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Inbox: Nothing ever comes across as too wild

It just means the game is the game

Fans at Lambeau Field

Brooks from Moore, OK

Mike, since there is a lot of angst about not signing an outside free agent, how about an April 1 column that lets the rumors fly?

I think we have to keep it rather straightforward with this crowd, or it just creates more work.

Bill from Janesville, WI

I see Peter King has projected that the NFC will be playing at the AFC this season for the 17th game. Has the reasoning behind why the AFC is the home team in the first season been shared? I would like to have seen the NFC home first based on the fact that the NFC won the Super Bowl this past season.

For all I know it was just a coin flip. They had to start somewhere.

Wes from Warner Robins, GA

What are we doing about our secondary defense and WR?

I would suspect targeting certain players in the draft.

Tyler from Green Bay, WI

Wes's Sweet Sixteen wasn't as egregious as Bill Walton's Final Four. Two teams from the same region and a total of five.

I'm sure that makes him feel better.

Richard from Madison, WI

Levi from St. Paul, MN, writes about "how happy I am that GB would never mortgage their future on a chance at a good QB." Would you guess that Levi is probably too young to have encountered the name John Hadl, or is it that, given he's from Vikingland, nobody in his vicinity ever wants to bring up anything whatever that reminds them of Herschel Walker?

It's safe to say 1970s Packers management and 1980s Vikings management don't resemble how the teams operate today. But speaking of draft trades for QBs, one thing I've always wondered about Wolf's 1992 trade for Favre is whether he had another plan to get him had he not been handed that extra first-rounder when he took over. Wolf had the No. 5 and 17 overall picks in '92, the latter from a '91 draft-day trade by the previous regime with Philly. I can't imagine he was going to give up a top-five pick for Favre. He didn't need a Plan B so maybe he never devised one, but count me curious.

Matt from De Pere, WI

"Be sure to simultaneously provide the definition." Well played, Mike. Well played.

I didn't think that was too bad for the first day back.

Take a look at photos of Green Bay Packers LB Rashan Gary from the 2020 season.

John from Philadelphia, PA

I often use the Falcons' trade up for Julio Jones as a cautionary tale, not proof of concept.

I certainly believe the end result is more the exception than the rule, but those bold moves do work out on occasion.

John from Belleview, FL

I don't get all the accolades heaped on Julio Jones by everyone in the media. He has caught 10 TDs or more in one of 10 seasons played. Davante Adams has caught 10 or more in four of seven seasons. In 10 seasons Jones caught 60 TDs. Adams has caught 66 in only seven seasons. Catch percentage for Jones is 64.2% and for Adams is 64.8%. So why is Jones worth so much more? I don't get it.

C'mon, man. Hey, I take nothing away from Adams, but if you're only going by TD catches, you're missing most of the story. From 2014-19, Jones averaged 1,565 yards per season (more than Adams has ever had in a single year), led the league in receiving yards twice and receptions once, and was named All-Pro five times (two first-team, three second-team). And despite the dearth in regular-season TDs, he has six in eight career playoff games. I think Adams is on his way to a HOF career, but Jones is already there.

Jack from Racine, WI

Did Tim Boyle complete any regular-season passes as a member of the Packers during his career?

Yes, he was officially 3-of-4 for 15 yards in 2019. He did not attempt any passes in 2020.

Ed from Minneapolis, MN

Do you think the Pack will have three QBs entering camp? And do you think a "prove-it" vet, a draft pick, or a UFA is the most likely source?

I'd surmise a late-round draft choice or undrafted QB will be the No. 3 in camp.

Aaron from Scottsdale, AZ

Winning in the NFL is hard. Even with a HOF QB, it is an oversimplification to say the team wins only because of said QB. Football, among most sports, is the ultimate team game when it comes to W's and L's. That said, GB has the third-best winning percentage in the league since 2000. 10 total teams have won a SB in the last 21 years with only five winning more than one: NE, Pitt, Balt, NY, and TB, and only NE winning more than two. I think I'll trust the track record. The answer is "sane expectations." #"AllIn"Is4Suckers

I'm not going to relitigate the all-in nonsense again, and I'm not trying to troll the fan base or bring back recurring nightmares. But I'd defy anyone to find another NFL team that has suffered more gut-wrenching postseason heartbreak this century than Green Bay. In the McCarthy era alone, five times a playoff run ended with a "walk-off" loss, on the final play of the game. Twice on the doorstep of the Super Bowl. Last January's loss wasn't technically another walk-off defeat, but it was clearly a game that could have gone either way. Winning only a single championship in that time doesn't mean the approach is wrong. It just means the game is the game.

Jeff from Brooklyn, WI

Welcome back Mike, with the re-signing of Kevin King does Brian Gutekunst have more freedom to take BPA on either side of the ball, or does he still need to address the corner position?

I'm sure the future of the corner position is very much on his radar, and he will work the board to address it. But with the top three back from last season, he can still target value and not be forced to reach.

James from Milwaukee, WI

While watching the 2011 season on Game Pass I was struck with this question: Has any other player ever had similar totals of tackles and sacks to go along with B.J. Raji's running touchdown and pick-six?

If I recall, the Packers tried to complete a TD pass to Julius Peppers in 2014 but failed. He would be the closest approximation off the top of my head.

Patrick from Gulf Breeze, FL

I think offensive line should be a priority come draft time. That being said, Jon Runyan has shown he can be a quality piece if he keeps improving, but I'm really excited to see what a healthy Simon Stepaniak can bring to the table. Correct me if I'm wrong, but he fell in the draft because of his injury correct? Where would he have gone if healthy?

That's always a hard question to answer, and I did ask it of Stepaniak's position coach at Indiana when I talked to him last spring. He couldn't say for sure, but he thought a round or two higher.

Mark from Sturgeon Bay, WI

Since GB is just under the cap, what would happen if they agreed to terms with a FA who would put them over the cap? Can they sign the player but not submit to the league until they make the necessary cap adjustments? If not, would a player agree to "hold" on the contract for a predetermined amount of time so the team can make the adjustment(s) needed?

Good relationships can foster helpful agreements, but having all the ducks in a row and putting everything into place very quickly would be required.

Barry from De Pere, WI

Re: the all-time Packers-who-share-their-last-name-with-a-president list, besides Washington, let's give some love to Mike Arthur, Len Ford, Roger Harding, Anthony Harrison, four named Hayes, Henry Monroe, and seven (!) Wilsons. (Yeah, I was bored enough to look).

I figured someone would be.

James from Santa Maria, CA

Regarding best Packers players with presidential names, a replacement player from the strike season was mentioned, so my question is have any players continued in the league after being a replacement player and if yes, who were the best? Any HOF player?

No, but Oilers LB Eugene Seale stuck around from the '87 strike until '92 and was a Pro Football Weekly All-Pro selection on special teams in '88. The best replacement player story, though, belongs to Sean Payton. He played QB for the Chicago "Spare Bears" in '87, attempting 23 passes. He had almost as many sacks (seven) as completions (eight), and he threw one interception. Against the Saints.

David from Ringwood, NY

I enjoy "Packers Unscripted" very much. Have you decided to no longer do the podcast?

Thanks for listening. We'll be starting up again sometime in April, prior to the draft. We just haven't finalized the re-launch date.

Douglas from Bloomington, IL

I keep hearing draft prospects as having good "twitch." How would you define twitch?

Instantaneous reactions that translate into mini bursts of energy?

Corey from Richland, WA

Mike, going into this offseason how much did you think the roster would resemble what it does today with losing only two significant players in Corey Linsley and Jamaal Williams?

I expected the cap circumstances to force the loss of a starter or two on defense.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Mike. Have you ever written about the similarities between NCAA basketball bracketology and NFL mock drafts? No matter how much time and effort you put into researching the endless possibilities, after the first day you're huddled around the dumpster fire just hoping to enjoy the rest of the process. Welcome back!

I read that you have better odds of hitting four holes-in-one in a single round of golf than picking a perfect NCAA bracket. I would rank a perfect first round mock draft slightly easier than both. More like three aces in one round.

Al from Green Bay, WI

The Packers are disadvantaged on draft day in that they will be picking near the end of every round. However, the compensatory picks help to level the playing field. Would you rather have the Packers' current draft position plus the three compensatory picks or only the natural seven picks, but selecting in the middle of each round?

My instinct said the latter, and the draft chart proved me right. The chart says the Packers' current 10-pick draft capital is worth 1,175 points. The 15th pick in each of the seven rounds would be worth a total of 1,766. It's not close, really. It simply comes down to having two picks in the top 50 immensely increases the odds of acquiring a premier player.

Jeff from Milwaukee, WI

What's the most impactful move the Packers have made so far in the offseason?

There's no question it's re-signing Aaron Jones. Losing him would have made it much, much harder than it already will be for the league's top offense to stay there.

Joe from Swansea, IL

Which player made you feel the biggest when standing next to them?

Morgan Burnett. One time at a liquor store I was shopping for beer (naturally) and spotted him in the wine section. He looked almost lost, and when we made eye contact he said, "I'm in trouble with the wife." We both laughed. Congrats to a great guy on a great career.

Check out photos of recently retired Green Bay Packers S Morgan Burnett.

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

Hey Mike, welcome back. Please pass onto Rod from Chugiak the next time he is in Lincoln City to look for Packers helmets in treetops. My boys each put one up in two different trees and I gave a power company guy a pack of smoked salmon to put a third one up while he was trimming branches from a bucket truck. What's the wildest thing a neighbor of yours has done to show he bleeds green and gold?

When you live in the heart of Packer Nation, nothing ever comes across as too wild. Your loyalty is not to be questioned, but your wisdom in parting with smoked salmon might be. Though I suppose out there that's the equivalent of me giving someone here a package of brats.

Jake from Athens, GA

Good to have you back, Mike. And thank you for posting Rod from Chugiak's submission. Matching, monogrammed T-shirts should be just enough to finally push us all over the precipice of fandom into the beautiful abyss of culthood. However, once we make that leap, you're going to have to cut out the "I don't get too hung up on it either way" business. There's no place for that kind of even-headedness where we're going.

Duly noted.

Larry from Carney, MI

Can a person's legacy be determined in a single event or is it always much more? What is your legacy? Has your event happened yet that defines your legacy?

Well, I heard some people talkin' just the other day, and they said you were gonna put me on a shelf. But let me tell you I got some news for you, and you'll soon find out it's true, and then you'll have to eat your lunch all by yourself.

Eddie from La Crosse, WI

Many happy returns! Spring is here again, the Suez Canal is back in business, and Mike Spofford is rested and reloaded. He's ready to lay waste to any and all armchair general managers who didn't learn the first time. Life is good. :-)

And Opening Day is only 48 hours away. Happy Tuesday.