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The Packers Should Not Extend Anyone

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The Packers Should Not Extend Anyone

In a vacuum, the Packers have several candidates arguably worthy of an extension.  I can make a case for Blake Martinez, and to a much lesser extent, Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry, but on the whole I do not think the Packers should extend anybody at present.

The other candidates for an extension include Daniels, Bulaga, and Fackrell.  Players who will be unrestricted free agents after this season include Allison, Tramon Williams, Crosby, and if they make the team in 2019, Spriggs, and Trevor Davis.

Let's take a quick look at the Packers available cap space for 2019.  At this point, the Packers should be looking at a two-year window since any extension would affect the team's cap hit in 2020 as well.

Green Bay's cap space currently is estimated by Over The Cap at $9 million and by Sportrac at $8.9 million under The Rule of 51, which ends when the first regular season game is played.  At that time the last two roster spots (a minimum of $990,000) also will count along with the practice squad ($1.36 million).  Every year the IR and other costs reduce cap space as the season progresses.  The Packers cap space likely will be reduced by about $175,000 or so when Sternberger signs.  Working numbers might be $8.75 million now and $6.5 million when the season starts.

The Packers could still sign a free agent or two, either now or later this summer. Signing someone like Ibraheim Campbell (if healthy) or some other free agent(s) for depth is quite possible.

My objection to extending any current players fall into four categories: 1) Extending any player reduces the Packers' cap space in 2019; 2) Green Bay might need cap space to acquire more players for this season; 3) Extending a player now generally means a bigger cap hit will fall in the 2020 season when cap space is also tight; 4) The player still needs to prove something or there are possible internal replacements.  The player might wish to bet on himself and is not interested in an extension.

Kenny Clark: I am happy with Clark's $2.978 and $7.69 million cap hits in 2019 and 2020, respectively.  Two full seasons of control is a lifetime in the NFL.  I am not interested in guaranteeing Clark's health for two years, which an extension with a large signing bonus would do.  [The fifth year option is only a partial injury protector and it can be rescinded.] 

I concede that Clark is elite and is likely to remain so.  His 2019 cap hit probably would only increase by a million or two.  It may be that he will improve, so extending him now might look like a bargain later.  But he is already in $12 million per year territory.  If he starts to look like Aaron Donald, that will be a good problem to have.  Clark does not fall into any of my four objections: extending Clark would mean taking on too much risk.

Daniels and Bulaga: Both are good players who will be 31 in 2020 and have had some injuries. Bulaga's streak of 136 pass blocking snaps without allowing a pressure is the longest among offensive linemen (excluding centers), per PFF.  Daniels' statistics per snap decreased significantly but the film gurus continued to hold him in high regard.  Both players have fairly large base salaries, so extensions could free up cap space in 2019.

However, the Packers have potential replacements for Daniels in Gary, Montravius Adams and Keke.  I would prefer to see if any of them end up playing three technique and look good at it.  Zadarius Smith moving inside at times could also soak up defensive line snaps.  I do not see an internal replacement for Bulaga.  Turner sounds like a significant downgrade.  Adding years onto Bulaga's contract is simply a gamble on his health.  

Fackrell, Allison and Crosby: I would like to see these players produce in 2019 before paying them.  Ditto for Spriggs, Lewis, Davis and Bibbs.  Fackrell and Allison might not be interested in extensions.  Allison has a good chance to get enough snaps to produce solid numbers.  Another 10-sack season from Fackrell might price himself out of Green Bay, but I am wondering just how many snaps he can expect to get. 

Blake Martinez: I would like to watch him (and Burks) for another year.  His coverage improved a lot but I thought his run defense declined.  Were those things one year blips?  That said, he is at least a legitimate starter and at present there is no internal replacement.  A good case can be made for extending him.  Using Trevathan as a comparable, I would be interested in Martinez at about $7.5 million AAV, but some have suggested he will command more money.  Extending him likely increase his cap number by a couple of million in 2019.

Dean Lowry: He had a quietly good season with career highs in tackles (45), sacks (3) and seemed to establish himself a a quality rotational lineman.  I would dislike losing both Daniels and Lowry in the same season.  Still, I wonder how many snaps he will get in 2019 with Daniels and Clark back, Z. Smith and Gary moving inside, and Keke and Adams pushing for playing time.  This time it is not the player I need to see more from but rather how this defense is going to function and how Keke, Gary and Adams look.

2020 Cap:

The cap has increased by about 6 percent for the last two years.  Another such increase would mean a $200 million cap limit.  Overthecap lists the Packers with $16.16 million in cap space using a $200 million team cap limit with 48 players under contract.  There will be three more players.  Also, Sternberger is not included: his cap hits will exceed the minimum.  OTC does include Clark at $7.69 million.  After adjusting, the Packers should have about $14.3 million in cap space, plus any rollover from 2020.

There is wide speculation that the Packers will release Jimmy Graham, picking up $8 million in cap savings.  That is not a foregone conclusion, though, since it would leave just Sternberger and Tonyan at the tight end position.  A pay cut seems plausible as well. 

It is possible that the Packers will release Lane Taylor ($4.55 million cap savings) if Jenkins and Turner work out, or if Taylor regresses.  That would give the Packers a working number of between $14.3 and $26.55 million plus any rollover. 

Scanning the list, only Linsley ($8.5 million) and Zadarius Smith have more than $2 million in cap savings.  Is fourteen to twenty-something million too little, just sufficient, or a comfortable amount to sign the 2020 draft class, keep the necessary players and acquire talent?  That depends on one's view of the potential internal replacements for Daniels, Bulaga, Martinez, Lowry, Crosby, Fackrell, Allison, Tramon Williams, Spriggs, Graham and Lewis. 

Bakhtiari will also be in a contract year in 2020 at age 29, which makes him a prime candidate for a large extension.  His cap number is $14.2 million for both 2019 and 2020.  The Packers could save a few million in cap space by extending him in 2019, and perhaps break even in 2020, but it seems a year early to extend him.

The Packers should retain flexibility by not extending any players at least through September.  Some time during the season the Packers could consider extending a player or even two when they see the players and know exactly how the cap looks.  

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (56) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Unless Fackrell somehow posts sack numbers again the only guys discussed I really care about keeping are Clark and Martinez. But Martinez at 7.5 million makes me pause. If he'd sign now at 5 million per that might be a reason.to act early.

sonomaca's picture

Fackrell isn’t a great player, but he might again post good numbers because, hey, you can’t double everyone. I don’t think he’ll draw huge interest in FA. Teams know what he is. Also, the age thing.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

True, if he does it again though then he probably a good fit for scheme.

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TheVOR's picture

Same exact thoughts I had, Clark and Martinez. If Crosby makes the team this year, and has a solid year, it's not like they'd have to offer more money or anything, just extend him at the money he's already making. I really like Crosby, just because he knows what the gig is. If he was a Dome kicker he'd be a monster! He kicks pretty darned well for "Green Bay Wisconsin" and the conditions. That assuming he makes the team. I've been pretty vocal about "Not Wanting To Release Crosby", and nobody they're going to have in camp has the leg or the has kicked in the fray of Green Bay. I'm a Crosby fan. Even the camp leg Ficken has NEVER kicked over 50%, and in 2018 kicked 1 of 3. He just plain misses kicks at an alarming rate. Crosby had one screwy season, but almost every veteran NFL kicker who has lasted as long as he has, has had a bad statistical year. in 2012, otherwise he's pretty much a 80%'er.. We'll see how it all shakes out. To pint I guess, he'll be 35 next season, so perhaps they just let him time out this year and pursue a new kicker in the off-season.

Packer Fan's picture

Clark is the only one that may fall into this category. Do it next year.

Coldworld's picture

If We are going to extend Clark it’s going to be expensive. Normally extensions occur in the off season before year 5. That said, if Clark continues to improve, and let’s face it with the greatly strengthened group around him, his stats should benefit even if he doesn’t, it’s going to cost more and more.

The Packers need to keep him. Will they risk his price inflating or seek to lock him in earlier and spread the cap hit further? I think it’s very possible that his potential leads to an early extension.

As to the rest, I’d class Bulaga as a candidate for late season extension. If he stays relatively healthy he is one of the best there is. We would be silly not to try and keep him around. If his health intervenes, his price lowers and the calculation changes.

Of the rest, there is no one I would extend in calendar year 2019 unless the apparently bulked up Martinez shows a great leap. He would be my candidate for early next year otherwise. It’s not just how players themselves do but how the depth develops.

Bakh we need to resign, but next off season is fine for concluding that. Fackrell is a classic let’s see. What will he do this year? Could his usage change or diminish with the new options? Will one of the other lighter rushers, Donnerson, Ramsey or Roberts surpass him? They are younger and more athletic. Will that type of rush really be primarily from the edge or is this type now a hybrid inside/outside rusher under the evolved Pettine approach?

At their different positions, Allison and Lowry should be subject to a similar analysis: how are they used, how do they perform and where does that place them in comparison with the rest of their positional group?

Coldworld's picture

After this season, Graham is likely gone. If he has a blinding year, he might make it interesting and complicate the picture.

Daniels I think has a really good year helped by those around him this year, but in doing so prices himself out of our reach while others come on as natural successors. He earns a big multi year contract from another team that probably extends longer than is wise. Good for him!

Cosby I have to believe is in his last year simply on cost and age grounds. Williams I would only consider bringing back in a coaching capacity (if he wants that). In some ways, he already has a foot in that role I suspect this season.

jannes bjornson's picture

Money out , money in. I wouldn't extend Clark until next winter. See how he plays out this year. Daniels will move on as you say and Martinez is not a 7M player or even a 5M player. 2020 looks to be LT, DT, ILB and WR as draft priorities. If anything , I would move on Rudolph this year if the Viqueens let him go.

RCPackerFan's picture

Clark is the biggest player they absolutely have to extend. But with having 2 years left its not as important to resign him today. That is a move they should try to do next offseason.

IMO, the next on the list is Martinez. He is an underrated player. He is the type of guy that you don't realize that you miss until he is gone.
It will be interesting to see what he does this year in his 2nd season in the defense. And especially with the trio of Edge players they added this offseason, it could mean Martinez puts up a huge year. It was reported that he added a lot of muscle. Don't be surprised if he has a big year!
It would be nice if they had him extended before then.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Hence putting Martinez' photo above the article.

EddieLeeIvory's picture

Great point Rey

sonomaca's picture

I’m guessing they let Martinez walk. RAS of 5.48. Even though he’s a good player and leader, they probably want extreme athleticism at that position. They want sideline-to-sideline. They want the blitzing ability.

I’m thinking they’re going to try Josh Jones there.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Very possible. I want to see how Burks looks before GB pays Martinez, and to see if anyone else can back Martinez up if Martinez misses any time. GB is thin at inside linebacker even if Burks can take over for Martinez but Martinez will make too much to be a backup. Unless Burks outright blossoms, Martinez is the starter with Burks and some UDFAs backing up the spot.

Coldworld's picture

Burks, Summers, Sheldon, Bolton ... all about 230, all fast high RAS athletes. Jones is a little smaller at 220, but I agree his future is as an ILB.

My questions:

Can any 220-230 athlete handle what Martinez does on a full time basis?

Is Martinez’s current role what Pettine would optimally wish to employ, or a result of a good player already in place?

Why has Martinez come back much more bemuscled per reports by those who have seen him? Is that him independent of the team or is it that ILB ONE is indeed a distinct role and those listed above match ILB 2 profile?

The answers to those would help a lot. If Martinez is an example of a distinct role and body type, who is his real back up? If not, how will muscling up help him justify a new contract with the Packers, or has he just read writing on the wall?

sonomaca's picture

I would think he’s going the wrong way with the muscle. Added pounds will make him even slower. With Packers excellent front, I don’t see many backs getting through to second level. So, the ILB role is more about movement, coverage, blitzing.

Coldworld's picture

That is quite possible, but we won’t know until we see how Pettine uses the lighter faster types when Martinez is not on the field and then whether Martinez loses play time in season to different sub packages with one or two more coverage backers. That wasn’t an option last year once Burks was hurt.

It may be that extra muscle allows Martinez to shed and carve out a role enabling more use of rushers in the middle. Perhaps his alternate is not an ILB at all at this point, but a smaller OLB/DE?

Im not saying my initial reaction isn’t that the team is moving in the direction you suggest, but, on reflection there could be other options.

It is going to be a very interesting pre-season at so many positions.

holmesmd's picture

That’s on of the largest fallacies in sports physiology. All weight is not equal. Adding 10 lbs of muscle is not the same as adding 10 lbs of blubber while sitting on the couch. These guys are world class athletes and train as such. Don’t be surprised to see more explosive and even “faster”, not slower. Also his durability and value as the QB of the defense is markedly undervalued IMO.

Coldworld's picture

Ten pounds of muscle weight added to most frames doesn’t make one more explosive and typically slows one down. What it does do is increase power and perhaps leverage which adds to the ability to leverage, shed and redirect for players in contact positions. Martinez plays that type of role. That’s why it is interesting. It could make a big difference to his play possibly, but if that is a team plan, none of the rest of the roster appear obvious back ups, which is odd.

I am a fan of Martinez, so I do value him highly, and I do think he is under appreciated by many. I also think that his reshaping, if true, will probably help him. I just can’t see how this fits into the overall team plans and roster make up.

LambeauPlain's picture

Spriggs has a RAS of 9.72 and Mandarich was a perfect 10.

RAS is a useful guide but play speed, instincts, and most especially the production on the field are so much more important. This is where Martinez shines. Gone are the days of Hawk playing on skates and jumping on the pile or Jones whiffing on tackles. Martinez is a tackling machine and flows to the ball to disrupt the play, often making the stop.

Martinez racked up more sacks than either CMIII or Perry last year and is ideal for Pettine’s D. He is the best ILB in GB since Barnett and I think he is even better.

I do agree Josh Jones may get a long look at full time ILB given his size. He can even add 10-15 and still keep his play speed.

Another I guy I am watching is Summers. Burks better be too!

Tundraboy's picture

I agree. Clark is a must when the time comes and Martinez will have a great year I believe,but I see no need to rush with him. Let's see how it all fits with this year's changes.

ricky's picture

"Long term health and success should be rewarded, not contract year heroics" attributed to Nick Perry.

sonomaca's picture

Not so sure about tossing Bulaga. In the absence of a star at RT, the best way to go is to assume Bulaga will be part time, and so develop a “rotation” at RT. Bulaga’s too good to let go at a position where good players are nearly impossible to find.

zeroluv's picture

What good is Bulaga if he plays only half of the games. He is replaceable. Best thing the Pack should do it let him walk and get a compensatory pick

sonomaca's picture

Disagree. Even if you get only 8 games from Bulaga, that’s 8 games where Rodgers is less likely to go down. Without Rodgers, all the other work you’ve done won’t matter one lick.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Normally I'd write that Bulaga's health issues can be taken into account by the contract structure. That means a small signing bonus and more of a pay as you go structure.

Assuming Bulaga is worth $8M AAV (for the sake of this discussion), it would be difficult for GB to put a $8M cap charge on a contract with Bulaga for 2020 if the team's cap space is somewhere between $14M and $26M.

I don't balk at paying Bulaga what he is worth, but I am reluctant to make a multi-year commitment with dead money in 2021 and 2022, etc., but GB doesn't have the cap flexibility to do a pay as you go deal.

Coldworld's picture

And he actually had played the great majority of games if one actually looks.

sonomaca's picture

Doubt they keep Lowry or Daniels. Lancaster replaces Lowry. Daniels is getting too old.

Coldworld's picture

I think Daniels will get too old during his next long term deal. I think he has a great season this year and we can’t afford him.

gary g's picture

Good article. Agree 100% with everything . The best thing you stated was 2 years is a lifetime in the NFL. Good job!!!

croatpackfan's picture

TGR, which year is year without cap?

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

No one knows for sure if there will be an uncapped year. If there is one, it would probably be in 2021. There was an uncapped year when the last CBA was hammered out. Bear in mind some teams too far too much advantage and the NFL nailed them with loss of picks and took $36M in cap space for one team.

croatpackfan's picture

Thanks

stockholder's picture

Were in a rebuild. It started when they let MM go. Kenny Clark is the only guy they need to extend. Yes Martinez has done well. But age slows down players. Especially over achieving players. Martinez needs help in pass coverage now. Keeping him to long will be a mistake. They drafted Burks and Summers. They know ILB is a weak spot. A position that must show speed now. They also know that Daniels is past his prime. Gute can only afford so much now. He must let players walk. And don't bet on free Agency to save the day next year. Gute ignored the fiscal responsibility the draft can bring. He has No plan for next year. It's Super-Bowl or bust this year. Fix it year to year. Gute may have drafted back-ups. But he sure didn't draft starters as needed. And that is what was wrong with the 2019 draft class. Who will replace Daniels and Lowrey? Who will replace Ryan or Martinez? Who will replace Bryan Bulaga? The heart of the defense is ILB. Yet it has been a problem since 2010. Daniels has No Ring. Bulaga is over-paid and one step away from retirement. Gute had a vision for the future when hired. Was it smoke up are asses? Who replaced Wilkerson? Who replaces the players we don't need to resign?

zeroluv's picture

Did you not watch the draft? Gutey drafted almost all players to replace the older ones potentially leaving. Geezzz your post was hard to read. It was a incoherent, uneducated ramble if a person who just woke up from a coma and read articles based on no knowledge of the draft that just took place lol.

Coldworld's picture

Martinez is not that old. He is 25 currently! Martinez is likely close to his peak years. The question is what is his role in the D going forward? That will be answered this season and that answer will likely also answer the question of whether we allocate the funds to keep him.

I think you are stuck in an old paradigm. Ryan was let go, by the way, and the team is very obviously moving in a different direction from the Capers ILB & OLB types. Thus your analysis is misdirected in my opinion.

If you can’t see candidates to replace Daniels, Lowry and others you mention then there is no sense in trying to explain. Others have at length and it’s really self evident from the transactions. It is fair to question how successful those replacements will be. Only time will tell that, but that is the nature of the NFL or any sport. Careers are short.

Rossonero's picture

"I do not see an internal replacement for Bulaga."

To me, it's Elgton Jenkins. He's played tackle before and has long, 34" arms. I think he's the darkhorse candidate to take over at RT in 2020.

dobber's picture

Possible. Remember that Corey Linsley's contract runs out after 2020. I think they expect Jenkins to compete for snaps inside and become the starting C down the road.

zeroluv's picture

Corey Linsley is only 28 so they will resign him IMO. Jenkins was brought in to replace Taylor.

sonomaca's picture

I think it’s Linsley. You don’t want to spend big bucks on a center!

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Linsley was rated the 6th best center by PFF last year but with just an above average grade, not good, quality or elite. Next year he will have $8.5M in cap savings and he will be 30 when GB has to decide whether to re-sign him.

I think Linsley is a nice player, so I am not building a case against him above, just laying out the available information. My personal guide is that if a player has $8.5M in cap savings (after taking the $2M dead money charge) that player needs to be playing well. So far, he is.

I am just bearing in mind that GB could trade Linsley prior to the 2020 draft, pick up $8.5M and a draft pick, and use that to shore up another position. That's a little Madden since good football players aren't that easy to find, and OL can play into the early to mid-thirties at a high level on average. This is no more than a contingency plan if Jenkins can play center well. We might need Jenkins at guard anyway and it is nice to have a capable backup center. Still, things change.

Coldworld's picture

I have to object to that assessment of Linsley. To be fair, with neither guard position up to standard last year it was incredibly tough for the center. That rating in those circumstances is one heck of an achievement.

It is possible that Jenkins is a real tackle prospect, but there is a reason that he was projected primarily as a G or C. It far from a given. Turner is perhaps equally likely to be the answer. Their progression does not necessitate is moving away from Linsley. They could be our core guards for years. The interior is where both may well play their best.

It is just as likely that our next tackles are none of the above. Perhaps Nijman or DeBeer, both hugely athletic powerful athletes with ideal bodies but currently raw, are the future.

There is also the draft next year. With the revamp on O and now D the last two drafts, next year should be an opportunity to start returning to a more normal restocking. Tackle, QB, WR, then what ... if our a reasonable number of our current crop of young players develop, we likely have more picks than needs! We have already covered positions where key contracts expire and departures may occur. That’s where a team should be entering the off season and draft! Gute looks like he may have got us back there remarkably quickly.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I agree with all your points except Jenkins. It seems to me to be downright outlandish to think Jenkins can play RT. I think his best position is center. I am also not that anxious to see Billy Turner as anything other than an emergency RT or for a few games.

I suspect that our starting RT is not currently on the roster. De Beer and Nijman have tremendous athletic ability so I hope GB has something in them.

dobber's picture

His contract expires after 2020, so he'll be 30 at the start of the 2021 season. At that point Jenkins will be in year 3 of his rookie deal, and his best position is (reportedly) C. Of course, it's all projection, but I don't see Linsley getting a third contract from the Packers unless he becomes a Pro Bowl C.

RickInCali's picture

Coldworld has a very great and intersting take. I seriously doubt he did that work on his body for no reason.

Also....I like Martinez way better than Hawk but he’s not as good as prime years Barnett...even in Hawk’s best years he made a million tackles 5 yds too late and was grossly overdrafted and overpaid. Like him (Martinez) or not - thinking he’s going to sign for $5m is ludicrous. He’ll get more than $7.5 per if he remains healthy.

Please also remember that there are many examples of D-Line types remaining great, or average players getting even better at ages 29-32. Plenty more who are perfectly suitable compared to a young replacement. So you don’t pay Daniels or Martinez and you stand firm in Free Agency. You going to adequately replace them with a couple extra 4th or 5th rounders that you’ll get for letting them go? Nope. Even worse for Bulaga. If you can get him to take 2 years you have to strongly consider that. Allison is really the one who could cause us issues if he goes off as I expect he will.

zeroluv's picture

Bulaga needs to go so we can get a pick for him. A full season this year will get us a 3rd rounder. He won’t stay healthy most of the time so what good is it if we keep him and he doesn’t play? Allison is good but I think MVS and EQ will be better anyway. They are faster and taller with just as good of hands. Allison won’t be worth the money past this year to be honest. Martinez is average...he will command more than he is worth unfortunately. He is good but not great. I like our players but the facts are the facts. Again...my comments are based on what their market will command for their play. If it doesn’t line up...they need to move on.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I just punted on Bulaga. Good player, lots of injuries over the years, but at least he is a warrior. I thought he get more money last time than he got. Sometimes guys with a history of injury have a long spell of injury-free years.

My crystal ball was cloudy about Bulaga when I wrote this article.

Coldworld's picture

Bulaga is simply too good when healthy.

If his ability to stay on the field or standard of play declines further this year then we won’t get much because his price will drop and I’d strongly consider keeping him for depth.

If he plays the majority of games at the standard of last year I don’t see a cat in hell’s chance that our tackle play improves next year by letting him go. Given that the aim is to keep Rodgers upright and having time, that would be self defeating.

I’d offer him a longer contract that pays less but guarantees him more over the term. He can weigh his health and longevity against the opportunity for higher pay and early release elsewhere. If Ball is the genius he is claimed to be, that kind of option would be cap and player friendly and actually out-of-the-NFL-box. Funny that the Packers really don’t do much that is non standard contractually.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Interesting as to Bulaga's contract. I was thinking a higher AAV but less guaranteed and you suggested the opposite.

I don't know what Bulaga will command on the open market.
1) What AAV?
2) How many years?
3) What percentage guaranteed at signing?
4) Any payments guaranteed in year 2 or 3?

4 is where GB drastically deviates from what other teams do routinely. The signing bonus is normally the only guaranteed money in GB's contracts. That's good for players and not good for the team. Usually, money in years two and three are only guaranteed if the player is on the team as of the 3rd or 5th day of the new league year.

Last time Bulaga got $6.75M AAV, $8M signing bonus, $8M guaranteed at signing (just 23.7% guaranteed). OT and even RT money have increased since then. He could get a Lang-type offer. GB made the right decision to let Lang walk. They just tried to replace him on the cheap (successfully for the most part with Jahri Evans, not so well with Bell) and then didn't spend a quality draft pick on OG. 5th rounders don't count.

Lang was 30 when he signed with Detroit. Bulaga will be 31 after the 2019 season. Lang played 90%, 90%, and 72.7% of possible snaps in the three years prior to leaving GB. Bulaga isn't anywhere near those numbers. Bulaga has played 97, 22, 72 (2019?).

Bobbie Massie just signed at age 30 with Chicago. [Be careful: OTC says 4 years, $32M, Sportrac says 4 years, $30.8M, and the Chicago Tribune writing two months after the signing wrote that Massie got 5 years, $40M. Turns out the 5th year is void and used to dump some signing bonus into, which is automatic dead money. Bulaga is better than Massie, but Massie has played over 90% of possible snaps for the last 5 seasons, so he got 49.37% of his contract fully guaranteed at signing.

Lots of things I'd be willing to do contractually, but I just don't know if Bulaga would accept them or even be insulted. Adding 2 years, $16M with $4M signing bonus? Yep but it's a bad deal for Bulaga.

zeroluv's picture

Don’t forget guys....if the Packers let Martinez, Allison, Bulaga, Daniels, Fackrell, Crosby, Lowery and Martinez walk next year....that’s 4 possible compensatory picks with some FA signings. Jones and Summers could replace Martinez, Eq or MVS can replace Allison, Bulaga will be hard to replace but the 2020 draft will yield a few good OT, Daniels will be replaced by KeKe, Fackrell will just be replaced by the plethora of of linebackers we have now. Crosby can be replaced via draft or undrafted FA and Lowery I think will lose his spot to Gary or Z Smith. It’s not that big of a deal as long as we keep Clark. All of those players have replacements ready to take over plus the 2020 draft picks coming in.

Plus this will free up some cap space to get those positions filled with a few free agents. They key is the 2021 compensatory picks we will get and some will be high picks. I suspect Daniels, Bulaga, Martinez and Allison will yield 3rd and 4th rounders. The rest will be 5th,6th and 7th rounders.

One thing is for sure....we can’t fall in love with players and teams have to get younger when they can.

sonomaca's picture

Comp picks max out at 4.

Coldworld's picture

What would we do with all those low round picks? Unless one is in rebuild, most wont get on the roster. If you can get one for a player you know can’t play anymore, sure, but otherwise the real value decreases in inverse proportion to the quality of one’s roster.

If a player can play, and we can structure an attractive yet cap appropriate contract, don’t release. That’s how we were thinking with Randall. Did that make us better? If we had acted sooner on Hyde, we could have kept him for less. In the end, his contract was probably too steep, but we gambled and lost. Does the comp pick we got make us feel any better over either decision?

Finally, the assumption that we would get a pick is also partially incorrect. Any signing we make offsets to some extent. Thankfully we now have a GM who is willing to use FA. As such, we may not get a pick if we are also active.

Comp picks are nice when you can’t retain due to cost and cap. They are even nicer when you don’t want to retain, but the idea that they are a real part of the evaluation of whether to retain or release is a trap. If the player can be retained at a viable cost/benefit then resign and improve the team. If the team improves by letting the player go, do so.

dobber's picture

Relying on a lot of hits in these recent draft classes...

PackRatzz's picture

I don't understand the lack of love for Martinez. Tied for NFL best in tackles in 2017, 2d in 2018. This is an area other Packers have struggled with in the past. He may not have the coverage skills of an elite ILB, but considering they have unproven talent in Burks and Summers and not much behind them, I feel he is indispensible at this point. Let Ball do his magic and sign him sooner rather than later.

zeroluv's picture

It isn’t a lack of love for Martinez....it is a production vs market value issue. Martinez is a good ILB but isn’t great. So what is a good ILB worth vs a great one. If Martinez 2020 market prices gin as “ great” he isn’t worth that money. That’s all....everyone likes Martinez but of course at a certain price to March the production.

Coldworld's picture

Let’s see how he is used this season and how he performs with a stronger cast around him before we decide whether he is good or great or otherwise in GB. I think Martinez has suffered from how he was used and what that required him to do. This season should either prove me wrong, diminishing his value, or show his true worth as I expect.

It will in part depending on how Pettine sees ILB too. It is not inconceivable that Pettine is looking for a different player type. In that case, Martinez may be moving in regardless because his value would be lower here than elsewhere. That old cost/benefit analysis again.

Personally, I think Martinez will really benefit from the influx of talent in front of him. However, I think this season will give a clear indication of his value in GB one way or the other.

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