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Inbox: There's a good chance it happens

No guarantees exist in this world

NFL Draft
NFL Draft

Lori from Heredia, Costa Rica

Hey Spoff, so are you taking any time off next week? Whatever is going to happen will it be up to Weston to cover on his own?

Yup. Wes is back at the controls next week while I check out for a few days. Guess I was, as usual, just presiding over the calm before the storm.

James from Ottawa, Canada

Wow! The Panthers sure paid a king's ransom to the Bears for that No. 1 pick. The Panthers must feel strongly they've identified "their guy" of the future!

For sure, and the Bears generated quite the haul, which they should when they possess the most valuable asset in the entire draft and already have the QB around whom they wish to build.

Sam from Melbourne, IA

Well, the Packers got two compensatory picks. Who were they awarded for, and do you guys know if there were any players that counted against the Packers getting any more picks?

As outlined in a late Thursday story, the compensatory formula awarded the Packers a fifth for losing MVS and a seventh for Chandon Sullivan, while the loss/gain of Lucas Patrick/Jarran Reed canceled out. In the end, the contract values of Pat O'Donnell and Oren Burks were not high enough to count in the compensatory pick formula.

Eric from Kenosha, WI

Good morning. To recap, the Packers drafted MVS in the fifth round, got four useful years from him, then got a fifth-round pick when he left. Money for nothin', and the (wide receivers) for free.

Lemme tell ya, them guys ain't dumb.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Mike. Compensatory picks No. 170 and 256 should be valuable on draft day. What has Green Bay's recent history been like with picks in the 170s? Thanks.

Over the last five drafts, the Packers have chosen the following players in the 170s: JK Scott, MVS, Kamal Martin, T.J. Slaton, Shemar Jean-Charles, and Kingsley Enagbare.

Ray from Phoenix, AZ

Can GB use the newly awarded compensatory picks in a trade right now?


Joe from Swansea, IL

If this very public courtship comes to naught, is it going to make it too difficult for the original parties to reconcile? Has too much transpired for AR12 to return to the fold one more year? Or is this just the way you have to do business with an HOF QB pondering the turn to take at his end-of-career crossroads?

I think the latter.

Kent from Appleton, WI

Since there's not much else to talk about, until we hear from AR, I'll ask. Do you think the Packers considered trading AR last year at all? What a gutsy, or crazy, move that would have been after back-to-back MVP seasons. What kind of a haul would we have gotten then as compared to now? How much better would our cap look?

Regarding last year, the fact that a new contract had to be worked out, and the Packers agreed to that contract without trading him, tells me they weren't interested in trading him, and he wasn't interested in going elsewhere. Otherwise, it easily could've happened. After back-to-back MVPs and consecutive years earning the NFC's No. 1 seed, the goal appeared to be to keep the band together for another go. Unfortunately, the season didn't transpire as hoped, but as I've said before, I don't fault the effort. Had a trade been desired/pursued a year ago, the compensation and cap situation would look very different. But whatever happens this year, there are no what-ifs about 2022.

Mike from Trenton, NJ

After everything that has taken place, do you think there is any way Aaron Rodgers could force his way back onto the Packers this season?

Sure. If Rodgers ultimately decides he wants to continue his career nowhere else but Green Bay, he can and will. The Packers can't just release him because the cap hit would be untenable, and he essentially has veto power over any trade because he could retire (eliminating anybody's desire to trade for him). I'm sure honest discussions have taken place, so both parties know where they stand, but regardless, the ball is truly in his court.

Take a look at photos of Green Bay Packers LS Jack Coco during the 2022 NFL season.

Tom from West Palm Beach, FL

If and when Rodgers gets traded, do you see the Packers trying to extend Jordan Love? I recall Rodgers signing an extension early in his career, before he really proved himself, at what ended up being a below-market deal.

If I recall correctly, the Packers gave Rodgers his first contract extension a little more than halfway through his initial season as a starter. They had seen enough to know he was the future.

Randy from Clarksville, TN

Hey guys. If Rodgers does go to the Jets, would he wear 12, or is that retired because of Namath? Hard to imagine AR wearing another number.

I heard Namath has already publicly given permission for Rodgers to wear his retired number. That came out long before this past week's hubbub.

Tucker from Temple, TX

I understand that the likelihood of the Packers having three top-quality QBs in a row is very small, however the probability of Love being a top quality QB isn't affected by that. The probability of rolling three 5's in a row is low, but once you've rolled the first two, rolling the third is still a 1-in-6 chance.

True that. Keith from Bakersfield, CA, made the same point using a roulette wheel, but I like dice better.

Darren from Washington, DC

If Miami signed Lamar Jackson off the franchise tag and Baltimore didn't match the contract, does that mean the Ravens would not see the compensation until 2024 and 2025 since the Dolphins have no first-round pick this year?

I believe that's correct.

Kerry from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Packers have to love next year's schedule. Playing weak NFC South and getting the AFC West's two best teams, Chiefs and Chargers, at home. Not a stretch to see the Packers back in the playoffs with any help from the draft.

We all know the perils of projecting "strength of schedule" based on last year's results, but by and large, I agree with you.

Jim from Hudsonville, MI

Hi II. Red zone question. If memory serves (which is rare these days), aren't red zone game plans generated from an offensive position coach each week? Would it make sense to designate that responsibility to a specialist? Say, a red zone coordinator? Or would that be a too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen scenario? (Thanks for keeping us informed and entertained!)

The offensive staff already has 11 coaches, not including the head coach, and even though one position coach is assigned that segment, the game-planning work is a constant collaboration amongst the group anyway. That said, specialization seemingly knows no bounds, so I guess it's possible somewhere down the line.

Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI

I'll add to the "when the season turned" or was over opinions. The "trick" play against the Lions to get David Bakhtiari a TD from Rodgers was intercepted. It's part of the pattern of not getting touchdowns in a few games as mentioned, but it alone just was so deflating that what should have be a feel good, career memory and season highlight for those two failed so spectacularly. When that play got called, successful execution was mandatory for a successful team.

The fact that the offense had to resort to that play, after three consecutive failures from the 1-yard line (two AJ Dillon runs sandwiched around an incomplete pass to Watkins), was emblematic of the ongoing struggles, whether the play was successful or not.

Paul from Lindenwold, NJ

It's easy to remember crucial defensive let downs in the fourth quarter that lead to a loss, but what I think fans often forget is that many times this year those letdowns were preceded by multiple, consecutive stretches of stops by the D. More than not, the offense didn't capitalize on those stretches. In today's offensively tilted NFL, total defensive consistency is impossible, and the onus to win games is on the O. Score just once or twice during those stretches and the 4th quarter mistakes are moot.

Bingo. That wasn't the case every game, but it definitely was in certain games last season.

Mike from Madison, WI

Mike, I was very happy to see GB draft Christian Watson last year, especially since Davante Adams was gone. It all looks like he could be a WR1 for this team or any other. My concern is his health. Prior to training camp, he had a knee procedure, then the hamstring injury, and finally the concussion. Do you think he will be "the guy" for years to come, or do you think he will be like Sammy Watkins, high draft pick, loads of potential, but can't stay healthy?

No guarantees exist in this world. I'm sure Watson will do everything he can to take care of his body and put the injuries of his rookie season behind him. But I'm not going to claim he's done getting injured, nor will I label him injury-prone based on one pro season.

Tom from Cambridge, MA

My ex-father-in-law, a UW prof, met Ken Bowman when he was getting his JD. Bowman told him his locker was next to Jerry Kramer's. When the press came in, Kramer told Bowman, "Let an old man have his day." Bowman stood aside and let Kramer take the credit for moving Jethro Pugh. Bowman, a kid at the time, only realized years later that that sort of (positive) attention never comes to offensive linemen.

"Old man." That's funny. Kramer's just seven years older than Bowman.

Randy from Ishpeming, MI

Do you really think it is realistic that Green Bay will ever get to host the draft?

Yes. The city and the Packers have made a very competitive bid to host the event and I think there's a good chance it happens this decade.

Dan from Rice Lake, WI

Disappointing that recent II discussions re: best uniforms never mentioned Penn State away game uniforms. Granted, discussion NFL-centric, but that blue stripe down the center of the Nittany Lions' helmet … Not fancy, just football.

I, too, never have a problem with simple.

Dominic from Chesapeake, VA

Mike, I truly appreciate your baseball knowledge. I'm 64 and right now I feel a kid because I will be in the company of Johnny Bench tomorrow night! I was a huge Reds fan in the '70s. My first baseball experience at Riverfront, I saw Bench, Tony Perez, George Foster and Lee May all hit HRs in the same game! In my lifetime I think the 1975 Reds were the greatest team. Ever watched any highlights of Bench? As catchers go, I have him as the GOAT! During your lifetime who's your best catcher? Thanks.

I saw the tail end of Bench's great career, and I have some of his baseball cards. I also remember him as the host of the great kids show, "The Baseball Bunch," where he demonstrated (among other things) how he could hold seven baseballs in one hand. Probably the greatest catcher during my lifetime, offense and defense combined, is Pudge Rodriguez, even though he was suspected of using PEDs at one point. He played the position like nobody else in my opinion.

Dale from Prescott, WI

The Badgers have been to the Big Dance 22 of the last 23 seasons, an amazing run that appears to add another miss. What season was it and what was their record? WI fans need the Bucks and the Crew to stop this playoff drought before it gets too long!

The other NCAA miss was the 2017-18 season, when the Badgers' record was 15-18 (7-11 in conference). As disappointing as this is, and I'm a huge March Madness fan, I remind myself the Badgers' first NCAA Tournament bid in my lifetime came when I was a senior in college.

Jonathan from St. Joseph, MO

Mike, do you sometimes come out of a room full of broken computers after you've done an Insider Inbox? Serenity now...

That's as good a sign off for me as any. Be nice to Wes next week. Have a great weekend, everybody.

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