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Inbox: It started in the summer and carried through the season

It’s not easy making the cut

LB Krys Barnes

John-Blogging from His Mom's, Basement

You're right. No awards for the Packers' offseason from me!

It's good to see we got jokes on this beautiful morning.

John from Geneseo, IL

How do I get you to remove my JohnBloggingInHisMomsBasement.com address from the II? My server blew up. I've been evicted from the basement. And worse yet, my neighbor, who is a Bears fan, is now giving me grief! Wes and Spoff, you guys do a fantastic job. And I am impressed everyday with the intelligence of the Packers fans that make the cut and get listed here.

Hey, it's not easy making the cut. And again, my apologies. Hopefully, your mom doesn't change the Wi-Fi password on you again.

Jim from Prairie du Chien, WI

Good morning Wes, great response to Steve from Lake Stevens, WA (I don't care, etc.). I think you may have it in yourself to get an extended contract where you give pregame speeches to fire up the boys.

I have my "Win one for the Biff" speech at the ready.

Michael from Berrien Springs, MI

I read some "pundit" on NFL.com and couldn't believe what he wrote. He actually said that the Packers "lack of depth on the O-line" was exposed in the playoffs! Talk about a jaw-dropper. It seems to be the way of the world now. Just "billboard" any thought with no attachment to facts or accountability. If you say it loud and long enough ("the Packers did not pick a WR and did nothing to help Aaron Rodgers," which only led to his third MVP season), some people will buy in. Sad, don't you think?

Jaw-dropper? More like vein-popper. O-line depth is what got the Packers to that point in the first place. If you're basing your "analysis" and drawing conclusions about how the offense performed without its five-time All-Pro left tackle, maybe you should stop analyzing. At the very least, I hope that individual offered the same criticism of Kansas City, albeit unwarranted.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Hi Wes, it looks like Marcedes Lewis is coming back and I'm glad, do you think TE is not in the works for the draft?

I would think so, but then again, I also thought the Packers were set at running back entering last year's NFL Draft. But Lewis, Robert Tonyan, Dominique Dafney and Jace Sternberger are a very solid group. Matt LaFleur should be pleased with the outlook of that room, especially once Josiah Deguara returns to the lineup.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

I believe if Lewis fulfills his two-year contract, he'll equal Tony Gonzalez for most seasons played by a tight end, correct? Remarkable! A pro's pro, and I'm sure glad he's "Packers people" in every possible way. Would he have a chance to actually pass Gonzalez for greatest number of games played assuming the likelihood of a 17th game?

I believe you're correct about Gonzalez holding the record for tight ends with 17 NFL seasons. As far as games are concerned, Lewis has some catching up to do to match. Gonzalez played in 270 career games, missing just one contest in his career. Lewis will enter the 2021 with 217 regular-season appearances.

Jon from Fargo, ND

The armchair GMs should look at Big Dog's stats, and then study the contract that he just got. This isn't Madden. Being a good football player isn't about number of touchdowns. Happy to see him return.

I loved that it reportedly is a two-year deal, too. If a player wants to last in the NFL, he better be willing to evolve and adapt. Lewis has done just that and is showing no signs of slowing down at 36 years young. Leadership aside, Lewis understands his on-field role at this stage of his career and does it better than almost anyone at the position.

Take a look at photos of Green Bay Packers LB Ty Summers from the 2020 season.

Eddie from La Crosse, WI

I hope Lewis catches the Super Bowl-winning touchdown pass this year. No one deserves it more. That is all.

That's the Hollywood ending everyone is chasing.

Bill from Raleigh, NC

Hi Wes, you mentioned an "NFC North roundtable." When will it air? Is it an nfl.com production? Do you or Mike record them regularly?

The video is now live on Vikings.com. I had a terrific time filming it with Eric, Tori and Larry. Please check it out.

Douglas from Bloomington, IL

What is the date when free-agent signings don't count against compensation picks? And what is preventing teams from telling a free agent, "Here is our offer and if you wait to sign til after that date, we'll throw in an extra million."

Didn't a team get in trouble for that a few years ago? But if the NFL announced a date, I have yet to find it. I think last year was May 5.

Thomas from Madison, WI

I'M SORRY ABOUT YOUR EARDRUMS. THANKFULLY YOU CAN STILL READ ALL THE SUBMISSIONS ABOUT AARON RODGERS' CONTRACT...Given that we are likely to see a shift to three preseason and 17 regular season games, do you expect we'll see even less of the presumptive starters in the preseason? Less chance for injuries and more time to evaluate the rest of the roster? Personally, my favorite part of preseason is rooting for the up-and-comers.

I do. At least, that would be my approach if I operated an NFL team. Obviously you want to keep your veterans healthy and fresh, but those three preseason games are too valuable for the young guys competing for roster spots and rookie draft picks looking to get snaps under their belt.

Elliot from Newport, MN

Hello! Regarding the talking heads, I'm with you. The talking heads actually don't have any idea what is happening behind the closed doors of Green Bay. The same guys that have Aaron Rodgers leaving next year, also had Aaron Jones going to Miami; and look how that turned out. I'll wait for actual news, instead of all this speculation. Thanks for always keeping us grounded and entertained!

This all goes back to my line of being accountable to what you say and write. I'm not going to purposely write something provocative on Tuesday, only to pull the selective amnesia card by the weekend. I'm not trying to fill airtime here and I don't like hearing myself talk. I want to produce meaningful, worthwhile content. What's more, why I should care what someone in New York or LA thinks about the Packers or Rodgers? Well, unless it's Nagler (Hi Aaron). I don't know; maybe that's just the old newspaperman in me. On the same token, does anyone care about my opinion on the Chargers or Jets? No, I cover the Packers. My expertise (whatever that's worth) centers on this football team.

Levi from St. Paul, MN

A reporter named Samson in an article on CBS website made a good point. He stated that with GB not restructuring AR contract, that the plan is to move on to Jordan Love. And he also said the front office knows this and GB fans should be upset. Sure, you can call it click-bait but he did have a good point. And I'm one of those fans that are frustrated on that front. Am I wrong in having some issues with how things are going? It can't all be click-bait. And please don't ignore this issue. Fans are curious.

So this is what it's come to. The finger on the pulse of the Packers is coming from "a reporter named Samson." Do yourself a favor. Read Rob Demovsky, Tom Silverstein, Pete Dougherty, Bill Huber, Jason Wilde, Olivia Reiner, Ryan Wood or Matt Schneidman. Read articles from individuals who cover the team every day and think critically about what you've read to formulate your own opinion. Stop listening to people who tell you how you're supposed to feel.

Collin from Kirkwood, MO

Interested to know more of your thoughts on Love. You mentioned you watched him closely last summer, closer than any other player. Would you be willing to share if you were excited by what you saw? Could you share some candid observations for the fans who have yet to see Love do anything at all? We understand there are personnel professionals, and many of us are not that - but would still love to hear insights from someone who watches this team as closely as you do.

Love looked a lot more comfortable running the third-team offense by the end of training camp. He started allowing his instincts take over during those "young guy" periods and the talent became obvious. There was one deep ball he threw to Darrius Shepherd on what might have been the last day of camp that caught my eye. But it wasn't just Love. Those sessions were vital to his progress and all those young players. Just look at a guy like Krys Barnes. It started in the summer and carried through the season. I'll be curious if LaFleur does more of that, even if the preseason returns.

Take a look at photos of Green Bay Packers DL Kingsley Keke from the 2020 season.

Jeff from Parkville, MO

As an accountant, it has been fascinating to watch Russ Ball work his cap magic. With the signing of Aaron Jones and Lewis, there doesn't seem to be enough cap space to sign the upcoming draft class without restructuring Rodgers, or extending Davante Adams and/or Rodgers as every other move to gain significant cap space has been done. Which of those options do you see as most likely? Also, it will be interesting to watch the 2022 cap as it appears similarly stressed as the 2021 cap. Thanks for all you do!

Patience, my dear accountant. Both of those scenarios are possible but it's not like there's a Friday deadline or anything to have space for rookie contracts. The NFL Draft is still another month away. The Packers will have a plan.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Read a new 11-year TV deal has been signed and the contracts are set to begin in the 2023 season with significantly increased revenue beginning that year. Since the cap is based on the previous year's revenue, does that mean the effect of the new TV money won't show up on the cap until the 2024 season? Thanks Wes.

That's my understanding. So yeah, the Packers likely will have to keep getting creative with how they use their cap space over these next two years.

Chuck from Bloomington, MN

Hey Wes! You're winding down your two-week stint on your own, and I have to say, no disrespect to Spoff, you have done a great job! I wanted to reach out the person, who way back when, said if we restructure all of guys like Billy Turner, Adrian Amos, Preston Smith, Za'Darius Smith etc., we can sign Jones and the rest of guys. I remember the response was somewhat sarcastic or more like, that would be quite a feat. I just want to say it pretty much came to fruition. Kudos to that fan and to the Pack!

Take a bow, whomever you are.

George from North Mankato, MN

Good morning Wes, the NFL has granted you the ability to force each NFC North team to cut one player. Which three players do you choose and why?

Assuming you mean cuts benefiting the Packers…Chicago and Minnesota are simple – it's Khalil Mack and Justin Jefferson (for obvious reasons). They're game-changers. I had to think a little harder about Detroit. Historically, it's Matthew Stafford but now maybe T.J. Hockenson?

Tyler from Calhoun, GA

Which one is easier to figure out - the NFL salary cap or the U.S. tax code?

The salary cap. At the very least, I sorta know how that works.

Sam from Boston, MA

Finally took a look at a mock draft just for fun, and the Ringer had us taking Elijah Moore. Gotta admit, it looks like a pretty sweet fit. Thoughts?

It's a tale as old as time – a very dynamic and explosive playmaker…who's 5-8 and 185 pounds. But maybe Moore could be that slot receiver/motion weapon we were talking about last week? By the way, I immediately got depressed when I saw Moore was a 2000 birth year. Winter is coming.

George from Manassas, VA

Good morning Wes. I'm curious about the comment that Elgton Jenkins is the best at all five positions on the line. Have the Packers seen enough of him at either tackle position to know how well he'd perform long term? If he's really that good at tackle, why would he or the Packers want him to play center?

Because, when healthy, David Bakhtiari and Billy Turner are brilliant tackles. I'm not trying to put Jenkins in the Hall of Fame but how he handled playing tackle in a pinch last year impressed me. He was thrown into the fire and came out unscathed. At the same time, center is an important position in this offense and Jenkins starred there for two years at Mississippi State. So the Packers have a decision to make where they want Jenkins lining up in 2021.

David from Cable, WI

The problem with being a fan is that emotion often rules. We want to reward those that make us feel good and blame those that make us feel bad. I used to try to explain to other fans that teams won and lost together and shared responsibility. Suffice it to say I have learned to keep my mouth shut.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Jay from Land O' Lakes, FL

Wes, I understand your analogy between Kevin King and Nick Perry, but it just isn't the same. Perry was a high-performing player when in the lineup, but always injured. Conversely, King plays nearly all the time but isn't a high-performing player, just by the numbers. Also, he lost a few key games for us. Perry never did. Sorry, nice try!

I don't want to get into a spitting contest over the definitions of "high-performing player" and "playing nearly all the time" but Perry had 12 ½ career sacks in 46 career games when the Packers re-signed him to a one-year deal in 2016.

Mark from Canton, GA

Trying to find some "comfort" with the Kevin King re-signing, can you think of a player who had a rough 3-4 years as King did who it seemed all the fans wanted gone, but was then given a second chance and really lit things up and changed the fans minds? I wanted King gone but obviously hope he himself lights things up with this second chance.

Bart Starr.

Chas from Phoenix, AZ

Wes, Scott from Grovetown, GA, has missed the excellent choice of watching all the NFL games on Game Pass for slightly over $100 a year. It allows you to watch every game played that week and even go back and watch previous games. Thanks for the last two weeks, it has been an honor.

There you have it. I enjoy the functionality of Game Pass, too, when re-watching Packers games.

Matt from Keswick, VA

Good morning Insiders! Julian from Gastonia brought up fan resentment for King, but l'm a believer. Remember when Mason Crosby had such a struggle? McCarthy stuck with him and we've been all smiles ever since. I forget the movie, but the young exec blows a multi-million-dollar deal. He goes to his boss, expecting to get canned. But the boss says "I can't afford to fire you. I've got too much invested in your education." I think King learns and flourishes in the coming years.

Oh, yes. "Baby's Day Out." Good flick.

Paul from LaPorte, IN

Dang Wes, now you're going to fight someone (anyone) over a movie preference. The Marine in me is starting to like your attitude. IRAH.

I make no promises I'd actually win, or even land a punch for that matter, but I'm scrappy.

Nik from Moore, SC

I feel this one is coming, so I'll start. Top 5 sports movies: "Bull Durham" is amazing but "Hoosiers," "Rocky," "Caddyshack," "Tin Cup," "The Natural," "Bad News Bears," "The Sandlot," "For Love of the Game," "Eight Men Out," "Kingpin," "Slapshot," All need to be considered. You know what? You are right....it's "Bull Durham" (but "Slapshot") is a close darn second.

Of those choices, I think it's "Bull Durham," "Kingpin," "Caddyshack," "The Natural," and "Tin Cup."

Gary from Cross Plains, WI

I think you're on to another T-Shirt. Something like "No JohnBloggingInHisMomsBasement.com for me. I'm a loyal II reader!"

That reads like the back of one of those promotional T-shirts you'd get when a radio station would hand out swag at a local farmers market or holiday parade.

Bob from Rome, NY

"My eardrums have ruptured. The antenna is broken. You've lost me and I ask not to be found." I thought I was going to get written up by my building principal laughing out loud! This can be used for almost anything in life! That's a classic and needs to go on a T-shirt! Or maybe another bumper sticker?

Please use as you see fit. Have a great Friday.


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