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Inbox: That's the position you want to be in

Starting over at quarterback is a daunting task

200410-insider-inbox-2560
GM Brian Gutekunst

James from Austin, TX

Have either of your spouses ever trolled the II on you guys? Do they read it every day?

I don't think my wife has ever read it. Or she's really good at pretending she never has. Maybe this will help me find out. Or not. Carry on.

Jake from Kaukauna, WI

Since trades have historically been done by phone, do you know of any time a trade was announced, but one of the teams disputed the terms of the trade? Are the phone calls recorded for proof of the terms?

The procedure has always been for someone from each team to call in the terms of the trade to the league, to make sure they match and everyone's on the same page. I don't see any reason for that to change.

Neal from Fort Worth, TX

Mike, you stated that communicating trade offers and scenarios will be the biggest difficulty in a fully virtual draft. I'm confused how this year would be different in that regard. Wouldn't those conversations happen over a phone call anyway?

Yes, but I'm talking about having multiple personnel folks on the line talking trades with different teams simultaneously, with those folks and the GM not being in the same room together to discuss the offers and being connected electronically instead. Maybe I'm overstating the potential difficulty, but it strikes me as a little tougher to manage and process.

Dan from Tomah, WI

What's more important to this roster if the team values them the same: OT or IDL?

If players they view as, respectively, the next Bulaga and the next Kenny Clark are both available at 30, I think Gutekunst takes the next Clark. He bought himself that flexibility by signing Rick Wagner.

Darrell from San Antonio, TX

II, I agree that a lot of people would be shocked if the Packers took a CB in the first two rounds but it's possible. The expectation is a WR in the first two rounds but that may not happen. I would not be surprised if they don't select a wideout until the third or fourth round. In my humble opinion OT, ILB, and IDL have a higher priority and with the draft being deep in the WR position we have a great chance of getting a highly graded WR in Round 3 or 4. It will be entertaining.

This can go any number of directions early. That's the position you want to be in.

Paul from Northglenn, CO

When will GB know what compensatory picks they're awarded for next year's draft? I feel knowing now what you're awarded next year could be inspiration for trading in this year's draft especially for positioning in the middle rounds for specific players a team has an interest.

The Packers won't know for sure until around the time of the combine next year, but they'll have an idea of what they're getting. One projection I saw gives the Packers a fourth-rounder for Martinez, a fifth-rounder for Bulaga, and a sixth-rounder for Fackrell, with Goodson and Devin Funchess canceling one another out, and Vitale's contract too small to factor in.

Lynn from Butler, IN

Do you believe Aaron Rodgers is a sure thing to have his No. 12 retired?

Yes.

Al from Green Bay, WI

There is currently a guy on the Packers' roster that few of us have heard of. Yet you believe that guy has a real chance to make an impact this year and beyond. Who is that guy?

The operative word in your query being "chance," I'll say Kabion Ento. He had a legitimate opportunity to make the roster as an undrafted corner (converted from receiver) last year until he hurt his hamstring in training camp.

Steve from Austin, TX

In response to Sharon's question from yesterday, Alex Karras was in the booth for Monday Night Football.

Several other readers chimed in with Merlin Olsen and John Lynch. I remember Paul Maguire in the booth for a long time, and I recall Ronnie Lott for a short stint, too.

Alyssa from Kenosha, WI

In the last 20 years I believe the 2007 Patriots duo of Welker and Moss is the only WR duo to be named to the All-Pro team in the same season. What is the best season by a Packer WR duo in that span in your opinion?

Without question it's Nelson and Cobb in 2014. They combined for 189 catches, 2,806 yards and 25 TDs, not including playoffs. Next would probably be Walker and Driver in 2004 (173-2,590-21).

Cindy from Los Angeles, CA

Hi Insiders, the Packers have recently used a lot of their pre-draft visits on late-round or UDFA signees. Do you think this group of prospects is disproportionately affected by the lack of in-person contact, or are the video visits an adequate substitute?

I think with undrafted players the Packers have benefited from being able to show off one of the best facilities in the entire league by having them come visit. But there's also plenty of word of mouth these days, and agents know the Packers' reputation for giving undrafted players a fair shot.

Steve from Niagara

With Hendrickson coming over from Baltimore and LaFleur having run the Titans' offense and been a part of the Falcons' offense under Shanihan previously, all of which featured a serious commitment to the run game, do you think we might see a bigger commitment to run game personnel in the upcoming draft for the Packers?

LaFleur's offensive style and the fact the Packers' top two running backs are both entering their contract year says plenty.

Matt from Fort Worth, TX

Which unsigned free agent are you most surprised is still available?

I guess I'd say Clowney, but free agency is all about two sides agreeing on value. Sometimes it can take a while.

Paul from Minneapolis, MN

Why is it such a big deal for a quarterback to switch teams? NFL history is littered with "face-of-the-franchise" QBs playing for other teams on the backside of their careers. To name a few: Unitas. Namath. Stabler. Tittle. Hadl. Manning. Favre. Montana. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised, nor would it bother me, to see Rodgers in another uniform five or six years from now. Am I right?

I think it's natural for fans to want an iconic player to go the distance with their team, so departures are always emotional to at least some degree. Rodgers has said he'd love to play his entire career for the Packers. He's also a realist and knows it may not be entirely up to him. This is a cross-that-bridge-when-it-gets-here issue for me, and right now in my view that bridge is still a ways off on the horizon.

Benjamin from Burlington, VT

If II is like a buffet, I hope you're keeping the sneeze-guards in place.

I've been wondering if buffets will exist anymore, even after we come out the other side of this. To me, it's on the list of questions for whatever the new normal is going to be. Sorry, I'll veer back now.

Eric from Green Bay, WI

I'm no draft expert but I find it hard to believe a QB falls to us at 30. Haven't all the mistakes already been made? Wilson and Brees proved you can draft a short QB: Murray goes No. 1. Rodgers proved you take BPA. Jackson proved you take a mobile QB. You don't have the cap implications on a first-round pick like you did with Rodgers. I don't see a scenario where any of these supposed first-round QBs falls to GB. And I'm OK with that.

And if one still does, I think Gutekunst could get really good trade value for the pick.

Tou Xiong from Fresno, CA

Considering if Clemson's do-it-all LB Isiah Simmons falls out of the top five in the draft, do you think we can package a deal to select him? Pittsburgh gave up a (2019) first round, second round and (2020) third to move up 10 spots from 20th to 10th. I would imagine it will take a similar deal with extra picks or higher round to make it happen. Thoughts as to whether this is a feasible trade?

The Packers probably wouldn't be able to get from 30 to 10 if they gave up their entire draft for that one pick. Any trade of that magnitude would have to involve their first-rounder next year, and that would seem out of character.

Michael from Bolivar, NY

Hello II. I agree that the Christian Kirksey and Wagner signings have given BG some freedom to go after BPA. Where does Reggie Begelton fit in this conversation? Seems like he's the forgotten man. Is it because it's CFL and not NFL? Stay safe everyone.

I'm curious what Begelton will bring to the table, but I'm also cognizant that Warren Moon and Doug Flutie are the exceptions and not the rule when it comes to players making this transition.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Mike, thank you for all you and Wes do to "answe" questions, make us laugh, and keep us informed on all things Packers. As a lab worker, I really look forward to reading II; it provides balance and distraction from the serious current health issues. Our lab has evaluated almost 7,000 COVID tests, each test taking about seven hours. Our biggest thrill this week was finally receiving masks to wear while at work. We hope sanitizing wipes become available soon. Stay safe! We need you.

No, Lori, we need you. Keep fighting the good fight on our behalf.

Andy from Verona, WI

Is there a maximum number of draft prospects each team can contact via video conference this year?

No. The only restriction is a team's contact with any specific player is limited to three times per week and for no longer than one hour per session.

Craig from Milwaukee, WI

Would it be worth bringing Clay Matthews back for a one-year minimum contract?

Sure, but I highly doubt Matthews is interested in playing a 12th season on a minimum deal.

George from North Mankato, MN

Do you think the Vikings were smart to extend Kirk Cousins and give him a raise for the next two years? Seems like a little bit of a stretch to me.

Starting over at quarterback is a daunting task. The Vikings have decided to rebuild at other positions instead. I don't blame them.

Matt from Bloomington, IN

The Packers face second-and-goal from the 3-yard line in the first quarter. Run left, no gain. Penalty on the play, illegal formation on the Packers. As the opposing coach do you accept or decline the penalty?

Decline.

Dennis from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

A comment regarding the II post about an electronic strike zone. I'd welcome the consistency an electronic strike zone would offer. There would still be a home plate umpire needed to call safe or out on scoring plays. I assume he'd still make balls, strikes, and strikeout calls to signal status to the fans and players, so the only thing missing would be his judgment of balls and strikes. I, for one, won't miss the blown calls.

Preaching to the choir.

Nathan from New Berlin, WI

If we're talking Aaron's plays from the decade, I'd place the other Rodgers-to-Rodgers touchdown (2014 divisional playoffs) above the Hail Mary.

That was a popular choice, as was the third-and-10 laser to Jennings in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLV and fourth-and-8 from the 48 to Cobb in Chicago. Surprisingly absent from the submissions I sifted through was the third-and-20 to Cook in Dallas, setting up Crosby. No way I could leave that out of my top five.

Joe from Wauwatosa, WI

Other than Packer games my favorite sporting event happens to be Saturday and Sunday at The Masters. As an avid golfer just nothing quite like it. This weekend will be hard no doubt and I can watch past years but just not the same. Let's just hope the Packers have a bye late next season, maybe the weekend of Nov. 14 and 15? Or even better play Tampa on Sunday Night Football or Monday Night Football? I think that weekend would make up for this lost one in April!

This time of year, March Madness and Opening Day were the most painful for me to miss. Sunday's back nine at Augusta would be next. Hang in there, folks. Happy (Good) Friday.

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