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Inbox: They're only a couple wins away

You gotta have options in the NFL Draft business

Packers receiver Davante Adams and quarterback Aaron Rodgers
Packers receiver Davante Adams and quarterback Aaron Rodgers

James from Santa Maria, CA

Good morning II, have you ever had one of those moments where you just felt like giving all one-word answers to the Inbox?

Indubitably. Good morning!

Trevor from Seattle, WA

In regards to Spoff discussing Rodgers, insert Thriller popcorn gif here.

His headline said it all. The Packers know what they have in Rodgers – and are fully aware of the dangers that sometimes lie behind Door No. 2.

Scotty from Lombard, IL

Hey Insiders, I don't think a lot of people, regardless the media or the fans, really appreciate what we have with Aaron Rodgers. He has done everything, and more than anybody could ask for. I believe if we knew what we are getting back in 2008, everybody would have signed up for it. Also, I firmly believe Rodgers has a great deal of gas and magic left until he retires.

I just have never understood the Larrys of the sports world. What do you get out of making such a statement? If you're wrong, you look like a fool. If you're right, what does that get you? Either way, this isn't 2005. The Packers didn't just go 4-12, with Favre taking photos with his offensive linemen after the regular-season finale. Rodgers may be on the back nine of his career but he's not looking for the clubhouse.

Dakota from Keokuk, IA

OK, I have to stand up for my boy AR for a minute. I just don't understand why people are talking about him regressing. Last year, he was in a completely new system for the first time in NFL career. The two and three years before that he was dealing with injuries. He is still an elite QB, he can throw the ball, move in the pocket or scramble and throw on the run, and oh yeah, he doesn't turn the ball over. I don't think anyone could name five QBs that they would rather have than AR.

And most importantly, the Packers are winning again. You can use all the analytics, QBRs and PBRs you want but the way Rodgers played in 2019 won football games. They're a couple wins away from where they want to be.

George from North Mankato, MN

Hopefully this will help those who still don't understand that taking more swings in the draft is a good thing. Recent compensatory picks the Packers have made include: MVS, Blake Martinez, Mike Daniels and Aaron Jones.

And the Packers have 10 more picks this year to add to that list. You gotta have options in this business and the Packers are never in short supply when it comes to draft capital.

Rod from Star Meadow, MT

When I was watching the Jones highlights the other day, I was reminded of the tape of his college years shown after he was drafted. It seemed to me that he might be something special. But with his physical size and weight it also seemed highly doubtful such skills exhibited in college might reliably transfer to the NFL. Surprise, surprise. You have to wonder how did personnel department know? Or did they? Maybe the doubts lingered and so he wasn't used like he should have been.

I don't know how exactly the Packers did it but some area scout was doing his homework. UTEP is not a football hotbed. In fact, I think the football team has won like three games since Jones graduated. He was a world-burner against sub-optimal competition, which probably hurt his draft stock. But all that truly matters is what you do once you're in the league and Jones continues to produce.

Don from Foxboro, WI

I've been a fan of Ty Summers ever since the 2019 preseason. I see the linebacker position being addressed in many mock drafts with the assumption that Martinez will be gone. I don't disagree with this, but, am I totally wrong about Summers filling a more prominent role at the LB spot?

When addressing the inside linebacker position, Gutekunst was quick to mention how high the organization remains on Summers and Oren Burks. They're part of this conversation, too. If Martinez doesn't return, however, I don't see any way the Packers don't draft or sign an inside linebacker, though. As the key communicator of the defense, I think the position is too important to roll the dice.

Bret from Hertel, WI

Happy Saturday Wes! As a former coach, I have had a few athletes with a dislocated hip. Even though he has been cleared, would you be concerned as a GM drafting Tua?

It's a dangerous and scary injury, but a lot of medical advancements have taken place in the last 30 years such that Tua's talent still will make him a first-round quarterback. Top 10? Now, I'm curious to see what Miami, the LA Chargers and others in need of a QB will do inside that.

Bryce from Kenosha, WI

Seven playoff teams per conference? I know what they're thinking: It's mathematically possible for a 13-3 team to be last in its division (e.g., every team splits the division, wins out the rest). Adding a seventh team eliminates the injustice of that team sitting January out. For all the times it will never ever happen, can we live with ourselves knowing it could? This is a necessary, overdue correction for the good of our collective conscience.

You know my feelings on the matter. I've long felt like 32 teams, 12 playoff teams, eight division champions and four wild cards is the perfect formula. I still feel that way but obviously there is a business component to this, as well. I'll be interested to see how the union responds to the proposal. This is going to be a very interesting offseason for the NFL.

Bill from Menominee, MI

I thought the playoffs were perfect and didn't require altering. Then after thinking about it, why not? Viewers keep watching, so why not give them another game? The last time the playoff format increased to where it is now, there were only 28 teams. Now with four more teams and even more parity between teams, let another one in. Who expected the 9-7 Titans to knock off a No. 1 and get to the AFC Championship Game? Most years, 9-7 doesn't get you in. That fan base and organization came alive.

You're not wrong but I've always liked how the NFL regular season meant more than most sport leagues. This takes something away from that, especially with a best-of-one postseason format. There's only one way to find out, I guess.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Any rumblings on how the NFL will mete out the ninth home game in a 17-game schedule?

It likely would be an international/neutral-site game, which I'm in favor of. The Packers need to play in London. It's long overdue. Owners protecting a road Packers game need to be taken out of the equation. This would accomplish that.

Elliot from Minneapolis, MN

I agree with the statement that adding another wild card will water down the playoffs, but could one argue that having the best record in the conference would be significantly more important?

Yes. After decades of a slight difference between the No. 1 and 2 seeds, there suddenly becomes an ultra-galactic one. Who knows? Maybe it'll be the right move. I just need to see proof this will lead to more compelling December football before I necessarily believe it.

Brian from Madison, WI

Is there any chance a 17th regular-season game would be an AFC-NFC "natural rivalry" game, to have matchups like Jets-Giants and Texans-Cowboys every year? Who do you think the Packers' AFC rival would be?

If I'm a Packers fan, I'm stumping for the Browns.

Daniel from Delta, PA

In my opinion, meaningful playoff restructuring would be letting that 11-5 team that's third in its division in over a 7-9 division winner, not allowing more teams in. I can take or leave the 17th game, honestly. I'm more interested in what will be done with penalty review. Any word on that yet?

I guess an expansion to 14 teams would effectively end that debate. That's a win, I suppose. I'm sure the penalty review will be a popular topic at next month's owners meetings but don't expect any updates on that until then.

Venny from Montgomery, AL

Well, at least with the proposed additional regular-season game it should be relatively easy to create the matchups each season. They can keep the current scheduling format and add an additional AFC vs. NFC matchup based on division rankings, while rotating the divisions each season. However, I'm with you there's no need to dilute the current playoff format. It's easily the best out of the four major sports. How much money do players get for preseason games vs. regular-season games?

Players receive a weekly stipend for training camp and the four preseason games. They don't have contractual base salaries like regular-season games.

John from Green Bay, WI

Possibly the best nickname in the NFL will be a FA. Could "Snacks" Harrison be the kind of low-to-mid-tier FA signing the Packers need? He's a run-stuffing DL. Or are his age (31) and recent injury issues too much of a risk?

Most of the time, fans will email in about "Released Player X" and I'll scoff at it. "Snacks" is one of the rare exceptions. I'm a huge fan of the man. Obviously, nobody upstairs is asking for my opinion on the matter, but I felt the guy I watched on Dec. 29 still has a lot of good football in him. It pained me to hear him talking about potential retirement after the regular-season finale. I'm glad to hear he wants to keep playing.

Bob from Bement, IL

The Pats invested a low second-round pick on Jimmy G, kept him for 3½ years and then flipped him to SF for another second-rounder. Did they get their value out of the 2014 pick? Do you see that as a strategy the Packers might employ soon? Also, I never saw a NE second-round pick in 2018 that reflected that trade. What eventually happened with it?

This is what I've gone back and forth on over the years. Sure, Garoppolo won a couple games for the Patriots, but the Patriots erred holding onto him entering his fourth season. They would've gotten no better than a late third as a compensatory pick, so I suppose they did get proper value. The Patriots did a whole lot of trading after getting the 49ers' second-rounder (No. 43 overall) to the point I couldn't even confidently tell you whom they ended up with. For real.

Mike from Ames, IA

If you could banish one press-conference cliché so a player or coach could never use it again, which would you choose? Also, thanks for always giving 100% for the Inbox, we see the results of the little things you do every day throughout the week.

"He has a high motor."

Nate from Kewaskum, WI

Do you attend high school basketball? As great as professional sports are to watch, nothing is better than high school girls and boys sectional basketball.

No. I probably won't watch another until Rob Demovsky's son is playing varsity ball.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Randy from Ooltewah asked a fascinating question. If I could pick that HOF player at any position besides QB, I would go with middle LB. The Bears built their defense around Brian Urlacher for a dozen years. I'll take one of those please.

There are just so few five-tool middle linebackers in today's NFL. And many of the best ones don't wind up playing that long, either.

David from Fairmont, WV

My wife had our son, Brett, on Wednesday it was one of the most incredible moments I've ever experienced. (Our other first name considerations: Za'Darius, Jaire, Aaron, and Equanimeous). Thanks everyone for the prayers and wishes!

I would've suggested Weston, a good, strong name, but Brett isn't bad, either. Hope mama and son are doing well.

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

Wes, if we could get Joey Chestnut to eat brats rather than hot dogs, would you take him on in a contest? That could add up to a lot of five- or 10-packs.

You learn something new every day.

Tim from Windsor, CO

You guys on a road trip. "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles"? "Vacation"? "Easy Rider"? In any event, I'm suggesting a Packers Daily video while driving! Safe travels and looking forward to your analysis.

That ain't a bad idea. Maybe Spoff and I can do some live analysis from the dog area at the Lake Forest Oasis. I'll chat with you all again on Monday before we split. Have a great weekend.