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Inbox: Perhaps that's what comes next

Draft picks have value, and the Packers are always looking to keep their own

Touchdown Celebration
Touchdown Celebration

Michael from Baraboo, WI

Any predictions of any upcoming FA signings?

Not a single one.

Scott from Lake Greenwood, SC

I'm Green and Gold through and through, but the idea of watching Jordan Love vs. Caleb Williams twice a year for decade has me dreaming of a Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady rivalry. Lots of dominoes have to fall, but a man can dream.

As a storyteller, I can tell you there's nothing better than a good division rivalry. I'd love nothing more than if the NFC ran through the North for the next decade. Williams will soon have the weight of Chicago on his shoulders, but he appears to have the temperament to handle it. Meanwhile, the Packers have their guy in Love. Let the games begin.

Phillip from Wonder Lake, IL

Hopefully, after the draft choices and free agency, the Packers will be in better shape than last year?

They're getting there. Green Bay still has some work to do with the cap, but the front office has significantly more breathing room than it did a year ago at this time, and Brian Gutekunst is putting that increased liquidity to use. He's already filled some gaps on the roster through free agency with 11 more swings at the plate in the draft later this month.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Imagine, if you will, a 2024 season in which Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes are healthy all season. Add in Xavier McKinney and it feels like the back end of the defense could be special. What other ingredients are needed for this defense to be a top-five unit?

Everything starts with a healthy Alexander, who I feel is the best cornerback in the game when healthy. Last year was a tough deal for everyone. I think there were a few misunderstandings, but Alexander was at his best when this team needed him most. So, I don't worry about that "off-the-field" piece entering 2024. I just hope he can stay healthy and be the shutdown cornerback we all know Alexander is capable of being. Beyond that, the Packers have to figure out the linebacker situation and how everything fits up front. The ingredients are there, especially with McKinney on board. Let's see what Chef Hafley cooks up.

Scott from Sauk City, WI

As it pertains to an 18-game regular season, at some point, the product just starts to become diluted, doesn't it? How many Week 17 games have affected playoff seeding or playoff-bound teams? Did the 2023-24 Packers benefit from Week 17? Absolutely! But for teams out of playoff contention by December, do those guys really want to put their body on the line for another week? I'm curious what the players think about it. I'm sure you got to ask them when we went to 17, I just don't recall.

I was strongly opposed to the 17-game regular season, so you can imagine my feelings on an 18-game slate. Now, what I will concede is the 14-team playoff has given greater meaning to the final weeks of the season. I believe only 12 teams were eliminated from the playoffs entering the final week of the 2023 season. What's more, there were only two games between teams with nothing to play for in Week 18. How would an 18th game affect that? I'm not sure. But it would be another week on an already grueling season for players.

Matt from Fitchburg, WI

Do you foresee a second bye for an 18-week season? I feel like if I was a player, that may help the sting of an extra game somewhat.

No. It can't and won't happen unless either the world adds a 53rd week or the NFL gets rid of the preseason entirely. In theory, everyone loves to talk about extra games and bye weeks, but the calendar year isn't getting any longer. An extra bye would only cut into an already shrinking offseason for players. To me, the only thing worse than an 18-game regular season is a 20-week regular season.

Jim from Westland, MI

With an 18-game season on the distant horizon and lessons learned last season by rotation on the offensive line, the seasons will have evolved to not only the teams that get hot in December, but also game-ready jars rotating throughout the season. Mantra being, our best nine will be ready. Tall order with a salary cap.

That's the other piece to this equation and maybe one of the conditions for an 18-game regular season will be more active roster spots? But those are questions for another day. We're still only in the infancy of the 17-game format.

Keith from Springfield, MO

Is there a conflict between NFL player safety and NFL profits by playing on Wednesday, 2024 Christmas Day? It seems to me that a team playing on Saturday prior to this next Christmas would only have two days off and then travel on Tuesday before gameday on Christmas Wednesday. I understand that the players will have much time off after this game. I am sure the TV and ticket revenue will be great as the NFL has taken the lead in sports interest in the USA.

Christmas Day is a winner. It's proven to be a massive ratings draw and the NFL doesn't want to let that go for obvious reasons. The four-day turnaround is a reality in today's NFL and not going away anytime soon.

Mark from Bettendorf, IA

The new kicker played in a dome. Any concerns how he will perform outdoors?

I don't think it'll be an issue. Greg Joseph is 29 and has played more games outdoors (33) than in a dome (30), converting 44 of 54 (81.5%) on those field-goal attempts. What's more, he's made 34 of 39 in months of December and January (87.2%).

Paul from West Allis, WI

Hello Insiders. Much discussion about the new kickoff, my question would be about the current kickers. Do we keep three, or let one go before camp, and who currently is the better placement kicker, or will that actually need camp/preseason games to shake out?

I offer no predictions other than the situation will resolve itself in due time. The Packers have 20 open spots on their 90-man offseason roster at the moment, so there's no reason to rush. The real decision comes when Green Bay is signing college free agents after the draft.

Bruce from Jackson, WI

Regarding the new rule you must have two KO returners back, what would prevent the Packers from placing one of the special-teamers back with Keisean Nixon to pick off that first coverage man to approach? I could see him using a hand signal behind his back like a tennis player or volleyball player directing Nixon which way he is going to block the defender. Maybe we could create our own special play ala the "Tush push."

I don't know enough about the rule to understand what the returners in the landing zone are permitted to do, but what you outline seems like the most logical thing to me – no different than when Malik Heath, Patrick Taylor or Jonathan Owens was back in what used to be called "the posse" with Nixon last year.

Yotam from Atlit, Israel

So, the UFL is using 4K cameras and fancy new technology to measure for first downs. Any chance the NFL will adopt it next year, or will Mike's face keep getting bluer each season?

The list only grows longer of the changes the NFL has implemented that originated in the spring leagues. Perhaps that's what comes next.

Naomi from La Vista, NE

How will not having Aaron Jones affect the team next season?

That depends on how strong the Josh Jacobs effect is on this year's team.

Ray from Phoenix, AZ

I cannot see where 11 draft picks will make the 53-man roster, so I'm thinking Gutekunst will make a move up to get either the best O-lineman or cornerback. That pick would then be a Day 1 starter. Any merit to my thinking or do you think Gute will stand pat at No. 25 pick?

*Gutekunst has never been afraid to pick up the phone. He's traded back, traded up and stood pat in the first round. As far as the 11 picks are concerned, that's how many rookie selections have made Green Bay's initial 53-man roster during each of the past two years. Draft picks have value, and the Packers are always looking to keep their own. *

David from Janesville, WI

While I hope Anders Carlson rises to the challenge and becomes a great kicker for the Packers, Gutekunst is going to make him earn it with two more kickers already brought in to vie for the job. It seems kickers can be difficult to get right, but then I see a couple guys in the UFL make it look easy (including a 65 yarder!). Is it a case where you can find a lot of big legs, but the consistency is the difficult part?

Pressure makes diamonds, right? There are a lot of guys out there with NFL-caliber legs, but can you put it between the uprights at an 85-90% clip? That's where the elite kickers separate themselves from the pack.

Randy from Raymond, IA

I see that most NFL "experts" have Bo Melton's brother, Max, in the top 10 prospects at CB and top 60-75 overall in this year's draft. Do you think having Bo on the team would have any effect on GB picking Max over another player at the same position that graded out about the same? Has GB ever had brothers on the same team? I appreciate your daily column.

Bo and Max are both high-quality people, so I'm sure that would be part of the Packers' analysis. Ultimately, it comes down to what's on that board and how Green Bay's brass values the player. It wouldn't be unprecedented for the Packers to have brothers on their roster. They had Jeremy and Ollie Thompson as recently as the late-2000s.

John from Livermore, CA

I'm curious, put aside the cap space, costs, and other pressures. Over the last 10 years, which players that Green Bay has moved on from would you want back on the team, if other factors like this are removed?

Do you mean in 2024 or just speaking generally? If we're talking about departing players that would've benefitted the Packers the most at the time, my list starts with Jared Cook, Micah Hyde and Julius Peppers.

Jaimito from Guadalajara, Mexico

How many kickers are too many? How could we add Jake Bates to the mix?

*According to national reports, several NFL teams have already inquired about Bates after his game-winning 64-yard-field goal last weekend for the Michigan Panthers. *

Jon from Leeds, UK

Hi II, a lot of people are wondering if Love will follow in the footsteps of Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers in being a Hall of Famer, but another question springs to my mind: Do you think Love will follow Favre and Rodgers with film/TV cameos? Any suggestions for ideal cameo situations?

Sure. Why not? Isn't acting a rite of passage for Packers franchise quarterbacks?

Ryan from Sun Prairie, WI

If my research is correct, the farthest point from GB within the state of Wisconsin is Superior. Have you received a question from there?

Oh sure…and I love Superior. That's a beautiful part of Wisconsin.

Steven from Green Bay, WI

Is six feet away (without being in a writer's cube/office) the record for closest Insider Inbox submission?

We have a winner.

Michael from Texas, TX

Do the Insiders have any vacation plans before training camp begins this summer?

I got to spend 24 hours at Disney World with my family after the NFL Annual Meeting…does that count?

Ed from Windsor, CO

Is it too soon to ask what you will be doing on April 25?

Celebrating eight years with the Packers in the most Packers way possible.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

Hamish just dropped a "Dog's Breakfast" on us! So, we got that going for us...

You learn something new every day. Have a great Tuesday.

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