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Inbox: There’s plenty to sort out this week

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Joe from Hettinger, ND

Wes, did you remember to grab Mike and Larry?

Larry was one of the first people I ran into after I checked in. He appears to have made it. Good morning!

Justin from Trabuco Canyon, CA

Hey Wes, I know there has been a lot of talk about drafting our next TE1. I’m not against this if the value is there, but I think many are overlooking Rob Tonyan. Watching how natural Tonyan is as a pass catcher and his background as a receiver, I wouldn't count him out, especially if he improves with his blocking. And he has swag.

For all you “Big” Bob Tonyan fans out there, I promise I will ask Matt LaFleur at least one question about him while here in Arizona. I get it. You guys really, really like him…and so do the Packers.

Brad from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Wes mentioned being happy with the following players: Oliver, White, Sweat, Gary, Taylor, Quinnen Williams, Jonah Williams, Greedy Williams, Wilkins or Hockenson. I count 11 and there will be a QB or two taken before the Packers at 12. Excited to see what the GM will do.

If there was ever a year for the Packers to pick inside the top 12, this is a decent one to do it. I think we’ve seen enough from these prospects to confirm there will be some gems on the board when the Packers go on the clock April 25.

Cory from Middle Village, NY

Do you see the Jonah Williams realistic at No. 12?

I think the possibilities are endless. Other than probably Kyler Murray, Nick Bosa and Josh Allen, I’m leaving everything on the table for the Packers at No. 12.

Jamie from Sydney, Australia

Hi guys, love ya stuff. Just read that the Jets are willing to trade the third pick. What would it cost for the Pack to make this move? Cheers.

Based on the good ole draft-value chart, it probably would take both of the Packers’ first-rounders and their second-rounder (No. 44). That’s a little rich for my blood.

David from San Francisco, CA

Wes! How did you forget to include Brian Burns in your list! Happy Saturday, my friend.

Inexcusable. I apologize for the error.

Mark from Cumberland, MD

Obviously, the Packers are very exclusive when it comes to retiring jersey numbers. That being said, will we ever see anyone else wear a ‘12’ in green and gold?

No. The day Rodgers plays his last game will be the last time No. 12 sees the field in Green Bay. I just hope Lynn Dickey is in attendance for the jersey retirement.

Rod from Chugiak, AK

So many fond memories of Randall Cobb. My all-timer was his first game as a Packer. I was moose hunting with my two eldest sons in the Alaska Range. After splitting up for the day, we found ourselves back in camp in late afternoon. We agreed to drive the gravel road 40 miles to a remote lodge in hopes they'd have TV and reception. They did. What a game against New Orleans and what a time of bonding yet again over Packers football. Seems I recall John Kuhn lending a little questionable help on that kickoff run-back.

That was my second year doing postgame quotes in the Lambeau press box. I remember watching that 108-yard return unfold live and thinking, “Man, this guy is going to be special.”

Bruce from Green Bay, WI

Good morning, all. I, as a Packers fan, am really excited by what’s going on here, Gute is truly trying to build a Super Bowl team, not just going through the motions. He is embracing the challenges ahead of him and willing to take advantage of signing players and coaches with calculated enthusiasm. I think it is fair to now say we are at the dawn of something special here in GB. How many days is it to kick off?

It’s hard saying goodbye to long-tenured veterans, but the trade-off is the excitement you feel when new free agents are brought in and rookies are drafted. You never know exactly what you have until the games begin, but the Packers definitely haven’t rested on their laurels this offseason. Every move Green Bay has made is intended to make sure 6-9-1 doesn’t happen again.

Trev from Omaha, NE

Hello! I think a lot of fans are forgetting about Geronimo Allison. I went back and watched some tape and he lined up in the slot quite often. I think both he and MVS can be really good in the slot, no? Yeah, it would help to have a smaller guy who is quick, fast, catches everything, can take a hit, but everyone wants that. Also, just want to say keep safe to any fellow Nebraskan, Iowan, or anyone else impacted by these terrible floods.

The Packers cross-train all their receivers, so Allison and three returning second-year guys can hold their own in the slot. My only point was the offense could benefit from having a natural slot (like Cobb was) on the roster because of how many tall, lengthy types they currently have.

Scott from Appleton, WI

Why don't we see more defensive backs that are in the 6-foot to 6-2 height range? Many are 5-11 to 6-foot. I would think, in general, taller is better for defending today's taller receivers.

They’re usually playing receiver.

Richard from Menasha, WI

Who are the slot receivers still available in free agency?

Chris Hogan is probably at the top of the list, but the entire receiver market is starting to thin out. Jordy Nelson, Michael Crabtree and Pierre Garcon probably will lead this next wave.

James from Austin, TX

In response to Tom from Blaine, WA. The onside kick is NOT a gimmick to add drama, as it can be used at any time in the game to shift or maintain momentum. We complain about bad calls, no calls, or a key injury that cost us a game, and that's not due to "under-performing" for the first three quarters of a game. Sometimes an onside kick is the last chance to get back what was rightfully ours!

There’s also an art to it. Mason Crosby is one of the best in the league at onside kicks. Shoot, he might be the very best at surprise ones. The question owners have to ask this week is whether the onside attempts will sort themselves out under the new rules or the play needs help – or an alteration. Either way, there’s plenty to sort out this week.

Mike from New Orleans, LA

Wes, you said: "Making 15-yard and spot-of-the-foul penalties reviewable for a year tops my list" when discussing the rule changes you want to see. Reviewable for a year? So the Super Bowl could be analyzed for 11 months and then a penalty can be switched around? Seems like a step backward to me...

That’s how the NFL handles significant rule changes. It’ll test them out for a year before voting to make them permanent. The league did that with 33-yard extra points a few years ago and will vote to do it again with the most recent kickoff rules Wednesday.

Todd from Eau Claire, WI

How soon after the owners meeting will we know the outcome of any decisions that were made? With all the hype around onside kicks, inquiring minds need to know what we have in store for the upcoming season.

Unless something gets shelved until the spring meetings, we should know as soon as voting concludes on Wednesday.

Bill from Wheaton, IL

As an old timer (80 years old, former coach, Packers fan since a kid), I love the onside kick with the old rules. Everyone who wrote in recently thinks of it as a late game ploy by a losing team to try to salvage a game. Do you remember a few years ago when MM opened the game with an onside kick as the first play? It set the tone for the whole game. Smart move, I'd say. Your thoughts?

Special teams have taken a licking in the public domain as of late, but there was a time when the Packers had one of the league’s more innovative units. In 2011, Randall Cobb was a threat on returns, Crosby was doing his thing and McCarthy made his share of gutsy calls. I don’t know exactly what happened the past few years, but that element of surprise seemed to be lost.

David from Philadelphia, PA

Jordy Nelson, T.J. Lang, Morgan Burnett...all released well before their contracts expired. Safe to say that despite the fan backlash, Packers executives and coaches might just know a little more than the amateurs.

Third contracts are tricky. In Nelson’s case, I believe it was his fourth. In any NFL city, it’s tough for a veteran to fulfill a long-term deal. There are too many variables – just look at how things unfolded with Nelson in Oakland.

Rick from Crown Point, IN

When the Packers release a player, is there a predetermined way to do it? I hope it’s not cold and impersonal. Thanks Wes. You keep me entertained every day!

I’ve talked to a lot of agents and can tell you for a fact the Packers handle it as well as any team in the NFL. It’s not fun to cut a player, but they don’t blow smoke up anybody’s byline. They’re professional, courteous and honest about their thought process.

Donna from Portland, OR

Howard Green's No. 95? It sounds like the big man has some special meaning to you. Care to share it with us?

Green was a massive defensive tackle who gardened. I mean what’s not to love? Ted Thompson made some brilliant in-season moves that year. Bringing in Green and Erik Walden helped the Packers overcome a litany of injuries and get over that championship hump.

Michael from Madison, WI

Third-round comp pick? What? I don't remember us getting a third-round pick ever!

Because the Packers never let a homegrown free agent, who would’ve commanded a third-round compensatory pick, leave. It’s not the consolation any team wants for losing a franchise player.

Rob from Vernon Center, NY

I would love for the Packers to draft Drew Lock, even if they have to give up a second- or third-rounder to do it. Sounds crazy, but they could have him for six or seven years (four plus one on a rookie deal and then the franchise tag, if needed). He could eventually be the heir apparent to Rodgers, and be an excellent back up until such time!

I don’t want to say it’s impossible to develop a QB for seven years, but it’s impossible. Also, I assume Lock is going in the first unless something crazy happens between now and the draft. Even if Lock is available near the end of the round, I’d expect a QB-needy team to trade up to secure his fifth-year option. The only way a team gets the option is if the player is drafted in the first round.

Kevin from Whitehall, WI

With as loaded as the Browns appear, if they win a Super Bowl on John Dorsey’s watch, does he become the Browns’ Ron Wolf?

It would put Dorsey in select company. The Browns’ three-decade run of mediocrity rivals what Green Bay endured through the ‘70s and ‘80s. If turning around Cleveland wasn’t enough, Dorsey drafted Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield. Imagine if those two become perennial All-Pros. That is one heck of a legacy.

Jeff from Brooklyn, WI

In light of Rob Gronkowski's retirement announcement, do you believe he is a first-ballot Hall of Famer?

I think so. He was truly one-of-a-kind. In his prime, Gronk was one of the most dynamic tight ends the league has ever seen. The guy changed how NFL teams utilize the tight end. The writing has been on the wall for the past couple seasons, but he made his mark.

Harry from Kennewick, WA

Dez Bryant...good fit for the Pack, or too much history to make him worth it? From what I have read and heard he still has something to offer the right team, but he is still Dez. What is your opinion?

I’ve received a few random Bryant questions over the weekend. Am I missing something? Is Dez even healthy?

Nikhil from Highland Park, IL

Wes, when Jordy slapped you on the chest, did you break a bone? Rhetorical question. Mike, when Wes broke his bone after Jordy slapped Wes’s chest, were you surprised, and were you good enough to call for help?

Spoff isn’t back until Thursday, but I can fill in the blanks here. After Mike McCarthy finished at the podium, Spoff put his laptop away and carried me back to the bus.

Kristen from Surprise, AZ

I'm so excited you're in my state! What are some of your favorite places to hit while you're here? Though not exclusive to Arizona, I recommend In-n-Out and Dutch Brothers. I believe the Brewers were also here this weekend. Were you able to see them play?

I am jealous. Surprise is a gorgeous place. I flew in Sunday morning, so I don’t think I’m going to be able to squeeze in a Brewers game. There’s work to be done. I can’t wait to see the new Maryvale at some point, though.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

I saw another person commented on moving his No. 52 jersey to the back of his closet next to his 4. They have it all wrong. I bought my Eddie Lacy and Jordy Nelson throwback after Thanksgiving the last two years. Both were under $25 for a jersey priced well over a hundred! Look for me to be wearing a Cobb 18 to next year’s holiday outing!!

Some of you have it all wrong. It’s not about replacing a jersey after a superstar leaves – it’s adding to the collection when a new one arrives.

Ryan from Sun Prairie, WI

Do either of the II writers play golf? Who has the better game?

Poorly. I’ve never played golf with Spoff, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to stay he’s better.

LeeAnn from Carefree, IN

My wish granted, Wes. Glad to see you'll be representing the Packers and fellow shareholders at the owners meeting. We're in good hands.

No problem. Just let me know all the questions you guys want asked of Roger Goodell. Jokes aside, we’ll be here in Arizona for the next three days. We’ll have updates and stories in the coming days after our availability with Gutekunst and LaFleur. Have a great Monday, everybody.

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