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Inbox: Expect to see more of it

Character means something in Green Bay

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RB AJ Dillon

David from San Francisco, CA

"They like the stock" Bahahaha, let's go Wes, you diamond handed APE! To the mooooooooon.

HODL THE LINE!

Luc from St. Thomas, Canada

So I'm on the "Draft a WR" train, but not because I think we desperately need the help. Allen Lazard (assuming he gets tendered), Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Davante Adams (if an extension isn't done), are all FAs next year. They will all be due for raises and you can't keep 'em all. We need to add to that group this offseason.

I alluded to this before I went on my Inbox sabbatical but the Packers haven't gone three straight years without drafting a receiver in franchise history. So you probably need to add a new jar to the shelf with one of those 10 picks regardless of the round. Plus, if I'm the Packers, I want as many young wideouts as I can find in that room to learn from Adams at this stage of his career.

Russ from Henrico, VA

Isn't the salary cap a bit like sausage? Not sure I really want to know everything that's in it. Just glad we've got a couple of great Brat-makers!

I thought I knew how malleable the cap was with how you could convert base salaries into signing bonuses, but this COVID year has taken things to a new level. The entire NFL has shown off an impressive lumbar system this offseason.

Jeff from Oak Creek, WI

Can we still sign Robert Tonyan? We finally found a productive TE who is in sync with Aaron Rodgers, gets open, and can reliably catch!

I'm not worried about it. The Packers know what the tender amounts are and will give themselves as much room as they need to offer contracts to the restricted free agents they intend to keep. They also still have more than a month to clear cap space for the incoming draft class.

Scot from West Palm Beach, FL

Good morning. It looks like BG is trying his best to keep the band together for another run. Do you think signing Aaron to that kind of money being a running back was smart and secondly, with all the restructuring of contracts needed to get under the cap and the Aaron Jones extension, will BG be able to bring in a street FA to help on the defense? Thanks, Go Packers!

It was absolutely the right move. Jones is the Packers' second-biggest playmaker on offense and would've been one of the top 10 free agents on the open market. For that reason, I'm not too concerned with outside free agents. Jones is a top guy. Plus, given the APY for most RB deals, it's unlikely the Packers would've gotten a third-round compensatory pick for him. You couldn't let Jones out of the building.

Keith from Bakersfield, CA

One of the best things about the Packers is just how much character matters in players. I can't recall many (any?) locker room issues, and cringe when fans clamor to sign players with negative reputations. More than just Jones' stellar performance on the field, I'm happy that he's staying on the team. GB sure seems adept at finding great, high-character players in the draft and free agency. How much does character weigh into personnel decisions, compared to on-field measures?

It's significant. There are teams, in every sport, who are willing to compromise their integrity in the name of winning. Sometimes it works but often it can be a ticking time bomb. That's never been the Packers' way. Character means something here and I think you've seen over the years how filling your locker room with men of honor cultivates a winning program. Aaron Jones is a prime example of that.

Take a look at photos of Green Bay Packers P JK Scott from the 2020 season.

James from Appleton, WI

I wouldn't be surprised to see Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon together in the backfield on a quarter of the offensive snaps this season. With Adams and MVS at the edges and Tonyan or Josiah Deguara at tight end, where would you put your safeties as the opposing defensive coordinator?

It's a problem for defensive coordinators, especially when MVS is on the field. The Packers played Jones and Dillon together a little last season, often motioning Jones out of those two-back formations to get the defense to declare its coverage. Expect to see more of it in 2021.

Steve from Marinette, WI

Just read Jamaal Williams' thank you to Green Bay, the Packers fans and organization. What a class act he is! This is the sad part of free agency. I am sure Packer fans will join me in wishing him the best in his NFL career!

Williams is an incredibly unique person. I'll miss his lighthearted back-and-forths with reporters in the locker room.

Bill from Clive, IA

Hi, Wes. Hoping for a few turns of phrases from you these next two weeks. Now to my question: assume for the moment that Jamaal departs in free agency. What scenarios are most likely for filling in a No. 3 RB behind Jones and Dillon come September?

Dexter Williams signed a futures deal after the season, so he'll have the inside track at the No. 3 job. I'd still expect the Packers to add at least one more back through free agency, the draft or college free agency.

Brent from Santa Maria, CA

Jamaal Williams has 500 carries and ZERO fumbles in the NFL (not just fumbles lost). It seems pretty incredible. Where does this rank him on the streak list?

It's gotta be up there among active backs. Again, that's not ZERO fumbles lost – that's ZERO fumbles period. Williams has never once put the ball on the ground in an NFL game. I wanted to write about it last year but it wasn't worth the hell I would catch if then he fumbled the following Sunday.

Brian from Rochester, NY

The organization's history of late-round success on offensive linemen has been impressive over the years. I have to think the combination of great scouting and coaching has created more hits on these late-round prospects. Between James Campen and now Adam Stenavich coaching these guys up, the preparation is evident week-in and week-out regardless of who is out there. I don't see why we couldn't find another steal later in the draft. Feels like we might already have another in Jon Runyan based on last year.

I think you'd be hard-pressed to find another organization over the past 20 years that's been as successful for drafting-and-developing offensive linemen as the Packers. Come to think of it, that might be a good offseason project. For as much as we talk about the Badgers' success on the O-line, the Packers have cut a similar cloth in the NFL.

Stephen from Palos Park, IL

Wes, if the Packers were going to sign Aaron Jones anyways as a free agent, then why didn't they place the franchise tag on him?

Because they were confident negotiations were headed in the right direction and trusted they could get a deal done without it. Like I said yesterday, there can be repercussions for tagging players (see Le'Veon Bell and Pittsburgh). It restricts their marketability and can create resentment if not handled properly. The Packers gave Jones space and it worked out for everyone involved in the end.

Steve from Kansas City, MO

Did I miss something about Devin Funchess re-signing? I thought he signed a one-year deal last year, and then opted out of playing due to COVID policy. Is he contractually still obligated to play for us?

Funchess' contract tolled because he opted out last year, so he remains under contract with the Packers for 2021.

The free community event for elementary-aged children, which included express hands-free obstacles and a take home activity kit for physical and mental wellness, took place Saturday, March 13, at Lambeau Field.

Jeffrey from Taylors, SC

I still remember the quote on Corey Linsley from NFL.com in his draft analysis. "Can squat a small house." The only quote on a draft pick I remember. Made me laugh and wonder how strong he really was. NFL.com analysis "CHANCE TO MAKE END OF ROSTER OR PRACTICE SQUAD" Wrong!!! Day 1 started for years! I hope to see him back.

I still don't get why so many draftniks were wrong about Linsley. He was a four-star recruit, played at a big program with 26 starts and put up like 35 on the bench press at the combine. Like I said Monday, what a great find Linsley was for the Packers in the fifth round. With Linsley coming off his first All-Pro season, I was thrilled to see him cash in. Corey, Anna and the entire Linsley family are class acts. I'm sure gonna miss them.

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

For all the news and speculation surrounding current player contracts and restructures, one name I almost never hear mentioned is Davante Adams, which really stands out because he is in the last year of his deal and really would have been a candidate for a cap-lowering new deal anyways. Is this possibly a case where the player would not have an interest in signing early given his production and likely role in the coming year?

I have no idea where things stand there but the Packers will do right by Adams at some point. He's the best receiver in the game and only 28 years old.

Jack from Racine, WI

With the extra regular season game next year, did the league increase the number of people on the rosters especially at the start of the season?

No, but the expanded practice-squad rules could stick around. That pretty much expanded active rosters to 55.

Evan from Durango, CO

The Saints apparently restructured Taysom Hill's contract into a four-year, $140 million deal. All years are voidable and his cap hit is less than $10 million. Can you clarify this at all? Should the league look into these nefarious cap dealings? Is it cap voodoo?

No, because Hill is betting on himself to win the starting job. If Hill establishes himself as QB1, then the Saints can turn his base salary into a signing bonus down the road to create more cap room. If he doesn't, then New Orleans can move on. Either way, the move puts a few more dollars in Hill's pocket right now.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

I was going to ask if the mood at 1265 Lombardi Ave. had taken a noticeable uptick today but then I realized you're probably working from home. When do you think you might be back in the building and operations start returning to 'normal?' Welcome back Wes.

I actually worked at Lambeau Monday but was the only one who did so in my department. It's still a little lonely here but hopefully we get these shots soon and get this train back on track. I miss my coworkers – at least, most of them.

John from Los Angeles, CA

I noticed some teams have picks forfeited in this year's draft, so I looked back to see if the Packers were ever penalized a pick. Only once, in 1978, for working out college prospects not on their home campuses. The punishment was announced the day of the draft, could you imagine today? Doesn't seem to have hurt too much; the Packers drafted four Packers Hall of Fame players that year, including HOFer James Lofton. Clay Matthews Jr. was also drafted that year. History fact of the day!

Hey, the more you know.

Joel from Green Bay, WI

Wes, you stated, "I'm happy to report that just hours before he was scheduled to start vacation, Spoff agreed to convert a portion of his 2021 salary into a signing bonus that can prorated across the rest of his lifetime contract." Considering the CBA only allows a signing bonus to be spread over five years, how did Spoff feel about learning he only has five years to live? I sense a well-earned renegotiation coming . . .

You're reading the wrong CBA. Our CBA allows for reporters to have lifetime proration of bonuses. Spoff is the Packers' Bobby Bonilla.

Jeremy from Oxford, UK

One thousand rushing yards and five sacks in 2020? I like the sound of this Spofford guy!

I misspoke. Mike is the 1,000-yard rusher. Spoff had the five sacks. We regret the error.

Ryan from Noblesville, IN

Wes, you are a funny gamer. Spoff is not sacking anything unless it's your lunch. And he's not gaining 1,000 yards in a year unless he's stealing said lunch and doing stadium tours every day. On another note, did you get the two books I sent you? If so, we'd all love to see y'all pick one and video reading it. That would be fantastic during the offseason!!!

Yes, we did! Thank you…though I'm not sure I'd be able to read them on packers.com. Maybe if we did a "Packers Unscripted: After Dark" or something.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

March Madness shows spring is dribbling in and then the Masters comes to let you know it is in full swing. Are you going to fill out a bracket, Wes?

You betcha. Our HR guru, Chris Cohorst, just sent the company-wide email. It's just for pride, but I'm extremely competitive when it comes to the NCAA Tourney. Just ask my former coworkers at the newspaper.

Jeff from Rochester, NY

When will the next throwback jerseys be announced?

Not today.

Vinny from Arlington, VA

So Wes, did you go ice fishing and spend five hours looking at a hole without catching anything? Or did you go to Arizona? Anything else I missed while you were gone. With you back in the fold from vacation, let's run it back!

No major trips, but I rented a car and drove up to Superior for a couple days. That Northwest section of Wisconsin was the only part of the state I'd never traveled to before and what better time than now? It was very peaceful and therapeutic, especially driving on Highway 13 up by the Apostle Islands before dusk. I also got to spend some time with the kiddo, which was great.

Dan from Muskego, WI

Welcome back Wes, you were missed. With your response to James from Appleton, did you just invent the Pun o'meter?

I think so.

Dan from Lisle, IL

James from Appleton should be ashamed. They key to winning games is to have a QB that doesn't make many Aaaront throws. Is the door this way?

Yes, but there's certainly a line for the exit. Enjoy your Tuesdays, everyone.

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