Robert from Aiken, SC
Wes, to clarify, baloney is what stops just prior to kickoff, Week 1. Bologna is for "sammiches."
Good thing I'm still working from home. Also good to be back. I'm glad neither the world, nor packers.com, fell apart during my extended absence. Not that I worried about the latter with Wes having the conn.
Shilo from Murietta, CA
Welcome back Mike! Just to catch you up, the Buccaneers re-signed all of their players from last year, and everybody is happy. The Packers also re-signed most of their players from last year, but everybody thinks we're crazy. Have a great week!
Appreciate the update. As Dan from Toledo chimed in, last year the Packers were supposed to spend the entire offseason figuring out how to get past the 49ers, and thankfully they didn't listen to that noise either.
Perry from Ishpeming, MI
Happy Monday Insiders! No question, just a shout-out. I started watching the Packers in 1983 at 11 years old and started collecting cards around the same time. I came across a Paul Coffman card around then and found that we share a birthday of today March 29! Happy 65th to Paul, one of my favorite Packers of all time! I read today that today are is also the birthdays of Emlen Tunnell, Ron Cox, Perry Smith and Mike Wahle. Oh, and my daughter shares a birthday with Aaron Rodgers, which is cool.
John from Livermore, CA
With a late first-round draft pick, where would you place the priority position for this pick?
With the Packers' long-term needs at corner and on both the offensive and defensive lines, there's no reason to prioritize one position for the first-round pick. Gutekunst will watch, and trust, his board.
Jeff from Muskego, WI
Will the players' union agree to a 17-game schedule?
It already has. It's just a question of when the owners want to implement it, and it sounds like this week it'll be made official for 2021.
Julian from Gastonia, NC
I assume that with a 17th game, all the players will receive an extra 1/17 of their pay for that 17th game. Won't that increase their contracts by 1/17th and won't the NFL have to increase the salary cap by the commensurate amount?
Nope. During this transition to the 17th game, the players are playing for less money on a per-game basis, but the idea is the 17th game will grow revenue over the long haul and their salaries will eventually reflect that.
Bill from Brooklyn Park, MN
The question in Friday's II begged the following: Who is on your best all-time Packers-who-share-their-last-name-with-a-president list? Some who come to mind: Davante Adams, John Jefferson, Jim Taylor, Ryan Grant, Ezra Johnson, Jim Carter, Jerrett Bush, Keith Jackson, Ha Ha Clinton(-Dix) … who am I missing?
Chuck Washington, defensive back, 1987. Played in three games as a replacement player during the strike. How could you forget?
Nathan from Philadelphia, PA
Hope you had a nice vacation, Mike. Are you surprised the Packers' roster isn't much different from when you left two weeks ago?
Not at all.
Jerry from Erie, PA
Morning Mike, sounds like C. Patterson would like to become a Packer? I certainly would do my best to accomplish that if I were the GM of the Pack. I think he would really juice up the return game which the Pack needs badly. How do you feel about a legit shot to obtain C. Patterson?
Social media sure makes things interesting, doesn't it? I have no idea how interested the Packers are. I would think it would mostly depend on price.
Jason from Aurora, WI
While the topic of sports movies has been tabled, I must submit that the omission of "The Big Lebowski" is disheartening. That said, I am at this moment somewhere near Indianapolis enjoying my very first Steak 'n' Shake burger, so thank you for that. The II abides.
First day back and you bring up Steak 'n' Shake? Now I need another vacation.
Ryan from Ripon, WI
With the draft being looked at being held at Lambeau Field, where would the Packers' staff have their war room so that the activities outside would not be a major distraction to them?
They'd be totally insulated from all of it and wouldn't have to move. The draft room is on the interior of the third floor with no windows, and if they haven't soundproofed it, I'm sure they could.
Greg from Glendale Heights, IL
The Return of The King...welcome back Spoff! No earth-shattering news while you were gone, but lots of great news bringing back leaders on both sides of the ball. This (predictably) quiet free agency season has me wondering, who would you consider the splashiest free-agent acquisition in Packers history, at least based on perception at the time?
Well, the list always starts with Reggie White and Charles Woodson, but beyond them, the ones I recall generating the most buzz were Sean Jones, Santana Dotson, Joe Johnson and Julius Peppers.
Lyle from Milwaukee, WI
People are thinking the Packers haven't reworked Aaron's contract so they can move on to Jordan. I think they don't want to move more of his contract down the road where he's a very large amount of the salary cap already. Remember the more they move down the road, the less they have to work with then. We do have a few years till we get back to a decent cap.
I specifically recall Gutekunst saying in his early March media/Zoom session that his approach to free agency would be to create cap room as he goes. Meaning, if the right free-agent opportunity comes along and the Packers want to pounce, they'll make room, but not necessarily in advance. There's still plenty of time for contract machinations if needed.
George from North Mankato, MN
Welcome back Mike, hope you enjoyed your time away. Just wondering if you know how the Packers rate in regards to "dead cap" hits on an average year? Do you think the addition of voidable years to many of the team's restructured deals will present challenges in the near future? Can you share any other of Russ Ball's secrets to staying under the cap?
I don't know where the Packers rank annually in terms of dead money, but they've kept their numbers low in that department by design. The only major dead cap hit I can recall in the last decade or so was when they released Nick Perry two years into a five-year deal. Given the circumstances, I don't think the Packers are pushing out an exorbitant amount of cap charges. Yes, there will be some challenges this year and next, but they (along with several other teams) are just figuring out how to bridge the gap until the new TV money boosts the cap back to where it was and beyond.
Steven from Silver Spring, MD
With the signing of Kevin King, we are returning the entire starting lineup from the prior year. Now TB is doing the same. Does this strike you as related to the COVID era or just random circumstance?
Contenders aren't interested in major overhauls if they don't feel their team has gotten too old. Unusual cap considerations certainly play into the offseason approach at the moment, but investing in one's own players (the known) instead of other players (the unknown) is almost always preferred by the teams that feel they're legitimately in the hunt rather than trying to get in it.
Jason from Vernon Hills, IL
Do you think that the Packers will try to keep Aaron Rodgers as long as he wants to play? Or do you think that they will move on from him after this season?
Rodgers hit the nail on the head last spring when he said what he controls most about his future in Green Bay is how he plays. I don't think that's changed. If he plays at an MVP level for years to come, and stays healthy, Jordan Love might never take a meaningful snap for the Packers. I'm not saying that's going to happen, but I'm not ruling it out, and if that comes to pass it shouldn't be viewed as the wrong outcome or an indictment of the investment in Love. But it's also a two-way street involving Rodgers' personal desires, contract demands, etc., which could change over time. So I don't get too hung up on it either way. Sitting here right now, I believe if Rodgers keeps playing like this and wants to continue playing in Green Bay, with no equivocations, he'll give the Packers no reason to pass the torch.
Take a look at photos of Green Bay Packers CB Kevin King through the years.
Rusty from Eustace, TX
Mike, Wes held his own while you were recharging your batteries! An interesting point was raised several times concerning clickbait. I realize I'm an old fart and still like holding a real book and newspaper and I appreciate the fact that newspaper writers fact-checked everything before they hit send. I appreciate that y'all (yes, I'm a Texan) continue to hold that standard. I do have a concern about future journalists not having that same dedication to the craft. How do you handle these yahoos?
If they prove I shouldn't trust them, I don't.
Zak from Huntington Beach, CA
I'd like to thank Scott from Grovetown, GA, for teaching me (and likely a substantial slice of the II pie) the word "concomitantly." I think that's the first time I've seen/heard it, and now I'll be finding ways to throw it into a few Zoom meetings this week!
Be sure to simultaneously provide the definition.
Levi from St. Paul, MN
I just read that SF traded away multiple first-round picks to move up nine places to presumably pick a QB. It reminds me again of two things. How lucky we are to have Favre and Rodgers, and how happy I am that GB would never mortgage their future on a chance at a good QB. It also makes the fourth-rounder GB gave up to draft Love a huge bargain. How does SF have the (guts) to make that move. Didn't work for the Bears. How do you see that move?
If they find an elite QB who gets them to a Super Bowl, there's no arguing with it. If they don't, it'll set them back years and be criticized forever. As Ted Thompson always used to say, the proof will be in the pudding. A decade ago, I remember thinking the Falcons were out of their mind to give up what they did in a draft-day trade to select a WIDE RECEIVER (Julio Jones), but today it looks like a brilliant move because they drafted a Hall of Famer, and should've won a Super Bowl.
Dylan from Cary, NC
What player made you feel the smallest when standing next to them?
Jon from Kiel, WI
What do you think of the lack of additions for the passing game (such as Will Fuller, Allen Robinson, etc.)? How will this impact next season despite Aaron Jones being re-signed? Can these guys step up to take some pressure off of Davante Adams or do you foresee any issues there?
Devin Funchess is slated to enter the receiving competition, and the draft hasn't happened yet, so stay tuned. Knowing the Packers were likely to lose one of their top two offensive free agents (Linsley), spending big in free agency on a wide receiver was the least of my expectations.
Daryl from Helena, MT
I really enjoy reading Insider Inbox and think that Wes is an exceptional writer; however, he needs to go back to school for his math. When asked about how many of his picks made the Sweet Sixteen he replied eight, then listed seven schools.
I'm glad someone else noticed (and you weren't the only one). The question I'm asking myself is if I'd actually edited that column, would I have told him to fix it or just let it hang?
Brian from Schertz, TX
Hey Mike, hope you're refreshed and ready to tackle more free agent and draft questions. Did you visit Birnamwood and get some chicken at Chet & Emil's?
I did visit Birnamwood several times, helping my in-laws move to their new house in Wausau. But Chet & Emil's takeout was not on the agenda. We'll have to make a flashback visit at some point.
Rod from Chugiak, AK
No doubt we II devotees would get a charge out of connecting. Based on a tip, I once thought finding Scott in Lincoln City would be easy. I know tracking down Roger out in McGrath will be. But randomly bumping into one another we have no means of recognition. Tailgating at Lambeau I could unknowingly pass right by Lori. Here's my II T-design suggestion: include a defined, light-colored panel where Inboxers can have their own local shop embroider their name and hometown.
Someone out there in Inbox-land is going to take this on and make a killing. I just know it.
Jeff from Madison, WI
Waiting for the draft.
T-minus one month and counting. Happy Monday.