Upgrading the Packers Fifty-Three: Part II Free Agent Targets

David Michalski highlights some potential free agent targets that the Packers could pursue in the offseason.  

The Packers record over the last two seasons is a combined 13-18-1.  Over that time, the team has encountered season-altering injuries, game-changing penalties, and inconsistent play which have all played major roles in the Packers struggle to win games.  We have used these factors as excuses at times, for why the past two seasons have gone the way that they have, and rightfully so, but with these prolonged struggles the lack of impactful talent on the roster from top to bottom has been exposed.  

Because of this lack of talent, the Packers future has been put in a precarious position.  In normal cases, it could take as many as two to three seasons to build a well-balanced roster with impact players on all three phases.  However, the Packers situation is vastly different than that of an aging roster in desperate need of a rebuild.  With their franchise quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, signed to a long term deal in the twilight of his career, the Packers brass must find a way to rebuild the roster while still being a perennial playoff contender.  

Over the last month, I have suggested that this offseason will be pivotal in determining the future of the organization, as well as whether Aaron Rodgers will have an opportunity to capture one last Super Bowl before he retires.  Phase one of this process was completed when the Packers hired Matt LaFleur to be their next head coach, and now phase two of this process is set to begin as Brian Gutekunst is challenged with reshaping the fifty-three man roster in the next several months.  

The only way that the Packers can go from a floundering team who cannot get out of its own way, to a playoff contender is for Matt LaFleur to completely change the culture of the organization and for Brian Gutekunst to hit home runs in both free agency as well as the draft.  

For the second part of this series, I wanted to highlight some of the 2019 free agents that I think that the Packers should target with the almost $32.3 million in cap space that they will have as they approach free agency (This number has the potential to increase if some players become cap casualties)

With eleven teams having cap space of over $45 million or more, there will certainly be some lucrative contracts being thrown around this offseason.  With this in mind, it will be important for Brian Gutekunst to identify his free agent targets early and make sure that he is able to land the players that he thinks will be able to make an immediate impact for the Packers in 2019.  

Free Agent Targets by position:

  1. Outside Linebacker
  2. Safety
  3. Right Guard
  4. Wide Receiver

Free Agent Targets That the Packers Could Pursue:

  1. OLB: DeMarcus Lawrence, Ezekiel Ansah, Jadeveon Clowney
  2. Safety: Tyrann Mathieu, Landon Collins, Earl Thomas
  3. Right Guard: Rodger Saffold (He is a left guard by trade but could move or Lane Taylor could move to the right side)
  4. Wide Receiver: Geronimo Allison (tender him), Randall Cobb (team-friendly contract), DeSean Jackson (cap friendly first year if released)

Packers Mock Free Agent Signing Board 1.0 

At this present moment, I am taking the approach of quality over quantity.  I believe that the Packers should try and land two to three can't miss free agents and address the rest of the roster through the draft.

  1. DeMarcus Lawrence or Jadeveon Clowney 5 years $145 million.  The Packers will have to get creative with bonus money to lessen the yearly hit against the salary cap, but a premium pass rusher needs to be the top priority on the list of needs in both free agency as well as the draft.
  2. Tyrann Mathieu or Earl Thomas 3 years $30 million. The Packers again will have to get creative with the allocation of bonus money to land one of these two premium talents, but it is clear that in order for the Packers to contend in 2019, they will need to add a premium safety in 2019.
  3. Rodger Saffold 4 years $35 million.  Saffold does have a brief connection to Matt LaFleur during his time playing under him in 2017 with the Rams.  2018 saw many opponents line their best edge rushers up against the right side of the Packers offensive line which caused the pocket to break down and the offense to become out of sync, especially on third down.  Adding Saffold would provide Brian Bulaga with some stability and lessen the workload that he will have to bear and will allow an extra second or two for Aaron Rodgers to wait to let a play develop.  

I am interested in seeing what players that you think that the Packers should target in free agency.  Do you think that the Packers should land high priced, "can't miss" players like Lawrence, Thomas, Clowney, and Saffold, and build the rest of the fifty-three man roster through the draft?  Should the Packers take a different approach and invest their cap space in five or six solid, under the radar players who fit LaFleur's scheme? Let me know how you would address free agency, and stay tuned for next week's edition of "Upgrading the Packers Fifty-Three" when I discuss some potential players that the Packers could target in the early rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft.     

 

 

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David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Comments (155)

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 12, 2019 at 11:14 am

I would pass on ALL of them!!

Too much money or they want to stay where they are at or previously injured

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 12, 2019 at 11:15 am

Ok. Maybe Rodger Saffold.

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Tarynfor12's picture

January 12, 2019 at 12:45 pm

Chances are more likely they don't even take a Packer offer seriously but only as the step to getting more elsewhere....as usual.

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GBPDAN1's picture

January 12, 2019 at 01:10 pm

Clowney or Lawrence... 145M for 5 years?? That's 29M average per year..... NOPE! As in HELL NO !

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CoachJV's picture

January 12, 2019 at 01:23 pm

Agreed... neither is worth that kind of money.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 12, 2019 at 02:35 pm

The only guy off that list I want is Landon Collins.

If Ziggy ends up cheap then I wouldn't cringe. But Clowney is ALWAYS hurt.

And guards, unless they are All Pro Road Graiters I pass on anyone expensive. Actually, since MLF says they will have a zone run game pass anyways. Get a veteran who has experience in zone blocking. Draft a couple late round college tackles who can play inside and can pass block hands out.

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dobber's picture

January 12, 2019 at 04:16 pm

Clowney's only missed 3 games in the last 3 years...but rumor is he'll be tagged by the Texans.

I think there are two positions (S and G) that can be upgraded relatively inexpensively in FA (compared to other positions) and can give pretty good bang for the buck. Certainly, FA will set the table for the draft.

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Guam's picture

January 13, 2019 at 09:09 am

Spot on Dobber! I agree that S and G are positions where you can usually get premium FA talent at responsible prices. Premium pass rushers almost never get to free agency so I think the speculation about Clowney and others is premature. If previous years of free agency are any indicator, the pass rush will have to come from the draft.

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Rak47's picture

January 12, 2019 at 05:18 pm

I was like what the hell! No way I'm handicapping my roster for Clowney or Lawrence. I wouldn't have done it for Mack and he's a hell of a lot better than Clowney, or Lawrence. Packers just need to double down on pass rushers if two good ones are available early in the draft and add someone through FA like Ansah for half of what Michalski would give Clowney and Lawrence.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 12, 2019 at 06:47 pm

I would have done it for Mack. A guy lime Mack, Pettine would do special things with. Clowney, meh. I'd rather have Pettine scheme pressure. i expect Pettine would rather invest in DL anyways.

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Rak47's picture

January 12, 2019 at 11:38 pm

Mack is no Lawrence Taylor, Reggie White, or Bruce Smith. And those 3 are the only ones I can think of dominant enough to handicap the rest of my roster for if I'm already paying my QB 30+ million.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 13, 2019 at 09:38 am

Another Aaron? Aaron Donald

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The TKstinator's picture

January 13, 2019 at 05:26 am

I cannot believe the GB D finished with 44 sacks this year. That’s tied for 5th most, and equal to Denver with Von Miller. Did the GB pass rush seem like a top ten unit? Not to me! (And don’t give me that “they padded their stats against weak O-lines.” ALL teams play against some weak O-lines.)

I think a better question is , “Can they get pressure WITHOUT exotic scheming?” Or “Can hey get pressure in key situations?”

Give Pettine some guys who can rush the passer WITHOUT elaborate X’’s and O’s and watch out!

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carlos's picture

January 13, 2019 at 08:35 am

Agree. Too expensive. I would love Tyrone Matthieu.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 12, 2019 at 11:27 am

Jared Cook is a 2019 Free Agent.

I would sure like to get him back!!!

And, he already has a repore with a A. Rodgers.

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CAG123's picture

January 12, 2019 at 12:10 pm

Y’all really mesmerized by that playoff he had 377 yards and 1 TD and missed 6 games he only had 2 games over 85 yards and one of them was a loss against Washington when he turned the ball over. I’d rather them stay with Jimmy and draft his replacement in the draft.

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Samson's picture

January 12, 2019 at 12:24 pm

Jared Cook's line as a Raider in 2018.
68 receptions for 896 yards (13.2 avg) and 6 TDs.
Do you honestly believe that Jimmy Boy will ever match that ever again in his career? --- Or even a rookie from the 2019 draft pick?

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CAG123's picture

January 12, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Yeah I sure do Jimmy played in an offense that was bad for TEs like so many others before him. He had 10 TDs just last year. Y’all always too ready to cut someone the only reason Cooks name is even mentioned is because of that Dallas game and after that everyone still thought MB was an upgrade now it’s “They should have kept Cook”! There was a point in time when people wanted Adams after one bad season and now look. It was a bad year in a stale offense new ideas and visions are coming for this offense stick with Jimmy and draft his eventual replacement.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

January 12, 2019 at 07:11 pm

Rodgers had 2 interceptions this year and both bouncing off Grahams hands for easy interceptions.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 12, 2019 at 01:01 pm

Jared Cook - Sportrac estimate $7.2M AAV.

Graham: Pay is $9M in 2019. Cook would be cheaper.
Graham: Cap savings is $5.33M: pays for Cook yr 1.

Only WR or TE that probably already has AR's trust. Only possible to probable plug n play receiving option, certainly at TE.

Cook is 31. 3 yrs, $21.5m? Have to keep the dead money down.
Base: SB Pro: Roster: Game Active W/O Cap Dead Cash
1.1M 2Million, $1M .60M .4million $5.1M ($6M) $9.2M
4.2M 2Million, $0.0 .60M .4million $7.2M ($4M) $5.2M
6.1M 2Million, $0.0 .60M .4million $9.1M (2M) $7.1M

Guarantee signing bonus, 2019 base and $1M roster bonus ($8.1M or 37.7%). That would work for me.

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Lare's picture

January 12, 2019 at 02:50 pm

Jared Cook will be 32 in a few months. Can't we bring in a TE that's closer to the beginning or middle of his career rather than another one that's closer to the end of it?

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Rak47's picture

January 12, 2019 at 05:21 pm

He may be 32 Lare but still runs like he's 27 and that and having AR's trust is an upgrade over Graham.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 13, 2019 at 02:43 am

I don't disagree, Lare. I checked Sportrac's list of free agent tight ends and just didn't find too many candidates (and now the site is down). Jesse James and his 423 yards receiving. He's 24. PFF rated him 30th best TE and above average at 66.4. OTOH, PFR hates him, giving him a Car Av of just 3 in 2018. There's Ozumah, Swaim, Huermann, one or two real geezers like Ben Watson. Slim pickings. Cook had 829 receiving yards with Derek Carr and below average WRs. I acknowledged Cook's age by limiting his signing bonus to $6M and dead to $6M (oops, if I guaranteed the first year base and roster, it would be 8.2M), $4M and $2M.

GB can go young and unproven, hoping for upside. Cook will be 32, and Graham 33. Pick your poison.

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4thand10's picture

January 13, 2019 at 05:14 pm

What’s the Raiders record Samson? How many of those yards were accrued in garbage time after the other team smoked em?

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The TKstinator's picture

January 13, 2019 at 05:29 am

I am mesmerized by that which is mesmerizing. Is that so wrong?

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GBPDAN1's picture

January 12, 2019 at 01:37 pm

I agree, Doug. TT should have never let Cook go

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 12, 2019 at 02:37 pm

That was one of Teds worst El Cheapos.

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jeepingmakooi's picture

January 12, 2019 at 03:32 pm

Bring in Demetrius Harris.

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Jared's picture

January 12, 2019 at 09:01 pm

I think the money part of those decisions were due to Russ Ball. I’m still not comfortable with him.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 13, 2019 at 05:34 am

Right! But at the time, that Bennett guy was supposed to be a good receiver AND a good blocker. Weird how a guy who’s been in the league that long can be so different than advertised.
I mean, I can see how a rookie can “bust” in the NFL because it’s all based on projection, but not a veteran who’s shown he can do it at the NFL level. Weird.

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fthisJack's picture

January 13, 2019 at 08:38 am

Casey Hayward was the worst.

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Rak47's picture

January 13, 2019 at 04:29 pm

No, Clueless Capers and the idiots who pigeon holed him in the slot position were the worst, when a guy plays outside his rookie year and makes all rookie team and has so much potential, then gets put in the slot for several years starting his sophomore campaign only to disappoint and leave in FA. Then he is immediately put back outside and proceeds to go to several Pro-bowls for his new team. It's not hard to tell who screwed the pooch on that one.

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Nick Perry's picture

January 12, 2019 at 06:19 pm

He sure had a nice season with Oakland and I wouldn't be opposed though his age (32) is a bit concerning. These guys, or about 85% of them seem to fall off a cliff from one season to the next when they hit their 30's.

BUT I like the thought and he IS familiar with Rodgers...

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Wilment's picture

January 12, 2019 at 06:21 pm

Much as I like Cook, and as ridiculous it was we let him walk, he is two years older, and, this past season he missed a bunch of games, much like the season he spent in Green Bay.....First we need to see just how Tight end centric the new offense is going to be, since the old one most certainly was not.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

January 12, 2019 at 06:22 pm

I personally like Maxx Williams better than Jared Cook. I feel like he's a more well rounded tight end who's younger with more upside. I enjoyed watching him as a Gopher and thought he would be better in the NFL than he has been. I'm hoping that a change of scenery will help him have an Ebron like improvement. Going from Flacco to Rodgers alone could help out Maxx.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 12, 2019 at 09:31 pm

I think so much of a tight end’s success is how he’s used. Look at how Ebron blossomed.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 12, 2019 at 10:22 pm

So true. Look no further than us.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 13, 2019 at 03:55 am

Maxx Williams? The guy with 6 games without a target, eleven games with 10 or fewer receiving yards, just 143 yards on the season, and a 8.9 yd/rec average (a career freaking high) in 374 snaps? PFF liked him: 18th best TE with a 71.6 grade. He's a steady blocker. Baltimore liked Williams so much they drafted Mark Andrews (25th pick and PFF rated 13th best TE at 73.6 with 552 yards receiving) and Hayden Hurst (86th - 523 receiving yards as a rookie in just 275 snaps and PFF rated 33rd best TE at 65.5) last April.

Baltimore is likely to allow either Williams or Nick Boyle (PFF rated #24 TE at 68.5) to hit free agency. Either works as a #2 or better yet #3 TE. Either would be cheap. I have no problem with them as a #2 blocking TE, but neither is likely to provide the dynamic offensive threat GB hoped to get with Graham and Cook.

I suspect that there are only 6 dual threat TEs in the NFL, and perhaps a dozen that are true weapons as receivers.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 13, 2019 at 05:40 am

Hey TGR: you have the Andrews and Hurst draft positions reversed; but your points remain valid!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 13, 2019 at 06:04 am

Just translate my babble into English! Thanks. This particular computer stinks. I wanted to move to the other tab to check their draft positions but I started getting long delays and I thought the computer was going into its death throes. Of course, I think I had maybe 12 tabs up.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

January 13, 2019 at 09:46 am

My hope TGR is that Williams is the pass catching TE he was in college and that Baltimore just isn't using him as anything other than a blocker. The lack of targets could be that he can't get open it could be that Baltimore simply doesn't look his direction. I'd have to watch some tape to find out.

I'm basing my desire for GB to sign him on his blocking ability in the NFL and pass catching ability that I saw him show as a Gopher. Rookie TEs take awhile to mature in the NFL Maxx has 4 seasons under his belt and has shown he can block. I'd like to see GB get more youth and run with Maxx & Tonyan over Kendericks & Graham.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 13, 2019 at 08:46 pm

ACTUALLY, rookie tight ends only take one year to mature...into second year tight ends.

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

January 13, 2019 at 08:21 am

100% bingo on Maxx Williams.
That's a HUGE hit.
Get him.

Everyone mail your letters to Gutenkust about Maxx.

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fthisJack's picture

January 13, 2019 at 08:48 am

I say keep Graham for another year. another year with Rodgers and a new scheme might do wonders for him, instead of taking a chance on an aging Cook. if it doesn't work out, cut him next year when the dead money won't be so much of an issue. but, the Packers need to take a TE high in this draft. I would target one of those Iowa boys with the late 1st rounder or second rounder, Hockenson or Fant, to develop behind Graham.

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carlos's picture

January 13, 2019 at 08:38 am

Right on Doug. Should’ve never let him go.

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shinglesmcfanny's picture

January 12, 2019 at 11:50 am

I hope ol’ Gute sees this and and goes, “hey, that’s not a bad idea!”

My question is, will Lawrence or Clowney make it to the free agent market???

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Tarynfor12's picture

January 12, 2019 at 11:55 am

FA has been a huge problem for the Packers and even having Rodgers as QB hasn't made it any easier and with his injuries and level of play this season (regardless of the bs stat sheet) it will be even harder to attract FA's of high value/talent.

The wish many had for the hiring of a new generation offensive minded HC will not make it easier either at least until he provides proof this season with attraction success.

The bread and butter of the Packers success has been their Draft and Develop policy which they have failed at miserably of recent years, needs to get back on track and perhaps then the FA market opens up past tier 3 level, over aged, over rated, past their prime signings.

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Samson's picture

January 12, 2019 at 12:26 pm

Valid points. --- However, money does most of the talking in free agency.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

January 12, 2019 at 06:56 pm

Money: "Hey Clowney looking good"
Clowney: "I've been waiting for you"
Money: "I know we'll be together soon"
Clowney: "It better be guaranteed I get injured a lot or at least people think I do"
Money: "Don't worry it will be people are desperate and you were a #1 draft pick look at how that Bradford guy made out, I got you buddy"

Looks like a pretty equal conversation Samson.

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Bure9620's picture

January 12, 2019 at 12:05 pm

I have been on record for signing Saffold, he would be a terrific signing. The Rams may sign him, sounds like he want to remain there, he could take a hometown discount.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 12, 2019 at 12:11 pm

I don't care about who they sign to play RG but they definitely need to sign somebody. Andrew Herman's year end grades were very stark in detailing how bad that spot was in 2018.

Then they can target Lane Taylor's spot in the draft. And add somebody to replace Bulaga on a spot basis while he plays out his contract.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 13, 2019 at 07:50 am

@Bure: I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record.

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Bure9620's picture

January 13, 2019 at 08:07 am

Haha

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HankScorpio's picture

January 12, 2019 at 12:05 pm

There is no way I'd pay a Safety $10 AAV under the rules of today. I've seen too many instances of guys pulling away from sticking their nose into breaking up a pass or getting flagged for doing it.

I'd rather draft or sign guys that are not quite good enough to be CB but have a background at the spot. Like Tramon Williams as a vet FA or Micah Hyde as a draft example. It's a different mindset to have a background in pure coverage that I just thinks works better these days.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 12, 2019 at 01:41 pm

Agreed, mostly. I might pay big bucks for a centerfielder like Earl Thomas in his prime. Not for a SS. I think a Tre Boston can be had for pretty cheap and would improve coverage, though not tackling. I also think a FA SS can be had pretty cheaply.

BTW: GB has given Cleveland permission to interview Campen for OL coach. Pure lateral move, apparently. GB didn't have to allow this because Campen is under contract for 2019. Clean Sweep? Allowing assistants to move makes GB ultimately more attractive for future coaching candidates?

APC suggests that LG Quinton Spain of Tennessee would be a nice fit. PFF has him 40th best guard (64 starters), and average at 61.8. PFF rates Lane Taylor higher. IDK.

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Lare's picture

January 12, 2019 at 03:30 pm

Wish the Packers could bring in someone like Larry Beightol.

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LeotisHarris's picture

January 12, 2019 at 07:22 pm

Man, I hadn't thought of Larry in a long time. He must be almost 80 years old.

So you'd like someone like him as in grizzled OL coaching veteran, or guy from PA focused on pad level? I ask because the later kind of wore on people fairly recently.

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carlos's picture

January 13, 2019 at 08:51 am

Loved Beightol. Used to watch him get in the huge lineman’s faces just screaming at practices. He was so short it was comical.

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Leatherhead's picture

January 12, 2019 at 04:39 pm

I think if you look at good defenses you’ll see that they generally are getting good safety play. Don’t take my word for it....look it up for this year and past years.

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fthisJack's picture

January 13, 2019 at 08:58 am

I think Earl Thomas could add some boom to that position that the Packers have been lacking since Collins left. Get him in here Gute!

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aljohn_w@yahoo.com's picture

January 13, 2019 at 01:53 pm

I agree not only would Earl Thomas add boom to the defense he would also add veteran leadership . But remember Thomas is a bit of a bad boy and we don't want to tarnish the Packer image . We are nice guys , lol .

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Gort's picture

January 12, 2019 at 12:27 pm

The trick is just like in the draft - don't reach.
Reggie White was not a reach.
Charles Woodson was not a reach.
Jimmy Graham was a reach.

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CAG123's picture

January 12, 2019 at 12:55 pm

Woodson wasn’t a reach because he was fairly cheap and nobody besides I think Tampa wanted him. If he was in high demand they would have never got him. Jimmy wasn’t a reach either they had a need and they filled it Jimmy was the best option outside of that guy in Cincinnati that can’t stay on the field and Ebron.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 12, 2019 at 01:21 pm

Woodson was the equivalent of about $12.16M AAV in 2018 cap dollars. Not outrageous but significant.

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Swisch's picture

January 12, 2019 at 02:36 pm

Woodson wasn't a reach in the sense of not costing all that much; however he was a huge reach -- whether management knew it or not -- in that he was really unhappy to be here.
As I understand it, no other teams wanted him. Between that feeling of being slighted, and perhaps not wanting to be in Green Bay, a resentful Woodson could have become a big problem for the Pack.
That he became one of our greatest players of all time is an excellent example of the benefit of taking a second look at the guys we already have.
On a secondary level, so to speak, Woodson also shows how valuable it is to have a guy who's a ballhawk for interceptions, and has a knack for getting to the quarterback on blitzes.
Subsequently, perhaps our best players for interceptions were ones we've let go: Hayward, Hyde, and Randall.
On the positive side, we may have some good thieves in Alexander, Jackson and Breeland, plus possibly King or others.
Add an edge rusher in the draft, and with Pettine coming back, we could have a top ten defense next season, and a great one going forward.

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aljohn_w@yahoo.com's picture

January 13, 2019 at 01:55 pm

Woodson was a risk . He didn't even want to come to GB . Reggie on the other hand chose GB .

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CAG123's picture

January 12, 2019 at 12:38 pm

Can we please stop with the Demarcus Lawrence talk he’s a 4-3 DE and after Datone Jones and Perry aren’t we sick of seeing guys getting played out of position? Then the Ziggy stuff last thing we need is another injury prone player plus he’s so inconsistent here’s his sacks from 2014 to this past season.
2014:7.5
2015:14.5
2016:2.0
2017:12.0
2018: 4.0
Isn’t he also a 4-3 DE? As for the safeties I would really like them to get ET he’d bring a much needed veteran presence to this secondary a different kind than what Tramon brings plus that FS position is a tough one to fill you can always find a quality SS. If not TY is a could second option.

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MedicMike's picture

January 12, 2019 at 01:12 pm

You complain about expensive injury prone player and then want them to target an injury prone player? Thomas was a stud. But his body is breaking down. No thank you.

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CAG123's picture

January 12, 2019 at 01:21 pm

The difference being oh so smart one is Thomas performs consistently he was the top safety in league before he got hurt and was all over the field. Ziggy is so up and down you don’t know what you’re going to get. Besides it’s only a broken leg not a torn ACL and neither are prevalent to his body breaking down one was caused by his own teammate slamming into him. So yeah like I said bring Thomas in he’s a stud and will be playing for blood in 2019 and I like it.

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MedicMike's picture

January 12, 2019 at 01:23 pm

No need for your sarcasm. My opinion is as valid as yours. Thomas WAS a dominant safety. His body IS breaking down. Unless he comes cheap, I don’t think he’s worth signing.

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Gort's picture

January 12, 2019 at 01:43 pm

I have a PhD in sarcasm. Name calling is not sarcasm.

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CAG123's picture

January 12, 2019 at 01:51 pm

You must have been doing something “special” for that A because I didn’t call him a name.

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Gort's picture

January 12, 2019 at 02:01 pm

Whatever, oh so smart one.

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fthisJack's picture

January 13, 2019 at 09:03 am

Thomas and his broken down body are still > what we have on the back end now!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 12, 2019 at 01:34 pm

Dee Ford ($16M), Z'Darius Smith, um Preston Smith? at $11M, Shaquil Barrett ($7.4M), Brandon Graham DE at $15.8M? These are mostly too pricey for me.

Fliers: Frank Clark ($12M AAV), Fowler, Chris Long (old as heck - 1 or 2-year deal), Trey Flowers ($15.3M - Belichick has been know to keep the wallet closed), Henry Anderson of the Jets, Quentin Jefferson of Seattle (RFA - check the tender), and two other RFAs, Okwara of Detroit and Robertson-Harris of Chicago.

Most of these guys won't reach FA.

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Swisch's picture

January 12, 2019 at 12:56 pm

It seems Reggie White helped to turn around more than two decades of mostly misery and malaise for the Packers (and fans such as myself) because he was not only a great player, but a great person.
While it may be almost impossible to match Reggie in his transcendent ability to lift a team on and off the field, it's worth considering intangibles such as leadership and professionalism and compatibility before handing out long-term contracts for megabucks.
I'm intereted in hearing what other fans here think about potential free agents who appear to have the character -- as well as the talent -- to really make a huge investment really pay off for the Packers over several seasons.
If those guys aren't around, it may be better to go for middling free agents who are solid but less expensive. It may be better to go primarily through the draft, as well as hoping to develop some of our current guys.
It's worth remembering that we have some stars or potential stars already:
On offense, Rodgers, Adams, Jones, Bakhtiari. Linsley -- plus possibly a young wide receiver or two.
On defense, Clark, Daniels, Martinez, Alexander, Breeland -- plus possibly other guys including King.
If some other current players come up solid, we may not be all that far off from making it to the playoffs next season, and contending for the Super Bowl thereafter.
Everything is a risk, and so what's the best way to go as far as risk.
I'm all for selective free agents -- especially for the next couple of seasons -- but to me the key is still draft and develop.
Just some thoughts. As a new guy to Cheesehead TV, I'm excited to come here to brainstorm with other sincere fans.
I'm hoping that Dash and John Kirk and all other loyal Packers-backers will be considered welcome to chip in all sorts of insights and opinions -- even my eccentric but earnest offerings.

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Gort's picture

January 12, 2019 at 01:50 pm

I would rather have 5 middling free agents than 1 big ticket attitude or has been. We have had both in recent years and they didn't work out.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 12, 2019 at 10:47 pm

" John Kirk and all other loyal Packers-backers"

I think John Kirk quit the Packers cause they didn't hire the coach he wants.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 12, 2019 at 10:28 pm

Yes. And the first two names I think of here, as loyal ,long time Packer Backers are not Kirk or Dash. That's laughable.

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fthisJack's picture

January 13, 2019 at 09:08 am

Kirk got beamed up.

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

January 13, 2019 at 08:32 am

Mack was the closest to Reggie, talent-wise, as we have seen since 1993.
And it will be another 25 years before, if, someone as good (and still young) as Mack becomes available.

We had a Golden chance.
And we passed.

Passing on Moss in 1998 cost us.
Wolf has admitted it numerous times since.

Passing on getting Marshawn from Buffalo cost us.
Passing on getting Moss again, in 2007 from Oakland, cost us. He was not "washed up", as his haters said about his work in Oakland. Oakland does that to people....see Woodson, Mack, Amari Cooper......

Passing on Mack already cost us. And it will continue to do so for 3-5 years. He's the best pass rusher in football.

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fthisJack's picture

January 13, 2019 at 09:10 am

Pack didn't pass...the Bears had more to offer or so Oakland thought.

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CoachJV's picture

January 13, 2019 at 08:35 am

Isn't Dash a Vikings troll? I ask in all earnestness because he certainly seems to hate every single move the Packers make... he bashes everything anyone says who doesn't agree with his point of view, and just generally trolls for his shits-and-giggles... or so it seems.

Either way, his opinions and Kirks are not indicative of true Packer fans. At least that's how I see it.

Now, to your point, as a Packer fan since Majik and Sharpe hooked up on their first TD pass together, I agree that we aren't really that far off. A couple of impact players on D... a good TE, and a couple of good guards can put us where we need to be.

And we need a legit threat in the return game... I can't even remember our last return TD.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

January 13, 2019 at 09:53 am

Coach,

Dash and the late John Kirk were both Packer fans. They were both upset over Matt LaFleur's hiring. Kirk was upset enough to give up on the Packers. Dash settled down when they kept Pettine and Boyle. They're just passionate fans who disagree with how FO is handling the Packers. Doesn't make them trolls. Just fans with a lot of spare time and thumb power.

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edp1959's picture

January 13, 2019 at 10:25 am

Trashing and disrespecting a player that has carried this team is not a fan. Criticizing is fine but trashing is not.

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CoachJV's picture

January 13, 2019 at 10:35 am

Perhaps... but in Dash's case, being passionate doesn't mean you have to be an asshole to everyone on the board. I personally LOVE the LaFleur hiring - and if you remember - I was pitching him as soon as they announced his interview. Not because he fits the "current trend", but because he showed that he can make adjustments to his offense (i.e. Derrick Henry and the run game), as well as his willingness to let go his ego and do the right thing for his team. His work with QB's speaks for itself and the Shannahan tree is working for teams this day and age.

I also like that he actually like to build the run and pass games together and interweave them, as well as the current trend of misdirection and keeping D off balance.

But that's just my opinion... I don't bash people who disagree like Dash and his buddy.

So maybe he isn't a Viking troll... just an armchair GM who doesn't actually understand the game.

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Gort's picture

January 13, 2019 at 02:53 pm

"just an armchair GM"

Just like the rest of us.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

January 13, 2019 at 07:40 pm

I am thinking about some of my rants about RR. The line between trashing and criticizing is in the eye of the beholder. RR as far as I can tell was a sincere, hard-working guy who got at least a little better at blocking every year he was here. It was never personal. I thought he should have been on the practice squad as a rookie and eventually became a pretty good #3 TE. The problem was that he the starter.

Now HHCD arguably was personal. I questioned his attitude, dedication, and toughness, and thought he was all about the money. I was all for trading him last March.

IDK. Trashing, criticizing, "spitting on" is hard to differentiate. Not a lot of constructive criticism on my part, either.

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Swisch's picture

January 13, 2019 at 09:01 pm

We can all do better.
For all of us: Be yourself, but your best self.
Just like an athlete, there's always room for improvement and refinement.
The humor can be good in the comments; and even some of the verbal roughhousing; and we don't want to be too sensitive -- but as Packers fans we're all in this together. Everyone has something to add to the conversation.
I like the comment above that we're all armchair GMs. It seems that even the real GMs would do best if they have the humility to listen sincerely to various opinions.

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jww061356's picture

January 12, 2019 at 01:54 pm

I don't think Lawrence or Clowney, are going to come free. Clowney in particular has expressed an interest in staying in Houston. Go hard after Earl Thomas, move Jackson to Safety, and then you have a rotation of Breeland, Alexander and (hopefully) King @ CB. Get Saffold if you can, and then draft 2 EDGE, IOL, TE AND WR IN THE TOP 100. That would be a good start.

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MedicMike's picture

January 12, 2019 at 02:37 pm

Breeland is a pending free agent. I would hope Gute resigns him

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CoachJV's picture

January 13, 2019 at 10:40 am

This should be Gute's FIRST priority in FA... absolute FIRST. Breeland is a ball-hawk and we desperately need one (or more preferably).

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 12, 2019 at 02:45 pm

I wonder if the fact that Jackson saw no time at safety played a role in Whitt's departure.

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Minniman's picture

January 13, 2019 at 12:42 am

Agree, I think that S, G and TE represent the least risk and best value for money out of this year's FA crop.

..... Apologies in advance for the saltiness here, but in reference to earlier comments regarding Earl Thomas' body potentially failing him........ at least he did it being elite, the HHCD of recent years isn't going to suffer that fate!

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albert999's picture

January 12, 2019 at 03:07 pm

GO get Antonio Brown

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Gort's picture

January 12, 2019 at 03:40 pm

NO - do not need someone else's attitude problem!

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Rak47's picture

January 12, 2019 at 05:47 pm

I wouldn't pursue Brown but I would kick the tires on Le'Veon Bell. Pair him in the backfield with Jones and the Pack would have a spectacular duo capable of toteing the rock 40x in a game as well as catching 10 passes combined, They basically would keep each other from having to carry too much of the load and would instantly put the Packers backfield neck and neck with N.O. for best in the game.

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Gort's picture

January 12, 2019 at 07:54 pm

I understand about kicking the tires, but I get the heebie geebies thinking about him. He refused the franchise tag and sat out the whole year, will be 28 soon, and has already played 5 seasons. Will he hold out again? Will he miss games (played in all 16 games in only 1 season)? He is a running back and they tend to have shorter careers. Kick the tires, maybe, but he will demand big bucks, so we need to avoid The Whammy. I say Pass.

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Minniman's picture

January 13, 2019 at 12:50 am

I hope that all other teams think that way about Bell and AB too... then the Packers can kick their proverbial tires and may actually be able to afford them.......They need to be really creative to reconstruct the roster in the next 2 years and have half a chance of another SB with Rodgers.

It's starting to look like Mike T is not long for firing as the HC of the Steelers - he's clearly losing the locker room if seasoned vets like AB are agitating.

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Dr Mixer GED's picture

January 13, 2019 at 03:52 am

Gort, Peter Tomarken would definitely approve this message. God rest his soul.

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Gort's picture

January 13, 2019 at 08:25 am

Thanks for the reply. I loved Press Your Luck.
I tend to be a bit naughty and sometimes rooted for The Whammy.

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Rak47's picture

January 15, 2019 at 01:58 am

He's not gonna hold out for a new contract right after signing one. And you only need him for 2 maybe 3 years max to help AR and the Pack reach another SB. Front load the deal and have an out after 2 years.

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croatpackfan's picture

January 12, 2019 at 03:25 pm

Dee Ford (OLB)
Earl Thomas (SS)
Avery Williamson (cover ILB)
CJ Mosely (ILB)
Jordan Hicks (ILB)

My contribution

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Flow49's picture

January 12, 2019 at 08:00 pm

Dee Ford looked like a premiere pass rusher today. Didn’t follow his body of work this year tho

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

January 12, 2019 at 10:50 pm

Earl Thomas is going to be a Cowboy. It's his life long dream. Apparently, some peole have krappy dreams.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 13, 2019 at 09:43 am

And a fine one at that.

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Three and Out's picture

January 12, 2019 at 03:41 pm

Stay away from Earl Thomas. Overrated and a team cancer, me first player.

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CAG123's picture

January 12, 2019 at 04:21 pm

What? Earl Thomas has never been that he ended his holdout reported to the team and was the best safety before getting injured what’s me first about that? He just wanted to be compensated don’t be ridiculous.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

January 12, 2019 at 09:12 pm

Based on what 3&Out?

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PatrickGB's picture

January 12, 2019 at 03:52 pm

David, for what it is worth I say no to almost all the FAs that you mention. If Pettine can do well with Fackrell he can do well with lesser talents at OLB. Go for second tier FAs that look like they have potential rather than overpriced name talent who are aging and will suck up too much cap. Besides, he thinks the best pass rush starts in the middle.
Of course I don’t know who they are. I leave that up to the scouts.

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fthisJack's picture

January 13, 2019 at 09:18 am

Fackrell was an enigma. 2 three sack games and then really not much. he did hold the edge pretty good though. a great edge guy in the draft will do wonders for this defense.

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albert999's picture

January 12, 2019 at 04:15 pm

i’ll take back my Antonio Brown wants
If he didn’t have money ....he’d be nothing

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albert999's picture

January 12, 2019 at 04:16 pm

How bout that Riproar?

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 12, 2019 at 05:01 pm

Oh no one is going to like me for this

With the 15th pick the Green Bay Packers select Daniel Jones QB Duke

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HankScorpio's picture

January 12, 2019 at 05:30 pm

What did they get to trade down?

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fthisJack's picture

January 13, 2019 at 09:19 am

only for the fact that the Pack picks number 12!

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rsmitty's picture

January 12, 2019 at 05:49 pm

I like Viccaro as another option at S.

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MarkinMadison's picture

January 12, 2019 at 05:54 pm

What about Adrian Amos from the Bears? He had a fantastic year this year. Pair him with Josh Jackson at FS and I think you would have something pretty special on the back end.

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Flow49's picture

January 12, 2019 at 07:59 pm

At least bid on Amos and up the cost for the Bears. Eventually they will have to over pay Mitch

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Jonathan Spader's picture

January 12, 2019 at 09:16 pm

Just like they did with Fuller

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Minniman's picture

January 13, 2019 at 12:53 am

I'd give you 2 likes for that if I could.

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scullyitsme's picture

January 12, 2019 at 05:58 pm

Free agent pass rushers aren’t going to happen, they won’t want to break the bank for one, and I agree. Not sure what the Earl Thomas hate is about. That dudes a stud, still under 30, and will probably come cheap considering the safety market, and coming off injury. He instantly makes our d respectable.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

January 12, 2019 at 06:49 pm

He's what I was hoping Brice could be a poor man's version of.

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Paul Konieczny's picture

January 12, 2019 at 06:17 pm

No such thing as can’t miss.

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Wilment's picture

January 12, 2019 at 06:26 pm

As much as we need a pass rusher, I don't want the Packers shelling out 145 million dollars to anyone. I don't see any "generational" guy like Reggie White out there.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 12, 2019 at 06:32 pm

At this point it's best to take our chances on draft and develop and maybe sign 1 or 2 free agent's at reasonable salaries.

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NitschkeFan's picture

January 13, 2019 at 11:54 am

They are going to have 30-40 million dollars to spend. So are you suggesting that they don't spend it? That is obviously not going to be the case.

So the question is how to best spend it. "1 or 2 free agents at reasonable salaries" doesn't cut it.

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Lphill's picture

January 12, 2019 at 06:48 pm

Don’t need to spend on pass rusher just draft Montez Sweat , check him out.

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stockholder's picture

January 12, 2019 at 08:32 pm

Sweat is suppose to have stiff hips. Still his production and push are to good to pass up. I believe Wilkerson won't get signed. Take Simmons first.

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MarkinMadison's picture

January 13, 2019 at 06:59 am

There are no "can't miss" draft guys when it comes the pass rush.

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Flow49's picture

January 12, 2019 at 07:57 pm

Jared Cook and Landon Collins, build the pass rush through the draft and get 4 to 5 affordable years.

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stockholder's picture

January 12, 2019 at 08:28 pm

Collins yes. he's the only one on the list I would sign now.

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stockholder's picture

January 12, 2019 at 08:27 pm

I wouldn't sign any over 10 mil a year. Why offer Cobb anything? The packers must stop paying veterans who can't get over a injury. Here's your options: 12, Jefferey Simmons / Sweat 32, Nasir Adderly/ Polite 44, Devin Bush/ Ferguson 76, Alex Lindstrom/Risner 108, Ben Banogu/ Irv Smith 112, Sutton Smith / Hakeem Butler 140, Max Scharping/ Prince ot 172, Alex Bars/ Cameron Smith( Inj. Picks) 182, Matt Guy/Tracy 204 Mike Weber/Patrick Rb

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Jared's picture

January 12, 2019 at 09:26 pm

Stockholder; I agree with your choices for #12 but I think Noah Fant-TE Iowa, would be available @#32 and I think it would be difficult to let him pass. What about trading #12 & #3? To move into top 5 picks?

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stockholder's picture

January 13, 2019 at 07:27 am

I think they could trade down again with #!2, per offer. I thought they would trade up with #3? and take Polite. I like Fant,(Big Time) but Graham is still here. And they seem to have no trouble signing TEs. The future of FS is in doubt more. Adderley, if he plays good in the senior Bowl, will be a first round pick. Very fast and Athletic. ( Problem small school.)

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CAG123's picture

January 12, 2019 at 11:10 pm

Nice to see Butler is one someone else’s wish list 6-6 225 the guy is an absolute animal

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Gort's picture

January 12, 2019 at 08:32 pm

Watching today's games and all 4 teams have big name "skill" players. Those guys make the headlines, but the guys in the trenches are winning the games, especially on the O-line. Just saw Todd Gurley run 35 for a TD. His o-line broke him free into the secondary. Similar play for Zeke Elliot on the next drive. Spend whatever is necessary for more big uglies - games are won up front.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 13, 2019 at 08:42 am

And Goff pretty much not touched all game.

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Chuck Farley's picture

January 12, 2019 at 09:25 pm

I think we all agree you reshape this team via the draft and free agency, but you also cut the dead wood. In other words your not doing this in one off season.
Easy to say o line free agency, defense via the draft for youth. Depends who is there when we pick. Could flip flop.
All I know is we need some skill players on d and some experience on the o line.

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Gort's picture

January 12, 2019 at 10:55 pm

Agree that it is easier said than done. Most teams are looking for help on the O-line. It's the Holy Grail in the NFL.

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Chuck Farley's picture

January 12, 2019 at 09:25 pm

I think we all agree you reshape this team via the draft and free agency, but you also cut the dead wood. In other words your not doing this in one off season.
Easy to say o line free agency, defense via the draft for youth. Depends who is there when we pick. Could flip flop.
All I know is we need some skill players on d and some experience on the o line.

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Supermat81's picture

January 12, 2019 at 09:30 pm

Are there any editors here that check this mans articles before he posts?

Wow.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

January 12, 2019 at 10:34 pm

Demand a full refund Supermat! Oh wait....

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BradHTX's picture

January 14, 2019 at 05:55 am

Even the paid professional sports writers don’t have editors proofing their work anymore before it gets posted online. It’s maddening but you just have to look past the errors and read for content. Or choose not to read the work of the most egregious offenders — there’s one writer on here that I click back whenever I see his byline because I can’t stand his lack of writing skills.

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AgrippaLII's picture

January 13, 2019 at 01:22 am

The Packers will have to improve through the draft. Signing high priced FA's that will actually have an impact on the team's overall performance is a pipe dream.

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CO_Brandon's picture

January 13, 2019 at 05:40 am

Reports are saying are saying Clowney won't surpass Mack's contract but you want to give him 4 million more a season?! He's expected to get around 17 million a season not 29. Where is the research at?

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CO_Brandon's picture

January 13, 2019 at 05:41 am

Does Nagler edit these? He needs to. Video content is second to none, articles not so much.

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Gort's picture

January 13, 2019 at 09:00 am

It is opinion and commentary.
Let me paraphrase Jonathan Spader,

Demand a full refund CO_Brandon! Oh wait....

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Monsmoy's picture

January 13, 2019 at 04:16 pm

The two key areas to address in FA are FS and WR. Due to the depth of the Def draft in 2019 it should be possible to draft a number of our other requirements, namely: OLB, OL, CB, ILB, RB, TE and DT. Taking an experienced FS is needed for performance but also to bring on the young DBs we have. Taking on a second WR takes a small amount of pressure off our young (4) WRs but better still it allows AR12 a cedible option beyond Adams (ergo, no excuses).
I would aim for WRs that are top middle is price, such as Adam Humphries and Tyrell Williams. At FS, $30m is too much. Mathieu should not be that much and worth targeting. Add Tre Boston too (I.e. experienced but cheaper).
If a FA OG is available then it takes the pressure off the draft. They are like rocking horse sh1t so I am not hopeful. Therefore, my draft would be:
1. Cody Ford OG
2. Zach Allen/Jaylon Ferguson Edge
3. Hockenson/Irv Smith TE
4. Andre Dillard OT
4. 5, 6 BPA CB, ILB, RB
7, 8, BPA Edge, OG

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Jonathan Spader's picture

January 13, 2019 at 04:45 pm

Why do you want Tyrell Williams he's tall fast and constantly drops the ball don't we already have a cheaper player who can do all of that named Moore? If you're going after a FA WR make it a slot guy to replace Cobb or just resign Cobb for cheap if he's up for it.

FA WR list

Donte Moncrief WR 26
Ryan Grant WR 28
Golden Tate WR 31
Ryan Grant WR 28
John Brown WR 29
Jermaine Kearse WR 29
Cordarrelle Patterson WR 28
Kevin White WR 27
Mike Wallace WR 33
Chris Hogan WR 30
Cole Beasley WR 30
Cody Latimer WR 27
Phillip Dorsett WR 26
Devin Funchess WR 25

The list goes on and on and on and on. I think WRs are going to find a softer market than they're used to and that's why I'm hoping the Packers can pick up a quality FA for Rodgers.

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CoachJV's picture

January 13, 2019 at 04:53 pm

I like Cordarrelle Patterson for his return game abilities... we desperately need a good returner.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

January 13, 2019 at 06:32 pm

I was hoping the Packers would use Alexander in that role. He excelled at it in college. Met with a lot of Boos and let's wrap him in bubble wrap comments from Packer fans.

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Monsmoy's picture

January 13, 2019 at 04:16 pm

The two key areas to address in FA are FS and WR. Due to the depth of the Def draft in 2019 it should be possible to draft a number of our other requirements, namely: OLB, OL, CB, ILB, RB, TE and DT. Taking an experienced FS is needed for performance but also to bring on the young DBs we have. Taking on a second WR takes a small amount of pressure off our young (4) WRs but better still it allows AR12 a cedible option beyond Adams (ergo, no excuses).
I would aim for WRs that are top middle is price, such as Adam Humphries and Tyrell Williams. At FS, $30m is too much. Mathieu should not be that much and worth targeting. Add Tre Boston too (I.e. experienced but cheaper).
If a FA OG is available then it takes the pressure off the draft. They are like rocking horse sh1t so I am not hopeful. Therefore, my draft would be:
1. Cody Ford OG
2. Zach Allen/Jaylon Ferguson Edge
3. Hockenson/Irv Smith TE
4. Andre Dillard OT
4. 5, 6 BPA CB, ILB, RB
7, 8, BPA Edge, OG

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Bret Iverson's picture

January 19, 2019 at 01:27 pm

I would like Jackson, Thomas, Cobb for a team friendly deals. I like Ford better as an impact player on the EDGE if available. I would draft two lineman and maybe last years 5th round OL shows up.

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The TKstinator's picture

January 19, 2019 at 02:05 pm

Maybe not draft two linemen; maybe one drafted and one reasonable FA. Not sure a team can trust two or more rookie linemen at the same time; so technique and cohesion oriented.

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