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Inbox: He’s worth every penny

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Davy from Chetek, WI    

I thought Spoff had to be gone before big news would happen. Did he take the day off?

Spoff was running a little late Wednesday morning because of a problem with his washer, so I guess that counted. Good morning! Or in Aaron Rodgers’ case, amazing morning!

Quincy from West Palm Beach, FL

Hey guys, love the work you do on here. What's your thoughts on Aaron Rodgers finally getting his deal done?

Was there ever any doubt? I say that with my tongue firmly pressed against my cheek, but I never understood the anxiety some Packers fans felt about the two sides getting something done. Rodgers said from the beginning – it’s a partnership. With Rodgers under contract for the foreseeable future, Brian Gutekunst now can get to work ensuring the Packers remain in Super Bowl contention every year No. 12 takes the field. I don’t know all the specifics of the contract, but let this be known – he’s worth every penny.

Anthony from Bay Point, CA

I think Khalil Mack would be a tremendous asset to the team. Our last two Super Bowls came after big defensive acquisitions, Reggie White and Charles Woodson. Is there any chance the Packers will make a move on Mack?

So the greatest quarterback of his generation – and perhaps of all-time – signs a contract extension with your favorite team…and we’re still asking about Mack, huh? I’m not crying. You’re crying.

Mike from New Orleans, LA

With Rodgers’ new contract, I’ve been hearing he is signed until he’s 40. I thought that contract extensions replace old deals, so why is he still playing on his old contract for two more years?

It’s an extension, so the new years are added to the two remaining years of the contract he signed back in 2013.

Jason from Lake View, NY

Well, our backup QB situation just became clearer.

The Seahawks needed a veteran backup to Russell Wilson and John Schneider found one in Brett Hundley. It also clears the way for the Packers to continue developing DeShone Kizer, who is only 22 and under contract past 2018. By swinging the trade now, Green Bay also will get an extended look at Tim Boyle in Kansas City before Saturday.

Kyle from Chelsea, MI

So does this mean Kizer doesn't play the last preseason game? It seems too risky considering the regular season is right around the corner.

I think Kizer is going to play and probably start. In a perfect world, this is the last time Kizer lines up under center this season, so you want to get your young quarterback some snaps before turning the controls back over the Rodgers for hopefully the rest of the year.

Scott from Salem, OR

So I guess Hundley is packing his egg for Seattle. Do you think he will be playing against the Raiders for the second consecutive preseason game?

Quite the coincidence, but I can’t imagine he’ll play on one day’s notice. The Seahawks currently have Austin Davis and Alex McGough on their roster, as well.

Eric from Wausau, WI

I would like to wish the best of luck to Hundley. He showed a lot of class under tons of pressure last year. Do you think the Seattle Inbox is blowing up with people saying now is the time to trade Russell Wilson?

Hundley was a total pro from beginning to end, and also was very active in the community. Hundley had to answer a lot of tough questions last year, but faced the music every week. I wish him well during the next chapter of his career.

Jared from Manassas, VA

I see Hundley was traded to the Seahawks. Do you think this trade decision was solely based on his preseason performance this year or did last year's less-than-stellar regular season backup work influence things?

Without hearing Gutekunst’s thoughts on the trade, I think it had more to do with Kizer being a prospect the Packers will be developing in 2018 and beyond. Hundley will be an unrestricted free agent after this season and have his first opportunity to test the market. That’ll be his best shot at finding a place to compete for a starting job.

Max from Sherwood Park, Alberta

With Hundley going to Seattle, and the fact that we play Seattle on Nov. 15, how much do we have to change about our offense and defense for that game? Hundley knows this offense inside and out, so he would be a great spy for them.

That’s so long from now. There are few secrets 12 weeks into a season. The Packers likely will have run somewhere between 600-700 offensive plays by then. Plus, teams constantly are evolving from Week 1 to 17.

Joe from Dundee, IL

What are the nuances on cut-down day to 53 regarding Aaron Jones being suspended for two games and a player, maybe Jake Kumerow, the Packers might place on injured reserve and designate to return? Must those players be put on the 53 for a set time before they can be transferred to the suspended or IR list?

Suspended players are placed on the reserve list when teams submit their transactions to the NFL on cut-down day. In order to be eligible to return from injured reserve, however, that player must be on the initial 53-man roster. Teams can then place players on IR the following day.

Joe from Parkland County, Alberta

Bold. That’s all I can say about the trade and contract extension. As an aside, I would love to spend time with Russ Ball as he works all these contracts under the cap.

I cannot even imagine the amount of detail that must go into working out not only a contract of that magnitude, but also managing the team cap for 2018 and beyond. Bravo.

Lazaro from Corpus Christi, TX

So we all saw Aaron Rodgers get his huge contract extension. My question is how does the guaranteed money work? Is it a cap hit at all? I’m pretty sure incentives and bonuses don’t count on the cap, but I’ve never been fully sure about the guaranteed money.

Everything counts. The only thing that technically doesn’t “count” would be bonuses deemed unlikely to be earned because the player didn’t meet those standards during the previous season (e.g., bonus for five touchdown runs in 2018 when he only had four the previous year). If the player does meet that threshold, though, that cap hit is absorbed the next season. Make no mistake – it all counts towards the cap.

Jack from Wivenhoe, UK

Regarding AR12's contract extension, I hear a lot of talk from the analysts on NFL.com saying this is a team-friendly deal. I'm not sure I understand that, is it because of the signing bonus?

Simply put, there’s a benefit to getting deals done with a player like Rodgers with two years left on his contract because teams are able to spread out his signing bonus, lowering the overall cap hit.

Brandon from Orlando, FL

It's hard to not be impressed with Gutekunst's first offseason. From the players drafted to his free-agent signings to his trades, there doesn't seem to be a weak spot in his process so far. Not to mention his trades included players that I'm assuming he didn't see on the 53 anyway, and he managed to get something positive in return. Is there something you've been most impressed with so far?

No moss grows on a rolling stone. Gutekunst looks to me like a guy who had a plan when he was hired earlier this year and executed it this offseason. Not every decision was easy, but Gutekunst was decisive with his overall vision. There’s still a long way to go before the season opener against the Bears and plenty of work to do in the coming days.

Neil from Tunbridge Wells, England

How long after the last preseason game are the cuts/rosters announced?

Teams have until 3 p.m. CT on Saturday to cut their roster to 53. A few teams that play Thursday will cut players Friday, but most will wait until Saturday’s deadline.

Geoff from Omaha, NE

Have the Packers ever held a joint practice before?

Yeah. I want to say it was with the Bills in 2005.

Rob from Aiken, SC

Clarification please: Is it true a QB can now spike it anywhere to avoid a hit or sack? If so, is it just an incomplete pass or is the ball spotted where it was spiked?

No. Spoff was just recounting Vic’s idea of how it would be in the best interest of the NFL to allow quarterbacks to spike the ball at any time to better avoid long-term injuries. It’s not a new rule, though. Just a suggestion.

Braden from Aurora, CO

Hey guys, how have Kevin King and Davon House been in practice? Is King still limited by the shoulder and will it cause him issues like last year?

I thought House had a solid camp and steered clear of injuries for the most part. I don’t know how the starting 11 will look against Chicago, but I’d imagine you’ll see plenty of House this year with how many defensive backs see the field in today’s NFL. King is a starting-caliber boundary cornerback when healthy. By all indications, this shoulder injury isn’t like the one that shortened King’s rookie season. We’ll see if he gets the call to play tonight.

Tony from Kaukauna, WI

So, if you put multiple claims in, do they have to list the player they're releasing? Much like fantasy football, you get the highest priority for that player they're releasing?

The Browns have the top priority based on their record last year, so they have first dibs on any player who gets waived this weekend. Unlike fantasy football, though, Cleveland doesn’t go to the bottom if it claims a player. John Dorsey can claim as many as he desires so long as he makes a corresponding roster move on his 53.

Joe from Sioux Falls, SD

Now that we have acquired a sixth-round pick from Seattle in the Hundley trade, an extra first-round pick from the Saints, and a swap of fourth- and fifth-round picks with Cleveland in the Kizer/Randall trade, how many picks do the Packers have in the 2019 draft? Congrats to Aaron on the new contract and congrats to us for the next six years, too!

I think that puts it at nine picks at the moment.

Andrew from Memphis, TN

Rodgers gets his deal, and DeShone is our guy behind the guy. Glad to see Aaron locked up for likely the rest of his career, and happy to see Kizer solidifying his spot on this team. Moving forward, what are the odds that Clay gets a deal done to keep him with the team for the entirety of his career? Could a solid upcoming season buy him a contract that keeps him in a Peppers-esqe position moving forward?

Time will tell. Matthews told reporters last week his people have spoken with the Packers, but his focus is on 2018. If he has a big (and healthy) year, the rest will take care of itself. The Packers are in good position with their salary cap.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

There goes the theory that the Pack's pick from the Saints is one Drew Brees injury away from being top five. Nice pickup by the Saints with Teddy Bridgewater, but they sure gave up a lot. After batting 1.000 in 2017 draft, they now lack first- and third-round picks in 2019. Not sure I would be happy about that if I were planning to be a Saints fan for more than just a couple of years. Another reason it is good to be a Packer fan right now.

Mickey Loomis is known for his aggressiveness, so the move isn’t entirely surprising. However, it does seem like a steep price to pay for a quarterback you could have signed as an unrestricted free agent back in March. Good for the Jets, though. You don’t see sign-and-trades very often in the NFL.

Tom from Fairfield, CT

So have you heard anything about Taysom Hill and his status and performance with the Saints in light of their having signed Bridgewater?

I guess we’ll find out this weekend, but it sounds like the Saints are still very high on Hill. He bounced back from his four-turnover game with a solid showing against the Chargers. He also has value on special teams.

Robert from Janesville, WI

Browns offensive line coach Bob Wylie has become a bit of a viral sensation on “Hard Knocks.” With his comments on WWII stretching and exercise, perfect lineman stance compared to animals and his remarks to players, I'm sure he keeps the producers on their toes. First, do you think the Packers organization would ever agree to be on a show like that and second, if they did who would our viral star be? Someone we wouldn't know already?

Even with Ted Thompson no longer in the GM seat, I still don’t see the Packers raising their hand to do the show. If they did, new defensive run-game coordinator/inside linebackers coach Patrick Graham would be a fun coach to follow. It doesn’t matter where you’re watching practice, you’re going to hear him.

John from Mayville, WI

So I don’t care when Cole Madison comes back but am more interested in how his situation works. Once activated how long do the Packers have to make a decision? And is he allowed to practice with the team so they can gauge whether or not cutting a different player is in the best interest of the team?

Repeating this answer from earlier this month to those who missed it – Gutekunst confirmed there is a PUP-like activation process for players returning from the reserve/did not report list. If Madison returns in-season, he’ll have a window to practice with the team before the Packers would need to place him on the 53-man roster.

Joe from East Moline, IL

Wes, can you tell us who is on your fantasy team, how many teams in the league, and league type? If you're waiting until after the preseason to have your draft, can you save this question and answer it once you've had your draft?

I’ll get back to you after our league draft Sept. 4. Please remind me.

Bucky from Omaha, NE

I don't know how to put this, but Aaron Rodgers, he's kind of a big deal.

People know him. He’s very important and now he can afford many leather-bound books and an apartment that smells of rich mahogany.

David from Florence, AZ

Is Rodgers buying the beer?

I don’t know, but Spoff is passing out the chocolate (Thanks Darren).

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