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Clay Matthews is staying outside

Packers wouldn't put themselves one injury away from doing what they don’t want to do


Alex from Rockland, ME

Vic kept saying we all had wide receiver fever. Seven on the 53 and two more on the practice squad, I think it's Ted with the fever. Is it a sign that the position is still in flux or were there just too many talented guys to let any go?

I'll posit the injuries to Janis and Davis might have something to do with the current shape of the roster at that position, but five of the seven can play various roles on special teams, too.

Mark from Iron Mountain, MI

Why weren't the Packers able to trade Sitton? With the large number of teams needing talent at his position, I feel we should have gotten something instead of now getting nothing.

Many folks asking about this. It can be difficult to trade a vested veteran at the cut-down deadline when anyone interested in him is getting the vibe that he'll be available for nothing. Absorbing the player's salary on the cap in a trade might also be problematic for some teams, without enough time to find out if the player is willing to restructure his contract and push money out. Once he's released, the old contract is gone, and obviously, the cap was not an issue for the Bears. I think it's fair to presume that had the Packers decided sooner, trading him would have been easier.

Pete from Naples, FL

The manner that Sitton was released indicates something happened behind the scenes that the public is not aware of. Trust Thompson and the coaches on this one.

McCarthy's comment on Monday about**putting some positions in front of others**, given the contract status of most of the starting offensive linemen, told us something, I thought.

Andy from Fort Collins, CO

Does the Sitton move increase the chances that Bakhtiari ends up with a new contract before the market opens at the end of the season?

We shall see. As Thompson likes to say, it takes two to tango.

Ken from New Richmond, WI

A part of it has to be the Packers have seven starting-caliber linemen without Sitton. Both Linsley and Tretter are too good to sit the bench. Tretter may be a guard by midseason. And what about Spriggs? He is likely ready to start shortly. TT on some level felt what was waiting was good enough.

I'm curious to see how the Linsley-Tretter situation plays out, but we're at least six weeks from crossing that bridge. Thompson felt Spriggs was a first-round talent. That's why he traded up nine spots in the second round to get him, spending fourth- and seventh-rounders to do so. All factors, yes.

Brian from New Port Richey, FL

Maybe in the long run the Packers are better without Sitton, but for the opening game in Jacksonville, the Packers are worse without Sitton. Why would they make this move now, instead of waiting till the offseason?

I agree the Packers aren't better without Sitton for Sept. 11. But maybe they think they'll be better by Dec. 11. Let's not forget, two years ago the Patriots traded six-time Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins between the third and fourth preseason games, shuffled the line a bit to plug in a new center, and won the Super Bowl. It's a long season.

Zach from Minneapolis, MN

Have everyone calm down about the ILB cuts. Ted kept the fast, coverage backers and dropped the two-down thumpers who can't run. There's a reason we kept six safeties, too. We'll likely see more in-the-box safety play this season in the hybrid LB/SS role. It's the modern NFL. Teams aren't going to beat us with matchups. I'm excited.

I have to believe the Packers didn't put themselves one injury away from having to move Clay Matthews back inside. Whether that injury protection is their belief in Joe Thomas handling a more expanded role if called upon, or if it's scheme-related as you (and many others) suggest, or a combination of both, remains to be seen. There are also two inside linebackers in Carl Bradford and Beniquez Brown on the practice squad.

Mike from Kalamazoo, MI

Hi, Mike. Did you get to watch my WMU Broncos push your Wildcats around? I thought Western looked darn good in the win. My wife and I were very impressed with Northwestern's campus. It's beautiful.

It is gorgeous, isn't it? I was actually watching Wisconsin's upset of LSU with two of my best friends (I have to thank Wes for covering the roster cuts so I could have the day off to attend the game at Lambeau … a tradition continued of big news happening when I'm checked out, but that's a story for another day.) Anyway, I enjoy seeing any success my grad school alma mater has, but I have to confess in my year there, I only went to one football game and one basketball game, and in both instances it was when the Badgers came to town. I grew up bleeding red and that never changed. The funny thing is the UW-NU hoops game I attended down there (in February of '95) became infamous. The Badgers were down seven at the half and came back to win by 14. A few years later I found out how and why. That particular game was among those mentioned in the federal indictment related to the Northwestern point-shaving scandal. The spread was 12½.

Erik from Watertown, WI

I think it was a great waiver claim yesterday, on that RB from the Vikings. What do you think?

Everything I've seen and read on Pressley indicates he's the type of compact, speedy back I envisioned the Packers drafting back in the spring. The trade for Spriggs cost them two draft picks or they might have used one on a guy like this.

Sam from Merriam, KS

It's troubling that I couldn't find coverage of who the Packers kept on the practice squad. I had to go elsewhere for info. What's up with that?

As has been noted many times in this space, when it comes to roster moves and transactions, is bound by the team policy of not announcing those moves until the public relations department issues an official press release. That release was issued on Monday morning. It's my least favorite phrase in the world, but it is what it is.

Al from Sydney, Australia

Hey guys, what's up with the Chiefs signing all these cut Green Bay LBs? I saw Frank Zombo, Dezman Moses and Andy Mulumba playing in K.C. and now they have signed Sam Barrington. Funny old game.

Kansas City GM John Dorsey, a former personnel director in Green Bay, knows all about those guys and helped bring them to the Packers in the first place. They all had health issues in Green Bay and the Packers moved on. Mulumba was released over the weekend, but the other three are all currently on the Chiefs' 53-man roster. Wes told me there's apparently a buzz in Canada that Mulumba is available. He was the No. 2 overall CFL draft pick in 2013.

Jake from Franklin, WI

Why do some free agents sign with their first visit? Why not take all of the visits and then compare the offers to pick the best one?

Sometimes the offer doesn't remain on the table after the player leaves the building. It's how teams can guard against getting drawn into a bidding war. "Here's what we think you're worth. Take it or leave it." This business is rarely warm and fuzzy.

Allen from Zephyrhills, FL

Mike, I don't play Madden. Just curious how more knees don't randomly explode in daily life. Makes me a little worried about my gym routine.

I play racquetball and can't figure out why my calf muscles will randomly give out, though I haven't had to deal with that for a while now. There, I just jinxed it.

Oscar from Milwaukee, WI

Insiders, can you explain why the team favors Brett Goode over Rick Lovato? As far as I've seen, Lovato has performed his duties seamlessly since coming on. Their performance is roughly equal, but Lovato has better knees. What gives?

McCarthy said**the “history” with Goode was the deciding factor**. Also, it was telling that in the middle of camp the Packers brought in competition for Lovato, even though it only lasted for a day due to Peter Schmitt's injury. In all seven of Goode's training camps in Green Bay (2009-15), competition was never brought in.

Owen from Downers Grove, IL

Other than draft status, is there any reason why Trevor Davis would make the cut over Geronimo Allison?

Special teams would be my guess.

Chuck from Madison, WI

Jared Cook looks pretty intimidating in the slot. He looks so much bigger than I can recall Finley looking. How much bigger is Cook?

Seven pounds. He's listed at 6-5, 254. Finley's last year in Green Bay, in 2013, he was listed at 6-5, 247. I think your slightly off-base recollection is a reflection of just how rare a player like this is.

Greg from Ann Arbor, MI

Aren't the Vikings basically saying they believe the value of the difference between Shaun Hill and Sam Bradford – for a single season! – is equal to the value of the first five years of the careers of both a first- and a fourth-rounder? How in the world could anyone think that?

I was with you, for the most part, until I thought about this – what if it's not just for a single season? The Vikings can't guarantee Bridgewater will be back in 11 months for the start of training camp in 2017, and they had to consider that possibility while being forced to act quickly. As an aside, I read the fourth-rounder in 2018 could be as high as a second-rounder, depending on how far the Vikings get in the playoffs this year.

Joe from Appleton, WI

On first down a wide receiver makes a difficult catch along the sideline. While getting ready to run the next play, the offense is called for a false start. Can the coach of the defensive team still challenge the catch the receiver made along the sideline?

Good question. I think he can. Otherwise, after a questionable 50-yard catch, there's nothing to stop any offensive player from snapping the ball as soon as it's placed by the officials and intentionally taking a 5-yard penalty rather than risking the 50-yard reception getting overturned by a challenge. I honestly don't know if the replay rules are written to protect against that type of abuse and circumvention, but I would imagine they are.

David from Groton, CT

A few years back, I decided it was time to get a Packers jersey. I did not want to get one everyone else would have, e.g. Rodgers or Matthews. I thought back to my days playing high school football when I wore 71. Looked up who wore No. 71 for the Packers and found a guy named Josh Sitton. Got his jersey figuring I had plenty of uses out of it. Couple of years ago, I was down in Florida visiting family for Christmas. Got the chance to go out to Tampa Bay for the Packers-Bucs game. In the stands I meet Josh's mother, who was surprised to see someone wearing her son's jersey. Now, Josh is a Bear. What do I do with the jersey?

Wear it to Soldier Field for a game and see what kind of reaction you get. You've reminded me my mom has worn B.J. Raji's No. 90 on gameday for years, and I blew it. Didn't think about that when her birthday rolled around this summer. Sorry, Mom.

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