it’s a question of damage limitation and that requires learning lessons, which in turn requires facing up to and owning the failings. It’s not the players but the willingness of leaders to do bad deals far beyond what was justified in the circumstances and the ability of those players to carry what they had around them. Bad gambles on based on unrealistic expectations at an unjustifiable cost beyond mere pay.

At some point one has to be willing to say no. No matter how good this could be, the risks are too great and the outcome too questionable. We need to walk away. Let someone else take that risk if they will or in fact let the market reject it and one might find that there’s a reasonable one later. If not, take the lumps and be better for it. That’s how good organizations think. TT realized that I think. Murphy certainly did not.
You get what you bargain for, and both teams did.

6 points
8
2
Swisch's picture

February 27, 2023 at 09:03 am

Good points, CW, except that Faustian pacts never work.
The Carthaginians of Hannibal and his elephants across the Alps were doomed by the practice of child sacrifice, in which newborns were thrown into a fiery furnace to appease the devil.
A rich couple that was childless would pay a poor couple for one of their children, then offer up the beautiful babe as an awful sacrifice.
Cathargo Delenda Est! The Romans leveled Carthage and scattered salt over the ruins.
***
I know, I know, this is only football.
It's also true that nations die from within, and so do organizations.
Another example of a literal deal with the devil was the Aztecs, who offered human sacrifice in staggering numbers, including children, consuming the remains as cannibals.
Spanish soldiers would watch in horror as their comrades taken in battle as prisoners of war by day had their beating hearts ripped out by demonic Aztec priests at night.
It's not on the field of battle that all is lost, but first in the hearts of people selling out their integrity for supposedly practical results.
They lose their dignity, then everything else.
***
Nazi Germany was the most educated nation in the world, and one of the most cultured, yet doomed by its own evil in glorifying its pagan past.
As noted by a sage head coach of the Green Bay Packers:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XS3YBV1/ref=ox_sc_saved_image_1?smi...
We win not by sacrificing each other, but by sacrificing for each other.

-3 points
4
7
jannes bjornson's picture

February 27, 2023 at 09:39 am

"Cortez, Cortez, what a killer..."

0 points
2
2
Swisch's picture

February 27, 2023 at 10:46 am

Cortes was actually a good guy, though not perfect, in his conquest and governance of the Aztecs (not so much Francisco Pizarro with the Incas).
At Vera Cruz, he and his soldiers were horrified when emissaries of Montezuma sprinkled human blood on their food like seasoning.
Their epic trek inland was a march into darkness, as villages displayed pyramids of human skulls.
In the advanced and impressive capital of the Aztecs (now Mexico City), the zoo animals would roar in the morning for their food of human remains from sacrificed victims.
***
We have to be careful with history to keep perspective.
Although George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were not perfect, they were still heroic.
For that matter, Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr were not perfect, but were still heroic.
In general, America is not perfect, but still a truly great nation, with many heroes to be honored with appreciation and gratitude.
None of us are perfect, all of us flawed and faulty, but most of us strive to be the best of ourselves.
If we tear down everything and everyone that is not perfect, we will destroy some very good things, like the beacon of America, and some very good people, like our own ancestors.
May we be firm in opposing wrongdoing, but kind in assessing each other -- and forgiving.
***
As said by Lincoln, "With malice toward none, with charity to all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right . . . ."

1 points
4
3
EnemyTerritory's picture

February 27, 2023 at 06:48 pm

I will not watch human sacrifices at Lambeau. This comment is well beyond my comprehension

1 points
1
0
LLCHESTY's picture

February 27, 2023 at 09:15 pm

I'm just glad Bart Starr was around to put an end to those pesky Nazis.

1 points
1
0
BirdDogUni's picture

February 28, 2023 at 12:14 am

Too bad Bart couldn't stop communism...

Just looked it up online... 17 - 20 million deaths attributed to the Nazi Regime between 1933 - 1945...

One hundred years of Communism has cost over 100 million lives...

Sure that is just a drop in the bucket to the end tally though.

2 points
2
0
Packerpasty's picture

February 27, 2023 at 08:03 am

GODell and the owners will ruin the sport as it was known...but nothing will change, the stands will be full...

5 points
6
1
dobber's picture

February 27, 2023 at 08:22 am

It's become cliche to say that the QB gets too much credit and too much blame in game outcomes. They get more interviews and pressers than just about any other player on the roster, and are expected to be an ambassador to the community and in charitable functions. This player is almost always the face of your franchise, if your franchise is good for anything.

A QB is an important on-field commodity. The time and investment required to find, groom, and develop a QB is a significant challenge for most teams.. This is a guy who handles the ball on virtually every offensive snap and has responsibility for checkdowns, skill player alignments, and communicating on blocking schemes. The rules have shifted over the year to put more on the QB to make the team successful. No one player on the field has more impact on how his unit functions.

Who is more likely than a QB to earn a 3rd contract? If you find one, and he's good, he's going to hang around one team (or in the league) for a long time. It's no surprise that QB salaries and expectations have spiraled out of control--it's also no surprise that this player, who is likely to be a long-term employee, eats more cap, becomes increasingly integrated into team structures, and requires more attention than ever before.

This is not a simple problem, but at this point it's confined mostly to apex players. It's a problem of the league's own making, and one that owners and GMs seem to be relatively willing to perpetuate--to a point. I find myself wondering what the league would look like, and what cap structures would look like if churn at the QB position mirrored other positions on the roster. I'd argue that the worst of these kinds of QB issues come from those players who hang around into the their mid-30s. As time goes by, the precedent will creep into QBs in their 20s (alluded to by TGR above, re: guaranteed contracts for 2nd round picks). With NIL rising in the college ranks, expectations and egos will be even harder to handle--not to mention the issue of gauging commitment to the game. The NFLPA doesn't want to do much of anything to curb an individual player's ability to earn a $$, but guaranteed contracts and hard salary caps don't play nice together.

I don't know what the answer is, except maybe that it lies with teams and GMs, and how they philosophically approach roster building--being willing to move on from players sooner rather than later? Security is what fuels these problems in a small number of guys--they feel untouchable (no repercussions) combined with feeling they're not being given some due that they've "earned". We've seen the start of the bite--guys like Russell Wilson moved. Maybe ARod is next. A league-wide approach will likely lead to the NFLPA brandishing accusations of collusion, and perhaps legal action. But the league will need to find itself at a crisis/crossroads, before anything changes.

7 points
7
0
jurp's picture

February 27, 2023 at 08:35 am

In this case, true change may have to come from below - if the seats stay filled, the merchandise still sells, and the TV cash still flows, the owners (collectively) will do nothing to rock the boat. The players will have to vote in enough reps to the NFLPA to make sure that the next player contract includes maximum salary amounts per position, probably with some sort of escalator for all positions for reaching agreed-upon performance goals (MVPs, championships, All-Pros, etc.). It would probably take a super-computer to determine the various levels needed (base dollars per year of service * games started * % if snaps/game * whatever else they want to track), but it's doable.

Such a contract would have an interesting trickle-down affect on college football, because I would assume that more players would want to play at the more lucrative NFL positions (QB, Edge, LT, RB, whatever) and there would be ramifications with transfers by players who weren't playing at their preferred positions.

3 points
3
0
MainePackFan's picture

February 27, 2023 at 10:27 am

dobber, that was well stated and logically written. Tip of the cap sir.

2 points
2
0
murf7777's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:49 am

Dobber, interesting comments. I tend to disagree about QB's hanging around into their mid-30's. There are examples of ones who won a SB in more recent times, such as Brady 37, 39, 40 & 41, Manning 39 and Elway at 37 & 38. Even in the beginning, Starr was 33 & 34, Len Dawson 34, Johnny Unitas 37, Plunkett 36 and Staubach 35, etc.....

I think part of the difference now is the QB's conditioning and diets they adhere to. Also, the new rules of not hitting QB's below the knees or above the chest makes a difference in longevity. The day and age of the great QB's ending their careers in the mid=30's is changing. There will be many more playing into their late 30's and early 40's and some who will win and/or be in the SB. 8 out of the last 10 SB's there has been at least one of the QB's 34 or older.

Regarding Russell Wilson, I don't disagree he looked bad last year but could some of it have been from nagging injuries, bad coaching? My thoughts are that you will see a totally different Russell Wilson with Coach Payton in 2023.

1 points
1
0
dobber's picture

February 28, 2023 at 06:23 am

https://www.statmuse.com/nfl/ask/2022-nfl-quarterbacks-by-age

I see what you're saying, but my point is that the only position group in the NFL that is--on average--older than QB might be K (I haven't done that research). The average (data is from 2022) might be skewed by greybeards like Brady and ARod, but about 1/3 of the league sported a primary starting QB over the age of 30.Those guys might take care of themselves and league rules might prolong their careers, but the longer they're in the league, the more they support the top end of the league salary pyramid. Not all of those guys are with the teams they started with, but they all are into 3rd (and 4th) contracts.

0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 28, 2023 at 02:39 am

Really good stuff, here.

I think we are a long way away from day three draft picks getting fully guaranteed four year contracts. The second round could get there by the end of this CBA.

The other issue is fully guaranteed 2nd contracts becoming more prevalent. Guaranteed money is already king.

My own thought is that as more contracts become fully guaranteed, the salaries involved with be reduced. "Imagine, if you would, a world in which" NFL teams had to fully guarantee contracts like the one Preston Smith just signed with GB - one for 4 years, $52M, $13M AAV, with him being age 31 in 2023. I have to think his deal who mutate in a fully guaranteed world to something 4/$28M to 4/$32M.

I imagine that at some point even elite players would get less money. I admit, there is zero evidence for this idea, and plenty to the contrary.

IF the NFL continues to make absurd amounts of revenue, I can also see some sort of weird rule that allows a team to dump a contract or two each year without cap consequences. I don't follow the NBA anymore but something like a mid-level exemption, though I don't really know what that is.

1 points
1
0
Swisch's picture

February 27, 2023 at 08:44 am

So, when I talk about the front office selling out its dignity to keep Rodgers, maybe it's on target.
To caution fans to not sell out our dignity by pandering to Rodgers could be good advice.
When I say that I don't hate Rodgers, but am angry at what he's doing to overrule and undermine the Packers, to the slighting of us as fans, maybe that's a fair distinction.
Thanks to Ken Lass for laying bare the extent of the humiliation inflicted by Rodgers and enabled by his rightful bosses.
***
Then there's the concern that a team that allows its quarterback to become arrogantly domineering is doomed to break our hearts at the most important moments of the biggest games.
I've written that Rodgers is the fault line around which the team cracks and crumbles under pressure.
The last three seasons have ended with agonizing losses on Lambeau Field in which Rodgers has fallen short of the greatness for which he is paid such an extravagant salary, and given such ludicrous control.
One could say that Rodgers has been mediocre at best in these huge failures for the team.
One could recall the image, as an example, of Allen Lazard running wide open across the field directly in front of the eyes of Rodgers, but Rodgers instead throwing deep to Davante in double coverage in exasperating futility.
A completion to Lazard almost certainly wins that playoff game; the miss to Davante was our last offensive play in a gut-wrenching loss.
***
I've written that even to win a Super Bowl with this version of Rodgers is not worth the loss of dignity to the team and its fans.
I still think this is true, because such groveling is sickening.
***
Here's the control angle for the Packers, without being mean to Rodgers, just real.
As a matter of simple fairness to the entire team, announce that Love is the starter next season whether Rodgers stays or not.
If Rodgers is disruptive, put him on the practice squad.
Pay him the money as necessary . . . and learn the lesson to never give another player control of the Packers.
This would be the beginning of a bright new future.

-1 points
4
5
T7Steve's picture

February 27, 2023 at 08:48 am

Like Ken says, you can't blame the player for getting money and power over his livelihood. You can blame him for not being a leader or playing up to his contract. You have to blame the FO for taking holding players accountable out of the coach's' hands.

You could blame the NFL for making the cap only 50% of their gross revenue. If we can decide a player makes too much, why can't we decide the owners and networks make too much?

I guess as fans, we COULD dictate what the players and league do. We (as in me) just don't have the guts to quit watching every second of the games. There lies the rub.

6 points
7
1
jurp's picture

February 27, 2023 at 08:57 am

Steve, it's incredibly freeing to skip part of all of the games. It's not easy at first, but you'll get used to it over the course of a few weeks. It is also the only recourse we fans have - Fewer viewers = lower ratings = over time, less revenue for the teams.

2 points
3
1
T7Steve's picture

February 27, 2023 at 09:49 am

I can NOT watch parts or all of any game the Packers aren't playing. I would miss the Sunday/Monday night games though. The NFL already turned me off Thursdays when they went to pay TV. I won't even try to pay to watch commercials.

1 points
1
0
Johnblood27's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:27 am

Your strategy will not cause a ripple now that the gambling money is flowing from the faucet.

The marginal fans that do not care for the GAME except for a venue to gamble on Fantasy teams and player props and quarterly outcomes and individual statistical outcomes will provide more of a revenue stream than your interest by watching can even scratch.

Bye bye football, hello gambling spectacle. Let the games begin!

...and now with the unprecedented over-regulated game placing most of the outcomes of each play in the hands of the black and white striped team it is just a matter of time before this ticking time bomb explodes in the faces of the NFL and the NFLPA when gambling's dark influences infiltrate the shaky security infrastructure of the NFL and bring the entire house down in scandals larger than have ever been seen in the global history of sport.

Olympic graft will be dwarfed in comparison.

FIFA kickbacks will seem quaint.

You heard it here first. Mark it down. I WILL be saying "I told you so".

3 points
3
0
MainePackFan's picture

February 27, 2023 at 01:24 pm

JB,
Hard to disagree with anything you said. Gambling is not the only issue. All 3 major sports are making changes to how the game is played, that take it further and further away from what attracted people to the game in the first place.

In my humble opinion, the NBA, MLB and NFL are not a better brand of the sports I grew up watching. The NBA lost me a decade ago. MLB is doing their best to alienate their core base in hopes of attracting people who shoot videos of themselves eating Tide Pods. The NFL is one bad QB hit away from flag football.

On top of that, all these sports continue to inject politics and social issues into the fabric of the game, funded by organizations and elitists with an agenda that turns off a large portion of their fanbases. I don't need any more "How do you really feel" commercials trying to convince me I am depressed.

If there is a demise in store, all of these things will contribute.

1 points
1
0
jurp's picture

February 27, 2023 at 01:34 pm

You bring up an excellent point about gambling - to see the truly corrosive and society-damaging effects of sports gambling, one just has to look at its affect on UK "football" and the men (usually) who bet on it. And yes, a major difference between UK and US football gambling is indeed in the influence of the refs - AFAIK, the number of penalties available to call in the NFL dwarfs those in the Premier League. But then, I'd rather watch paint dry than 22 guys chugging up and down a field with nothing really happening.

My strategy regarding the time spent in watching football is more about my own mental health vis a vis the made-up "importance" of the games rather than as a way to "force" the owners to do anything they don't want to. That would be a positive unintended consequence. When a team' success is no longer as important to you as it once was, then your own reactions to that team's lack of success is much more muted.

I used to be a huge Brewers fan; now, it's nice if I hear that they've won, but if they finish tops in the division or 10 games below .500 does not affect me in the least.

As for your prediction that there will be a huge scandal involving the NFL and gambling interests, I hope you're right for the good of the game, but I don't expect that to happen - there's way too much money to be made for any scandal to ever see the breath of fresh air.

-1 points
0
1
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 28, 2023 at 02:58 am

I stopped watching the Bucks altogether by 2001. Watching Tim Thomas hoist 3-pointers up drove me crazy. He was a .369% career 3 point shooter, but that also caused his 1.0 offensive rebounds per game stat. I don't know what the coaches wanted, but I assumed that 5 year at $11M per year fully guaranteed contract meant the coaches couldn't get him to do any dirty work.

That said, my defection from the NBA has had no noticeable impact on their revenues. People like offense over defense.

2 points
2
0
dobber's picture

February 27, 2023 at 09:53 am

"you can't blame the player for getting money and power over his livelihood. "

Isn't this something we all want for ourselves, at least to some degree?

5 points
5
0
pantz_bURp's picture

February 27, 2023 at 10:03 am

Very true dobber. I may be missing the boat, but I was taught just because you can doesn't mean you always should.

Not everything in life is about the money. Money only suffices for a while when something isn't a fit.

*I am not proud nor embarrassed to say I walked away from money as a bonus (no where near what a proathlete is making...but 5 figures). All I had to do was hang in there for 20 more days since I hit my YE bonus goal in March. I had a nice conversation with my boss (the President) and simply told him it is time.

For me it was looking at what was best for me and taking into consideration, the company. I have peace of mind and that was important to me.

2 points
2
0
Swisch's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:18 am

What if the NFL took 20 percent of its revenue and used it to fund humane factories to make NFL gear in America, with workers from our decaying inner cities and desolate countrysides?
The huge profits of the NFL could offset any extra costs of making jerseys and souvenirs in our own country, and I would guess still make a profit in the production.
Wow! Instead of lecturing their fans with self-righteous superiority, the NFL could actually partner with fans (donating with their purchases) to help Americans of every color.
Instead of just empty slogans and virtue signaling, we could actually provide good jobs for healthy families.
We want our players to talk less and perform better on the field; let's give them an opportunity to talk less and perform better off the field, too.
I'd bet most of them would be enthusiastic in doing so, perhaps even donating a tiny percentage of their salaries to the cause of good jobs.
Instead of tearing down, it would be all of us who love pro football building up.
***
May we hold up for emulation and honor not the cynical dividers of the American people, profiteers of human misery, but the likes of the American heiress Katharine Drexel, who in the Gilded Age not only donated her fortune, but dedicated her life, to the care of people of color (even quietly standing up to the KKK).
For the majority of us, we could follow the more accessible example of the former slave, Julia Greeley -- born in the same town as Mark Twain at about the same time -- by doing little things for the poor without drawing attention to ourselves.

-1 points
2
3
Johnblood27's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:30 am

I'm not helping if I don't get the credit...

2 points
2
0
Swisch's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:52 am

I know the feeling, Johnblood27.
You wouldn't believe how underappreciated I am ;-).

0 points
1
1
Johnblood27's picture

February 27, 2023 at 06:23 pm

so... you're married too?

3 points
3
0
HarryHodag's picture

February 27, 2023 at 09:29 am

The core problem isn't the players, it's the owners and GM's. While they can't collude, if the owners would simply say 'no' to the ridiculous money demands the market would change.

But humans are flawed creatures. There's always an owner who will try for the brass ring by trying to one-up the next owner. In short, when the floodgates open damage follows.

I thought the last extension they gave Rodgers was ridiculous. At that point he thought he owned the team. Now it's worse.

4 points
5
1
dobber's picture

February 27, 2023 at 09:56 am

"if the owners would simply say 'no' to the ridiculous money demands the market would change."

What's the fans' response/perception to that kind of approach, especially if that player is popular?
"You didn't give QB X his money, so the franchise is doing things on the cheap."
We've seen it here and in other places (whether it's true or not).

All NFL teams make money. The salary cap, revenue-sharing, and team-controlled marketing/sales make sure that's true.

0 points
1
1
Coldworld's picture

February 27, 2023 at 10:24 am

Actually, it’s owners saying yes and then what ensues that changes a trend. If such deals typically prove unhealthy they cease to occur as competitors simply step back and say you take the risk until no more will. If, on the other hand, guaranteed contracts take off long term, it means they are, overall, not seen as a problem. These things work themselves out at a league level, but may be very unpleasant watching for teams on the wrong side of it in the interim.

2 points
3
1
Swisch's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:38 am

Leadership involves doing what is smart and what is right even when it's not popular.
It means setting the trend instead of following the lunatics and losers.
It results in winning in the long run, even if there is sacrifice in the short term.
***
A lot of the players who were with the laughable Packers during the 1958 season of 1-10-1 were also with them during the legendary run of championships under Lombardi.
At least three of our future hall-of-famers were then busts.
Paul Hornung was a Heisman-winner and first-overall draft pick left sitting on the sidelines; Ray Nitschke was unstable to the point of being unusable; and Bart Starr was invisibly irrelevant.
We even hear from good Packers fans at CHTV how unremarkable was Starr even with Lombardi, at least compared to such exalted quarterbacks as Unitas and Jurgensen and Meredith.
To think that the Packers could win five championships in seven seasons, and three in a row, without ceding control of the team to its quarterback -- who was so understated in his time as to be so underrated today.
It rocks the imagination.

0 points
2
2
LLCHESTY's picture

February 27, 2023 at 09:18 pm

Hard to call it ridiculous money when you see how much the owners are making.

0 points
0
0
Leatherhead's picture

February 27, 2023 at 10:48 am

Get Dickerson, or OJ, or Earl, or Riggins, and put some real road-graders in front of them. Stop throwing it 30+ times every game. That will de-emphasize the importance of the QB. It'll also keep your defense off the field .

I'm not advocating this, by the way, I'm just offering it as a solution. Reality is that about 2/3 of your yards, and points, come through the air in the NFL. No matter how well you run, you're going to have to throw the ball to score points. In high school, and even college, that's not necessarily true , and even was less true back in the day, but it's really hard to score 30 points without throwing the ball successfully.

0 points
0
0
RCPackerFan's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:45 am

So basically get Henry and become the Titans?

They did make it to the conference championship 1 time since Henry has been on the team.

1 points
1
0
Leatherhead's picture

February 27, 2023 at 12:59 pm

I was thinking more like the 49ers.

As I said, you can reduce the importance of the QB by having a stud RB and a good line, but in this league, passing=scoring points=winning games.

For example, 7 teams had 30 or more passing TDs last year, and they all made the playoffs. KC had 41, and that was the best in the league, and they had 18 rushing TDs. More than half the teams are scoring less than 1 rushing TD per game.

So yeah, rush to protect your QB, rush to protect your defense, but if you want to score points, you're going to have to be able to throw it successfully.

XXXXXXXXX

It is funny, though, that you'd mention Henry. I really wanted him in the draft that year. And I really wanted Lamar Jackson, too. Can you imagine those two in the same backfield for the Packers the last 5 years?

1 points
1
0
coolhand's picture

February 27, 2023 at 10:56 am

I could see giving AR this contract when he was 33 or 35, but not now when he will be 40 during this season. And set it up in such a way even if he retires we pay him? Whose stupid idea was this? Management let him run the team in this way. They didn't have to give AR the keys, they chose to. AR didn't lead us to a Lombardi over the past 3 years, why did they think with an injured O line, Adams gone, and rookie WRs he was going to leads us there last year?

2 points
4
2
PASSdaRELISH's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:07 am

I’d like to see a team with a QB that’s pretty good, but not top-5, go all out on DEFENSE through the draft and free agency. How fun would it be to watch a team with the top defense in the league just destroy some team’s high dollar QB?? I’m not a Seattle fan but It sort of looks like they could be trying this plan.

0 points
1
1
Cubbygold's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:14 am

you mean like Hurts and philly?

0 points
0
0
jurp's picture

February 27, 2023 at 01:41 pm

You mean like late-stage P. Manning and the Broncos?

0 points
0
0
MainePackFan's picture

February 27, 2023 at 03:31 pm

or Trent Dilfer and the Ravens?

0 points
0
0
LLCHESTY's picture

February 27, 2023 at 09:20 pm

You mean like Jim McMahon and Chic....nevermind.

1 points
1
0
LambeauPlain's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:08 am

"We can criticize the front office for putting the Packers in this predicament, but in reality, they had little choice."

Geez, Ken. The Murphy Management by Committee had several choices but the Chairman ceded control of the cap to the QB. It would have been seamless to ship Rodgers off to Denver for a kings ransom to get a similar result Wilson delivered.

Kind of ironic a big part of the article bemoans the Broncos capitulation to Wilson by Hackett who enjoyed the same scenario as OC of the Rodgers windfall in GB. Hackett had experience in QB capitulation.

I think the QB takeover of the NFL is a bit overstated. But the Packer/Denver MLF/Murphy model offers a cautionary tale.

2 points
2
0
Cubbygold's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:13 am

Teams always have a choice.

And when you play in a salary cap league, making the choice to spend big on a top tier QB has consequences.

But, that's why the NFL is so popular, it's very difficult to just go out and buy a superbowl (unlike say MLB or the NBA). Hate that this is true, but you can have an Aaron Rodgers on your team for 12 years and still never even make it to a championship game - that's a sign of a healthy and competitive league. I love seeing a Jalen Hurts lead his team to the superbowl, or a Foles, because it proves the league offers multiple paths to a championship and that any team can realistically compete in 3 years time if they draft and develop the right players. Very few sports have such competitive balance.

3 points
3
0
Johnblood27's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:35 am

I would have preferred to have seen the astonishingly talented AR lead the Packers to a dynasty level run of success, kind of like Brady in New England... just sayin... 18 years on the team... 1 Super Bowl appearance... GOAT or goat?

0 points
1
1
Swisch's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:54 am

Good stuff, Cubbygold.

-1 points
0
1
ricky's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:39 am

Recall that before Rodgers re-signed with the Packers, there were strong rumors he wanted Gutekunst fired as part of his re-signing. So, Gutey reached out, and somehow they came to an agreement. This is guesswork, but effectively, Gutekunst gave up all control over the salary cap situation, and overpaid Rodgers to assuage his hurt feelings. So, Gutekunst either allowed this to happen, being willing to mortgage the team's future to keep Rodgers. Or, he didn't realize just how much power was being passed to Rodgers. I think the first scenario is the most likely. And here we are. What to do? It seems the best thing would be to trade Rodgers to a team he would be willing to join. The most likely prospects would be Las Vegas (and a reunion with Davante Adams), or the Jets (who have an outstanding defense, and some decent weapons on offense, except for the QB). That both of these teams seem willing to send a couple of high draft picks in a trade is amazing. It is also a golden opportunity. The team had a chance to reap a huge return from Denver, but chose to go another direction. They can now either double down on their mistake, or do their best to fleece some other team to take this onerous contract off their hands, and get some draft capital in return for a fading QB. Their decision will determine the future of the franchise for years to come. Hopefully, this time they make the right decision.

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Heyward's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:49 am

The front office had every choice. Nobody forced the Packers to give Rodgers such a ridiculous contract last year.

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Coldworld's picture

February 27, 2023 at 12:06 pm

“To err is common to all men, but the man who, having erred, does not hug his errors, but repents of them and seeks their cure, is neither a wastrel nor unwise.”

Sophocles.

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Swisch's picture

February 27, 2023 at 01:10 pm

Is this Sophocles guy available to hire for the front office of the Packers?

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davekenya's picture

February 27, 2023 at 01:19 pm

'Have QBs become too powerful?'

This is an important topic...and worthy of a deeper dive. Is there a trend?

Do most QBs get 'too big for their britches' after they excel in one system for a long time?
Some often seem freer to exert 'power' -- 'correcting' younger HCs in explaining why something won't actually work when the HC thinks it will.

QBs get more (guaranteed) salary (and a higher % of the team's salary cap) as they progress in their careers if they are any good. The financial security could afford some of them more perceived ability to 'speak their voice' or 'want/demand more add-ons' (Wilson with the office & traveling staff; Brady with Guererro traveling with the Pats, etc) . Some QBs may leverage their financial security to push boundaries (exert power).

However, I think it's QB personality specific.
Some seem to do it (Favre, Rodgers, Wilson...perhaps Brady)
Others I'm less aware of having done it (Brees, Roethlisberger, Manning). Even though they have 'banked' enough credibility and cash to become 'too powerful', they haven't. Maybe it's simply their personality and/or how they were raised to respond to (other) figures in authority. But for whatever reasons, they didn't seem to get too big for the game.

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NorCalPacker685's picture

February 27, 2023 at 01:47 pm

This team blew it the moment they signed Rodgers to this massive extension... They went all in from 2020-2021, and came up short. They were so desperate to keep 12 they just gave him a blank contract and told him to fill it out himself. Instead of trusting the draft pick THEY made, and trusting their own development, they begged mr. 3 and out in the playoffs to come back... for what? It's not like he's been coming through in the clutch for the last 10 years... Just trade him for whatever you can get and let's move forward with a QB who is in it for the TEAM and not himself.

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Heyward's picture

February 27, 2023 at 06:18 pm

Agree totally, but it's not that easy. Thanks to that absurd contract, if Rodgers wants to stay, he's staying. We just have to hope he wants to leave, although I'm dubious that Mr. I Can't Spend Two Weeks At OTAs will want to take on the challenge of going to a new team.

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crayzpackfan's picture

February 27, 2023 at 01:58 pm

I'm so exhausted. I just want him gone for the mere fact that he's fast become the drunk at the party who shows up late yet just won't leave. He keeps you up all night. Everyone has left and are already at home in bed. He then becomes very needy. We start yawning and looking at our watches. Will GB call his ass a cab, or let him crash on the couch? Seriously! Just call this dude a cab and thank him for making everyone laugh and have a good time for a few hours.

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Qoojo's picture

February 27, 2023 at 02:58 pm

If you listen to the talking heads, it's easy to think the QB wins and losses everything by themselves: QB 1 vs QB 2 stats. Doesn't even consider that QB 1 had Tony Mandarich blocking against Reggie White in his prime.

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Since'61's picture

February 27, 2023 at 08:44 pm

I have posted for years here at CHTV that the media has made the QB the only reason why teams win or lose football games. This goes all the way back to the 80s and ESPN making Joe Montana the GOAT at that time. They followed Montana with Favre, Peyton Manning, Brady, Rodgers and most recently Mahomes. This will not change because more people are watching and gambling on the NFL than ever before.

Fans are not fans of their teams any longer. They are fans of their Fantasy football rosters and their individual bets on individual players during the weekly games.
They're not routing for the Packers to win or lose but they are betting on Rodgers to throw X-number of TDs every week or Mahomes or Allen, or Burrow or whoever. The same with the WRs and the RBs.

The media and the league are complicit in this evolving definition of a fan and it is happening in every sport but is currently strongest in the NBA and the NFL. Media and the leagues have figured out that fans will get disappointed and move on to other forms of entertainment if their team is a perennial loser. But if fans can choose and then root for different players every week or every evening in the NBA they are more likely to stay involved as fans and as bettors. Fans can customize their own teams every week and every game if they want to. Everyone is a GM. It's not about winning or losing it's about keeping fans involved watching, spending and gambling.

Sorry Swisch but in this scenario no one is losing their dignity over Rodgers, the Packers or any other team. They are just moving on to the next game and their next play.

Underpinning all of this is the fact that the agents and the players, especially the QBs, have figured all of this out and they want their share. When the Packers gave Rodgers his current contract I posted that they have basically made Rodgers a partner of the team. I took some heat for that comment at the time but it has in fact become a self-fulfilling prophecy to the point where the Packers are now waiting for Rodgers to tell them what he wants to do and what that means for the team.

Like it or not and believe it or not but the Packers have willingly walked into this partnership. Why? Because for better or worse Rodgers is the Packers entertainment value proposition. He is still the straw that stirs the drink in Green Bay and he will be as long as he remains in Green Bay. When and however the Packers lose Rodgers they lose their entertainment value as far as the league is concerned. The league competes for the entertainment money not just the sports money. QBs have become the Al Pacino's and Meryl Streeps of the NFL. The Paul McCartneys and Bruce Springsteens of their teams for their fans. The league has fed this for the last 40 years. First the media, then the rule changes for offense and to protect QBs and now the faces of the league and their respective teams. The QBs and their agents are making the teams pay for the status which they have created for them. But through it all the league and the owners are making more and more money every season. Just look at Goodell's compensation if you need proof.

It's an evolving scenario and when and where it will stop is anyone's guess. I don't know if it's better or worse than the 60s and 70s eras but I do know that it is different and that we're not going back. There is too much money for too many people to lose. Tomorrow there will be yet more money for everyone involved to lose. As a non-profit the Packers organization does not have much of a choice but to ride along and try to remain relevant.

As fans we make our own choices either to watch, walk and/or gamble. Except for the Packers I've chosen to walk. Even with the Packers I will stick until Murphy retires and see how the Packers handle his replacement. If it goes the way I expect it to go I'll walk from the NFL completely. They don't need me but most importantly I don't need them.
Thanks, Since '61

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LeotisHarris's picture

February 27, 2023 at 09:28 pm

A one-man-standing-ovation is all i can offer, '61. Well done, and I agree with each point you've made.

It's the pervasiveness of gambling that bothers me most about these soulless mothereffers. The arrogant, self-centered Commissioner continues to try to take my dignity through his manipulation and advocacy for the greedy owners. How many seasons has he held us hostage with his insidious behavior? Yet we fans continue to salivate like Pavlov's dog at the sound of the bell. Well, I'm close to slipping my collar and running for the hills. Maybe lie down and lick my nuts. Learned helplessness be damned!

One of the inspirations for Disneyland was a small, rideable train that Walt Disney had built on his property. The route included a short tunnel that went underneath his wife's garden, and Walt wanted the tunnel curved so riders couldn't see the exit right away upon entrance. It was a complicated design to achieve a fun visual effect for passengers. During the planning, one of the contractors told him, "Mr Disney, you'll save a hell of a lot of money if you just make that tunnel straight." To which Walt replied, "if I wanted to save money, I wouldn't be building a goddamned railroad in my backyard."

Now, we have Meatball Ron, and cancel culture, and those who won't show up for work on time. There were the Aztecs and the Mayans, and the Romans, and everyone knows what happened the dinosaurs. Juan Pizzaro had 1522 career strikeouts, and is all but forgotten. Sure, Titletown District is nice now, but how much ice cream can you sell if Dippin' Dots really is the ice cream of the future?

Anyway, as Abe Lincoln said "we'll see how everything looks in the morning." How true that is.

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Since'61's picture

February 28, 2023 at 11:15 am

Leotis I appreciate the ovation. Great story about the Disneyland train and absolutely accurate.

Titletown is an excellent example of an organization losing focus from their core business. Does Titletown support the on field product or has the on field product become the hobby supporting Titletown? What happens to Titletown if the Packers have a long down turn? Does it become a White Elephant that drags down the whole organization or do the fans keep bailing out the team and Titletown with more frequent sales (donations) of "stock" in the team?

As usual Old Abe Lincoln was correct. Thanks, Since '61

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tommynak's picture

February 27, 2023 at 11:55 pm

This is why I have been saying for sometime now that each team should have 1 contract that doesn't count against the cap. It doesn't necessarily need to be the QB contract but any one that you elect to be an exception to count against the cap. Now we know in most cases this will be a QB contract. The reason I feel this way is because if a team does its due diligence and finds that QB either through draft, free agency or trade they shouldn't be penalized for hitting on that. They should have that choice if they want to pay him without being penalized for finding the guy. The rest of your roster with 1 exclusion is figured toward the set cap. This would be a very equitable way to calculate cap and reward competent front offices.

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joefan's picture

February 28, 2023 at 02:12 am

I don't see the situation the same myself. Seattle already turned Wilson away last year when they could've kept him and then ended up in a similar situation where they re-sign him to another very expensive contract. But then even at that point, they could've traded him like they did already or released him. The difference is that John Schneider made a decision and followed through, while the Packers are doing damage control. They drafted Love and then decided not to play him and making him a forever backup. They were too scared to move on from Rodgers so they re-signed him to a huge contract, but then they failed to re-sign Adams and along with all the other players lost the last few years, this team finally fell off a cliff. Now they're a bad team regardless of whether or not Rodgers stays. And it's a terrible position to be in because I still believe Rodgers can play, but the overall depth of this team isn't good. Rodgers must know it too but doesn't care because of the money. So yeah even if Rodgers comes back he's still throwing to a bunch of young players with little to no experience. Watson and Doubs will be year two. Lazard and Cobb will probably be gone even though they're not helping this team win anything. If the Packers wanted to get serious bringing Rodgers back, then they need to trade for an established receiver, fire Barry, and fix the defense. But they never want to trade picks so they stay stuck because they don't commit either way. Keep Rodgers and close every hole possible, or trade Rodgers and develop Love.

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