Vince from Auburn, WA
Welcome back, Wes! Family time is the best. Don't take it for granted because it flies by way too fast.
That was the best part of the time off. There's no better feeling in the world than when your kiddo runs to you with book in hand and wanting you to read it to him.
Etienne from St Joachim de Tourelle, Canada
Good morning, Wes. How's the lunch this week? Filet mignon week?
Ma Hod knows to pack the premium deli items these weeks.
Mike from Baraboo, WI
I can't wait until this beautiful mystery is resolved. How about you?
I much prefer to deal in facts than speculation. So yes.
Andrew from Chicago, IL
For those who reference the cap as a reason we cannot retain Aaron Rodgers and field a competitive team, they should look up the cap hit the Rams took for their QBs just this past season. Which includes Jared Goff, who was paid ($24 million cap hit) to not even be on their roster. At some point, we're going to have to realize that retaining the back-to-back MVP provides the highest probability of making the playoffs and making a run, a statement that should be obvious to anyone and everyone, yet here we are.
To me, this isn't complicated. You want to win a Super Bowl, right? Preferably at the end of the 2022-23 season? Well, I have some news for you…having a two-time defending NFL MVP under center is probably your best shot at glory.
Brian from Maple Grove, MN
I would think Clements isn't coming out of retirement if Rodgers isn't coming back. If he coached him for 10 years and they are friends I would guess Clements or Rodgers are reaching out to one or the other prior to Clements making his decision. What are your thoughts on this?
It certainly doesn't hurt the Packers' chances at retaining Rodgers for an 18th season, but those are all questions that can be answered once QB1 makes his decision. Clements has strong credentials as a developer of quarterbacks. His return made sense on a number of levels.
Michelle from Ringgold, GA
What do you think has to be the No. 1 focus for the Packers next season?
Keeping as many playmakers as they can while balancing the checkbook.
Steven from Silver Spring, MD
There is an assumption that the cap will jump in 2023 due to the new TV contracts. What is the expected order of magnitude on the increase? It seems a lot of players might be willing to do one-year deals for a winning team and then try to turn that into a long-term deal based on the new denominator next year. It seems a player who signs a deal this year under the "old" cap will be feeling left out pretty soon.
I think De'Vondre Campbell is a genius. He did the "prove-it" deal thing with Arizona and it didn't work out. The second time around Campbell took his time, surveyed the landscape and signed with the team that made the most sense for him. Many veterans wouldn't have been willing to do what Campbell did, but I think it'd be wise to follow by his example last summer. There might have been more money out there somewhere for Campbell early on but that investment in Green Bay paid major dividends.
Check out photos of Green Bay Packers G/T Billy Turner during the 2021 season.
Chris from Toronto, Canada
Let's talk OL outlook for '22. I see David Bakhtiari as the all-star anchor at LT. We have a solid and young (a.k.a. inexpensive) interior with Jon Runyan, Josh Myers, and Royce Newman. Let's move Yosh over to RT, and await Elgton Jenkins' return from ACL rehab. That's a pretty darn good picture, and affordable too. That said, if the injuries pile up on us again, we'll need some good depth. What kind of draft-and-develop horses have we got in the OL stable? Will we be forced to look to FAs for depth?
The Packers seemingly have built this inexhaustible reservoir of O-line talent. That's a credit to the players in that room, Adam Stenavich and Luke Butkus, and Brian Gutekunst and his scouts. While Lucas Patrick and Dennis Kelly are unrestricted free agents, Green Bay has a boatload of returning veterans and proven backups. I don't know how it'll all shuffle out but I'm excited to watch those position battles next summer.
Dave from Germantown, TN
Other than hopefully fixing special teams, what do you think the impact (positive or negative) of all the coaching changes will have on the coming season?
I've said it a few times now but I think a healthy turnover on the coaching staff can result in a positive outcome – like pruning a tree. You can't fear change, in the NFL or life. New people, and coaches, bring with them fresh ideas.
Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN
Welcome back, Wes. My question is what do you rank as the all-time greatest play of the Packers? I'm down between two, the Ice Bowl QB sneak, and LeRoy Butler's first-ever Lambeau leap.
As much as I love LeRoy, it's gotta be Bart Starr's sneak. It's in the running for the greatest play in NFL history or at the very least most memorable.
Curt from Algonquin, IL
Do we have the superior claim to Reggie White and Charles Woodson in the Hall of Fame? They both played almost two thirds of their games for different teams, but fully half of their All-Pro/Pro Bowl/Defensive Player of the Year honors came in Packers uniforms, and, most importantly, they both earned their Super Bowl rings as Packers. I don't know about you, but I'd put it to all the Eagles and Raiders fans that their pictures holding the Lombardi Trophy is a closing argument I can't see being beaten.
The fact both the Raiders and Packers claim Woodson is a testament to his greatness. He came into the league with Oakland and finished his career there as an All-Pro safety. Still, his resume in Green Bay was what forged his Hall of Fame bust in my estimation. He had 38 of his 65 career interceptions with the Packers, including nine pick-sixes. He also was the 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and a Super Bowl champion. White's eight seasons in Philadelphia were remarkable, finishing with 124 sacks and 11 forced fumble there. He was named to first-team All-Pro in six straight years and earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1987. He got that elusive Super Bowl ring in Green Bay but his ticket to Canton was punched before he signed here. Whichever way you look at it, I think both players cemented their first-ballot Hall of Fame status in Green Bay.
James from Chicago, IL
I've heard it mentioned when Denver went all-in when they acquired Peyton Manning in 2012. I don't know what Denver's cap situation was while Manning was the QB nor what free agent contract they handed out (other than Manning's), but they didn't give up any high-round draft picks acquiring players to build that Super Bowl team. So, did they really go all-in? A team stumbling because they missed on draft picks is one thing but faltering because you didn't have any picks is completely different.
I don't consider the Broncos signing Manning as going "all-in." They went from Tim Tebow to one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. That doesn't happen every offseason. With Manning's release from Indianapolis, it was a case of perfect timing meeting the right opportunity. It's not like the Broncos had to mortgage their future to acquire Manning. They just signed him.
Ralph from Naples , FL
Mike, I'm sitting here reading II while my wife is shopping. Thank you! Your answer to Robert from Saginaw was an all-timer. I'm 78 and if I'm still reading this then, I did something right! I have to run. They just asked me for my credit card.
Amen, Ralph. Man, I'll only be 43 in 2031. It's going to be a looooooooong final 12 years for me if an 18-game season is someday approved.
Colin from Appleton, WI
Will the Packers franchise tag '17?'
The tag window opens today and runs through March 8. Brian Gutekunst also is scheduled to address the media Wednesday. I'm sure the topic of Adams will come up.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
You are allowed to change the outcome of three plays in Packers history. Which plays do you change and how do you think it would change the outcome of the game/season?
Morgan Burnett doesn't slide, the Packers max protect on the Seattle's fake field goal and the front line blocks for Jordy on the onside kick. Any of those three things happening probably changes the outcome of the 2014 season.
Dan from Rothschild, WI
With all the Dans in the Inbox yesterday, I felt left out.
Welcome to the Dan party.
Jim from Luxemburg, WI
Hey Wes, can you imagine if you were covering the MLB and you were facing the harsh reality of possibly losing the entire season? What would you think or do? I'm not sure if we really got close to losing time before the 2011 season in the NFL.
I'd rather not think about that. I have friends who lost their jobs in MLB and NBA during the lockdown. Fortunately, it didn't come to that here. I'm grateful for my employer for keeping the paychecks coming. My heart goes out to hard-working digital professionals in MLB. Hopefully, they find a resolution.
Mike from Algoma, WI
The Marshall Mathers LP? Do you mean on vinyl? Sneaking it in the house? Wow! Who knew young Weston was the edgy, bad boy type?
I had the edited version until my friend gave me an explicit copy my sophomore year of high school. I really felt like a big shot then.
Jack from Black Mountain, NC
Everyone has seen the ugly scene after the conclusion of the Wisconsin/Michigan game. Football is a more aggressive/violent game than basketball. How do coaches keep intensity and aggressive play from boiling over into angry inappropriate behaviors?
Leading by example. You are what you emphasize and you are how you coach. Set the standard and hold your players accountable. Mike McCarthy and Matt LaFleur were both exceptional in that way.
Stu from Shawano, WI
Greetings Wes, and thanks for all you do. Now that it's the offseason, here's a multi-sport question I have been wanting to ask for a while (may take some time and research to answer if you choose). Why is it that some sports that use a "ball" have "ball" in its name (e.g. football, baseball, basketball, racquetball), while others that use a "ball" do not (e.g., golf, tennis, soccer, bowling)?
I don't know the answer to that, but I'm fully on board with referring to a round of golf as "a round of golfball" moving forward.
Mike from Fort Wayne, IN
Wes, how would Mike and you handle a drama-free offseason? The drama at least adds some spice, suspense and heft to the first leg of the new season. At least you both have that going for you…which is nice.
I'm not in the mood for drama tonight, Jason…I mean, Mike. OK? I appreciate that.