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Inbox: He's more than deserving

That pick became Jaire Alexander and the rest was history

Former Packers RB Eddie Lacy

Gretchen from Dousman, WI

Thank you, packers.com video crew, for bringing us the 2023 Packers Tailgate Tour. These sneak peaks are priceless. Great to see alumni players and hear their voices again while I can't ever get enough of Aaron Jones and Elgton Jenkins. What a valuable endeavor that we get to share in thanks to you.

Jones joyously running into the community center for the first stop Tuesday brought a smile to my face. It doesn't get any better than that.

Sam from Boston, MA

Who would you say was the most impactful rookie in Year 1 over the past 20 years?

Eddie Lacy. As I tweeted on Tuesday, everyone perseverates on how things ended for Lacy in Green Bay but what's rarely discussed is how great of a player, and person, he was for this football team. Lacy laid it on the line for the Packers, especially when Aaron Rodgers was out with the collarbone in 2013. Lacy knocked the door off its hinges as a rookie, and despite a late-season ankle injury, he kept the Packers' playoff hopes alive with his play down the stretch. Lacy didn't have as long of a career as Ahman Green or Jones, but he's an important part of this franchise's rich history. It was great seeing him at the kickoff for the Tailgate Tour. Eddie joked he's not the most loquacious athlete and often declines doing appearances, but he really wanted to participate in the Tailgate Tour. I hope Packers fans are giving Lacy his flowers this week. He's more than deserving.

Andrew from Placentia, CA

Good morning! Imagine you're the GM. You're on the clock at 15. Say the top player on your board is a player at a position in which you have plenty of talent and depth (let's say LB). The third-best player on your board happens to play a position in which you're lacking both (let's say DL). Do you trade down a few spots? What if the next GM has the defensive lineman rated higher than you, and you miss out? But if you take the DL at 15, aren't you leaving value on the table?

Then I'd be inclined to trade down, but the real question is hypothetical and circumstantial: How strong is your draft board? If a team agrees to move down a few spots, the GM needs to have more than one viable option available. That's why Brian Gutekunst traded back from No. 14 in 2018. He felt the Packers' board was deep enough to make a move. He traded back, traded up and ultimately that pick became Jaire Alexander and the rest was history.

David from Janesville, WI

Wes, I have to think that while change can be challenging and while he loved having a HOF quarterback, at least a small part of Matt LaFleur is looking forward to having the offense run more in line to what he sends in from the sidelines. Jordan Love, while free to check calls, will be less likely to do so than Rodgers. I think LaFleur wants to see his offense run. Deep inside in places they don't talk about in meetings he will know the team wants him to make that call, they need him to make that call.

We keep getting these questions, but Matt LaFleur is not an egotistical man. He doesn't hand out booklets and demand his offense be run to these exact specifications. This is a team sport and there's give and take every week of an NFL season. As the 2023 season comes into focus, I think LaFleur is looking forward to the challenge of coaching the young men who are in that room. Listen, it's OK to appreciate times spent with Rodgers while also looking forward to this next chapter with Love. You don't need to put down one to elevate the other. LaFleur has understood that since Jan. 8, 2019.

Jim from Westland, MI

I believe Tennessee pounded the ball using six offensive linemen going back to Matt's offensive coordinator days there. That would give a tight end time to adjust to the NFL while moving the chains. Running game is a QB's best friend.

It is…but deploying a sixth offensive lineman is also kind of telling on yourself. That's why having Marcedes Lewis was so valuable for Green Bay the past five years. I'm not saying every team needs an experienced tight end with a master's degree in blocking, but in-line responsibilities of the position are too important to entrust to an O-lineman on a regular basis. You need tight ends who can get the job done.

The Packers Tailgate Tour spent Wednesday afternoon visiting with students at Rice Lake High School and paying respect to fallen soldiers at the Northwestern Veterans Memorial. The bus concluded with a surprise stop at the Jack Link's facility.

Bret from Hertel, WI

Dear Mike or Wes, what position traditionally from all college programs do you have a better shot of getting a productive FA rookie to make a 53-man roster?

Tight end, running back and offensive line. For a time, it seemed like the Packers had an undrafted rookie outside linebacker making the team every year but that's slowly dissipated leaguewide, I feel.

John from Charlottesville, VA

I keep hearing people call Rodgers a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer. When, in your opinion, was he first viewed as a HOFer, and when do you think he moved to possible first-ballot to surefire first-ballot HOFer?

In my mind, Rodgers became a Hall of Famer after he won his first MVP in 2011 and a first-ballot Hall of Famer after he won his second in 2014. There aren't many who completed the trifecta of Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP and NFL MVP.

Brian from Sugar Land, TX

What is the value of Rodgers? Well, it depends. The Jets are betting at least one good year, maybe a Super Bowl. A second year is open. They also see a boost at the gate and TV time. When traded to the Braves, Babe Ruth was only a year removed from a season in which he hit 34 HRs and 104 RBIs, two years from his third MVP. At age 40, he lasted 28 games. Rodgers is worth whatever the Jets will give. It appears that's the market.

I'm sorry. You lost me after, "Well, it depends." It gave me Spofford flashbacks. I was too distracted.

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

I've never seen two organizations speak so openly about a potential trade. Joe Douglas saying "he's going to be here" especially. NFL GMs usually keep things so close to the vest. I suppose when dealing a future HOF quarterback, expect the unexpected?

It's a unique situation, given the value of the player and the conversation surrounding that player's future. We're two weeks away from the NFL Draft. While there isn't a set date on when a trade must be consummated, it obviously behooves the Packers and Jets to get a deal done before then. We'll see if a soft deadline spurs anything along.

Rick from Bluffton, SC

My question pertains to the practice squad. How many players are protected and how many are subject to waivers? Also, if someone is picked up on waivers can GB match the offer and move said player to the active roster if they have an open slot?

Every practice-squad player is a free agent who can sign to another team's 53-man roster. Teams can protect up to four practice-squad players every Tuesday in preparation for their next game. However, players are eligible to sign elsewhere between their team's previous game and the Tuesday deadline. Most players and agents give the current team a chance to either elevate the player to the active roster or increase his practice-squad weekly salary. There is no waiver process involved.

Roger from McGrath, AK

I read that Saquon Barkley doesn't want to sign his franchise tag. Is Aaron Jones' team-friendly contract used in calculating the value of the tag for running backs?

It is and meaningfully. Jones restructured with the Packers in February but is still tied with Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara for the second-highest APY contract for a running back in the NFL (behind Christian McCaffrey).

Dennis from Parrish, FL

You're auditioning for a job that could pay you upwards of $100 million over the next 10 to 12 years and you can't stay in physical shape for six weeks after a season? Then every spring and summer you get six months off? I am not the only person asking that question. Not in my first round.

I get reservations with Jalen Carter – I share many of them – but somebody will draft him. I just don't have the slightest clue where he goes, especially if he slides out of the top 10.

Joe from Dells, WI

Please help me understand the spite for the USFL and the XFL. I hear it and see it a lot. It's football! We love football. We watch our high school team on Fridays. We watch our college team on Saturdays. We can't get enough. None of the players are overpaid. Every one of these guys is chasing a dream and we love those stories. Close games are fun no matter who plays. The only struggle I see is sitting inside to watch on a warm sunny day in the spring in Wisconsin. What am I missing?

I root for these alternative leagues because it creates jobs and makes the game of football better. But like Spoff, I don't watch the product. The NFL season is long and it's only getting longer. I enjoy my brief sabbatical from football in the spring, but that doesn't mean I don't want those leagues to succeed.

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

Please rank, in your opinion, the quality of football among the CFL, USFL, and XFL, best to worst. I'd be interested in your rankings.


Al from Green Bay, WI

What (if anything) are the NFL officials doing at this time of year to prepare for the season ahead?

The league holds two offseason clinics with officials. The first concentrates on new rules, physical assessments, and administrative changes, while the second includes exams, testing their knowledge of the rules, mechanics for their positions and on-field mobility. Once rule changes are implemented, officials also attend seminars to prepare for the upcoming NFL season. As far as the physical piece is concerned, the league wants to ensure its referees' conditioning is on par with the quickening speed of the game.

Jeff from Lake Forest, CA

Thanks for your racing memory, Wes! Dale Jarrett was my favorite driver for a long time. Even had a cat named Jarrett. I had the opportunity to meet him a couple times and he surely was happy to take a moment and say hello. They called his dad Gentleman Ned when he raced, and Dale didn't fall far from the tree.

I don't even follow racing, but that interaction shows how small moments can leave a lasting impression on a child. I'd love to shake Jarrett's hand one day and thank him for that day.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Wes, at first, I was slightly chagrined that I didn't know the answer to the following. Then, as the topic kept arising, I became worried you might repo the green jacket I got for being the current II MVP (which should be a real, humorous thing, by the way). Finally, I came to the conclusion that I need to humble myself and be a good example for all the newer Inboxers. We're all here to learn, right? Here goes: What does TBLS stand for? I know it's Tim Boyle something something.

Tim Boyle…Laser Show.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Wes. Assuming Jordan Love actually is the starting QB, will the packers.com website, in general, and Insider Inbox specifically, use cutesy phrases like "All you need is Love" and "Love is in the air"? Love actually deserves that much.

Oh, for the Love of Pete.

Rod from Chugiak, AK

I chuckled at the little dig Mike ended Wednesday with. To me at least, and I imagine to other II long-timers, non-appearance of our submission next day – no matter how brilliant we flattered ourselves thinking it was as we composed it – means something better beat it out. Then I just settle back enjoying the read, knowing mine going in the circular file only made for a better Inbox.

There is no such thing as a bad Inbox question. Only too many Inbox questions.

Dave from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Do the two of you get tired of answering the same questions day after day this time of year? "Who will the Packers draft?" "Will the Packers sign a veteran WR?" "What are the keys to JL's success this year?" How do you do it?

It's what we do. I count myself lucky. I'm sure there were plenty of days Pa Hod didn't feel like getting up at 5 a.m. and driving to the papermill. The only tiresome part is writing six columns a week when negotiations take time. Often, we're no wiser than we were the day before. So…we wait.

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