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Inbox: The history of excellence at receiver is unparalleled

The NFL is better with the two ‘12s’ on the field

Packers WRs Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Wes, with Marge Switzer's retirement from Wardrobe suddenly followed by a flurry of combine and transactional activity, do you feel we Inboxers might've missed the synergy of a great wordplay opportunity? You know…measurements, cuts, patching holes, etc. Did we hem ourselves in? Seams like a waisted opportunity. (Welcome back. Did you miss us?)

Dar, I've long considered you to be a frontrunner for Inbox Fan of the Year. You might have "back-stitched" yourself to the end of the line with that one. But yes, I missed you all.

Dave from Waterford, WI

Is all the drama with Aaron Rodgers over or is there something else that will come up now?

So, how about that Sunday?

Erin from Bellingham, WA

Welp, all that discussion about the potential of the best first-time ballot Hall of Fame talk can get tossed in the garbage! What a wild week in the NFL "offseason." How the heck does this league keep us glued to it when we are months and months away from a meaningful game? I have a confession, I'm addicted, please tell me it's at least an ethical addiction?!

I loved it. I feel bad for the writers out there who were called into action during an otherwise quiet Sunday. Tom Brady is a once-in-a-generation talent who deserves to run the tank to empty, if he so chooses. I feel the same way with Rodgers. They're living legends, and as long as those two are healthy, I want to watch them play the game of football. Because once they're gone, there won't be any QBs quite like them. The NFL is better with the two '12s' on the field.

Dave from Groton, VT

Wes. Is Brady still formidable enough to pose a risk?

Absolutely. At 44, Brady was the MVP runner-up to Rodgers and still better than most of the league's starting QBs. Now I'm not shaking in my Chuck Taylors over Brady's return, but the Bucs will again be considered one of the favorites in the NFC. Plus, it sets up at least one more Rodgers-Brady matchup with the Packers traveling to Tampa next year.

H.R. from Las Vegas, NV

Welp, so much for that easy path through the NFC. And I'm not talking about the Kirk Cousins' extension.

Poor Kirk.

Jeff from Philomath, OR

With all the discussion about Jordan Love, what about Kurt Benkert? I recall he performed decently last preseason. Why not take advantage of the trade value of Love, while retaining Benkert as the backup QB? There's still the opportunity to draft-and-develop another quarterback.

So many, league-wide, have a paper-handed approach with prospects. Benkert did fine last year and the Packers are happy to have him back. But Love was a first-round pick for a reason and he's under contract for two more seasons. Unless someone is offering a deal the Packers cannot refuse, Love is my QB2 in '22.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Welcome back, Wes. Offseason question: Which current or recent sports player has the best aptronym? Prince Fielder?

Skyy Moore has a lifetime of endorsement deals awaiting him if the Western Michigan receiver takes off in the NFL (Pun absolutely intended).

Bret from Hertel, WI

Dear Wes, welcome back! I hope you enjoyed your vacation and break from Insiders. What was the biggest story to happen in the NFL while you were gone? And which Packers move is next in line after Rodgers and Davante Adams? Thanks!

Before Brady, it was the Russell Wilson trade. The idea has been floated for years but I never thought the Seahawks would trade him. How the Broncos pulled that deal off in relative silence was impressive in today's day and age. As for the Packers, they need to get under the cap this week. That's the next domino. After that, it's who they're able to re-sign. The De'Vondre Campbell situation fascinates me. Because that partnership benefits both parties. It's obvious the Packers need him and Dre is a perfect MLB for this defense. But can the two sides make the numbers work?

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

When Khalil Mack signed with the Bears, everyone was clamoring for him to be a Packer. Fast forward and Bears haven't won anything. Mack is owed more money than robbing the cage at the Bellagio on a fight night, and the Bears need to get him off the books. Meanwhile, the Packers have an ascending star in Rashan Gary and can afford to continue to pay Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. Can we please stop judging in the moment every time a high-profile free agent isn't acquire? Please?

It was startling watching the waiver wire last week. Mack, Wilson and Carson Wentz grabbed headlines, but did you guys notice what else happened? The Lions reportedly cut Trey Flowers. The Raiders are letting go of Cory Littleton and Washington is set to release Landon Collins. The Cowboys also were going to cut Amari Cooper, too, until they found a trading partner in the 11th hour. All these major acquisitions from a few years ago are now on the league's discard pile. It's your yearly reminder nothing is won in March. Take care of your own, mind your checkbook and trust your process.

Nate from Champaign, IL

I love all these silly draft lists that everyone and their mothers publish. That being said, who do you think are likely targets for GB in Round 1? I'm predicting one of the Georgia DLs if they are still around.

Ted Thompson was big on using top picks on defensive tackles but Brian Gutekunst hasn't turned in that direction yet. To date, Kingsley Keke (fifth round, No. 150) is the highest interior D-lineman Green Bay has drafted in the BG Era. The presence of Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry undoubtedly has played a role in that. Jordan Davis and Travon Walker both could be off the board by the time the draft gets into the 20s, but Devonte Wyatt might be there at 28.

John from York, PA

We need another strong good WR to help Rodgers and Adams, some extra DBs and LBs, and an extra good running back just in case Aaron Jones or AJ Dillon get hurt. OL and DL are fine y'all know what y'all doing and can't wait for the season Go Pack Go!

Like I said last year, I want to surround Adams with as many talented young receivers as possible. Because I want those wideouts learning from him the same way Adams learned from Jordy, Randall and James Jones. The history of excellence at receiver is unparalleled. Like last year, the Packers don't have a pressing need in the draft. It's just rebuilding depth wherever they lose it in free agency.

David from Fort Collins, CO

I simultaneously love and hate the draft. I never really care much of post draft grades and commentary about players. Are there any recent players that made you go "wow" immediately in June when the pundits didn't like the pick? There's got to be a bunch.

AJ Dillon. Or more specifically, AJ Dillon's quads. There tends to be this sentiment around NFL fanbases that running backs are dime a dozen. Dillon is 247 pounds and runs like a stiff breeze through a wooden forest. You can't find that guy on the waiver wire. Then, there's Aaron Jones. He was a more modest fifth-round pick but some wondered if Jones' skills would translate to this level. I think it's fitting the Packers' backfield is made-up of two elite backs who had a lot of skeptics when they entered the league.

Ivan from Little Chicago, WI

Hey guys, saw the eye-popping numbers for Badgers linebacker Leo Chenal both at the combine and pro day workouts. Sure, looks like his stock ramped up a bit. Would the Packers jump on him and where would he fit in the defensive scheme? I see special teams immediately. Or am I dreaming?

You're not dreaming. He's caught my eye, too. I didn't know much about Chenal until a few weeks ago, but 34 bench reps and a 40-inch vertical for a 6-foot-3, 250-pound linebacker will grab anyone's attention. He'll still likely have to take the late-round road into the league, but his makeup and natural position correlate well to special teams. That gives any Day 3 pick or undrafted free agent a chance.

Jeff from Brooklyn, WI

Hi, it looks like both the Vikings and Bears are in full clean-house mode. Do you believe it's to get a head start for when Rodgers leaves and we have to do the same?

I think it has more to do with Chicago and Minnesota trending in the wrong direction. I was serious when I said the Lions have the second-best foundation in the division right now. At least, they're on a path. The Lions and Bears are in total reshuffle mode.

Chuck from Gold Canyon, AZ

Welcome back Wes. In response to the question of those in a win now situation drafting a prospect coming off a serious injury. I think that obviously goes towards those picking early in the draft. Looking back to 2019, Jeffrey Simmons appeared to be a consensus top five pick before a devastating knee injury. He fell to 19th. Ask Tennessee how that worked out for them? Spoff was spot on with his response about if you think it is a generational talent, you pull the trigger.

Yes and no. The questions surrounding Simmons extended well beyond the injury. I understand what Spoff is saying, though. Everyone wants to find those rare gems in each draft class, but teams also have to look at all the available data. Finding the right player in the NFL Draft isn't just about talent. It's about the person, too.

Walter from Chippewa Falls, WI

A few years back, the players association did away with big contracts for rookies. Any chance they'll agree to a provision to make no single player earn more than 10% of a team's salary cap? The less money eaten up by QBs, the more there is to go around, right? It seems to me the five or six QBs that make this much shouldn't have the voting power to prevent it.

Ask again in 2030, Walter. Because that ain't changing anytime soon.

Johnathon from Franklin, WI

Trying to identify a position that hasn't received a franchise tag, is the long snapper its own specialty position or are they considered offensive lineman for franchise-tag purposes?

Kickers, punters and long snappers fall into their own specialist category for the tag.

Peter from Orland Park, IL

Hello, I believe former NY Met player Bobby Bonilla signed his last contract guaranteeing $1 million dollars per year for 25 years after he retired. Could the Pack do that with Rodgers? The savings could go towards other players to make us a stronger team. Thoughts?

We get this question every year and every year the answer is the same. There is no hard cap in Major League Baseball and all contracts are guaranteed, dollar for dollar. In the NFL, you can't defer money like the Mets did with Bonilla or the Brewers have done with Christian Yelich. Until a change is made with how signing-bonus money is paid out, teams pay as they go in the NFL.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Welcome back, Wes. The Packers announced increases in ticket prices for 2022. When players request tickets for family and friends, do they have to pay full price like the rest of us? Also, how do they determine which guests get to sit in a luxury box as opposed to a regular outdoor seat? Thanks.

Yep. They get a couple comped tickets but otherwise gotta round up their own like the rest of us. I don't know much about NFL luxury boxes, other than the fact I was quarantined in one on gameday for a full season.

Keith from Dodgeville, WI

Do the players get paid all year like most of us normal working stiffs, if not how do they get paid only during the season on Thursday at 3 p.m.?

You're actually not that far off. Unless it's an offseason roster bonus, NFL contracts are paid out on an 18-week basis. If a player is on the 53-man roster on Tuesday, he gets a check. If he's bumped up from the practice squad later in the week, it's reflected shortly thereafter.

Edward from Canton, SD

Well, hundreds of thousands of Packers fans will be happy knowing Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will only irritate them once or twice this year, limited to ESPN's MNF. And, it will probably be gotten over with on Week 1, so that ESPN can maximize ratings for the new (to them) announcing team.

Good for Buck and Aikman, but I'm excited to see who gets the opportunity to run as the No. 1 unit for FOX NFL. Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

Ed from Minneapolis, MN

Hey Wes, welcome back. With the return of AR12 does that make him the Little Blue Truck?

Or Good Friend Toad…pushing the offseason truck back on the road in the direction of the 2022 season.

Graydon from Menomonie, WI

Daylight Savings Time caused us to lose one hour this weekend. What did the lost hour cost you?

Everything. …I'm sorry. I just wanted to work in a Thanos line into Inbox. All right, folks. Free agency is almost here. Buckle up. It's going to be one heck of a week.


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