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Inbox: There's plenty of enthusiasm for it

It’ll be one of the top stories of training camp

WR Jayden Reed and WR Malik Heath
WR Jayden Reed and WR Malik Heath

Tom from Woodbury, MN

Define a "storied franchise." Is it always a good story?

There's at least one in there, right?

Kevin from Jenison, MI

Are you kidding? Five grand slams in eight days?! Go Crew!

And to think they were one of the least productive teams in the league with the bases loaded until a week ago, just one grand slam in their first 61 bases-loaded at-bats. SlamFam Field or AmSlam Field? Either one works for me.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

"I honestly don't see us being involved in all the other (NFL Draft) hoopla." Mike, the circus is coming to town. It will need clowns. And jugglers. Send in the clowns. There ought to be clowns.

Oh boy.

Joe from Wausau, WI

When the Packers travel to Brazil, will that be the longest distance an NFL team has traveled to play a game? Or does that distinction go to a West Coast team traveling to London?

I believe our flight to Brazil will be longer. You can get from the West Coast to London in about 10 hours.

Bart from Point Roberts, WA

Congrats to Mr. Policy. When can we expect to see a press conference introducing him?

Sometime in the next 12 months. He doesn't officially take over until July of 2025.

Tyler from Green Bay, WI

Including playoffs, there were four kickoffs returned for TDs out of 285 games in 2023. With the new kickoff rules and what you have seen with limited visibility of those rules in action, what is your prediction for total KRet TDs in 2024?

No idea. We won't see any actual live reps of a new kickoff until the preseason, and even then many of the players on the field won't be making the roster.

JoAnn from Saukville, WI

Can you really tell how the team is going to perform during the season while watching practice? It's not REAL games…

Of course not, and I don't think I've ever claimed to know how the team is going to perform from watching practice. Plus, once the regular season starts, our viewing of practice does not include any 11-on-11 periods. We only get to see those during training camp.

Heather from Kronenwetter, WI

Who are you most excited to watch this upcoming season?

On offense, Jayden Reed. On defense, Lukas Van Ness.

Laura from Arlington, VA

Rookie to watch?

Edgerrin Cooper and Javon Bullard might both be starting from Day 1. That alone is worth my attention.

Robin from Ashburn, VA

What are you excited about for training camp?

The kicking competition and two-minute drills. Finding the right kicker is a vital task for a contending team, and there's nothing more intense in practice than the first units going head-to-head in an end-of-game situation. The guys really get into it.

Wayne from Stevens Point, WI

Can there be an honest discussion about draft classes? Green Bay has done a fine job of drafting. I will go with that. But how would you say the Lions have done? Seems GB have drafted good players, and good number of them, but haven't the Lions drafted a star per year?

Well, looking at the last three drafts, Penei Sewell was the No. 7 overall pick in '21, Aidan Hutchinson was No. 2 overall in '22, and Sam LaPorta was the second tight end taken at No. 34 overall in '23, if those are the guys you're referencing as stars. The Packers haven't had a top 10 pick in 15 years, and before selecting Luke Musgrave at No. 42 overall last year, they hadn't used a first- or second-round pick on a tight end since 2000 (Bubba Franks). So I don't know what you're after as far as comparisons. The Lions really hit it big getting Amon-Ra St. Brown in the fourth round in '21. Massive win for them. And last year's group of Jahmyr Gibbs, Jack Campbell, LaPorta and Brian Branch – all taken in the top 45 picks – has a chance to be really, really good, no different than Green Bay's '23 class based on their rookie seasons. On balance, the Lions' draft results have changed considerably for the better since Brad Holmes took over as GM in 2021.

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

It's funny, I almost forgot we signed Josh Jacobs the other day. Is he one of the biggest offensive free-agent signings in Packer history? Defense has White and Woodson. More recently Z, Preston and Amos. The last big offensive signing was Jimmy Graham. If Jacobs returns to All-Pro form this offense could be special.

He probably is the biggest offensive free-agent signing in team history, though I'd have to dig a little more just to be sure. Graham in '18 and Billy Turner in '19 are the only ones from recent years that were significant in terms of total investment.

Ron from Broken Arrow, OK

Mike, I have been reading Jerry Kramer's "Instant Replay" for the first time in many years. Lots of changes in how the players prepared for the season compared to now. I am curious if the Packer players still share a hotel room while on the road, or if each player gets their own room.

Young players are usually paired up as road roommates, while the most veteran players will get their own room.

Shawn from Kissimmee, FL

As we wait to see if a contract extension happens for JLove … Brock Purdy is just making just over $1M in 2024 and currently $1.1 M in 2025. Is he another QB that may cash in soon?

Not until next offseason. As a draft pick on his rookie contract, Purdy has to complete three seasons before his contract can be extended or renegotiated.

Yotam from Atlit, Israel

About the Sunday Ticket trial, is the fine (assuming one will be handed out after all the appeals are done) simply divided by 32 and each team pays its part or does the league itself also pay part of it? I mean, we always talk about "the league" wants this or that, so is it a separate organization or just the sum of its (very rich) parts? Is there an independent business/financial institute with cash reserves for this fine?

I don't know if the clubs themselves collectively pay the full 100% of a legal judgment in a situation like this, but if not, it's darn close. Any portion Park Ave. might pick up would be minimal.

Bob from St. George, UT

With all the talk of the QB salaries in the NFL, the MLB Dodgers' Shohei Ohtani has signed a 10-year contract worth mega, mega bucks. The majority of this contract will be paid, with zero interest, when Ohtani is most likely finished playing baseball. This was the player's idea, so the Dodgers could continue to build their roster. Would this be possible in the NFL these days?

I suppose a player could defer payment if he really wanted, but that wouldn't change the salary cap charges, which would have to go on the books regardless, per the CBA.

Terrance from Sun Prairie, WI

What can the offense improve on?

Late-game situations.

Karen from Cary, IL

With all the attention paid to the Bears' offseason, all their acquisitions, and the success of the Packers' 2023 season, do you think there will be a renewed enthusiasm for the Packers-Bears rivalry?

There's plenty of enthusiasm for it in Chicago. The one on the losing end more often and most recently always feels that way about a rivalry. I'm sure Bears fans feel Caleb Williams is their ticket to turn the tide.

Mike from Baraboo, WI

Is Eric Stokes at risk of losing his starting role and also potentially being cut?

I don't see Stokes at risk of getting cut, but the battle between him and Carrington Valentine for the No. 2 CB job opposite Jaire Alexander should be entertaining. It'll be one of the top stories of training camp.

Barb from Marengo, IL

A follow-up to the jersey question … if a player swaps a jersey with an opposing player after the game, do they pay for that jersey?

I believe so, yes. Tony from Panama followed up asking about cost, and I don't know that answer. I do know the seamstress team has to get another one ready for the next game. I remember Marge, former head seamstress, telling me it was a real challenge if a player did a jersey swap on a Sunday before an upcoming Thursday game.

Mike from Winchester, TN

Hi II, I actually enjoy the Dead Zone due to the off-topic nature of some of the submissions. For Spoff: Did you see that a fisherman caught the Minnesota certified weight state record black crappie? An absolute FREAK at 17.5" x 3 lb 8.9 oz. Wow!

Freak is right. Yowza.

Doug from Woodington, OH

I'm on board to assist with the All-Weston edition of the Inbox. There's a village in Ohio named Weston near Bowling Green. It's a bit of a haul for me, but one I'd be willing to make. Is there a tentative date I can etch into the schedule?

You'll have to check with Wes after he's done with all the Outsider Inbox postings.

Jon from Laramie, WY

Here in Wyoming, we have an entire county named after Weston!

Do they grow asparagus there?

Kyle from St. Charles, MO

So much hate on my Redbirds last week! Rude. Also, there are 27 Westons in the United States apparently. The more you know.

Enjoy the week of OI. I'll be back with another traditional column on Tuesday, July 8.

Craig from Williamstown, Australia

Wes, we have a town in Australia named after you also. It's in the ACT (Australian Capital Territory). You should be the mayor.

All right, we've fed his ego enough. Happy Monday.

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