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Inbox: The culture of that room has allowed everyone to prosper

The floodgates have indeed opened for the game’s top wideouts

WRs Bo Melton, Christian Watson & Samori Toure
WRs Bo Melton, Christian Watson & Samori Toure

Eric from Springfield, VA

If the reporters don't count towards the attendance numbers, I would assume all staff and stadium workforce don't count. So, if you could ballpark it, how many employees does it take to make Lambeau run for gameday? And I'm including everyone from you to Mark Murphy to the popcorn-maker to the custodians.

It has to be in the hundreds, if not more than 1,000 when you factor in gameday workers, local police, and security.

George from North Mankato, MN

Looks like Spoff nailed Justin Jefferson's contract. Way to stick the landing, Mike!

We don't call him "Spoff- stradamus" for no reason.

Tim from Olathe, KS

Wes, Vic's "dime a dozen" reference was never more spot-on than now with Jefferson's and Jaylen Waddle's new contracts. First, Vic was talking about ease of replacement versus denigrating the talent. The Chiefs lost Tyreek Hill and won two Super Bowls. The Packers lost Davante Adams and quickly recovered. Hill and Adams earned their money, but it cost their team in other areas. That train whistle will be blowing soon with those huge cap numbers.

The floodgates have indeed opened for the game's top wideouts. Again, a rising cap lifts the value of contracts and superstars, at every position, are going to get paid. The dilemma for teams is determining when to lock down elite talent while also determining what's in the best interest of the franchise's future. We'll see how this decision plays out for Minnesota.

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

I have a great friend from college. He has one major flaw though, being a very proud fan of the Minnesota Vikings. He was understandably jacked up yesterday when the news broke that J.J. had signed the extension. Just to bring him back to earth a little I said, "History will show that paying a WR that much on the cap doesn't work out." He responded, "It does when your QB is making pennies." I suppose I can't argue with that. The other J.J. better be as advertised though, or they'll be bumming.

It's a salient point on both accounts. If one position is making well over market value, there's a good chance another is playing under league average. For example, the Packers probably couldn't have afforded Aaron Jones the past two years if Adams was still on the roster. The Vikings had to take care of Jefferson, though, especially with all the sudden questions at quarterback.

Jerry from Des Moines, IA

Interesting WR questions yesterday. Last year, I felt a strength of the offense and Jordan Love was throwing to the open man and not trying to get/force the ball to a WR1. With all the options we have, do you see that as a strength that will continue? Or do you think it's natural evolution that someone becomes WR1 and eats up a larger share of targets? I personally like many options and get it to the open man.

That worked well last year, especially with the affable personalities at the position. The culture of that room has allowed everyone to prosper. More than anything, though, it comes down to injury and availability. If totally healthy, it's a great problem for the Packers to have and a matchup nightmare for the opposition. But it stands to reason that won't always be the case. Fortunately, your team is in a good spot if it's looking to Dontayvion Wicks and Bo Melton as your next receivers up.

Dan from Richmond, VA

I'm going to do my best to pay special attention to our WR corps this season and enjoy the heck out of watching that young group of budding stars do their thing. Because given how J.J. just broke the bank in Minnesota, this will likely be our last chance to see most of them play together. Yikes!

Remarkably, Green Bay's entire receiving corps is signed through 2025. Like I said before, it matters when teams hit on their draft picks and rookie free agents.

Al from Green Bay, WI

So…if I did the math right (which I recognize is not permitted), the new contract for Jefferson at $35 million/year is three times the annual compensation for the ENTIRE Packers wide receiver group! Hats off to Jefferson for re-setting the bar for elite WRs, but it's a great reminder that the Packers' window for winning with cheap WRs is a short-term opportunity. The urgency to "win now" has again been illuminated.

The thing is the urgency to "win now" is omnipresent in the NFL…even if your team isn't built for it. Fortunately, the Packers are.

Phillip from Wonder Lake, IL

How is the competition between the backup quarterbacks coming along?

I thought Michael Pratt had a good day during the second open OTA practice. He was decisive and threw a few darts during the final two-minute period. Pratt is a rookie but also someone who's played a lot of football. It shows.

The Green Bay Packers hosted the 25th annual Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic on Saturday, June 1, 2024.

Steve from Hurricane, UT

Part of Mike's answer to Jim from Blythewood, SC, has me wondering, "Every position group has its own meeting room, primarily for reviewing film." What does the team do to accommodate for the visiting team during joint practices? Isn't part of each day spent in the classroom?

I'd imagine teams do their meetings and film study at whichever hotel they're staying. At least, that's what the Packers did in Cincinnati. The only accommodation I can remember is coordinating when teams have use of the weight room.

Bob from Emmaus, PA

Is Josh Jacobs going to make a trip to Madison to get an opinion on his hamstring or does the training staff know more about working with players?

I'm sure they could consult with Badger Athletic Performance if needed, but not every cut requires stitches. I don't know how much you dug into our story on Christian Watson, but the Packers have technology in the building to diagnose and rehab hamstring issues.

Tim from Fayetteville, NC

Who was the first Packers running back to gain 1,000 yards in one season?

Tony Canadeo ran for 1,052 yards in 1949, which was also the first year a Green Bay player carried the ball more than 200 times in a season. The century mark wasn't eclipsed again until Jim Taylor (1,101 yards) in 1960.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Wes, I would imagine Spoff must be in great spirits as a Brewers fan, hey? Is it way too early to identify a dark-horse candidate to make a splash on offense, defense, or teams? While I recognize the Lions are a formidable challenge, is it reasonable to assert that the Packers have the strongest roster in the NFC North, and maybe in the NFC? Possibly in all of football? At this point, it seems inevitable the Packers will lose some very good talent when they assemble the 53 and PS.

It's probably too early but I'll take a stab at it anyway. I'll say MarShawn Lloyd (offense), Evan Williams (defense) and Ty'Ron Hopper (special teams). Pound-for-pound, I'd put the Packers' roster up against any in the NFL. Before conceding Green Bay might lose talent on cutdown day, remember it will have the option to trade personnel for future picks, too.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

The end of OTAs? If the proposed changes happen next year, I think the two questions we'll all have are will they result in fewer injuries leading up to and early in the season and will we see a better product on the field during the first month? With the league-mandated reduction in practice time and preseason we've seen a lot of poor-quality football during the early season. Do you think the changes we're hearing about will benefit either?

I think the jury is still out on that, which is why I have serious questions about whether the NFLPA proposal would be good for the game and its players. It's hard to sell me on eight or nine straight months of football being a net positive for players on Super Bowl teams, especially if there's still a virtual offseason program. If it's me, I'd be looking more at how to prevent/heal head injuries, investing into institutions like BAP, diving more into artificial turf and addressing the ever-increasing length of the season.

Joe from Windermere, FL

The Packers are extremely calculated with the personnel moves they make. How do you foresee this Jordan Love contract situation playing out? He has shown us that he can be incredible. He has also shown us that he can be inconsistent. There are talks that he could potentially sit if he does not get a contract done before the start of the season, which would be a nightmare for us fans, however many of us still want to see more of that high-caliber play before committing long-term. Thank you.

We need to shelve "Will Love sit?" questions until there's credible reporting behind it. They're littering my Outlook like trash on a freeway. The facts are Love is here and leading this football team. He's going to get paid everything he's worth. Knowing how the Packers operate, I would think something gets down before the end of this offseason to use the final year of his current deal to help balance the overall impact of what a franchise QB costs. Ultimately, deadlines spur action and both sides have time.

Mark from Madison, WI

With the NFL wanting an 18-game season, the teams not playing their starters in preseason games and coaches wanting joint practices, do you see a time when preseason games disappear?

I hope not. I'm in the minority here, but I like the preseason. That's where the longshots and undrafted gems distinguish themselves. There's fewer of those opportunities than ever before. You guys know you'll never hear me say a good thing about an 18-game regular season in this column. If that's the way the league heads, we'll deal with it. But jobs won and lost during the preseason is what football is all about…or at least, it used to be.

David from Janesville, WI

Gents, just chiming in my agreement on the replay and amount of time it should take. In the UFL you can listen to Dean Blandino verbalize what he's seeing. Some go quick, some take more camera angles and more review time. I don't think we need the NFL guys to put their discussions on the air, and some resolutions could be faster, but just get it right. There is a lot that goes into it though: correct call, ball placement, clock, etc. On a complex call, 2-3 minutes may be warranted.

The NFL will never put its officials in that predicament, but I like listening to Blandino during broadcasts. He's clear and concise, which is all I'm asking for. I get some calls are subjective. Just provide a proper explanation. With how the NFL is structured, all you get is speculative commentary and a postgame pool report that's usually more defensive than it is illuminating.

Tom from Southfield, MI

Mike has nothing to do in Detroit?! Call me...I'll take care of you guys.

No disrespect to the Detroit metro area and the fine folks who live there, but Lions games are my least favorite road trip (aside from the quick flight home).

Dave from Gwinn, MI

Philly in their all-blacks and GB in all white would look great, but a "simple, reasonable solution" probably won't be the way they go. If I were "home-team" Philly, I'd wear my white jerseys, forcing away GB to wear their greens.

That would seem most logical to me. I don't know how the laundry will sort out, but it will get it sorted. I have plenty of reason to lose sleep these days. This isn't high on my list.

Mark from Waterloo, IA

Hello II! My question is about the practice jerseys the team wears for OTAs and training camp. I noticed these little circular patches at the back of each shoulder. What is sewn into the jerseys there, if anything?

It's the GPS technology NFL teams use to monitor injury risk and fatigue. Green Bay's practice uniforms have had those built in them for almost a decade now.

Tim from Clear Lake, IA

Wes, I am so sad, I am going to have to miss the Packers 5K and shareholder meeting this year as I'll be out of the country on a mission trip. (Yes, some priorities are even more important than the Packers!?) Maybe you can get Spoff to run it in my place? Or how about Pa Hod?!?

I suppose I'll just have to run it twice now.

John from Jupiter, FL

Morning Wes. Just recently watched a replay of the Dallas playoff came from last year. Although I like the additions of Jacobs and Lloyd, I have to believe the team as well as fans will miss Aaron Jones in more ways than one. Thanks.

Nobody was happy to see Aaron Jones leave. Fortunately, it seems Jacobs is cut from a similar cloth as a player and person.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Wes, regarding the unfeasible idea of changing Lambeau's benches to individual seats, I have a true tale. A few years ago, I took Nickel's mom to her first game. She is tiny, so she unintentionally created some extra sitting space for the hearty Midwesterners wedged around us. One guy was so pleased he bought us a round of beers. No better way to make besties of strangers than to be keister-to-keister with them for three hours! When did you last have that friendly aluminum as your game perch?

It's been 15 years. Can you believe it? I've covered every Packers home game in some capacity since 2010. Pa Hod has been the one fighting the good keister fight since I came into the Packers' employ in 2016.

Dustin from Kansas City, MO

If I was able to win a lunch with Wes and Spoff, I'm afraid I'd be so starstruck I'd be just like Cousin Eddie when he meets Wayne Newton in Vegas Vacation. "Do you need a bodyguard? I'd die for you."

Heck, I'd even let you touch Spoff's hair. Have a good Tuesday.

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