Chaston from Rexburg, ID
I love that the Bears signed Danny Trevathan. Every ILB we don't sign fills the need of a team who would have otherwise taken Ragland or Darron Lee from us.
You could be right, and I don't believe free agency should determine what a team does in the draft; the draft should determine what a team does in free agency. In other words, free agency is about needs; the draft is about value.
Jordan from Lac La Biche, Alberta
While everyone is out feeding the wolves, they quietly re-sign Perry. Could you see this coming?
Yeah, because it makes sense. The Packers needed to add depth at linebacker, and they've reportedly signed Nick Perry. I know he's spent a lot of time injured, but don't go to sleep on Perry's pass-rush ability. All teams are looking for pass rushers, and that makes Perry a good signing for any team. The Packers have enjoyed a lot of success signing their own free agents, so to speak. Why are the wolves only satisfied by signing a free agent from another team?
Barry from Ashland, OR
Well, Vic, here's the data supporting Ted Thompson's philosophy on free agency: According to ESPN stats and information, "the Dolphins, Colts, Buccaneers and Jaguars have spent the most guaranteed money in free agency under the new CBA (since 2011), and only the Colts have a winning record in that time. The four teams that have spent the least – the Steelers, Packers, Bengals and Cowboys – all are at .500 or better in that stretch. Of the four, the Packers have the highest winning percentage (.706) in that span, despite ranking 31st in guaranteed money for free agents." Seals the deal for me.
The wolves only see the Broncos and their Super Bowl title. They use it as proof why the Packers should spend big in free agency. The wolves don't use the Dolphins, Colts, Bucs and Jaguars as proof why the Packers should continue taking a conservative approach to free agency. The misses far outnumber the hits. It's a crap shoot, and the franchise's future is being wagered. That's not for me.
Robert from Prather, CA
Vic, Danny Trevathan said if the Packers would've given him a call, he would have most likely signed the contract. Why didn't Mike or Ted swipe him out of free agency? Personally, I think Trevathan would've been a great fit for the defense.
Obviously, the Packers have another plan for addressing their need at inside linebacker. I can't help but wonder what Bears fans think of that comment by Trevathan.
Joe from Bloomington, IN
Vic, how much of an advantage does New England have with a Mt. Rushmore quarterback signing for a relative pittance against the cap?
It's not a pittance, and it's common throughout the league for high-priced quarterbacks to restructure their contracts to create cap room. Roethlisberger does it, Romo does it, Peyton Manning routinely did it, etc. Eventually, however, you're going to run into significant dead money. That's where the June 1 rule often comes into play, and I've never been a fan of the June 1 rule because it spreads the dead money out another year and can extend the pain.
Maximillian from Sydney, Australia
Vic, Joe Schobert looks like an interesting prospect. There is mention of him potentially being switched to ILB in the NFL. Do you think he has the size to be an ILB in the NFL?
He's as big as or bigger than Darron Lee. Yes, I believe Schobert has the size to play inside, especially as a chase guy in a 3-4. More importantly, he has the attitude necessary to play inside. Schobert is an aggressive defender who likes to hit. I love him.
Ben from Brisbane, Australia
Vic, when is it appropriate to trade? Couldn't all roster needs be met between free agency and the draft?
All teams address their needs at some point in the offseason. Trade? Sure, whatever it takes, as long as the deal is consistent with the team's value line. The Packers don't have a lot of glaring needs. Inside linebacker and tight end would appear to be immediate-need positions. All other needs are of the down-the-road variety, barring injury, of course.
Brian from Maple Grove, MN
"If you're not getting better, you're getting worse." – Joe Paterno. The Vikings, Bears and Lions all got better in the last couple of days and they all beat the Packers at Lambeau last year. Vic, how will the Packers get better by basically relying on the same players we had last year and a few new rookies?
When the Packers sign one of their own, that doesn't count because he's a "same player"? That's illogical. Sam Shields was a "same player." Randall Cobb was a "same player." Bryan Bulaga was a "same player." They were all headed to free agency. Signing them made the Packers better. The Bears lost Matt Forte and then signed Trevathan. Will that be a plus or minus net? By the way, the Packers won in Minnesota, Chicago and Detroit last season. It was a fluke kind of thing; you might never see it happen again.
Scott from Lincoln City, OR
Vic, what's new in Nutsville?
Jerrell Freeman is the new obsession. Get me an inside linebacker, any inside linebacker. And get me an inside linebacker while I'm waiting.
Jason from Toronto, Canada
Vic, it's been a silly, silly start to free agency! Which team do you think has behaved the most reckless in the first two days?
This isn't the time to answer that question. A year or two from now is the time to answer that question. Why don't we ever do that? Why don't the "wolves" ever look back? Their attitude is, "Cut him and sign somebody else." It's not that easy. That guy you're cutting is red ink all over your books.
Jack from Issaquah, WA
Do you believe the Packers are in a win-now situation? If so, why don't they sign a needed free agent that's on the market?
Because they want to win every year, not just this year.
Dominick from Berwyn, IL
Vic, I'm fine with the Packers not signing free agents, but might this be the year we see Ted Thompson be more aggressive in the draft and move up to take Reggie Ragland?
He might, but I don't think he has to move up to get a player he needs. As I've written, the big guys are going to push some big names down. Be patient. I think this could be a very good draft for the Packers.
Chad from Tarpon Springs, FL
Was there simply a different culture around Otto Graham's time, because how would they play with those helmets?
They broke noses and lost teeth, and Graham suffered a terrible gash on his face and it caused his coach, Paul Brown, to invent the facemask. That's when the culture changed, because that's when the helmet began being used as a weapon. Bobby Layne and Tommy McDonald continued to play without wearing a facemask. It always amazed me. Their faces must've been made of steel. The invention of the facemask is the worst thing that ever happened to football. It turned a bloody game into a game of invisible injury.
Logan from Jefferson, WI
Vic, if a player makes it to free agency and then signs with the same team, does that count against the team in the compensatory-pick formula?
Trevor from Arvada, CO
How do the Saints keep signing high-dollar free agents, when they can barely get under the cap every year and have so much dead money?
They push it out. It can be done by converting salary to signing bonus. They're trying to keep Drew Brees' window open. I get it; it makes sense. The Packers don't have to do that to keep Aaron Rodgers' window open. It's open and it will remain open.
Tyler from Vacaville, CA
Vic, what I like most about the signing of Osweiler to the Texans is they committed what they had to in order to get "The Man," similar to what Chip Kelly and the Eagles tried to do last year. They have some good pieces in place with Hopkins, Miller and Watt. Plus, they've stuck with their GM, got the coach they wanted, and now they believe they have a franchise QB. Isn't that the way to do it, regardless of the cost?
It's never regardless of the cost. That kind of thinking will collapse a franchise and send it into a nuclear winter. The Texans have regarded the cost. They have a plan for capping Brock Osweiler. It all begins with Osweiler being the quarterback they believe he'll be. If their projection is accurate – Bill O'Brien is a quarterback guru – the signing will have been a home run. The risk, however, is huge.