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Inbox: Packers fans know Aaron Jones' true value

Cecil Isbell remains one of the Hall of Fame’s biggest snubs

Packers RB Aaron Jones

Bob from Fort Collins, CO

The hierarchy of an Insider Inbox submittal: Developed but never submitted. Submitted but not posted. Posted and mixed in among all the others for the day. Posted, mixed in among all the others for the day, and Mike/Wes acknowledge it is a great question. Other submitters reference your question when submitting their question. Posted as the last question of the day. Posted as the first question of the day. A portion of your submittal is suggested for an II T-shirt. Banned. Correct?

I feel like we need a framed-and-matted flowchart to properly recognize this Hall of Fame-worthy submission.

Statham from Pineview, GA

I know II doesn't care for "lists and rankings", but how about the poll of 50 NFL coaches leaving Aaron Jones out of top 10 RBs in the league? There is no more guessing about who the most underrated Packer is anymore (sorry, Z). On a side note, I love how the rankings turned Twitter into Aaron Jones Appreciation Day, as one tweeter called it.

I figured this was coming. You want to know what my instant reaction was: Oh, Aaron Jones was left off some ESPN top 10 running backs list? To quote Aaron Rodgers to John Kuhn last year, "I…don't care, John." Packers fans know Aaron Jones' true value. Not some anonymous scout naming the top 10 running backs on the forefront of his mind before pressing send on the text message.

Kenny from Anaheim, CA

Hi Wes, I'm starting to get the idea you're not fond of list articles. Would list articles make your list of top pet peeves in the Inbox? Care to make a top pet peeves list?

In the right time and place, I have absolutely no problem with it. Like Cliff's lists – they're extremely well-researched and thought out. But a lot of these recent 'Top 10' lists in circulation feel like spaghetti noodles thrown into a cheap chili to keep consumers full during the July dead zone.

Chris from Chillicothe, OH

Wes, in your comment about Lynn Dickey not getting enough recognition you mention Cecil Isbell who also is rarely mentioned or recognized. Why is Isbell not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame or mentioned among Bart Starr, Brett Favre, and Aaron Rodgers as one of the great Packers quarterbacks, despite being All-Pro five consecutive years and winning a title?

Isbell was a Pro Football Hall of Fame talent without what many would consider to be a long enough career. But if he played three more years with Don Hutson, this wouldn't even be a debate. He retired after only five seasons because frankly the job didn't pay enough. It's a travesty he's not in Canton. You can't talk about the evolution of the forward pass without acknowledging what Isbell meant to the Packers in those post-Arnie Herber years. I was over the moon when I saw Isbell's name among the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Centennial Slate finalists this year. And I was equally disappointed when the committee used it to push through a bunch of modern-era players who had been snubbed. That measure should've been used to acknowledge forgotten players like Isbell who played before there was a Pro Football Hall of Fame. Isbell threw 24 touchdown passes in 11 games his final season. Comparatively, two decades later, Starr never threw more than 16 in a 14-game season. The question every Hall of Fame voter should be asking is if that individual changed the game of football. Two of its biggest snubs (Isbell and LeRoy Butler) most certainly did.

Tom from Plymouth, MN

There aren't many headed to the one in Canton, but who, currently with the Packers or not, is worthy of the Packers Hall of Fame?

There obviously are plenty of current candidates but one person I'd like to see be considered is Fritz Shurmur. I know there aren't many coaches/scouts in the Packers Hall of Fame – and certainly I'm not telling them what to do – but he was the architect of some of the best defenses in Packers history. And his 1996 unit is in the conversation for one of the best in NFL history. As a lifelong assistant coach, Shurmur isn't in a Hall of Fame that I know of and I guess that sort of bothers me. I think it would be a deserved honor.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Wes, have you spoken to any players about the possibility of playing with no fans? It seems to me it would take a lot of energy and emotion away from the game.

It's going to be weird. One way or another, it's going to be weird. That's the sentiment I've heard. If there are no fans whatsoever, the NFL, its game-presentation folks and even coaches will need to innovate to produce that type of energy. I'm curious to see what the Jaguars do, specifically. I think Tony Khan has a new standard for TV production with what his All-Elite Wrestling organization has done without fans the last four months.

Tony from Kansas City, MO

I think John Michels counts as obscure. If you asked Cliff to name "X" Packers offensive linemen, how long would it take to get to Michels? 20? 30? 50?

You're probably right. I was thinking being a former first-round pick disqualifies a player from obscurity, but maybe I'm wrong about that. It wouldn't be the first time.

Jerry from Erie, PA

Nice article about Ahman Green and his record 218-yard game and great season. I do have a question, though. What was the 40-yard time of Green? I think he was very fast? Thanks.

Green clocked a 4.44-second time at the NFL Scouting Combine in 1998. That's what I go by.

Scott from Sauk City, WI

Wes, I know that there's no math in II, but I'm a nerd, and I did the math on your last response. 312 posts per year, eh? Did you count them? Because there's 52 weeks in a year, which is only 364 days. Sure, 6 columns per week at 52 weeks is 312. But what about the 365th day? Or even day 366 in 2020?? You guys don't get those days off. How do you know you won't post 313 or even 314 this year? Did you negotiate extra pay for that 366th day in 2020? Give yourself full credit here, man!

And here I was feeling good about myself for the nasty line about three Outsider Inboxes every 365 days. I'll get my agent on it.

Matt from Houston, TX

Not a question, but a comment: Props to Brett for adding the (Iowa) next to Bryan Bulaga in his lifetime Packers team submission. I chuckled.

I'd publish anything Brett writes, but that guaranteed he was making it in.

Christian from Ontario, CA

Should everyone be excited or EXCITED for the once-in-a-lifetime season?

I think I'm more ANXIOUS than EXCITED.

Markus from Aurora, CO

Insiders, there's still plenty of uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season, from the number of regular season games to roster size and beyond. All we can do – besides fretting obsessively – is putting our heads down and plug along, assuming we are still gainfully employed, and let the dice fall as they will. Or else?

Like I said before, just do your small part. Be smart. Be courteous. I'm glad we're getting to the point where masks are becoming more widely accepted. Because it's the most non-partisan issue of this entire debate. We can all get back to arguing with each other once we put our masks on.

Steve from Bloomington, IL

With players from MLB and other sports opting out of their seasons, any idea how teams and the NFL will handle any players who opt out? Is it safe to assume that they would be granted permission or would this be treated like a holdout - potential fines, etc.?

I haven't seen a firm proposal on how the league will handle that yet but I can't see it giving those individuals any grief about it. Each player has to make the best decision for himself and his family, and every situation is different. From a personal standpoint, I'd say create a special exempt list for this year to open up the roster spot.

Craig from Appleton, WI

Pretend salary cap implications did not matter, what one free agent would you have liked to see join the Packers this offseason?

Byron Jones. I fell in love with Jones as a prospect at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine and his skills have translated into being a top-tier cornerback. Cory Littleton is a lot of fun, too. I think he'll be a great addition for the Raiders' defense.

Andrew from Green Bay, WI

What in the world were the Chiefs thinking? A $503 million contract. No one is worth that kind of money. How do you think this will affect the NFL and future players' contracts?

It'll certainly help quarterbacks. Eight years ago, the NFL salary cap was $120 million. This past year, it was $198 million. That's a 60-percent spike in eight years. The cap has been consistently rising $10 million each year. Assuming this COVID-19 storm passes, I have no reason to believe it'll hurt Kansas City's ability to build around Patrick Mahomes over the next decade.

Dan from Morehead City, NC

I see the NFL cancelled the supplemental draft. I had heard there were quite a few players who might have been able to be drafted this year had some potential. What happens to those players, are they free agents?

They enter into the pool of available players for the 2021 NFL Draft next April. It was the right call by the league. It could've gotten really tricky with all this uncertainty looming over college football.

Arthur from Altoona, WI

When some friends, my wife and I took the Lambeau tour a few years ago, the tour guide mentioned that there have been times when the Atrium was rented out for a couple divorce parties. I don't know if he was just pulling our collective legs or not, but I have attended a couple in my younger day, and believe me a divorce was the best choice for those folks.

Yikes. I Googled it and sure enough, they actually exist. I don't know whether to offer my sympathy or congratulations.

Joe from Bloomington, IN

Divorce parties are bachelor parties 10-20 years later.

I'll take your word for it.

Terry from Green Bay

Hi Wes, does your wife read II? Did your interest in divorce parties get you in trouble?

She does not. But if she happens to today…I love you, dear.

Neal from Ft Worth, TX

Wes, I pray you never have to host a divorce party. But if you are ever invited to one, make sure there are no cameras and bring your own root beer. What, not who, do you consider the biggest challenge facing the Packers if they are to make the playoffs in 2020?

Injuries (and also illness, I suppose). The Packers had an ideal 2019 in terms of key players staying healthy. It's hard to fathom Green Bay getting that fortunate again, but this is a really talented football team if its Pro Bowlers and core players can stay on the field. With the way Brian Gutekunst has built this thing, I'd put the upside of the top 10-12 players on this roster up against any team in the NFL. As long as those players stay healthy, I expect the Packers to contend.

Jon from Raleigh, NC

Lighten up Francis, I was complimenting you. Us readers are not entertaining. And gumption is not the word to use there. The better application would have been audacity, gall, or nerve.

A friend of mine challenged me to work gumption into Inbox last week and your submission seemed like the perfect one to waste it on. But given your advanced vernacular, Francis from Green Bay encourages you to partake in next year's Outsider Inbox.

Joshua from Houston, TX

Thank you to Al from Arvada, CO for the partial quote from my favorite Bible verse 2 Corinthians 12:9. It's always good to be reminded to have perspective and who is in control. I'm currently sitting with my best friend/coworker (who is unfortunately a Cowboys fan) preparing to take full control of our company as he has brain surgery for tumors. I'm looking forward to having sports to watch again.

All the best to both of you. Sending positive vibes his way.

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

Is there any other team, in any league, that does a daily write-in blog, that you know of? If there is, they don't do it as well as you guys!

Not in the NFL. I've looked into it. Believe me, I've looked into it. I'm very blessed.

Gregory from Post Lake, WI

Wes, are you really that naive? You theoretically have influence over many young readers. The least you could do would be to educate yourself beyond the national nightly news if you're going to make political statements. You do not speak for me, and comments like you made today are well-intentioned, but misguided. BLM is a political organization. Their concerns are not really about black people. They use them for political gain. You and the team are taking a political stand without knowing it.

Again, for those in the back of the room, let's repeat the strong political statement I made in Friday's Inbox: "I understand this is a hot-button issue that's become highly politicized, but it's my hope fans can keep an open mind and open heart as we continue to tackle these issues as a country. I don't know what the players are going to do this season, so don't ask me, but I challenge you today to listen to their message." You are right, Gregory. I do not speak for you. Nor would I want to.

Richard from Madison, WI

Did Lombardi give a rip about race? Listen to one who would know: "He treats us all the same: like dogs!" —Jerry Kramer.

On the football field, Lombardi only saw players. Off of it, he only saw human beings.

Fran from Green Bay, WI

Why haven't you sent Vic a Packers mask yet? At least, he found a green one.

Because I haven't even been sent one yet.

Asa from Auburn, AL

Have you watched "Hamilton" yet? I feel like there's a good crossover question from the show about the Packers but I guess I'll just wait for it...

You're asking if I've watched "Hamilton" yet? Alexander Hamilton? There's a million things I haven't done. Just you wait, just you wait.

Thomas from Cedar Rapids, IA

My wife is a journalist and has had literally thousands of articles published. Over the years, from Vic to today, I've made II 40 or 50 times but I still make sure she knows. "Hey Babe, I got 'published' today." Each time. I've had back-to-back days, three-in-a-week, and also a week with myself, my brother and son all with a question answered. Getting in II is like Ralphie getting his Little Orphan Annie decoder pen. Honors and benefits already at the age of...well, my age. Thanks for making it fun!

Now, that is pretty freakin' cool. Well, that does it for me. Michael will be back behind the wheel next week. Have a great weekend.