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Three Potential Cuts from Around the League Who Might Interest the Packers

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Three Potential Cuts from Around the League Who Might Interest the Packers

We’re still about a month away from the start of free agency in the NFL, but there is already a lot of speculation about which players will end up on which teams.

We already know what the crop of unrestricted free agents will look like. But what about players who are likely to be cut by other teams?

Here’s a quick look at a few reportedly likely veteran cuts that could be worth a look from the Packers.

Tyrod Taylor, Quarterback, Buffalo Bills

The Bills have seemingly been toying with the decision to release Taylor for some time now, and his performance in the playoffs against Jacksonville certainly didn’t do him any favors. While Taylor probably hovered around 20th best starter in the league (at best), he would be an instant upgrade for many teams at the backup position, including the Packers.

Anyone who watched Brett Hundley struggle through the games he started this season would likely agree the Packers, at the very least, need to bring in some competition for the backup spot. Taylor would be much more likely than someone like a Blake Bortles (who the Jaguars could potentially release) to draw interest from the Packers, and would pose an upgrade over Hundley.

Aqib Talib, Cornerback, Denver Broncos

Local beat reporters have mentioned Talib is likely to be either traded or released this offseason. Talib is 32 years old, but still playing at a high level. His exodus from Denver seems almost to be a sure thing—the Broncos will save $11 million if they offload him.

But would the Packers have interest?

The secondary could certainly use some veteran savvy and playmaking skills, both of which Talib has. But Talib’s bravado and history of off-field issues could cause the Packers (and other teams) to think twice before bringing him in for a workout.

Still, he’s an intriguing option, and if cut, will be one of the better defensive players available in free agency even at his age.

Robert Quinn, DE, Los Angeles Rams

Quinn has struggled with injuries in the last couple years, and reports have mentioned him as being a name that could end up on the chopping block in the next few weeks heading into free agency.

The injuries will definitely get consideration from any teams that would look at signing him, but he’s still only 27 years old, and the memory of a 19-sack season still lingers around him. Quinn saw the field more in 2017 than he did in the previous two years (again, due to injury) and managed to put up 8.5 sacks. There’s reason to believe he’s still got some pass rushing ability left in him.

Beyond the injuries, the other downside is his size and position. Quinn is used to playing as a smaller 4-3 defensive end, but with the Packers would likely be forced to play more often as an edge linebacker. If the Packers used him solely as a pass rushing specialist, Mike Pettine might be able to find a use for him. But they would have to believe Quinn will be able to recapture the form he showed earlier in his career.


While players who are cut in the offseason don’t typically go on to have massive years, one man’s trash can still always be another man’s treasure (or at least another man’s key role player). It will be interesting to see which players garner the most interest from Green Bay once free agency begins.



Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (74) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

HankScorpio's picture

"Quinn is used to playing as a smaller 4-3 defensive end, but with the Packers would likely be forced to play more often as an edge linebacker."

I hope the days of forcing a fit are over. I'm encouraged that Pettine said 43 vs 34 really isn't really a thing anymore. It remains to be seen, I suppose.

Nick Perry's picture

Wasn't Pettine the DC who managed to get 6.5 sacks from Aaron Maybin the former 1st round bust of the Buffalo Bills? I the Packers could get Quinn signed with a incentive loaded deal I'd be in favor. I'd pass on Taylor and Talib though.

The Packers need to be very smart about how they spend given the cap space they have. Even by cutting Cobb and restructuring Nelson they still wouldn't have that much money. Even if they leave Rodgers contract until next winter and assuming they let Cobb go and get Nelson to restructure $30 plus million in cap space would go quickly.

When you take a look at the Packers offense they have damn near as many needs on that side of the ball as they have on defense. TE and WR are real needs and IMO they better get that right side of the O-Line fixed AND have some quality depth. A slew of O-Linemen UDFA on the practice squad doesn't equal quality depth.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

We're already loaded with Maybin types I think.

HankScorpio's picture

I agree that the available cap space will go quickly. According to, their rookie pool is projected at $8.8 mil and they have $16.9 mil available. That leaves enough space for one big-time signing or 2 mid level guys.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I agree Hank. At least the rookie pool number is always a false number. Given our current picks, rookies should cost around $3.6M to $4M. If we trade back into the first for a second first rounder, probably around $5M. I've previously posted the actual numbers for the picks taken last year at the spots we currently have, and it was about $3.3M, but need to add some cap inflation.

John Kirk's picture

I read the general rule is to allot 465k per draft pick. We have 11.

11 x 465k = 5115000

That's just over 5 million number is then subtracted from whatever the rookie pool number for us is. If it's 8.8 million then...

8800000 - 5115000 = 3.685 million

So, 3.685 million or so will be needed. If we have around 17 million of space, after our rookie pool is accounted for we should have 13+ mil to play with not accounting for all the guys we're going to cut or restructure.

flackcatcher's picture

Well, we don't know what the Packers think their needs are. Last year those UDFA OL up from the practice squad played pretty well. Packers may believe that they already have the players to fill most of their needs. More importantly, your point about cap space is dead on. I get the feeling that we are looking at a transition year, and that it will not be done until 2020.

Handsback's picture

Yeah, I agree with everything you have pointed out, need a TE and maybe an OT (depending on Murphy's health). Should get another pass rusher first (if possible) and if not .....a solid young CB. I could see Green Bay sign any of the following: a RGIII for QB, a OT guy like Hubbard from the Steelers, a possible pass rusher like Alex Okafor from NO, a CB like E.J. Gaines or less expensive T.J. Carrie.

Point is these FA will be 2nd tier either young and haven't developed yet or older vets that get by with their experience.

dobber's picture

I would argue that 'needs' are a fluid thing, and the "need a pass-rusher in round 1, a CB in round 2, etc." mindset is absolutely maddening. The type of player you look for at other positions changes as you add other players to the unit..and even shifts dramatically over the first two days of the draft when you're picking players you need and expect early contributions from.

For example, if the Packers draft a Roquon Smith, what happens to Josh Jones? Does he become your SS, Smith becomes an ILB in odd fronts and weak-side OLB in even fronts? Completely changes how you manage the safety and LB positions. If you just put $8MM into a new S in FA, you've got to figure out what to do with #27. If you sign an outstanding blocking TE who isn't much more than a chain-mover in the passing game, maybe you ride with a rising RT candidate and go looking for better RB talent (to utilize that TE) and better outside WR to compensate for a TE who isn't much of a downfield threat. If you bring in a TE who is an outstanding receiver but a zero in-line, it means you need to place greater emphasis the right side of the OL at some point.

Absolutely, you're always looking for the best talent you can find, but how the pieces fit together talent-wise and within the offensive/defensive systems impact how you manage other positions and seek out other specific talent sets. It's all fluid, and it takes a nimble mind (or several) to do it...which is where I think TT fell off the boat several years ago.

Cubbygold's picture

Great points. Add to it that with Pettine changing the defensive system, the apparent needs of last year are not necessarily the needs of next year. Strengths and weaknesses are going to change.

The hope can only be that the coaches are able to identify the largest weakness and address it in the most efficient way possible. My hope is that this need can be filled by a veteran FA, which gives the team the ability to enter the draft without being forced into taking a specific type of player in round one or two.

HankScorpio's picture

The biggest need is to just get better. Getting a great pass rusher is the obvious avenue but hardly the only way there.

I don't know about Roquon Smith, per se, but putting a speedy, playmaking ILB on any defense is going to make it much better. A guy that can wreck havoc from the middle of the field would be tough to pass up on what I hope is one of the few forays to the top half of the draft.. It's icing on the cake that he'd be playing behind Clark and Daniels. That alone is putting him in a position to succeed.

Line Matthews up next to him behind those 2 as one of the ways you move him around. Spot in Martinez inside some, as well.

Even if you can't add much of significance to Perry, Biegel, Lowery & Gilbert, I still think that's a big step in the right direction for the front 6/7.

Tundraboy's picture

Great post NP. Illustrates just how important it is that Pettine gets more out of the existing roster players so that we don't have to go beyond getting an edge rusher and possibly a CB. Will need resources so we can concentrate on upgrading the O, obviously wide receiver, RT, and tight end for starters. A team with Rodgers at QB should have protection, a dominant WR, and a real TE threat. Need to hit in FA and the Draft.

Nick Perry's picture

Thanks TB and that was the point I was trying to make with Maybin. Pettine seemed to be the only guy who got something out of him after being the 11th overall pick of that draft.

After last season the Packers can no longer afford to have just anyone playing on the O-Line IMO. Now I understand Rodgers will be Rodgers meaning he'll still hold onto the ball and buy as much time as he possibly can, but he also has to learn to live for another play. It's tough because he makes so many great plays on those exact plays when he's holding it a bit long.

IF the Packers were able to sign a guy like Richardson for example and a TE like Burton, this offense would be scary again when combined with Adams, Nelson in the slot, and Montgomery lined up all over.

worztik's picture

Nick... the comments are getting longer and longer with each publishing and I do not have the time to read them anymore; not too interesting regarding the many goofy topics, as well!!! If we can hit on our first 4 picks in the top 3rd rounds, and maybe again in the 4th, we should have a good starting point and if we can get our next starting/franchise QB at 14 or above, then we’ll have a team and 2 QBs to build around!!! I would be very happy with that scenario and I believe it could be the start of a long and glorious run!!! ;-€ ()

John Kirk's picture

A new GM who stepped to the mic to say that this team will be more aggressive in FA almost has to do something of note this offseason. I would bet on it. How can you speak to how things are going to be different under your watch and then do exactly what was done here for the majority of the last 13 seasons?

If the above thought proves to be accurate and we're going to do something, there has to be some kind of moves made to increase cap space to pull off a notable move.

How does 12's extension fit into all of this for this season? If they give it in the next few months, and they're to do something, that means they're going to push the cap charges further into the back end of the deal which isn't a good thing.

My guess is they're going to be forced to manipulate the cap a lot meaning cuts/restructures galore.

Quinn and Talib are two guys i'd be all about bringing in here but it might take a mass exodus to get that done.

In contemplating our current position, I really wonder what would've happened had Brett Hundley played anything remotely like Rodgers did when Favre was around? He didn't so it's irrelevant but, for me, it's fun to ponder how that might've changed things this offseason for us. No organization wants to pay any player no matter how great he is 30+ million dollars a season.

dobber's picture

"My guess is they're going to be forced to manipulate the cap a lot meaning cuts/restructures galore."

The bottom line, IMO, is that there needs to be a "come to Jesus" assessment of the roster from top to bottom based on current talent, value, and the availability of players with upside both in-house and on the street. They talk about that happening within the organization every year, but it's hard to say that it's ever really resulted in much given the roster stability we've seen over the years. With a change in leadership and roster management, I would argue that becomes an easier task.

We each can likely come up with 3-4 players without trying very hard that would be strong candidates for restructures and cuts (and likely not all agree on those 3-4 names, which means that there are more than 4 names that need to be looked at critically)...that's been about all we've talked about here over the last couple weeks.

If you're not moving forward, you're moving backward. Whether that results in a housecleaning or a directed purge, it's gotta happen to some degree--and usually does with a change in management. Some of us may lose a favorite, but if it results in a SB in the near term or even multiple appearances, I think we'd all call it a success.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

So, self eval is really important, right? I thought the article yesterday on the OL was in no way a hard look at the OL talent. Paradoxically, I kind of agreed with it, but thought your comment was spot on: we have more nice back-ups than plus starters. Bakh and Linsley are plus players (though Linsley had a down yr imo), Taylor is okay at best, and Bulaga is a bit of an unknown. 3 of 10 OL I don't mind starting. No idea how Bulaga fits in. If one can play well w/o knees, he's probably a keeper.

I actually think between Murphy, McCray, Patrick, we can get by at RG. I Just doubt that they will be plus players, but probably not disasters. Nothing at RT until Bulaga returns, if he does, and when he does if he recaptures his previous form.

dobber's picture

If we take what I say to my students and add it here, self-evaluation is important but being honest with yourself when you do it is even more important.

fastmoving's picture

....but not easy at all.

TheVOR's picture

You got it Dob, they need to flush the toilet already. We have near 40M tied up in 3 WR's with only one really producing at a high level. CMIII, love the guy, but the contract and salary has outlived his effectiveness. People are clambering to re-sign Burnett, but again, thats a contract on a player on the tailing end of a career. GB needs to be smarter with the cap, and start drafting better for gosh sakes, man, the misses Ted Thompson has made in the first round are staggering! This man is still running our player evaluation and draft board? How in the heck did that happen? He needs to be GONE! How about last years draft? King, Jones, Adams and Biegel? WOW, what a freekin bust again! King can play, but again, guy coming out with a bad shoulder, gutted it out, but finally had to have surgery! Jones, completely confused by the end of the year and mostly beaten and ineffective. Adams and Biegel, surgery! WT*!!!! This is the MO of this draft evaluator! You can't just keep screwing up draft after draft and compete in this league, period!

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I just wrote a fanpost about AR's contract issues on APC. I at least can't see a good way to structure it due to the CBA ending and the application of the Deion Rule [Article 13, Section 6 b 2]. If Cousins wants to sign with Denver, all the problems I encountered will be in play. SF dealt with it by taking a $37M cap hit this year to pay Garoppolo: we aren't able to do that. Detroit signed Stafford because it was an extension under which they simply converted $15.5M of his $16.5M salary to a signing bonus, added $35M in signing bonus, and moved forward from there. Because 4 years of the deal fell prior to the CBA ending, certain issue vanished for Detroit, and they were able to do the proverbial $50M signing bonus and $1M base. I haven't figured out a way to do the equivalent with AR.

John Kirk's picture

i read that piece. I had to take a couple of online college courses to understand it. :) Good work.

The more I ponder our situation the more untenable it seems. Giving 32 mil AAV is way too much if you're concerned about winning SB's. That's the goal. it's not having the best QB in the game playing for you at a price point that makes winning less likely. I love 12 as a QB but I want to see SB's not great QB play and playoff appearances that get cut short.

Realizing we made a GM change, I still can't fathom we are getting to SB's with Aaron at 32 mil AAV when we couldn't find a way at around 20 mil AAV even realizing the cap goes up each year.

It sounds insane but I wouldn't pay him. He has two years to go. Make hey while you can or deal him. The PR hit would be awful for the org, for not taking care of him but, again, this is about the Packers not Aaron Rodgers. That should always be first and foremost that we do what is in the best interest of the Green Bay Packers winning SB's.

EDIT: The new CBA is going to have to deal with singular player payments maxes. The QB salary cap implications are ruining football. There needs to be a max level tied to the percentage of the cap any one player can attain to level the playing field. It's not good for the league for an NFL team to have a star QB who eats so much of the cap that the rest of the team suffers. It dilutes play. I'd like to see a study done on SB winners relative to cap payments and specifically the highest percentage amounts they paid to their QB. Just running through my memory banks, it seems the teams that get there are teams who do not have a QB on some insane contract. It's teams with guys on rookie deals like the Eagles were this year with Wentz ( I know it was Foles but Wentz set them up and he was on his rookie deal), Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady on his hometown discount, Ravens before they paid Joe Flacco. I think the Ravens are a great study. Win the SB and pay an insane contract to an ungreat QB and they're farts in the wind after. Even had he been great, they're still toast. That's bad for the NFL.

dobber's picture

"Make hey while you can or deal him. The PR hit would be awful for the org, for not taking care of him but, again, this is about the Packers not Aaron Rodgers. "

I would argue that the fact that #4 "retired" and allowed the Packers to go into "moving on" mode before asking to be reinstated made the PR hit a little easier on TT because it painted Favre further in the diva light and put the Packers in a very "practical" light. This would be much harder on Gutekunst and his legacy. You're absolutely right: it's all about winning SBs, which is the ultimate legacy...but there are still a lot of people who hate TT until this day based initially on the handling of Favre (I can think of a few I'm related to). Gutekunst could end up being the evil lord of the Sith forever in GB.

John Kirk's picture

As much as I wasn't a Ted fan, the one thing he did that I loved most was the way he handled the Favre situation. His aloofness actually came in handy through that process. I couldn't have been more supportive of how that whole thing went down. Sending him to the Jets was the icing on the cake. Just brilliant. It's still hilarious to this day.

It's, of course, going to be unpopular, to even suggest moving on from Aaron, but what is your desire as a fan? Do you really believe a contract at 30 plus AAV for ONE guy is conducive to winning SB's no matter how great that one player is? If we couldn't get one when the contract numbers were much more palatable how are we getting there when they're intolerable? I'd like to hear from all those who think it's insane that can offer anything other than an emotional response. Tell us how winning SB's odds are improved by paying one player over 30 million per season? It's even riskier when you consider he's now broken both collarbones, has concussion issues, calf issues, and more. How do you justify that money and that risk?

Sadly, I think perception carries more weight than reality in life and especially football. The perception that not having Aaron would be unthinkable vs. the reality that keeping him would make winning unlikely will keep even the decision makers in the camp that it's good practice to hand over the money.

Arthur Jackson's picture

Not paying Rodgers and keeping him is the far greater risk. Unless you think replacing a HOF QB like Rodgers for Favre is a common occurrence. If we look at past SB winners and who was QBing them it becomes very apparent having Aaron Rodgers is the most important step towards a Super Bowl win. About 75% of the Super Bowls are won by a Hall of Fame (or future HOF) QB. Invariably the few less than HOF worthy QBs to win a SB were top 10 draft picks and had stellar defenses. Nick Foles, Joe Theisman and Jeff Hostetler being exceptions to the high draft pick tag.

John Kirk's picture

I understand your feelings, Arthur. Where does paying 30+ million a year factor into your opinion?

Not a common occurrence to replace a HOF QB...not common to pay a QB over 30+ million, either.

Everyone understands the side of the argument that having a HOF QB is important to winning. Less understand the ramifications of paying the HOF QB over 30 million a year. That's the part I'm commenting on. How much will paying 30+ million to Aaron or any player impact a teams chances of winning SB's? Tom Brady appeared in back to back SB's with New England. HOF QB. We all get his importance to their getting to SBs. Tom Brady had a cap hit of 14 million or less the last two seasons. Let's focus on the part where we pay our HOF QB over double that amount in cap dollars. New England isn't going to be going to SB's with Brady at 30+ million and that's with Belichick and that great organization behind him so what makes anyone think we're getting there with Mike McCarthy and our organization paying a guy 30+ million?

Arthur Jackson's picture

If you really understood the need to have a HOF QB if you want to win a SB you wouldn't be bitching about how much Rodgers may make with his next contract. Let's face it the $30 million while not completely irrelevant it is minor compared to spending it takes to build that one-two year over-the-top defense that can get a GM a Super Bowl win.

So I guess I don't see the $30 million as a terrible number. Sure compared to 2010 or 2005 or 2000 salary caps it looks worse and worse, but the cap goes up. Contract yearly numbers go up. The percentage of cap allocated to a position based on play (merit) and years (in league) stays fairly steady. Sure it would be better for any team for their top player to take less than market value. Of course management still has to do something with that money to make the team better.

I think what I pointed out is the easiest route to that Super Bowl win: have that future HOF QB or a high first round drafted QB. The guys who don't fit that bill are few and far between. Foles as of late. Wilson I believe plays at a HOF level so I don't count him. Brad Johnson in the 2002 season then you have to go all the way back to Mark Rypien, Jeff Hostetler and Joe Theisman. Those guys were drafted 88th, 227th, 147th, 59th and 99th respectively. I could add the year they led their teams to a SB victory their defenses for the regularly season was #1 for four of them and #2 for Rypien's 1991 Redskins.

Non HOF bums who won a Super Bowl include two 1st overalls in Jim Plunkett and Eli Manning. Jim McMahon #5, Trent Dilfer #6, Phil Simms #7, Doug Williams #17 and Joe Flacco #18. I personally believe if the Packers paid Rodgers $40 million/yr it would still give them good chance to win the SB and a far better chance than any other alternative.

John Kirk's picture

If I really understood the need for a HOF QB? I do. I think it's important. I also think it's important that you have enough financial resources to craft a team around him to win.

This is your quote: "Sure it would be better for any team for their top player to take less than market value. Of course management still has to do something with that money to make the team better."

So, you know it would be "better" for a player to take less than market value. I think we all would agree. The last part of your quote is the issue that you haven't gotten around to addressing. How are you going to assemble a team around a HOF QB if you're paying him 40 million? You said you think we'd still have a good chance at winning a SB if we paid him 40 million. Where does the rest of the team factor into your opinion? I know how you feel about HOF QB's but you haven't told me how you feel about the rest of the team but you did say management would have to make the team better with money saved on a QB. Well, if it saved no money and paid out more than was optimal how does management do that?

Cubbygold's picture

$40M a year he says!

The only way GB is competitive paying Rodgers that kind of money would be if they cut Jordy, Adams, Cobb and Kendricks (pretending like they wouldn't carry dead cap weight) and replacing them with Allison, Davis, Janis and Bryd. If Rodgers is worth 40M a year, he'll be just fine with this corp of recievers

carlos's picture

These are all interesting points, and other than Rogers marrying a super model, I don’t know the answer. The Packers have a lot of issues to sort out. I like the idea of having a cap on one player eating up most of the cap. You’d think the players union would possibly agree with most players being effected by this. Who knows though? Everything’s will be determined with released players and possibly some restructuring. Everyone here knows ours needs. By the way, how much does Danica Patrick make?

dobber's picture

If her income were to rely on her winning races...not much.

dobber's picture

That's fine since most of those QBs--to currently be in the HOF--played in the pre-salary-cap era. How many SBs have been won by QBs on rookie contracts (which, prior to the current CBA, could still be large, longer-term deals)? I ask because I'd like to know, not because I have researched this...

John Kirk's picture

Look at this list and add Brady, Manning, and Foles. I don't think a single QB on this SB winning list had a cap crippling contract. I believe Peyton was paid 19 million the year he retired as a SB champion.

Arthur Jackson's picture

Manning's cap in 2015 was $17.5 million. The confusing part for some is that 30 million is $12.5 million or 71% more than that paltry $17.5 million. But if someone would just look at the 2015 Denver Bronco salary cap and the 2018 Packers salary cap it makes a lot more sense. $30 million will be about 16% of the Packers cap next year while that $17.5 million was 12.06 of the Broncos cap. Yeah, A FOUR PERCENT DIFFERENCE. One thing I will guarantee is Rodgers play in 2018 will be far more than 4% better than Peyton Manning's in 2015.

Nick Perry's picture

This may have been said in this tread and I missed it but I know it's been said before....What about this....

Let Rodgers play out his last two seasons and see where he is. We've been looking at this as a sure thing Rodgers will play great at 38, 39, or even 40. Just because Brady has been able to play at this unbelievable level at 40 years old DOESN'T mean Rodgers will. If Rodgers is still playing like he has then franchise him in 2020 and 2021 even. Who knows, if the Packers were able to WIN the SB in 2018 or 2019 by adding Free Agents and showing Rodgers they will do good things with the extra $15 million plus we're NOT paying him adding the pieces we've always seemed to be missing with Thompson, MAYBE just maybe he's want to stay instead of playing under the franchise for a cheaper contract. I know this sounds naive but you never know. IF he really wants to be look at as the GOAT he'd be best served to do something like this. He CAN'T do it himself and paying him $35 million plus will probably put a stamp on the deal that he'd have to.

I would HATE to lose Rodgers but as John has said, paying Rodgers THAT much money is just going to cripple this team financially.

Food for thought....I'd have to look for it but I read a piece where the writer broke down Rodgers career in 3 pieces. It went something like

2006 through 2010
2011 through 2014
2015 through 2017

When looking at Rodgers career in those 3 groupings he actually has played his worst football from 2015 through 2017. Rodgers was the ONLY reason the Packers were 4-1 when he was injured so I'm taking all of this with a grain of salt. But I'll be curious to see what he does in 2018 and would probably wait until at least week 8 to see where Rodgers is, the team is, and IF it's worth throwing all that money at him before they even have to.

John Kirk's picture

Yes! Let him play it out. Franchise for as long as sensible or work out short term non cap crippling contract after he plays it out if need be.

Let's take emotion out of this. Outside of his first full season as starter Aaron had 6 straight seasons with a passer rating over 100, which is incredible. Over the last 3 seasons, two of them have been sub 100. Jordy missed 2015, Davante had ankle issues and I believe Cobb had a season long AC joint issue. He rebounded in 2016, and then got hurt last season falling short of 100.

What the above tells me is Aaron like any QB isn't going to be great without weapons. If you're going to give him the money you better find a way to give him an arsenal. Still, in his 3 worst seasons here his lowest passer rating was low 90s. That's still very good. So, I'm not worried about decline...yet...I'm concerned about who we have for him to throw it to. That's as big of a priority as anything else to me.

EDIT: A crazy thought...I just read a piece that proposed the Browns offer Drew Brees an insane contract because they have 110 million in cap space! How is that possible? If you're the Packers and don't want to pay 30+ million to 12, who would be a great place to trade him to? Cleveland. We could get the 1st and 4th overall and more for him. He has incredible value right now. We'd have 1, 4 and 14 plus whatever else... probably a 1 or 2 next season, also. If Brian believes in his bones that there's a star QB in this group he'd have to at least entertain the idea. I'm not saying to do it, but if Brian feels the next HOF QB is there, he'd have to consider it before deciding it's better forking over 30+ million a year.

Tundraboy's picture

"I would argue that the fact that #4 "retired" and allowed the Packers to go into "moving on" mode before asking to be reinstated made the PR hit a little easier on TT because it painted Favre further in the diva light and put the Packers in a very "practical" light."

And that is exactly the way it went.

Cubbygold's picture

Yup, Rodgers has to decide what's important to him. He knows the implications of signing a massive deal as much as we do. He knows that taking a larger percentage of payroll than he does today isn't going to make the team more competitive.

I'll one-up your insanity. Right now GB has options and flexibility. If I was GM I'd be having very open and honest discussions with Rodgers about his future and what it would take for him to sign a team friendly deal. If he's not on board with taking less than he could get in FA, and signing that deal soon, I'm on the phone taking trade offers. Letting someone with his talent walk out the door with nothing in return can't happen. The haul you'd receive for a trade would position the team, though certainly not guarantee, for future success.

I hope Rodgers wants to win. I hope he signs a reasonable deal which compensates him for being the best QB in GB history. But I also hope he leaves money on the table so the defense can maybe, possibly, get one red zone or third down stop.

John Kirk's picture

Hey, I'm already on board with your insanity...I said this earlier: I

"It sounds insane but I wouldn't pay him. He has two years to go. Make hey while you can or deal him."

Use him this year to try and get one, and if he wants 32 million a year don't pay it and deal him after. I agree we could be set up nicely, in theory, if we dealt him for a king's ransom. That would be a nice article here at CHTV or poll. What would you prefer? We pay Aaron over 30 million a year or we deal him in a Herschel Walker type trade?

If we do extend him we can minimize the hit for a year or two and we'd need to get one there or the piper comes calling and we won't be getting one toward the end of the deal.. Many fans of this org praised Ted for his frugal ways but now they're good with paying 30+ million to Rodgers? He's the best player in franchise history but he's worthless if his salary prevents us from winning a SB, that's the whole point of having him in the first place.

Cubbygold's picture

The insanity in the comments section of that article would be too much to handle.

One thing I'll add is that I'm all in favor of a team operating in windows of opportunity, and paying the price afterward. In my opinion, the best way for GB to win as many SBs as possible over the next 20 years is to have Rodgers as their QB. There's no way this team gets three straight HOF QBs, right? For them to win while Rodgers is QB, they also need cap space. So, sign the guy to a 10 year $250M 100% guaranteed contract. $25M/year gives the team room to build a dominant defense and/or pair him with elite offensive weapons.

Obviously this ends with an old Rodgers sitting in a wheelchair on the sidelines, watching a 2-14 packer team, collecting fat checks and admiring his 4 superbowl rings. I'll take that future. If you're not competing, you're rebuilding, and I'll take that over pretending to compete anyday.

John Kirk's picture


I'm partially on board with you in this one. I do believe in windows. I think that's the next two seasons IF we don't pay him. He plays at a cap charge around 20 million the next two. An extension might give us those same two years but what's after I don't like. I'm also one who thinks we have 3 maybe 4 years of great Aaron Rodgers max. Letting him play out his deal is best for the org. Nobody knows what he'll be after two more seasons. Risking that 3rd or 4th year being him at what we know now is a consideration for me.

It will not be fun being the next QB in GB. Can't imagine being after Favre and Rodgers. Niners did have Garcia after Montana and Young. I'd rather watch a rebuild without Aaron than a team unable to get there because it's hamstrung by his contract. I'll save my angst for when the numbers on it get released because you know it's coming sooner or later.

The draft is going to take on even greater magnitude for us than in Ted times. We're going to need a lot of first contract guys to be players for us and soon.

Cubbygold's picture

very, very true. the strategy for how/when/what to pay 12 has to start with 'how long can he be great'. I'm not knowledgeable on that. My only reference is Brady and Breeze doing it well into their late 30s and now 40. Rodgers is more dependent on his mobility, will he change over time? But yeah, if I thought he was done being great at 36/37, I'd be in heavy win now mode expecting a rebuild soon. if that was my perspective, I'd be trading away draft picks to move up and get the best talent available or trading picks for high impact players currently on NFL rosters.

John Kirk's picture

Aaron has mentioned the 40 number a few times. I could be wrong, but I believe Favre is kind of a guide for him. That's the guy he came into the league looking at everyday. Brett made it to 41, but 41 was not a good year for him. His drop off was incredible. His TD/INT ratio went from 33-7 to 11-19 from 40 years old to 41. That wasn't a typo...he threw 19 picks and 11 TD's after 33 and 7 the previous season. Brett was one of kind, though, so 41 is not normal. Vinny Testaverde got to 44 but he was hardly putting up elite numbers.

If Aaron plays until he's 40, that's 6 more seasons. Perhaps, if they project him playing like Brady and Favre until he's 40, they can craft a 6 year extension that rips up the last two years of the deal and makes it semi palatable? I gotta believe they do think he can play at a high level until he's 40 just because they wish for it to be true and he says he wants to.

Aaron's favorite team was SF growing up...his two heroes Montana and Young both lasted until 38 but Steve only played 3 games his final season and Montana wasn't the same Montana at the end in KC.

Just a few more: Elway made it to 38. He wasn't the same at the end. Manning was 39 he wasn't close to the same at the end. Marino made it to 38 and he wasn't the same.

I do think HGH and some of these other things are extending careers. 38 seemed to be the drop dead point. Of course, there's always outliers like a George Blanda who played until he was 48 but he stopped playing QB at 39.

This is why I don't feel confident Aaron will be Aaron for more than 3-4 years max. 38 is a diminished skill point for many HOF QB's. He's 35 this season. He'll be 38 four more seasons from now. I think a 6 year deal is a major risk. A 4 year extension is going to be too short to prorate the huge signing bonus. We should pay him until 38 and no further. That's why letting him play it out when he'll be 36 makes sense. The years he's 37 and 38 you can franchise him IF he's really still special which I doubt. You don't want to be paying huge cap charges for a declining 37 and 38 year old QB.

So, it's not solely about 12 and's age, too. I'll go with many HOF QB's history and believe at 38 he won't be close to what we've seen over his career. Many all time greats retired at 38 for a reason...they were no longer the same player. Believing Aaron is Brett or Tom is a gamble I wouldn't make.

CheesyTex's picture

Why hasn't anyone commented about Russ Ball in all of this? A supposed financial and cap guru, how can the Packers end up with so little flexibility at a time when 12's contract expires in 2 years?

Maybe he does have a crystal Ball (pun intended) and has a clear plan to make it all work. Hope so.

flackcatcher's picture

There is a story untold. We fans will have to wait till after 2020 for the full background. But I think we know the basics. The Packers have hit the cap wall and needed a fresh approach. The Packers GM was to retire last year, but the Packers president ask him to put off retirement for one year. So he could put in place his choice Russ Ball. It makes sense, if the Packers are getting ready to rebuild their entire roster and coaching and support staff. In that respect, clearing out cap space and salary would take priority over fielding a SB caliber team. It also explains the violet reaction by the executive committee and former Packer president Bob Harlan. Mark Murphy the current Packers president, never cleared his plans with the executive committee nor the board members who oversee him daily. And, We know the rest. How it plays out is unknown, but the cap problem, which may be at the heart of all the recent changes in Packer world remains unchanged, and to date, unanswered.

CheesyTex's picture

Thanks, flackcatcher.

carlos's picture

Just a comment. How many millions does “anyone” need? The numbers are getting insane. I don’t understand the, “l want to be the highest paid player in the league. “ Most of us have worked our butts off to scratch out a living and are very content. I just can’t wrap my mind around that kind of money.

WKUPackFan's picture

"A new GM who stepped to the mic to say that this team will be more aggressive in FA almost has to do something of note this offseason".

First, that is merely your interpretation of what Gutenkunst said. Given your propensity for intentionally misconstruing Murphy's, Gutenkunst's, and MM'S comments, I'd prefer to rely on the audio or transcript of Gutenkunst's actual comments, in context.

Second, isn't more important that Gutenkunst react to the situation as it develops, as opposed to fulfilling some perceived promise from an introductory press conference? Apparently you would prefer that the Packers "make a big splash" in free agency, rather than acquiring players that would actually help the team.

John Kirk's picture

"My interpretation"? Would you like a direct quote? Here's one: “I’ll lead in my own personality, probably a little bit more aggressive in certain areas,” Gutekunst said. “We’re not going to leave any stone unturned in every avenue of player acquisition.”

What propensity to intentionally misconstruing anything? Isn't that your interpretation? I'd prefer a transcript of said intentionally misconstruing. This is a place where we offer opinions. Yours are clearly different than mine but I find your intolerance off-putting.

from from an article titled: Brian Gutekunst eyes aggressive approach to Packers' roster

“Obviously, our foundation is going to be the draft,” Gutekunst said. “But I think (free agency) is an absolute must as an accessory piece. The thing that I’ve already told our guys is that we’re not going to sign every player. We’re not going to be able to make that the foundation of our team. But we want to be in it and we want to be in the know of everything that’s going on and, if it makes sense for us, not to be afraid. We have to be prepared enough to pull the trigger.

“We’re not going to leave any stone unturned as far as every avenue of player acquisition. Doesn’t mean we’re always going to get to the finish and actually sign the guy, but we’re going to go throughout the entire process and be in on every possible acquisition. Our guys are really excited about that.”

---You're typing to me about misinterpretation and then type that I would prefer a big splash to players that would actually help the team? Huh? No...I'm hoping for a big splash player who helps the team. How in good conscience could you have typed that disingenuous line? What team is making a big splash in FA believing they aren't doing so to help their team? It's a nonsensical suggestion. Further, you took liberties with my quote. I said he had to do something of note in FA. You turned that into a big splash on a player over guys who would actually help the team?

Hoping you can carry yourself on the weight of your own opinions rather than on the bastardization of mine.

WKUPackFan's picture

"I find your intolerance off-putting".

You poor thing, so concerned someone pointing out that your inaccurate "opinions" are not fact based. Calling something an "opinion" does not excuse intentional misrepresentation. For example, nothing that you quoted above can be remotely interpreted as Gutenkunst saying that he was going to make a FA move "of note".

Perhaps you'd like to define "something of note". Otherwise, my interpretation is of that is, again, you desire that Gutenkunst sign a FA that hits the headline of PFT much more than a player that fits the team's needs.

Actually, some teams do sign big name FA's merely in attempt to mollify the fan base. The opposite of that was one of the TT's best attributes. It never seemed that TT was willing to waste cap space simply to be able to say "look, we signed so and so, we really care about winning".

John Kirk's picture

I do find your intolerance off-putting. My opinions aren't fact based?

You don't even know what you're doing. Here's your quote"

***nothing that you quoted above can be remotely interpreted as Gutenkunst saying that he was going to make a FA move "of note".***

Here's what I actually typed:

***A new GM who stepped to the mic to say that this team will be more aggressive in FA almost has to do something of note this offseason. I would bet on it. How can you speak to how things are going to be different under your watch and then do exactly what was done here for the majority of the last 13 seasons?***

Gutekunst indicated he was going to pursue every avenue and spoke to being a little more aggressive in some areas. Said everyone was "Excited about that"...what is "that"? That they were going to use FA and every available avenue. So, I asked how he could not do something of note after saying what he said? I didn't say he was definitely doing anything...just that I'd bet on it and how could he not after what he said?

There's not a thing in my opinion for you to call inaccurate or misleading. You continue telling me what I said and sanction me for misinterpretation when you can't properly quote me or interpret what I'm typing.

Take my name out of my words and see if you come to the same conclusion. I'd bet you wouldn't. You have an issue with me. My opinions have offended you even though none of them have been typed to create offense toward you or anyone.

As I said before you would do well to focus on your own opinions rather then personally attacking someone whose opinions you don't care for.

I'll gladly play your game if this is how you want it but I'd rather not.

Johnblood27's picture

hit him with your purse and be done with it

John Kirk's picture

I'd rather borrow your Dollar Store fanny pack. My purse is Louis Vuitton.

Red Foreman's picture

I really hate to burst bubbles but I would be surprised if we signed any of the high market free agents. We just won't have the cap space without some major retooling, even after letting Cobb go (if that happens). I think Gute's statement made fans a little off-season delirious. Gute was quoted as saying he would do more in free agency but it was 'an accessory piece' and they wouldn't make it the foundation of their team. I think people looking for big names coming to Green Bay may be a bit disappointed. More likely, we will see second and third tier guys. Although, I would be happy with Amendola, Trey Burton type signings. Those guys would really fit in well.

dobber's picture

It always takes two to tango and if the Packers want to pursue, it's only productive if the target decides they want to come to GB (for whatever reasons) or that they can reach an agreement on terms. There are plenty of bridesmaids out there every least one on most signings.

In the end, the Packers need to cut the chaff. There are plenty of players on this roster who are below replacement level (that's true of most teams, btw) that they've been waiting for the light to go on for (or have been pet projects). The Packers have been slumming along with Joe Thomas for several years, you can always find a new Joe Thomas who has better upside...or Josh Hawkins...or Geronimo Allison...or Trevor Davis...

If the experiment doesn't look like it's going forward, let those guys go and find the next one. With the slew of draft picks they've got, it's not like they won't be able to fill roster spots. The more they can do to meaningfully raise the talent floor on the team with playable veterans without busting the cap, the better.

John Kirk's picture

"you can always find a new Joe Thomas who has better upside...or Josh Hawkins...or Geronimo Allison...or Trevor Davis..."

I agree with the sentiment expressed here even though I happen to like Joe Thomas.

However, I'm wondering if the org is going to be even more reluctant to move on from players of that ilk due to the charges from Ha Ha:

“We’ve had so much change come through here that I don’t think we ever had a chance to develop a team,” Clinton-Dix said. “It’s business, but at the same time, we’re trying to build a championship team, and if you don’t have the chemistry within the team, and you’ve got so many different individuals coming into the locker room that aren’t worth a s---, it’s kind of tough."

I'm too scared to interpret the above quote myself but it has been interpreted by others to mean we lacked veteran presence and had way too many UDFA's out there.

dobber's picture

I've always felt that with roster turnover, the guys who can play will stick and the ones who can't...won't. If he's talking about turnover in the defense, it's presumably because those guys were either hurt or no good. Maybe that was a jab at TT not keeping guys like Hyde and Hayward who could've stabilized that secondary (if there was any hope that they'd be used in a way to be at their most effective), and perhaps a nudge toward resigning Burnett. Maybe it was a jab at the string of UDFAs we've seen in the secondary...many of whom were playing because the #1s and #2s were in triage.

Still, I am of two minds on the quote itself: it's good to see HHCD start to assert himself as a leader on the defense. It would be nice if he'd do a better job of it on the field.

Red Foreman's picture

^ This

'it's good to see HHCD start to assert himself as a leader on the defense. It would be nice if he'd do a better job of it on the field.'

I thought the same thing myself. He was pretty vocal after having arguably his worst year as a pro....showing minimal leadership skills himself. Not to mention unwillingness to tackle anyone for most of the season.

Johnblood27's picture

I guess Saban teaches speaking but not hitting at Bama

TXCHEESE's picture

I got the impression that Gute's comments on FA, were about getting some good middle of the pack free agents to develop some better depth,or upgrade some weak position groups. Talib's asking price will be way higher than GB can pay. Hell, I would rather bring Shields back on a prove it deal, than to pay Talib big dollars. As far as Rodgers is concerned, if you don't pay him, you might as well point the gun at your toes. Think hard about this question. Who would you rather have behind center going into the playoffs, AR or Nick Foles? Granted Foles played very well in the post season, but he played like crap a couple of the regular season games. Everyone in the league knows Rodgers tilts the field unlike any other QB. I don't believe that Rodgers will demand unrealistic money. He knows there has to be talent everywhere to be successful. He has said as much so in interviews, about need to upgrade the talent on defense.

Cubbygold's picture

You can't make it a Rodgers vs. Foles discussion without including the pay. Would I rather have Rodgers for $50M a year or Foles for $1 a year... Foles all day.

I don't think anyone believes letting Rodgers leave is going to result in a superbowl. But that doesn't justify paying Rodgers whatever he wants. Overpaying is just as detrimental, he can't win a superbowl himself, he needs a team to win it all.

Colin_C's picture

I think if we want to improve the pass rush this season, we're gonna have to look at low/mid level FA's. I just don't see a rookie coming in and elevating the rush that much. Even if we take one at 14, I don't want to rely on him. I'd love to see us go after a guy like Quinn, though between Perry and Matthews, adding another injury prone LB could be risky. There's always a few value (old, under produced, or injury) FA's each year that go on to have a great season. We need to find one or two of those guys. I was glad to hear Gute say that they will at least check out every FA opportunity .

dobber's picture

I wonder how many times we'll hear Connor Barwin's name come back up again...

JohnnyLogan's picture

So much talk of cutting Cobb or Nelson. Isn't it possible both renegotiate? Cobb is young and has great rapport with Rodgers. I think it would be foolish to get rid of him. Nelson was pretty good with Rodgers but was awful with Hundley. Isn't it likely cause Hundley stinks? I think Rodgers would like them both back.

Cubbygold's picture

I've wondered the same thing. I think people might be mixing the contract discussions with the team needs discussion. They're overpaid and need to be restructured, but there also seems to be pushback that the team needs more speed at WR, and that Jordy/Cobb are too similar. Letting one go frees space for an investment into a new guy with speed.

fastmoving's picture

there are a lot of views on AR vs the salary cap and I can understand the most of it.
But he can not have everything he wants, thats for sure.
He can not have 35 millions and his favorite (expansive) WRs or a new, costly tight end.
He can not get a top 5 D with 30 millions combined for all of them.
He can not have the QB coach he wants, or his favorit HC or his buddy OC.
He got already his GM, so this should be enought.

for that kind of money he should make everyone around him look much matter who it is.......

stockholder's picture

No No No. Free Agency is a gamble. You guys still were not happy with House. And now you want to keep on signing a vet cb. The White's , Woodson , Peppers, just are not there. You sign a Free Agent because you CAN'T DRAFT BETTER. Your only playing fantasy football! That guy will become a cap problem. You don't over pay anyone. You don't get better by signing mediocrity, or guys you hope can come back from injury. Example A. Brooks LB. And How many wanted PEPPERS CUT. Your playing with Gun Powder trying to fill a roster full of Free Agents. And not believing in the talent that has won in consecutive seasons. You don't mess up the chemistry of the team cutting salary. You sign a player based on NEED not improvement. We Need a TE. That should be the top priority. You based this defense on Capers. Not what we have. You based Nelson and Cobb on Hundley. Not A-rod. You saw what happened with the RBs, TT brought in. They were top rated s**t. There will be No cruising to any victory with what you want. The victory's must be earned! It takes players that get off their ass.

Cubbygold's picture

The patriots and their 5 superbowls would kindly disagree with your philosophy on signing vets. Signing experienced guys who fit targeted needs on reasonable contracts can be very successful. Most teams can't do that successfully, and so you're right, FA is a gamble that should not form the foundation of a teams offseason plans.

stockholder's picture

The patriots sign veterans because of need. Even trade for them. Van Noy and guy were cast-offs and the coaching did the rest. I don't believe you make drastic changes. Especially untill you see what new Coaching does. The patriots even showed they can put a starting cB on the bench. Their slogan ISN"T next man up. IT's DO YOUR JOB! Mathews is better than Van Noy. And Nelson and Cobb will be better than change at WR. Especially for A-ROD!!!! You still have to spend money for their replacements. No matter how you cut IT!

Cubbygold's picture

It would be nice if they could see the team, evaluate and then enter FA with a chance to strengthen the roster. Unfortunately that's not how the off-season works.

GB has plenty of needs on both sides of the ball and certainly FA will make sense to solve some of them.

Chuck Farley's picture

My take is I hope any fa we get have gas left in the tank. M Bennett came in a fat slob looking for one more paycheck. Waste of time.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

On AR's contract:

1. An elite QB makes a team a SB contender;
a. only need average drafts to supplement QB.

2. Easier to pay a QB a lot than pay for an elite D;
2a Pay one player elite $, not 6 or 8 guys.

3. Even mediocre QBs get paid well. Diff in $ is ?
a Pay AR $32M v Alex Smith $23M diff is $9M. That is a good FA every few years.

4. 5% of $178M cap is huge. 11.5% vs. 16.5% is $20.5M vs. $29.37M with a $178M cap limit. Our cap space is 17M. If AR eats up $8.87M more, down to $8.3M, minus $3.5M for rookies = $4,8M = no FAs this year. Even signing PS guys, Jahri, House types eats up chunks of the pittance remaining.

I've yet to see a cogent explanation as to why we should extend AR. I'm guessing just having him play under his current contract and then franchising him twice saves $20M+, and is done with no guaranteed money, so when he starts to decline, he can be cut or renegotiated. I guess that is the answer: basic fairness, possibly a gentlemen's agreement to re-do the contract in 2018, and keeping AR happy.

Tundraboy's picture

Makes perfect sense. We shall see.

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