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Inbox: He's one of the best in this business

The learning curve can be steep for an NFL tight end

Quarterbacks coach Tom Clements and QB Danny Etling
Quarterbacks coach Tom Clements and QB Danny Etling

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Groundhog Day? So, what year will the Packers be trading future Hall of Fame quarterback Jordan Love to the Jets?

I'm sure Packers fans would be thrilled with such a scenario unfolding. Quarterbacks are currency in this sport. At the end of the day, it's a predicament every NFL team would love to be in.

Robert from Verona, WI

Losing superstars who have been part of your football family is tough. I'm sad about the departures of Davante Adams and Aaron Rodgers. They delivered moments that brought smiles to the faces of millions of fans, and for that I'm thankful. In knowing that the tenure of every player will inevitably come to an end, I'm also thankful that their departures have resulted in draft capital (obviously the Rodgers deal isn't finalized yet) that will help ease the transition to some degree.

In the NFL, that wheel never stops turning. As we talked about earlier this week, Joe Montana was traded, Peyton Manning was cut, and Tom Brady left New England as a free agent. Brett Favre was traded for a third-round pick. Dave Robinson was traded for a second-round pick. Herb Adderley was traded to Dallas for Malcolm Walker and Clarence Williams.

Mark from San Antonio, TX

Now that we have direction at QB1, do you have a sense how the players are feeling (thinking of what Aaron Jones said a little while back, lobbying for AR to return)? I, personally, am extremely excited for the era of Jordan Love.

Well, Jones was equally complementary of Love, too. De'Vondre Campbell also had kind words for the young QB's readiness during his appearance on the Appleton Post-Crescent's Clubhouse Live last year. I couldn't tell you how players feel right now other than Love has earned the respect of the locker room over the last three years. I feel confident in saying that.

Joe from Ormond Beach, FL

I submit my nominee for most valuable Packer for the upcoming season: Tom Clements. Rodgers was a work in progress out of college and credits Clements for developing him into the quarterback he became. I don't think it's a coincidence Jordan Love showed dramatic improvement this past year under Clements' leadership. I hope he is well-compensated.

He's one of the best in this business. Clements is an extremely intelligent individual who has a Midas touch for teaching footwork and fundamentals – two areas I felt Love showed significant growth last season. Clements possesses extensive experience mentoring young QBs (Rodgers, Matt Flynn and Kyler Murray). He also helped get the most out of Tommy Maddox in Pittsburgh and Kelly Holcomb in Buffalo. Clements was built for this assignment.

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

As inevitable as it has felt for some time now, there is part of me that still can't believe I'll never see Aaron Rodgers don the green and gold again. Now we collectively turn the page to the Jordan Love era. He has handled his apprenticeship under "12" with true professionalism. I look forward to his next interview. I am eager to hear his point of view on all that's happened and his take on the future of the franchise. He's waited a long time for this moment, go out and seize it!

Again, this is a process and there's still work to be done. But Jordan Love has said all the right things and done everything the Packers have asked. Love also has been a respectful apprentice under Rodgers and never raised a fuss. There might be a lot of unknowns about Jordan Love as a QB, but I think we've learned the type of man he is.

Matthew from Clarkston, MI

If (when) Love and the Packers continue down the successful path with winning seasons, do you think a multiyear QB development/transition process would be emulated by other teams? In my opinion, there is a benefit to learn the NFL QB position and slow the game down before taking control of the reins. But with the potential short lives of NFL coaches and GMs, maybe this is not possible in other NFL markets.

I don't know if QBs need to wait three full seasons, but far too many teams throw rookies out there when A) they're not ready and B) their offensive support is not stable. Teams might get by with one of those things being true, but not both. In this particular case, I don't think a young QB could ask for a better offense to step into. The Packers have two Pro Bowl-caliber offensive linemen protecting Love's blindside, speed on the perimeter and a pair of veterans tying the backfield together.

Peter from Hemet, CA

Not a question, just a thought. Now that it appears AR will not be playing for the Packers, I believe it's time for Packer Nation to rally behind JL and help this young man get his era off to a great start. Looking forward to what the future brings for JL and the Packer organization as a whole. Can the salary cap hit for AR be mitigated in any manner? Thank you for all the great work you do to keep Packer Nation up to date.

One thing that helps Green Bay is Love is still on his rookie contract. That gives the Packers more breathing room than a year from now, when Love would either be playing on a guaranteed fifth-year option exercised or entering unrestricted free agency.

Take a look at photos of Green Bay Packers LB Jonathan Garvin during the 2022 NFL season.

Steve from Plover, WI

So, what happens if the Packers and the Jets just can't come to terms?

It may take time for the two sides to come to an agreement, but I'm not too concerned about that right now. The Jets need a quarterback and Rodgers said he wants to be in New York.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

I was just thinking about a couple of variables that may play into the trade compensation package for Mr. Rodgers. One is the difference between popular expectations of the two teams. Expectations for the Jets in 2023 are high, but less so for the Packers. The other variable is Jets owner Woody Johnson, who has the final say for the Jets. Any thoughts?

The Jets have not had a quarterback named to the Pro Bowl since Johnson bought the team in 2000. The last Jets quarterback to be named first-team All-Pro was Joe Namath in 1968. Acquiring Rodgers checks a box that's been empty since Brett Favre was traded there.

Reed from Kansas City, MO

Greetings, Wes. Before Zach Wilson, the Jets missed on Sam Darnold. I don't blame them at all for going after an established talent. My question is: when a high draft pick doesn't pan out, how much blame do you place on poor evaluation and how much on poor coaching/development?

I have a difficult time putting the blame on the coaches. Geno Smith worked out for Seattle, but his breakout year came five years after he left New York for good. And it's not like Sam Darnold and Mark Sanchez had success elsewhere. I have no doubt in my mind Aaron Rodgers still can be a Pro Bowl quarterback. After everything the Jets went through with Wilson, I'd say there's significant value in bringing a four-time MVP like Rodgers to the Meadowlands.

Kelly from Stoughton, WI

In life, we idolize the storybook ending, rarely do we hear the stories that fell short. I feel disappointment and hope. Disappointment we couldn't get one more, but I will never believe there was a lack of effort in trying. Hope because a new story begins and there is a chance for the storybook ending. Has the game changed, to that we maybe don't need Prince Charming (HOF QB) to obtain the holy grail necessarily once again? Thanks for the memories AR12, always a Packer. Best to ever do it.

The Super Bowl chase is a perilous journey, and the climb is never easy. However, so many incredible moments happened along the way. Rodgers reached the pinnacle of the sport when the Packers won Super Bowl XLV but re-watching all his career highlights on NFL Network Thursday morning reminded me of the greatness that we witnessed the last 15 years. I'm filled with gratitude and appreciation for those memories.

Aaron from Brooklyn, NY

To your point about Allen Lazard's breakout game being in 2019 against the New York Giants, I was at that game and my lasting memory from that day is a Giants fan who was sitting a couple of rows in front of us screaming "who the [heck] is that No. 13 and why is he always open."

Ha. I, too, recall many of those utterances during Lazard's four years in Green Bay.

David from Crivitz, WI

After Lazard and Jarran Reed signed significant contracts, and my personal expectation of limited signings by GB, I got to wondering what the limitations are on the compensatory draft formulas? As I look at our free agents, I see significant contracts for at least five if they are not re-signed (Adrian Amos, Robert Tonyan, Dean Lowry, Lazard and Reed). Is there a limit to how many compensatory picks a team can receive? Thanks, and Happy Friday.

A team can receive no more than four compensatory picks via free-agent departures, but keep in mind the Packers used void years on some of their unrestricted free agents, who no longer count towards the compensatory formula. Green Bay will get a compensatory pick next year for Lazard, though. It got a fifth last year when Marquez Valdes-Scantling signed with Kansas City for $10 million per year.

Jeff from Victorville, CA

You had mentioned yesterday the Packers would do well drafting a tight end and also would need to have a veteran starter Week 1. With Josiah Deguara going into his fourth year, wouldn't he be THAT guy? By failing to mention him, we fans might assume you feel he's a third-round bust. How do you feel about Deguara leading the TE room as a veteran?

Josiah Deguara can certainly lead and will play a big role in this offense next year. But strictly from an Xs and Ox perspective, Deguara is more of a Kyle Juszczyk than a Marcedes Lewis in-line tight end. My point was that if the Packers draft Michael Mayer, Luke Musgrave or Darnell Washington, they could use a Lewis or another established vet to show that rookie the NFL ropes. Because the learning curve can be steep for an NFL tight end.

Jeffery from Brooklyn, WI

Hey guys, are y'all tired of fielding Aaron Rodgers questions yet? Let's change it up a bit. Can you tell me about the status of Mason Crosby at this time? Last we knew Brian Gutekunst said he had a lot left with his career.

Everything's been quiet on the Mason Crosby front, which is probably to be expected. The circumstances are a little different this time around with Crosby turning 39 in September.

Mike from Allen, TX

Morning! Probably a silly question, but here goes: Vic used to say if you pay it, you cap it. Fine. If a player leaves a team with roughly $40 million in "dead money," where does the money go? If it's out of the Packers' pockets, which pocket does it reside?

Dead money is money that's already been paid (e.g. signing bonuses, past base salaries, workout bonuses, etc.). If a player is traded, his cap number would reflect his base salary for 2023 and any bonuses that haven't yet been paid out.

Matt from North Plainfield, NJ

Last week, a reader pointed out we're hosting the Chiefs this year. It's about time. Four out of the last five meetings have been at Arrowhead. That's crazy. Granted, one of them was the inaugural "interleague" game, but I'll never understand why we had to go there in 2011 after playing there in 2007. Did the NFL ever explain this? I always thought the scheduling process was cut and dry.

It happened because the NFL changed the scheduling cycle in 2011. It's the same reason the Packers have played the Raiders only once on the road (2015) since Favre's iconic game in 2003.

Dean from Ottawa, IL

Do you have a general idea when skill-position players tend to peak? I realize this is a very broad question and ask to better understand free agency. Thanks for all you do.

Running backs often are at their best right away, but receivers are catching up with the proliferation of spread passing attacks in college. Still, I think Christian Kirk's signing last year was a good reminder there still is a development process involved. Like I said earlier, tight ends are unique and I think a lot of that is how big their playbooks can be.

Chuck from Richfield, WI

I for one am ready to get back to more football II interactions! I suppose those who miss the drama will be happy to know that only four teams are eligible for "Hard Knocks" next year. "With the wind in your hair of a thousand laces... Jet!"

Oh, that's interesting.

Don from Swaledale, IA

The parties in Detroit, Minnesota and Chicago have started now that they know Aaron Rodgers is leaving Green Bay...let's hope those parties are short lived!

Well, the Packers once had a 23-year winning streak at home over the Detroit Lions that began during Favre's first season in Green Bay and ended eight years into Rodgers' run as the Packers' starting QB. I'd advise them to tread lightly. Have a fantastic Friday.

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