Thompson's Gift to Gutekunst

Cheesehead TV’s co-founder Aaron Nagler had a “loving” (?) way of referring to Green Bay’s new Senior Advisor and former General Manager Ted Thompson.  Make-Sure-We’re-Good-In-Three-Years Ted Thompson.  I’m sure there was a level of frustration with that sentiment, but to a point there is value in it.  The next general manager of the Green Bay Packers was always going to have a manageable roster situation.

 

Cap space, talented young players, and draft capital.  These three things are Thompson’s ultimate gift to new Packers GM Brian Gutekunst.  

 

The Packers currently have 28 million in cap space, which is a healthy amount but can certainly be viewed as more.  Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Clay Matthews are all probably future Packer Hall of Famers, but they also all have contracts that are a bit beyond their production levels. 

 

Those contracts also carry a lot of non-guaranteed money.  Nelson offers a potential cap savings of $10.4M, Cobb $9.5M and Matthews a full $11.3M.  If all three players are released, Green Bay would have about $60 million in cap space.  They're also going after $4 million from Martellus Bennet's contract.  Each of the aforementioned players could certainly take a pay cut or restructure their contracts and remain with the team.  The Packers could choose to keep these guys at their current levels as well.  Cobb and Nelson specifically are one year spikes in cap hit and then come right off the books.

 

Regardless of how much space the Packers have the first thing Gutekunst needs to focus on is securing the future of Aaron Rodgers.  Rodgers, despite the smokin’ hot takes of ill informed and unaccountable radio hosts, will likely sign an extension with the Packers to chase championships and solidify his Hall of Fame legacy.  Rodgers likely deserves to be the first NFL player with a contract with a $30 million AAV.  

 

Whether or not he takes it is completely up to him.  There is basically no amount Rodgers can ask for that wouldn’t be in Green Bay’s best interest to grant.  He’s the most valuable player in the NFL.  Rodgers, though, will have to decide how much he wants to leave in the kitty for his supporting cast.  

 

Tom Brady has famously taken less money over the course of the past few seasons to open up money for the Patriots.  Rodgers is also a full contract length behind Brady in age.  Rodgers’ deal will certainly shape Green Bay’s cap in future seasons.

 

The Packers also have a number of very talented young players under contract.  Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels, Blake Martinez, Davante Adams, David Bakhtiari, and Aaron Jones are all blue chippers under the age of of — and are all under contract.

 

Dean Lowry, Jake Ryan, Kevin King, Josh Jones, Lane Taylor, Corey Linsley, Geronimo Allison, Jamaal Williams, Kyle Murphy and Lenzy Pipkins all appear to be “keepers”.

 

Damarious Randall, Nick Perry, Bryan Bulaga and HaHa Clinton-Dix have a chance, certainly to be the high-level players they’ve shown the ability to be if consistency, coaching and health improve.  

 

It's also too early to write off Montravious Adams, Vince Biegel, DeAngelo Yancey, Trevor Davis and Jason Spriggs.  Yes, even Jason Spriggs.  I also believe Quentin Rollins could be saved by a move to free safety, but that's neither here or there.  

 

That's a lot of cost-controlled talent.  Especially when you consider just how much draft capital the Packers have this offseason.  Thompson's decisions to let key free agents walk may (or may not) have hurt the 2017 Packers, but they're going to result in tradeable compensatory picks in 2018 that is for sure.

 

Here are all the picks the Packers have in the 2018 draft:

 

1R- 14th

2R- 13th

3R- 12th

3R- 38th (comp)

4R- 14th

5R- 13th

5R- 34th (comp) 

5R- 36th (comp)

5R- 38th (comp)

6R- 12th

7R- 14th

7R- 21st (L. McCray trade)

 

I don't think the Packers need to add twelve rookies to the roster, but they can.  They can also be agressive and move up.  Green Bay could easily move up aggressively and add two or three picks in the top 150.  Either that or they can move up in the first or second round and identify a player they're looking for specifically.

 

Ultimately, yes.  It's possible that the conservative nature of Ted Thompson could have cost the Packers an additional Super Bowl during the Rodgers era.  It's possible.  With that said, conservative scout Ted was always going to set up his successor with a full cupboard.  His attitude of "making sure we're good in three years" is going to ensure that Brian Gutekunst can now be as aggressive as he wants as the Aaron Rodgers championship window stays open.  Gutekunst has a flexible cap, a good young roster in need of coaching and experience and enough draft capital to drastically improve the team.

 

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Ross Uglem is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @RossUglem 

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Comments (88)

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Bearmeat's picture

January 08, 2018 at 12:31 pm

I don't agree that "Dean Lowry, Jake Ryan, Kevin King, Josh Jones, Lane Taylor, Corey Linsley, Geronimo Allison, Jamaal Williams, Kyle Murphy and Lenzy Pipkins all appear to be “keepers”."

1. Linsley is a keeper by dint of the deal he just signed.
2. Taylor looks like he will be, but he's got a couple years left on the deal he signed before last offseason yet.

The rest? We'll see. Lowry looks like he MAY become a keeper, but he's not produced with any regularity. King and Jones have high ceilings but did NOT produce in 2017 with ANY regularity at all.

I am excited to see what Gutey is going to do!

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 08, 2018 at 01:35 pm

I think he means a "keeper" is a guy they are not going to cut. Lowry isn't getting cut at his current preformance level. Springs could get cut tomorrow and nobody would sneeze.

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Oppy's picture

January 09, 2018 at 12:35 am

I haven't paid special attention to Dean Lowry all season, so I don't have a definitive take on if he's a keeper or not.. but I would caution that a DE in a 3-4 scheme doesn't really have "production" that shows up on a stat sheet. You would have to watch him play down for down to know his true value.

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pacman's picture

January 08, 2018 at 12:34 pm

Yup, exactly what many of us have been saying for the last few years. TT was not all in on winning it all. He kept it possible but didn't do what it takes to win it.

Did he do that on his own or was he instructed that way? Seems like it was on his own.

Let's hope that the new GM has clear orders to win more SB's while we have AR. We will have to rebuild after but that's just the way it works.

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John Kirk's picture

January 08, 2018 at 12:59 pm

I feel like Ted used a ghost writer here. Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, and Aaron Jones are blue players? Reds. Blake Martinez is not anywhere blue status and I'd hesitate to put him as a red. A case of overvaluing your own.

We have one sure blue player and that's 12. Bakhtiari is probably the next closest but he's no franchise changing player. There is a dearth of star power on this team. To say we have a stable of blue players is more than misleading, it's patently wrong.

How does anyone know for sure what Aaron will do when it comes to an extension? We have no idea who he feels about Gutekunst and this huge announcement that Mark Murphy has power grabbed for dictatorial power.

Moving on from Clay and Jordy makes perfect sense, while a restructure of Cobb, due to his age, makes a lot of sense, also, if he'd agree.

Mark Murphy has injected himself into this franchise after standing idly by for years, and casts a pall over 2018 like a giant thundercloud.

My confidence in Murphy is less than Ted and that's saying something for me because I couldn't stand Ted and his methods.

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D.D.Driver's picture

January 08, 2018 at 01:27 pm

I'm not thrilled by Gudekunt, Ball, and McCarthy forming a triumvirate who each report directly to Murphy. What a mess and the making for infighting. Yikes. Just a terrible, terrible idea.

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Razer's picture

January 08, 2018 at 01:47 pm

I also do not like this structural change. It is great if Murphy wants to talk to all in the organization to get the lay of the land but chain of command was solid for 25 years. Now we have everyone lobbying like lawyers for their camp and our czar exercising ultimate power. What's to say that Murphy or his successor doesn't turn into Jerry Jones and we have a problem at the top controlling everybody's strings.

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cuervo's picture

January 08, 2018 at 02:26 pm

"I'm not thrilled by Gudekunt, Ball, and McCarthy forming a triumvirate who each report directly to Murphy. What a mess and the making for infighting. Yikes. Just a terrible, terrible idea."

Unless you've worked under a simular structure, as I did for a decade at a previous employer. Assuming Murphy is a good leader, this setup works fantastic, as every week when they meet any "grievances" or issues are settled before they leave. The way the structure has been, those issues fester and cause problems all the over the organization. This type of a setup prevents infighting.

It's a great idea, and if it doesn't work for some reason, you can always go back to the way it was.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 08, 2018 at 03:12 pm

Sounds like the discontent between McCarthy and Thompson/Ball has been very real, with Murphy deciding he can't let it happen again.

I am also familiar with that sort of setup. What's good for McCarthy personally and what's good for the team can conflict. McCarthy needs to be able to say, "I need veterans in the secondary", without worrying that is effects his personal review. People Manager vs Project Manager.

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D.D.Driver's picture

January 08, 2018 at 03:14 pm

Then someone leaves and you move on. A weekly kumbaya-circle is unlikely to solve the problem.

This reminds me of Murphy's first major action for the Packers: flying down to try to bribe Favre from coming to training camp. It was a stupid solution that didn't work. Someone had to go. It was Favre and the team moved on.

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Finwiz's picture

January 08, 2018 at 07:49 pm

Lack of communication, with an autocratic GM like Thompson IS a big problem in a team sport like this.
This explains A LOT about what's been happening the last several years.
I'm almost certain this is the reason WHY MM refused to fire Capers, because he felt they weren't getting the talent to match the scheme.
This was not a good situation, and Thompson's arrogance led to his demise. The real problem is, Murphy waited too long to act.
It should not have taken a disaster of a season for this type of change to occur.
In any organization, if you get together in a group, as intelligent people if you can't air your concerns and differences and come to a consensus, then you have a cancer in your midst. You eject the cancer and move on with another "team player". I don't care who it is - arrogance kills.
Thompson was a weirdo for not talking to people, and being afraid of dealing with the press. Murphy was borderline incompetent for waiting so long to make a change.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:00 pm

"I'm almost certain this is the reason WHY MM refused to fire Capers, because he felt they weren't getting the talent to match the scheme."

That would explain it... Why shift recipes if you can't get the ingredients anyways?

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John Kirk's picture

January 08, 2018 at 06:06 pm

If that was the case, Ted would've been ousted long before last season. The reason Ted was removed is because of the declining health evidenced by the national embarrassment he became on SNF vs. the Vikings.

It's fun to see the downvotes when you try telling people our talent is poor. Blake Martinez is not a blue chip player any more than AJ Hawk was a blue chip player for amassing a ton of tackles. I like Blake...but a blue chip player? Please. There is one blue chip player, I could cite a recent evaluation of our players by an executive in the league, but that would just get downvoted also.

Mark Murphy not only has the power to fire MM but to hire the next HC. Think about that.

Mark Murphy basically made a play to be Jerry Jones in what was once a very unique franchise. He's going over GAME PLANS each week with Mike McCarthy? What the? Are you kidding me? Absentee landlord Mark Murphy is now meddling Mark? The board wanted this?

I can't wait to hear what Aaron Rodgers has to say about his HC going to get the game plan looked by the CEO. Maybe, they'll invite our one blue chip player, also?

This was a dark dark dark day for the Packers franchise. If anyone has watched Mark Murphy in any of these situations you can't possibly feel good about him having any control much less all of it.

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NickPerry's picture

January 09, 2018 at 05:15 am

"The reason Ted was removed is because of the declining health evidenced by the national embarrassment he became on SNF vs. the Vikings."

HUH??? Do we KNOW for sure Thompson's health is declining? I'm asking because I'm not sure and could have missed that report. BUT if you're making this assumption because his mouth was hanging wide open that night on SNF against the Vikings I think that's ridiculous John. There's not been a whole hell of a lot of shots without Ted's mouth wide open so I'm not sure why this year is different.

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Bure9620's picture

January 08, 2018 at 08:50 pm

Agreed. Gurantee TT was not the "good ole guy" many thought. Thompson was actually very stubborn and difficult. He would not move on any player McCarthy or any perssonel staff member suggested. No input accepted. No communication. Just in front of his laptop with his mouth open in his own world. Would not surprise me if TT is on the spectrum. It's clear Murphy saw this and made personnel AND structure changes to help communication. I like the idea of a younger more dynamic GM.

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D.D.Driver's picture

January 08, 2018 at 03:08 pm

So if Gudekunst and McCarthy butt heads, the GM should not be allowed to fire McCarthy and hire a new coach? If Gudekunst wants to sign a free agent, Ball can cry directly to Murphy and shut down the signing? Doesn't this make Murphy basically the real GM, and Gudekunst is the GM in name only?

Too many cooks. The sous chefs are running the kitchen.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 08, 2018 at 03:18 pm

If each concern has a cohesive plan and they are all shared this should be very avoidable. Russ Ball for example should be able to give Gutekunst a limit of available free agent money, and McCarthy a list of roster needs both well known to Murphy. If Russ Ball is lowballing, or Gunekunst is singing WRs when they are a much lower ask than CBs, or McCarthy got most of what he asked and is now bitching about the talent it is all exposed to all 4 of them.

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D.D.Driver's picture

January 08, 2018 at 03:32 pm

So decision-making by committee. No way that goes south.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 08, 2018 at 03:54 pm

I can tell which side of the "Authoritative vs Consensus management styles" both you and Mark Murphy fall on :D

Authoritative works great when the solution is well known and the manager has been through the same thing before. In an opinion based setting where things like "who to draft" or "who to sign" are not possible to deterministically predict Consensus usually works better.

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D.D.Driver's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:53 pm

Consensus usually works better? Geez. So the Patriots would win *every* year if Belichick was better at consensus building?

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 08, 2018 at 06:51 pm

If he didn't build consensus he would have never hired Matt Patricia.

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Razer's picture

January 08, 2018 at 03:42 pm

Again, I agree with the too many cooks. There was nothing stopping Murphy from looking at the Packer product and telling TT to get some veteran help. Just as there was nothing wrong with Murphy telling Ted to go sit in the corner. Setting up a committee is the modern why to do it. That way everyone can lobby the big guy and decisions will take forever.

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Finwiz's picture

January 08, 2018 at 03:57 pm

Not really - Murphy becomes the arbiter, in a sense.
I'd bet 90% of the time they will come to a consensus as a team, without Murphy having to become involved to break a logjam as an arbitrator.
This whole thing suggests to me there is a strong contingent of upper management and directors that really like McCarthy.
Is he Bill Bellichick? Probably not, but they could do FAR worse.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:17 pm

This. ^

They will learn to work together and come to agreements or be forced to repeatedly call in Murphy to babysit them.

Even if they are stubborn, it will get embarrassing to keep admitting to Murphy they can't work together and he has to intervene, again. If it doesn't stop Murphy will have a clear view into who is the trouble maker. With that in mind, McCarthy isn't for sure getting a free card here either. Murphy trusts BG to be GM, but possibly he doesn't trust MM and RB to get along underneath him.

If my managers manager came to me and said I now report to him, but nothing else changed. I would be concerned...

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Bure9620's picture

January 08, 2018 at 09:00 pm

Ball would not have input on roster perssonel decisions. This is why defined roles are important in this type of structure.

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Brian's picture

January 09, 2018 at 07:29 am

Agreed. Seems like Murphy is trying to make everyone happy and at the same "level" in the organization and now he is the defacto GM. Things must have been sideways for a while and we will see if he relinquishes control at some point if he feels he has straightened out the issues.

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Ross Uglem's picture

January 08, 2018 at 02:19 pm

Red players? Maybe I have a different scale for blue chip players? Since when do I have to adhere to the blue chip / red chip scale of one of the least successful GMs to ever get the job (Mike Lombardi). You couldn't stand Ted and his methods? Go look at Mike Lombardi's track record. For me a blue chip player is a "building block" and a player in the top 10-12 at his position in the league, or one with the potential to get there. Red players, blue players.... you have no idea the value I've given these players because I think Lombardi's methods are awful. Therefore you don't know if I've overvalued them. The new structure has just as much chance to succeed as it does to fail. I don't have any idea if it's going to work out or if it isn't (even though you think you do). The bottom line is Thompson's conservative nature left the Packers in great shape to be aggressive if they so choose.

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John Kirk's picture

January 08, 2018 at 06:15 pm

Ross, if you've assigned "blue" to any player, this was a very poor thing to do without showing exactly what you meant by it. Even after seeing what you meant, I still feel the same as I did before. We have ONE blue chip player. That is the quarterback.

We have no voted in probowl talent because...we have no probowl level talent. The probowl is a joke but somebody got something right when they voted none of the Packers to it.

As for the structure, you're right...I don't "know". What I do know, however, is Mark Murphy stood idly by while Ted (and Russ Ball) apparently kept destroying this roster. The defense has been bottom to middle tier since the SB and Ted continued dumping resource after resource into it. Go look at how many 1st rounders have been used on offense in the last decade. Murphy did...NOTHING.

Now, we have guy not smart enough to intervene in the first place in total control of hiring and firing the HC and holding weekly meetings to go over the GAME PLANS? Honestly, if you don't see this as a MAJOR what the ???? moment, I'm not sure what else I, or anyone, could ever say to you.

This was a dark day. Mark Murphy is a lying scumbag corporate type that has no business around football operations. I'm appalled that this once proud franchise bears the marks of his fingerprints anywhere much less most everywhere.

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holmesmd's picture

January 09, 2018 at 12:16 am

J Kirk, tell us how you’re really feeling?! We’re here for you Bro.!;) LoL. Keep your powder dry mi amigo!

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Oppy's picture

January 09, 2018 at 12:38 am

The way Kenny Clark is playing the nose as a second year player makes him look like he has a shot at being a special player- he's a guy I have focused on whenever he's on the field. So long as the wheels don't unexpectedly come off... He's going to be special.

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4zone's picture

January 08, 2018 at 01:04 pm

Can't get rid of Nelson AND Cobb. Would decimate our receiver corp. Teams would load the box and double Adams all day long. Renegotiate them all down by 25-50% or cut Matthews.

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ShanghaiKid's picture

January 08, 2018 at 01:49 pm

If be more apt to cut Matthews the pass rush was anemic even when he played. The receivers produced when Rodgers was healthy.

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Razer's picture

January 08, 2018 at 03:09 pm

Matthews like many on this defense was misused. He hasn't got the burst to play outside but he is smart and plays with a ton of grit. He could be much more effective inside and used in a rover roll. I think Matthews has a lot of good football left, just not the kind of ball he played 5 years ago.

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cuervo's picture

January 08, 2018 at 02:22 pm

"Can't get rid of Nelson AND Cobb. Would decimate our receiver corp"

You can if you sign someone else to take their place.

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4zone's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:22 pm

There is that, CV. But both are still effective with AR under center with a rapport already developed. That is hard to replace.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 09, 2018 at 03:05 am

"Renegotiate them all down by 25-50% or cut Matthews."

I don't think it works that way. GB is never going to get their cap hits or cash earned in 2018 down by 50%. They might hit 25% though. Both Cobb and Nelson have value on the FA market. Cobb is scheduled to receive in cash $9.468M (50% of which = $4.734M; a 25% cut = $7.1M). Cobb's cap # is $12.75M - to get 50%, he'd have to take a $6.375M cut in his cash. He isn't going to play in GB for $3.1M. To get 25% off his cap (75% of $12.75M = $9.56M), Cobb would have to agree to reduce his cash earnings by $3.2M from $9.468 to $6.268M. It is vital for the team and Cobb to agree on an estimate Cobb's value as a FA. If Cobb thinks he's worth $7.5M AAV as a FA, there isn't much room. If his agent estimates his value at $5.5M, there is more room to negotiate a straight pay cut or new 2 yr deal.

He isn't going to agree to reduce his cash earning by half ($4.73M) or by $3.2M if is worth let us say is thought to be $6M AAV on the FA market, and probably would get some more guaranteed money to boot.

Jordy has indicated some willingness to take a pay cut. I think he might take a large cut, perhaps $3M or more off of his $10.218M cash earned to perhaps $7.2M. His cap hit would still be $8.5 to $9.5M.

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4zone's picture

January 08, 2018 at 01:12 pm

Where do you get your comp pick assignments from Ross? The NFL has a history of 'under-assigning' Packer compensatory picks in the past. I wouldn't put it beyond them again this year.

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TheVOR's picture

January 08, 2018 at 01:08 pm

Lets make no mistake here, the gift is to Thompson who's left influencing our player personnel and drafts after being shuttled into a position paying him huge money to continue dumping his weak crap players into this franchise, and he has just the perfect catalyst to continue crushing the franchise in Gutekunst. In 3 years we'll be firing the entire franchise leadership from Murphy down while we watch the decline of the franchise.

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dobber's picture

January 08, 2018 at 01:37 pm

If I'm Brian Gutekunst, I'm distancing myself from TT. Maybe not completely because you shouldn't cut off your nose to spite your face, but if you read TTs description, he's a senior advisor to the GM, not to Murphy.

If the reporting on Wolf and Gutekunst (that they advocated for more aggressive roster management but were stifled) is anywhere close to accurate, I would think he'd be champing at the bit to put his own mark on this team. If Gutekunst really is nothing more than a puppet for TT, roster management won't change much. You'll have your answer soon enough.

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Razer's picture

January 08, 2018 at 01:51 pm

My guess - Ted will be helpful on this draft then out or way out in the field without much fanfare. Obviously, the organization is trying to address failures of the last years and Ted was the author or those years. Hugging that lifejacket isn't going to help Gutekunst or the team going forward.

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ShanghaiKid's picture

January 08, 2018 at 01:53 pm

Agreed, we’re going to find out if this is lip service or real talk soon enough. Let it play out.

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cuervo's picture

January 08, 2018 at 02:24 pm

"If Gutekunst really is nothing more than a puppet for TT, roster management won't change much. You'll have your answer soon enough."

From the press conference he basically said he will be more involved in free agency and had already spoken the other scouts etc. about it. Thank God.

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stockholder's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:49 pm

Vor thank you for speaking up. When everything smells like roses, it's time to watch out for the PRICKS. So many scouts were hired under TT. They pay into a draft service. Why do people think TT is still the gifted scout, when the game has changed so much since Wolf Sr. TTs trades have been bad. Instead of spriggs, they could of has so many defensive guys that are the mention of everyone on this site. Letting guys go that you know are football players was head scratching. Putting all your eggs in one basket makes no sense. The decline is as plain as A-Rod.

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Turophile's picture

January 08, 2018 at 05:51 pm

VOR stands for voice of reason.

Never was a poster so mis-named.

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sonomaca's picture

January 08, 2018 at 01:08 pm

The Pack have enough picks in this draft to make real improvements. I wouldn’t pick a WR in round 1, as Rodgers is never really going to trust a rookie wideout. Better to go for high upside 2nd or 3rd rounder.

I’d look at corner or pass rusher.

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sonomaca's picture

January 08, 2018 at 01:24 pm

You’re right. Only problem is 1st round pass rushers are really hit-and-miss. Corners tend to work out more often. Also, corners (especially Packer corners) are always hurt. Need a very deep group there. I watched what ATL’s corners and safeties did to the Rams. They controlled the game.

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dobber's picture

January 08, 2018 at 01:32 pm

I try to think about what the 'money' positions are and where the Packers have need, and CB/OLB(edge) are on both lists. I think that's a natural direction to expect the Packers to go...but they have enough holes that a high end guy anywhere except maybe QB would be welcome.

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stockholder's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:13 pm

And the Qb is exactly what I would draft. If talented! What good is drafting any position if Hundley is the back - up? If you think A-Rod will play every game. Your Wrong! He's fragile now. A veteran is going to cost to much compared to a rookie. Your Afraid for A-Rod. They need a QB.

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sonomaca's picture

January 08, 2018 at 01:16 pm

I think the Pack are going to lose a pick due to Rodgers IR move. Hopefully, it’s not higher than a 4th.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 08, 2018 at 01:31 pm

Why? The league cleared the move to IR. Putting a player on IR is filling paperwork to the league office.

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sonomaca's picture

January 08, 2018 at 01:27 pm

Don’t know. Maybe not. Maybe so.

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dobber's picture

January 08, 2018 at 01:29 pm

I think if something was going to happen, it would've happened by now...or generated enough news for us to keep hearing about it. This seems to have mostly gone to sleep.

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WKUPackFan's picture

January 08, 2018 at 02:49 pm

Well dobber, I just got sonned by Houndog like you did by Doug. I'm going to give our respective mothers much more credit than that.

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dobber's picture

January 08, 2018 at 08:17 pm

It's just nice to know that families still do things together these days.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 09, 2018 at 09:12 pm

Demand a paternity test.

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Spock's picture

January 08, 2018 at 02:15 pm

Ross, I have to disagree with this from your article, "
Tom Brady has famously taken less money over the course of the past few seasons to open up money for the Patriots." This is a common misconception. Brady has NOT taken less money, he's agreed to restructure his contracts to be more team friendly, but in reality he's getting essentially all the same money just has more of his contract restructured with more "guaranteed bonus", things stretched over more years, etc. Those here who are more cap experts could explain that better. Rodgers and his agent actually did a lot of that with his last contract so that it was written to be "team friendly" as Rodgers is smart enough to know he needs a good cast around him. I suspect his next extension will do the same.

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Ross Uglem's picture

January 08, 2018 at 02:39 pm

Sorry to burst your bubble but Brady (whether he is or isn’t) is considered the greatest QB who ever lived. You can only restructure for so long. There isn’t some magic way to make NFL money go away. Any way you want to slice it his average annual value is $20.5 million. He could ask for $30 and the Patriots would have to give it to him. He is, without question, taking less money.

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Razer's picture

January 08, 2018 at 03:19 pm

I agree that Brady is taking less money and under what should be paid "the ultimate franchise QB". Given that we are talking the Patriots and Kraft, I would not doubt that money is coming to Brady in ways that the league is not aware of - you're classic "personal services contract". It is the Patriot's way.

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4zone's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:32 pm

AR is already making over 30 Mil per year with his salary and endorsement deals. Let him win another SB and I bet his endorsement deals puts that over 40 Mil.

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carlos's picture

January 08, 2018 at 06:55 pm

He does have a wife who made massive amounts of money. How much do you really need. Championships are hard to come by - as we know.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 09, 2018 at 03:33 am

AR Cap/Brady Cap as % of the cap 09-17
12.0%/12.6% 2008
7.8%/11.9% 2009
N/A - N/A 2010 $6.5M for AR, $17.4M Brady
6.5%/11.0% 2011
7.0%/6.6% 2012
9.8%/11.2% 2013
13.2%/11.1% 2014
12.7%/9.8% 2015
12.4%/8.9% 2016
12.2%/8.4% 2017

Brady has been playing for less. 2008 Brady was an established elite QB while it was AR's first season starting. That will skew the cap results. Brady's wife still makes more that Brady does and is worth more in her own right.

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Spock's picture

January 09, 2018 at 08:37 pm

TGR, Thanks for the numbers breakdown. It appears I was under a false impression. I always appreciate when you break this kind of thing down. Well, I've thought I was wrong before, but I was mistaken, LOL.

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Spock's picture

January 09, 2018 at 08:28 pm

okay, Ross, I stand corrected. I guess Brady is squeaking by on $20 million or so per year. I must have misunderstood some of the reports I'd seen on his contracts. I apologize for my ignorance. I've seen multiple stories where the writer has pointed out that Brady "taking less money for the team" is a bit of a fallacy. I guess I misunderstood that.
:)

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 08, 2018 at 02:22 pm

I think Gutekunst is set up really well in Green Bay.

First and foremost he has the best QB in the league. Second he has one of the best LT's in the league, and they just resigned their OC to a new deal. 3 of the major cornerstones in the offense are set. They resigned Adams also.
They have a good RB group namely with Jones and Williams.

On defense, while they need to upgrade it and still have yet to name a new DC, they have some pieces in place.
They have Clark, Daniels, Martinez. Josh Jones could be really good if used right. Randall really played well after his benching. King is probably their best CB and should be better after he gets his shoulder fixed.
A new system and different coordinator could definitely help the defense out already.

They need upgrades, but I think Gutekunst is set up well. 12 picks in the draft (as of now) and the willingness to go into free agency will provide some big changes.

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Finwiz's picture

January 08, 2018 at 02:36 pm

I agree with most of that, but they are still missing pieces on offense.
Adams isn't a guy to build your entire offense around.
They need speed - lot's of it.
I'm going to be a big critic if 17 washes out with a couple more trips into concussion protocol. That was a big risk IMO.
They need a tight end, and at least 2-3 guys on the O-line as well.
The biggest needs are on defense and they need a LOT of talent there.
They should still be a contender next year if 12 doesn't get hurt again, but unless they get better on defense (FANGIO), they will go nowhere in the playoffs.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 08, 2018 at 03:08 pm

Yeah, I agree they have work to do on offense. No question.

They have to upgrade the TE, and WR positions. Speed like you said is a big need.
The hard part with Adams is that 2 of his concussions came from nasty unnecessary hits. Cheap shots. I don't know how his deal is structured, but he was worth the deal.
Over the last 2 years he has had 22 receiving TD's. Thats more then Antonio Brown, Mike Evans, Dez Bryant, Jimmy Graham, and every other WR in the league. What is more impressive is that he had 10 this year with Hundley as the QB and also missing the last 2 1/2 games. Who knows how many he would have had with Rodgers. Adams gets open for sure. While he isn't a deep threat he is their number 1 WR.

I disagree about the 2-3 guys on the OL. They need to figure out the RT and RG. At the very least Spriggs is a good backup RT. He improved a lot. They have McCray who played really well as a rotational back up guy.

They need help on defense for sure. Pass rush, ILB, and CB IMO are the 3 biggest needs. I love Martinez but they need another ILB, but if they move Jones down there the need is lessened.
Pass rush is highly needed though.

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Finwiz's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:43 pm

The only 3 guys I feel 100% confident with on the O-line are Bak, Linsley and Taylor. The other two starters, who knows. Evans may not be back and he looked lost in a couple of those last games. They need depth too. I'll give you Spriggs, but if Bulaga can't go, which seems likely then he's your starter with no 6th man, and Murphy coming off injury. Our QB's are under pressure ALL the time. Watch the way some of these other teams protect, like the Saints. Night and day. And I don't think the Saints have 3-4 all-pro's on their line, but they let Brees just stand back there in the pocket. They do it better. Maybe it's coaching, but I doubt it. Most of our guys aren't very good in pass pro any more.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 09, 2018 at 03:45 am

RC - IMO the structure of Adams' contract is excellent and takes into account his concussion as much as reasonably possible. Loads of the guaranteed money comes off the contract in the prequel year (2017) and 2018. The downside is that he Adams alone reduced our available cap space to spend on FAs in 2018 by about $14M. That's because it is front loaded.

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BELIEVER's picture

January 08, 2018 at 06:10 pm

Adams may be a risk, but we really don't know how bad or how good the defense is. Coaching change will give us a better idea.

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carlos's picture

January 08, 2018 at 06:59 pm

Agree with you Fin. Really need a TE and shore up the offensive line.

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carlos's picture

January 08, 2018 at 07:02 pm

Forgot, need speed.

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4zone's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:38 pm

We should do very well in the first three rounds this year and look for midround OL picks again. Ted is good in the mid rounds, let's see how Gute does in the early rounds. Wouldn't be surprised if he got back into the first round for a second pick this year.

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Razer's picture

January 08, 2018 at 02:29 pm

I am worried about all the coaches who voluntarily left the staff. The Packers are supposedly a first-class organization and a great place to work yet Luke Getsy, Jerry Montgomery and others are chosing to find other coaching opportunities. I don't know why these guys would leave to become assistants in smaller college programs. Is there something going on that we aren't seeing?

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dobber's picture

January 08, 2018 at 02:53 pm

Could be Montgomery saw a possibility (given the unstable nature of his current position) and took matters into his own hands rather than playing "wait-and-see" with a new DC. Lots of reasons why guys might go...

Getsy made what I would argue is a positive move for his career in becoming OC at MSU in the SEC. Supposedly he has a significant connection to their current HC, too.

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JDK52's picture

January 08, 2018 at 03:04 pm

These guys aren't robots. They have considerations beyond maximizing their career opportunities, and we likely will never know what those considerations are for each person.

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Razer's picture

January 08, 2018 at 03:46 pm

Still a pretty good gig to walk away from, especially with ARod in his prime. Maybe the coaching staff has problems that run a little deeper.

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Oppy's picture

January 09, 2018 at 12:46 am

Great example of this was TJ Lang.

The year he went to DET, he also had his oldest child set to start school- and Lang is from around the DET area.

He mentioned that he would like to raise his family back home in MI and if that is the case, I'm sure having his children planting roots in a school district they would likely be in from K-12 would be a massive consideration in deciding where to play out what is probably going to be your final NFL contract.

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carlos's picture

January 08, 2018 at 07:03 pm

It does make you wonder.

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Ustabeayooper's picture

January 08, 2018 at 02:31 pm

Putting Rodgers back on IR was a routine move that most teams use after being eliminated from the playoffs. The intent was not to stash a player. If the NFL decides to strictly enforce this rule, they would let teams and the players association know ahead of time. It was good to hire a GM early and get in place, so the search for the D.C. can commence. Any candidate worth his salt would prefer to interview with the management in place. As far as the defensive players on the roster is concerned, we really don't know if it was the system employed or the lack of talent that has been the problem. Obviously, Dom Capers was part of the problem. This is going to be the major question that has to be answered.

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dobber's picture

January 08, 2018 at 02:55 pm

I would argue, too, that the change in administrative structure announced today really made the hiring of a GM less significant in the search for a DC, but if I were a DC candidate, I'd like to know who's pulling the strings on personnel before taking the job.

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stockholder's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:31 pm

And I would argue Murphy will throw money at anyone to make his problem go away. He wants smooth water.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 09, 2018 at 04:05 am

Maybe hiring a Partial Manager and the resulting cluster%%%% of a structure had something to do with it. This is a lateral move for Montgomery. Sure, he goes from Asst DL to DL coach, but moves from the pros down to college level. It is quite possible that Ball, PM Gutekunst and Wolf will get along. I object to MM reporting to Murphy most strongly, and just dislike Ball reporting to Murphy, though two money guys make a certain sense.

Montgomery could have foreseen possible issues with Fangio, Perrine, Bradley as DC as well.

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4thand1's picture

January 08, 2018 at 03:23 pm

The Packers should draft 7 CB's and 7 edge rushers.

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RCPackerFan's picture

January 08, 2018 at 03:37 pm

Thats almost like me saying the Browns should draft a QB with their 2 first round picks. The 1st pick and their 4th overall pick. It just improves their odds of getting a good one.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 08, 2018 at 03:46 pm

They might as well draft 4...

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4zone's picture

January 08, 2018 at 04:47 pm

Edge Rush Rd 1, WR Rd 2, TE & CB Rd 3. FA LB, DB, RT

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4thand1's picture

January 08, 2018 at 05:47 pm

I stand corrected, 5 CB's 5 edge rushers, 4 TE's, OL in FA.

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Barnacle's picture

January 09, 2018 at 02:56 am

Ted also left McCarthy in his position and he can fire all those incompetent coaches and assistant coaches. Who hired all those rejects? I hope they don’t let that same moron replace those rejects? But maybe they were just very poorly coached by some moron?

I think Murphy threw out the baby and kept the bath water. And poor Guteknest is stuck with him(MM) and has no authority over him.

This is a recipe for disaster!

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