Sal from Hailey, ID
Anyone else feeling like Alex Trebek was formative in 12's developing personality? I feel like I'm seeing him hit 87 in stride, just in a different format. I could get used to this in the offseason.
We shall see. He's making it look and sound easy, which I'm sure it's not.
Nic from London, UK
Which current Packers player would you recruit to your pub quiz team?
Bill from Wilmington, DE
Hi Mike, there are still some quality FAs out there that shouldn't have a high price tag. Do you think BG may still be interested or is it all about the draft at this point?
I wouldn't say he's closed the door on anything or anybody, but he'd have to be confident at this stage any signings would be two things: 1) definite upgrades over what he already has on the roster, because of the guaranteed money they'd ask for, and 2) better than what he believes is available in the draft, because even at lower price tags than earlier free agents they'd still be more expensive than draft picks.
Randy from Westminster, CO
Though we know no one bats 100% when drafting, most football pundits and fans enjoy pointing out the misses. In your mind what type of batting percentage does a GM need to be considered successful? Is it 50% percent or better? Or is hitting on the first three rounds consistently more important to be considered a solid GM?
This is not scientific, but I've always felt if a draft produces three players who develop into solid starters by the end of their rookie contracts, it's considered successful. If one of those three becomes a Pro Bowler, that takes it up a notch.
Matthias from San Antonio, TX
The skill talent for the 2021 draft has plenty of speed available going down to the late rounds. What isn't deeply available is elite big-man talent on the offensive line, interior defensive line, and cornerback. Of the three positions mentioned, which is most reasonable in the first 100 picks for Green Bay? Two of three?
Probably. For all three to fall right picking at 29, 62 and 92 would be rather fortunate.
Jacob from West Allis, WI
You are the GM of the Packers and are on the clock to make your first draft pick. The player you choose will end up starting and be ranked in the top five of his respective position for the next 10 years. What position would you choose to draft?
I'd want it to be one of four premier spots – passer, pass rusher, pass protector (offensive tackle) or pass defender (cornerback). There's no overstating how valuable it is to find long-term answers at those positions.
Take a look at photos of Green Bay Packers G Jon Runyan from his rookie season.
Sawyer from Simpsonville, SC
Wes's answer got me thinking: Is the league going to decide which home game the Packers give up in their ninth home game season to play overseas, or does Green Bay have some say? For example, let's say the NFC is hosting first instead of the AFC, and the Chiefs were coming to Lambeau. I'd imagine the Packers would rather keep that one stateside and give up the WFT home game to go overseas. Or if the NFL was picking, they might want Packers and Bears or Vikings moved because of the rivalry.
Great question, and one I suggest you submit for next month's Murphy Takes 5. I really don't know if teams are going to be able to protect specific home games with the new schedule and international rotation, or if the league will be deciding as it sees fit.
Greg from Dublin, PA
With all the talk of international games, I had a question that I haven't been able to find an answer for anywhere else. How does the revenue for the international games get split? Does the "home" team get the profit from the ticket sales? Do they get split between teams? Does the host stadium keep everything?
Again, another one to toss Mark's way. Previously, I believe teams that gave up a home game were provided a stipend from the league based on expected/normal revenue. The visiting team was given the customary gate slice it would have received, and the rest all went to the league, which covered stadium and operational expenses (though I'm not sure about travel). With the new rotation involving ninth home games, I don't know if the financial structure is changing.
Bob from Melbourne, VIC
The greatest merit in Fariborz from Flower Mount's suggestion for equally ranked 17th-game matchups is that it would guarantee a Super Bowl rematch each and every year. Who wouldn't want that?
That was my first thought, too. Regarding the concerns expressed by several readers about duplicating an AFC-NFC matchup that's already slated to take place, I think some leeway could be created to help avoid that. Figuring out matchups based on pods of four teams, for example – seeds 1-4, 5-8, etc. – would allow some flexibility, if necessary. But the ship already has sailed on the format.
Craig from Chicago, IL
What are the ways to determine the intangible assets that make a good player a great player?
If there were a definitive method, everyone would use it. Interviews with the player and with people who know the player best are common parts of the process. Scouts also have instincts, which aren't infallible, but they get a sense as they get familiar with a player. No one ever knows for sure.
Jeff from Eveleth, MN
Regarding the draft, when all is said and done, more will be said than done.
Brian from Rochester, NY
To piggyback on the Allen Lazard comment, I do agree there is more to see in his game. I believe there is another level. To clarify, I see outside analysts and mock draft "experts" viewing him as a solid player that has reached his ceiling. That's why I love following you guys and listening to what you have to say. You always have the pulse of the team.
Guys go undrafted (or are drafted late) often because they're perceived as having athletic limitations, and those limitations will supposedly only take them so far. I'm sure plenty of analysts thought a seventh-round pick in 1999 had topped out with 37 catches, 520 yards and three TDs to his name after three seasons. We all know how Donald Driver's career turned out. I'm not predicting Lazard is the next Driver. I just see no reason to declare his "ceiling" right now. What I do know is this – through three games last year before getting hurt, Lazard had 13 catches for 254 yards and two TDs. Three games is admittedly a small sample, but multiply by five to project that over (roughly) a full season, and you get 65-1,270-10. Is Lazard capable of that? Do the Packers need more competition at receiver and to be thinking about the future of the position? Both answers can be yes.
Take a look at photos of Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins from his Pro Bowl season.
Malcolm from Fennimore, WI
So if I understand voidable contract years correctly, let's say a player has a $5M bonus but only a one-year contract and four voidable years. That would mean he is paid $1M bonus this year. Then the remaining $4M bonus all comes due next year when his contract voids?
Not exactly. He's paid the entire bonus when he signs, but only $1M of it counts on the cap the first year. The rest must count on the cap when the contract voids, but depending on how the team wants to handle the timing of the void, it could have just $1M of bonus proration count in Year 2 and the remaining $3M count in Year 3.
Matt from Waterloo, IA
Dear Mike/Wes, love your column and have been reading it daily for years. With Tim Boyle being signed by the Lions do you see the Packers bringing in a veteran this year to compete with Jordan Love for the backup spot? Someone along the lines of a Brian Hoyer or even bringing back Brett Hundley?
No. Love will be the No. 2 this year. I expect a late-round draft pick or UDFA to be brought in as a No. 3 developmental prospect.
Packer 1919 from Cedar Rapids, IA
Am I the only one who is not excited about an overseas "home" game for the Packers? Is this "taking one for the team," where it expands the reach, interest and popularity of the NFL? But won't the local economy take a huge hit by having one less home game? Plus, I'm like you, I would love EVERY single game at noon on Sundays!
You're not alone. There are plenty of fans/readers who would rather not see the Packers travel overseas. But on its face it's rather absurd a storied franchise like Green Bay is the only one to not have played an international game to date. Mark Murphy has been steadfast in refusing to give up a home game to "take one for the team" as you say. The only way it happens now is if the local economy is already getting the usual eight regular-season games, which seems fair to me. As for the noon games, I hope my comment from last week about night games was not misconstrued. We all know what it means when every game is at noon and your team is never in the national spotlight. I would just rather not have the league increase the night-game maximum (it can already be exceeded with flex scheduling anyway) because they really are the toughest to handle from a work standpoint over the long haul. The Packers are in prime time plenty already, as far as I'm concerned. That's all I meant.
Andy from Lancaster, PA
Good morning II! If you have multiple prospects, at the same position, graded very similarly when it's your turn to draft, what do you do? Do you trade back a few spots and just take whoever is left when it's your turn again? Or is there some sort of tiebreaker, like a player's character or background, that might make you pick one from the group?
Either the grades are close enough and you'd be happy with any of the players in the cluster, which means you trade back if you can, or they're not and you won't be. It's one or the other. If you want to trade back and can't find a partner, then you split hairs.
Steven from Silver Spring, MD
SF gave up three first-round picks to move up to the third pick in this draft. With the Sam Darnold trade it would stand to reason that SF will be getting the third QB available in the draft. Does that seem high from a historical perspective? For as coveted as QBs are I still don't recall a draft ever going three QBs in a row.
It's happened twice. In 1999, the first three picks in the draft were Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb and Akili Smith. In 1971, it went Jim Plunkett, Archie Manning and Dan Pastorini. Here's a bit of trivia Packers fans will appreciate. The fourth QB taken in the '71 draft? Lynn Dickey, in the third round, by the Oilers, who had already used the No. 3 overall pick on Pastorini.
George from North Mankato, MN
Although it would have likely meant the perfect season was lost, how much do you think playing Baylor in December could have helped the Zags?
It wouldn't have hurt, but it also would've cut both ways. I think getting to cruise to victory in the semifinal on Saturday night like Baylor did would have helped Gonzaga more. Baylor is a great team and probably the better team regardless, but I think UCLA had a lot to do with how those first 10 minutes went Monday night.
Mark from Byron, IL
Maybe one day this week more than half the questions presented can be about the Green Bay Packers and not about stealing lunches, Brewers hitting woes, or what would you do if you had a crystal ball! I understand this is the "offseason," but REALLY? It is beginning to be tough to read.
More than 2,000 words a day, six days a week, equals more than 624,000 words in this column alone in a given year. If channeling a few thousand toward diversionary entertainment is not to your liking, you're entitled to a refund.
Don from Swaledale, IA
Hey Mike, do the Brewers need hats for bats?
Jobu might have shown up last night. I hope he sticks around this afternoon. Happy Wednesday.