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Inbox: They're two of the best to ever play the game

The Packers made a sneaky good signing on Thursday

Quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady
Quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady

Kevin from Whitehall, WI

With all the talk of social distancing, the work you guys do, and the community you have built, help us all get through this time. We aren't truly socially distancing. We are physically distancing. This forum helps us all stay socially connected.

We're all interconnected. Always. Good morning!

Tom from Phoenix, AZ

Good Morning II. Dear Mr. Schedule-maker, how about a Packers bye week during the third week of November followed by a Packers vs. Bucs Thanksgiving night game!

Works for me. I'm absolutely in favor of putting that game on the largest platform because matchups of that magnitude are so few and far between. They're two of the best to ever play the game. Fingers crossed, we get to see them square off this fall.

Paul from Gorham, ME

Good morning, you mentioned Green Bay-Patriots in 2014 as maybe the best game in the last ten years. Let's give it a Mt. Rushmore spin! Which four games in the last 10 years would you choose?

From a pure entertainment standpoint, I'd say Packers-Patriots in 2014, Packers-Bears in the 2013 regular-season finale, Packers-Lions in December 2015 and the 2016 NFC Divisional playoff game in Dallas.

Bill from Seattle, WA

It was mentioned on Friday that elite quarterbacks gets paid. There are 32 teams and they aren't all elite. The difference between AR and some lower level QBs is huge; yet, they all seem to make 30 million per year. It seems crazy.

Which is why you must to be thankful if you have one of the eight or 10 QBs who really deserve to make more than their NFL peers.

Clifford from Brockport, NY

Many say that Belichick couldn't have been successful without Brady and vice versa. Do you think that either or both relish the opportunity to prove that notion wrong?

Maybe, but I've never understood this logic. The NFL, maybe more than any other major sporting league, requires teamwork and collaboration. No one wins alone. Brady and Belichick were successful because the Patriots succeeded.

Derek from Alden, IA

Don't stress too much about losing Kyler Fackrell. He is a good player, but we drafted Rashan Gary for a reason and opportunity is how you get a breakout player. Best of luck to Kyler, but I'm excited to see the development of Gary.

The Packers have to get Gary on the field more and figure out what they have in the first-round pick. Every beat writer will tell you how Gary flashed last year during training camp but you gotta do it on the grass on gameday.

Keith from Dodgeville, WI

If Christian Kirksey and Rick Wagner are insurance policies for the losses in FA, then I hope we can assume the draft will go toward possibly an impact WR, DL and TE. What are your thoughts about the team needs?

It still could be an OL or ILB. The Packers spent heavily on outside linebacker and safety and still used their first-round picks on those positions last year. The point I'm making is Brian Gutekunst has options depending on how the draft plays out.

Drew from North Bend, WI

So would Will Redmond re-signing after technically becoming a free agent affect the Packers' 2021 compensatory picks?

Nope. You only lose collateral in the compensatory formula if you sign unrestricted free agents from the other 31 teams. Redmond is a sneaky good re-signing. The move won't generate headlines but Redmond is one of Green Bay's better special-teamers. You need those guys.

Eric from Mequon, WI

"In Gute We Trust!" With most of the TE market signed by other teams, the Packers must feel what they have is better than what was available. What can you tell us about our current group that we should know, making us as confident as Gute is in that position group?

Experience (Marcedes Lewis) and athleticism (Jace Sternberger and Robert Tonyan). You know what you're getting with Lewis. The unknown is whether Sternberger and Tonyan can be the reliable playmakers the Packers need them to be. Lewis and the Packers are very high on Sternberger's upside and the offense is going to relying on former Texas A&M tight end next year. It's his time now.

Dominic from Chesapeake, VA

Wes-great work this week! Really! I was down over losing Blake Martinez. He is the only active Packer I ever had the opportunity to meet, when he and Jake Ryan came to the Tundra Lodge for a meet-and-greet the day before the opening day against Chicago in 2018! He simply epitomized what it is to be a Packer! He was very gracious and humble. The film on Kirksey is impressive. Do you think he will be a step up in talent over Martinez? He seems to have the character to be a Packer. Thanks.

Martinez is 16 months younger so take these comparisons with a grain of salt. Kirksey had the better vertical (32 inches to 28 ½) and broad jump (122 inches to 113) at the scouting combine, while Martinez had more bench reps (22 to 16). Kirksey didn't run the 40 in Indy but his time at Iowa's pro day was faster (4.58) than Martinez's 4.71 at the combine. So, from an athletic standpoint, Kirksey was a bit more prolific entering the league.

Brian from Alta Vista, IA

I definitely don't think the Packers are done. I think they will sign someone to help shore up the DL or a WR to add some depth. Can you imagine the Packers signing Ndamukong Suh or Robby Anderson? That would be nice. I think if they sign a DL that would definitely give the freedom to pick BAP. Do you agree? They could draft multiple linebackers and WR to find the man.

Like I mentioned before, the signings likely will slow down now. Seeing how the dominoes fall over the next week or two will dictate how the rest of unrestricted free agency plays out. There's still a lot of talent out there. The question is what teams are willing to pay for it.

Chris from Frederick, MD

Do the Rams owe Clay Matthews any dead-cap money? If so, and if he were to sign elsewhere, would that nullify the dead money owed to him by the Rams?

Dead money reflects signing bonuses that have already been paid out, so LA doesn't owe Matthews any more money.

Dave from Germantown, TN

At the end of the NFL year, the Packers had around 14 unrestricted free agents who presumably counted against the salary cap? On the first day of the new NFL year, these players are gone. Why don't their salaries and unamortized bonuses increase the team's availability under the salary cap?

Because their contracts expired after the last season and the 2020 salary cap reflects that.

Nate from Minneapolis, MN

Aside from QB and C, RBs touch the ball more than any other position and get banged up the most while providing an instrumental part of the attack game. Very few get the same contracts as star WRs that touch the ball significantly less, and when they do they tend to regress. In your opinion, is RB the most volatile position when it comes down to contracts, expectations, and shelf life? If not, what position do you think is?

Absolutely. No other position is even close. Le'Veon Bell tried to argue he was a skill-position player, not just a running back, and it cost him a year of his career. Even if a back gets paid, how often do you see that player's stock drop a year or two later? Todd Gurley, Devonta Freeman and Dion Lewis were all released this week after signing lucrative deals within the past two or three years. It's a challenging position, both on the field and in negotiations.

David from Hilliard, OH

Wes, in regards to the upcoming draft, I think Ana would agree, it is about time to draft someone from THE Ohio State University! O-H!

I-O. It has been a few years. Six, in fact (Corey Linsley).

Al from Green Bay, WI

Pondering QB stability in the NFC North, it occurs to me that Green Bay is set for a few years, as is Minnesota with Kirk Cousins extended. Chicago is going to be interesting with the addition of Nick Foles, but how do you assess Detroit?

Matthew Stafford is the quarterback and Chase Daniel is his backup. Those are the two things I can say with confidence about the Lions right now.

Jake from Franklin, WI

Hi Wes! Definitely agree with you that the Packers need to draft a young WR this year. But still curious about your thoughts on Breshad Perriman. Could he be a bargain signing or will he be too rich for your blood? Seems like he could be a big boost to the offense.

Perriman got his career back on track last year in Tampa and won't come cheap, especially with the way he finished with three consecutive 100-yard games. Reports are the Bucs want to re-sign him, so I don't expect a bargain.

Bret from Hertel, WI

Stay safe in your bunker Wes! From your observations from the combine, who was the most impressive offensive player and defensive player? Thanks!

Iowa's Tristan Wirfs. I had my eye on him before the combine but he still blew me away with his 36½-inch vertical in Indy. Defensively, it's Isaiah Simmons. It has to be. You don't see 6-foot-4 linebackers who run a 4.39 40.

Gregory from Milwaukee, WI

The fact Casey Hayward didn't play well in his last year in Green Bay isn't on TT. That's on his coaches and Hayward, himself. Even LeRoy Butler made a comment he should not be re-signed. Hats off to Casey for proving everyone wrong. Micah Hyde received an incredible offer from Buffalo that we couldn't match. Hats off to him as well. Can't sign them all.

No, you cannot. You do the best you can today and hope it's the right move tomorrow.

Dale from Aurora, CO

I bet you Tom Brady struggles in Tampa. How's a brat sound for the bet?

There's no gambling at Bushwood, sir. But I'll gladly buy you a brat if Brady's passer rating is lower than it was this past year (88.0).

Keegan from La Crosse, WI

Usually I don't like to bet but this one is a thing. After 30-40 days home with your wife and child you'll be doing more than shots of root beer. Meet you for a bottle or two of good vino soon.

I'm home right now but my wife is not. She's still working at her hospital at the moment.

Sal from Hailey, ID

Our county is under isolation orders, and I wanted to thank you for all the content you've made available on the Packers app. I've watched so many clips from the elliptical in my basement that my son was humming the Packers Pro Shop music the other day!

Spoff and I are going to attempt either a Periscope or a remote episode of "Packers Unscripted" next week. We also might pull Larry in on that, so stay tuned.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, you and the Inbox have been the silver lining during these difficult days. What has been the silver lining for you in these tumultuous times?

Spending more time with my son and being thankful for how the Packers have handled this ordeal. We talk so often about the football team but the actual employer has been fantastic over the past two weeks. I'm proud to work for this organization.

Ryan from Noblesville, IN

Wes, my kids are home from school now until beginning of May. How long are the kids home up there? Also, I want to say it's pretty great of all these company's in different industries coming together to provide their resources for free during this trying time. Stay safe with that little one of yours.

Kids in our school district (Howard-Suamico) are off another week and then online classes are scheduled to begin March 30. The targeted return date is April 13 but that's a moving target. Wild times.

Shel from New York, NY

"Wash your hands, wash your butt"? Wait, in that order? Who knew all these years I've had it wrong. Happy to learn from this column.

Please let the record show the II doesn't not condone this as the preferred order. Wash your butt…and then your hands.

Jason from Rockton, IL

Serenity now! Thank you II, you are a beacon of light in the darkness, a corrective lens of sorts in this troubling and blurry year of 2020. The visibility of positivity is being tested, but there will be clear skies and bright eyes soon enough. Go Packers!

Speaking of which, Spoff is back next week. Appreciate everyone who spent a few minutes with us this week. I wish you all the best weekend possible.