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Inbox: All the rest is wait and see

A primary goal heading into Week 1 has been achieved


Paul from Oxford, NC

This is it. It starts today! The baloney stops now. (And I don't mean baloney.)

You're six days early, but I commend your enthusiasm.

Corey from Albuquerque, NM

With eight WRs, four TEs, and only two RBs, do you get the impression that this is not the final roster?

It never is.

Jimi from Boulder, CO

Dang it's hard not to feel for these guys. I don't even know what happened to Quinten Rollins, but he ended up on IR. After battling back from an Achilles injury. The mental aspect of trying to stay positive when your body can betray you at any moment is something that is wildly overlooked in my opinion.

They didn't get where they are in the first place without an incredible ability to persevere. I try my hardest never to forget that.

Mike from Glendale, CA

Is Rip eligible for the practice squad?

No, he has three accrued NFL seasons. Two is the max for a veteran practice-squad exemption.

Dan from Pflugerville, TX

Have we just witnessed the end of the fullback era in Green Bay?

Perhaps, but Kerridge is on the practice squad. When the only constant is change, you never know.

Shane from Saxon, WI

Looks like Khalil Mack will be a topic of discussion on this board for the next several years.

Funny how that worked out.

Colby from Columbia, MO

Do you think if the Packers had any idea they might have to face Khalil Mack twice a year, every year, they might have pondered an offer? Or did they already know his price would be too steep?

As I wrote in my bleary-eyed state on the plane coming back from KC late Thursday night, I take Gutekunst at his word when he says he's in on every (meaningful) conversation. I'm not saying he did, but if he offered the asking price of two first-rounders, I think the Raiders made a simple decision. They weighed where they believed two first-round picks would fall from teams quarterbacked by Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees compared to teams QB'd by Mitch Trubisky. They took what the odds would say is the better offer.

Dylan from Tehachapi, CA

Now that we will see Mack twice a year, I am that much more grateful to have a group of veteran TEs to help out these tackles. I'm somewhat surprised to see the Bears make this deal. Two first-rounders is a steep price, and I didn't see the Bears being "a player away." Especially after giving up picks to the 49ers to go get their QB, they are giving up a lot of draft capital. Do you now see the Bears as a wild-card or better team after the move?

Time will tell. One thing about Bears GM Ryan Pace, when he knows what he wants, the price seems to matter little, as you noted with the draft trade to get Trubisky and now the Mack deal. I suspect he's counting on those two first-rounders not being as high as the Raiders believe they will be.

Mike from Sacramento, CA

We now know the cost for Mack. He is probably worth the contract he signed, but all those draft picks? Do high-profile trades like this historically work out for the team receiving the player? The Bears bet the farm on this one.

Not apples to apples, granted, but there are Julio Jones trades and there are Herschel Walker trades.

Keith from Bend, OR

Thanks to all of you for the great coverage over the weekend. How ready do you think the team is for Chicago? What are the apparent strengths and weaknesses as we get ready for the real games?

As I've been saying all along, we won't know their readiness, their strengths or their weaknesses until they're playing for real. What's most important right now is they're healthy, a primary goal heading into Week 1. All the rest is wait and see.

Kevin from Starr Pass, AZ

Insiders, so how many "what's up with our RBs?" questions are stacking up in your Inbox?

Plenty, but I believe I said at some point during camp that how the roster looks at running back in Week 1 doesn't interest me as much as Week 3. They're just bridging a gap right now.

Craig from Laramie, WY

Interesting weekend. What might be the strategy behind only eight signed to a practice squad with 10 potential spots? Were there already two players on it or were there only eight deemed worthy of the PS slot?

The Packers have two practice-squad spots available. What we don't know is whether they offered those to players who turned them down, or if they're intentionally holding them for some other reason.

Mike from Hastings, MN

So maybe the Ted Thompson trade down to pick the "almost as good" Badger wasn't such a good move after all?

The comparison was King and Biegel vs. Watt. Now it's just King vs. Watt. Not what the Packers had in mind, but I still think they have a good chance to come out fine in the end.

Matt from Kula, HI

James Crawford making the final 53 was a surprise to me as I had not read or heard much about him. It looks like he may have stolen the spot that Biegel was counting on. What was it about him that impressed enough for him to stick? How do you see the Packers utilizing him?

Everyone was asking last week about examples of players who used the last preseason game to make the roster. Crawford is now one of those examples. I confess, he wasn't on my radar, but Gutekunst said he had an outstanding game on special teams in KC. That's where he fits on this team right now. They like the physical traits he brings at inside linebacker, and Gutekunst suggested he might be able to help at outside linebacker, too. But this was a special-teams move, first and foremost.

Patrick from Gardenville, Ontario

I did not know that Crawford is the nephew of Charles Woodson! He must have a good upside to have made it through the cuts.

I didn't know that either, but that's pretty cool.

Bob from Minneapolis, MN

If the Packers claim a player off of waivers, how do they know if they can sign him to a contract? Does a player know through his agent which teams put a claim in for him? If so, he could demand too much money from the teams he doesn't want to play for and subsequently sift his way through the mess and land with the team he wishes.

With waiver claims, the claiming team assumes the player's contract. They are not free agents until they clear waivers.

Keith from Winnipeg, Manitoba

I'm wondering, will Khalil Mack play Week 1 against the Packers in Green Bay? I know when a quarterback gets traded, there's a bit of a learning curve with a new playbook and they can't play right away with a new team. Is this the same for a pass rusher, or is it more of a plug-and-play?

I expect Mack to play next Sunday night. How much is really the question. My best conjecture is the Bears will give him a small menu of defensive calls to master in his first few days, and he'll be available for those against the Packers. They're going to use him right away in whatever ways they can. Then his knowledge of their scheme will expand week by week.

See headshots and action shots of the complete Green Bay Packers 2018 roster.

Tim from Normal, IL

Insiders, you call yourselves Insiders? You both mocked anyone on this site who mentioned a Mack trade and denied Oakland was even open to a trade. I appreciate a good mocking as much as anyone, but you "Insiders" really missed the boat on this one.

I believe what I said was this: I wasn't going to believe he was actually available until we started hearing about the potential trade price. Last week we started hearing about that price, then it became legit. I still don't think the Raiders wanted to trade him back when everyone was first talking about it, but when he started making huge financial sacrifices, they realized his holdout was serious, and seriously detrimental to their team.

Shilo from Murrieta, CA

It's 1984. The Rams and Bears are both relevant again.

In the same year you're talking? C'mon now, 2001 wasn't that long ago.

Steve from Green Bay, WI

Does BG actually know all of the players who are released throughout the league well enough to be able to scan the list of cuts and determine who to consider? Or does he rely on his staff to highlight players they think might be of interest?

The personnel staff has players it's interested in all along. The scouts have a board that tracks all the league's personnel, and players who might become available are ranked relative to the players in house. They have their upgrades targeted, but you're not always going to get who you want, either due to the waiver claim order, or the players don't actually become available.

Bill from Shawano, WI

Can a player who is claimed off waivers and is eligible be moved to the practice squad at some point later in the season? If so, how long does he have to be on the active roster?

There's no minimum requirement, but he would have to be waived again and go unclaimed in order to be brought back to the practice squad.

Curt from Algonquin, IL

The first thing I noticed about the 53-man roster is that the receivers' room just got a lot taller. Is that a conscious choice by team coaches and management, part of a greater league-wide trend, or just a coincidence?

I've said before I think Allison's emergence turned some eyes toward a different body type at the position.

Josip from Zagreb, Croatia

Hello Insiders, I read that Kyle Murphy, Devante Mays and Quinten Rollins are waived injured. But on the official Packers roster list they are listed under reserve/injured. Can you explain the difference?

They may have been told they're being waived injured, which is then what their agents told other reporters. Technically, they are on the Packers' injured reserve list until an injury settlement is reached.

Erik from Clarkston, WA

Thank you both for everything, plus I would wear a "Keep calm and Inbox on" shirt. I couldn't imagine what a GM or a personnel department goes through this time of year. Question, for a guy like Byrd who was cut, do you hope for another team to pick you up or go to the practice squad?

You hope for at least one or the other and don't get picky. You make a lot more money on an active roster and you're always eligible for anyone's practice squad should you get cut again.

Jordan from Sturgeon Bay, WI

So, obviously we aren't going into Week 1 with eight WRs. I know you guys don't like to talk about players getting waived/traded but I think this is something even you can agree with. My question is why does no one discuss Cobb as a returner if we find ourselves in need? He was an elite PR/KR and gets a hefty salary, wouldn't it make sense to utilize him as much as possible?

Cobb did his share of catching punts at practice during training camp. Should the need arise, it wouldn't shock me in the slightest to see him back there on returns.

Sam from Janesville, WI

I understand the point Larry was making about Oakland ranking 24th in sacks with Khalil Mack, but just a counterpoint, Chicago ranked seventh in sacks without Mack. I'm not saying the sky is falling, but this division just got a whole lot more interesting!

I won't argue there.

John from Onalaska, WI

No sleep till Atlanta. Epic way to end II. Carry on the excellent work fellas!

Wes nailed it. Hope everyone has a great Labor Day.


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