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Inbox: This year would appear to be no different

Plenty of picks are made without anyone being sure

CB Eric Stokes
CB Eric Stokes

Dick from Four Oaks, NC

Dear Mike, me "too."

I guess I shouldn't be floored by the volume of submissions, not made facetiously as best I can tell, urgently correcting my obvious error. If the shoe fits, I encourage you to take another, closer look at the opening Q/A from Saturday's column. If you still don't get it, I can't help you.

Andy from Madison, WI

Deliberate typos and spicy retorts to silly questions…welcome back, Spof! But seriously, what did Gutey say about who we're drafting?

If I told you, then I'd have to ban you.

Dominic from Chesapeake, VA

Mike, my practice has been very busy lately and I rely solely on the Inbox and for keeping up with the team. I am clueless about the draft and the depth of positions, except I know there are a lot of WRs. I'm curious, are there a couple of "Bigs" (DL, DE and even ILB) you are looking at that you could see making an immediate impact for the Packers? Thanks and welcome back!

I'll use this query to shamelessly plug our 2022 Prospect Primer series, which begins today. Different from pre-Covid years, we've focused our profiles on players frequently projected to be drafted in the second half of the first round, to give an idea of guys who might be available when the Packers are on the clock at Nos. 22 and 28. We'll have receivers, bigs, 'backers, all types – one thumbnail sketch and video every weekday between now and the draft. Hope it helps.

Matt from Tea, SD

With the new extension of Xavier Howard of the Dolphins, is this a good idea of what Jaire Alexander can expect or just a starting point?

The numbers definitely factor into where the market is for top corners, but the two-year/$50M parameter isn't apples-to-apples with Alexander's situation because Howard's new deal is an extension to a contract that had three years remaining on it.

Robert from Honolulu, HI

Changes in attitudes, changes in latitudes aside, could you share your thoughts on why NFL team scouts, who visit colleges and talk to coaches, sometimes miss the signals that certain rookies lack the work ethic (hello Jamarcus Russell, hola Ryan Leaf) required to succeed in the NFL? I mean, we all know who our lazy co-workers are, right? (BTW: I am not at work typing this.)

There can be a lot of dishonesty throughout this process. That's part of what makes it such a crapshoot. But there's also no telling how a young 20-something will react when he suddenly has millions of dollars in his pocket and everyone fawning over him (or hanging on, etc.). Some teams definitely dig deeper to uncover as much truth about a player's makeup and character as possible. But plenty of picks are made without anyone being sure.

Mark from Missoula, MT

With Bayern Munich and Manchester City playing an exhibition game at Lambeau Field this summer, has there been any word about Lambeau Field hosting a/some World Cup match/es in 2026? With so many Packer fans abroad, surely such an event would be a draw for those many fans to check two items off the bucket list. I know it would for me and many other fans of both kinds of football.

My understanding is only exhibitions or "friendlies" can be played at Lambeau because a regulation field cannot fit within the stadium's playing surface.

Chris from Goddard, KS

Will it now be to the advantage of the coin-flip winner to kick off in playoff overtimes?

Some might go that route, depending on the situation and how the fourth quarter finished. But I'd probably be more inclined to take the ball and let my defense get a little extra rest before it has to take the field.

Tom from West Palm Beach, FL

I feel like every time I read a Murphy Takes 5, I get a little more appreciation for what you guys endure. He doesn't filter quite as much as you do, so we get a bit of a peak behind the curtain. I can only imagine the patience and serenity required to publish II six days a week, 52 weeks a year with all the unhinged rants, incomprehensible drivel, and repetitiveness of questions. So thank you for shielding II from that.

We do our best. For me, difference of opinion, passion and frustration all come with the territory. But disrespect is a disqualifier.

Barb from Marengo, IL

I am embarrassed by the way some of our fans present their questions to Mark Murphy! I understand the frustration of losing Davante but I wouldn't want to assume that I know all that went into that decision. Davante wanted to be closer to home. It made me wonder, are there players whose families choose not to live in Green Bay during the season? Or are they raising families here during the season, attending local schools and shopping at local stores and then moving out of town after the season?

The latter is fairly common, though over the years I've known some prominent players with families who settled here year-round.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Mike, on April 1, you wrote, "With the exception of the mandatory minicamp, the offseason program is voluntary for players, per the collective bargaining agreement with the union." What are some of the pro and con reasons a player contemplates when deciding whether or not to attend the offseason program? If your offseason was optional, would you participate?

If I were a young player, I would take every opportunity available to work with my coaches and teammates. The Packers often build bonuses into the contracts of veteran players, with the bonus predicated on a certain level of participation in the voluntary offseason workouts.

Charlie from Spring Lake, NC

Mike, I'm not sharpshooting, rather I'm genuinely hungry for knowledge. On Saturday you said "if gambling weren't illegal at Bushwood." Please explain why you chose the plural form of the verb. The tenses do not seem agree. Please help!

It's called the subjunctive mood, and I used it to start the previous answer. I'll let you Google it. I admit I don't always use it correctly, but I sincerely try to. Your curiosity is appreciated.

Adam from Madison, WI

After TT restocked the roster it seemed like he was drafting for a year ahead, not needing picks to contribute until year two. For the first time under BG it seems he has that option (other than the obvious one position).

I'm not sure I'd make such a blanket statement regarding previous years. Yes, high picks in his tenure such as Alexander, Darnell Savage, Elgton Jenkins and Josh Myers were expected to step in right away. But Gutey also drafted Gary high when he had the two Smiths, Dillon with Jones and Williams here, and Eric Stokes with Alexander, Kevin King and Sullivan all in the fold. I'd say there's been a mixture every year, and this year would appear to be no different.

Paul from Gorham, ME

Good morning, Green Bay has a pretty solid record of draft success; I'd match it against any other team's. Do teams ever try to lure away another team's scouts? If scouts can work any region, does it matter whom they work for?

As with any job, the pay, benefits, working conditions, etc., all matter, and I can't speak to how that differs for scouts league-wide. But I know it's not the same everywhere. Also, scouts are so heavily involved in the process from start to finish they know when and where their work is valued. That's also not the same across the league.

Steve from Soda Springs, ID

I see contracts like Teddy Bridgewater getting 6.5 million but with incentives could get 10 million. My question is what amount does a team have to apply to the cap? Thanks for keeping us entertained.

Incentives are either categorized as likely to be earned (LTBE), or not. An LTBE incentive is one the player achieved the previous year, and must be capped immediately. If not, the incentive (if paid) does not count against the cap until the following year. If an LTBE incentive is not reached, the team gets cap credit back the next year.

Patrick from Murfreesboro, TN

So, the Spoff crystal ball says the early picks could be "pretty much anything except quarterback [or] running back…" That's a familiar refrain from just two years ago, and look what happened then. Why tempt the Lambeau gods now with such prognostications?

Well, while I admittedly was caught off-guard by the Jordan Love selection, I was not surprised at all the Packers used a second-round pick on a running back in 2020. With Jones and Williams both entering contract years, it made all the sense in the world. As for this year, with Aaron Rodgers back and a first-round pick as his backup, it will be a head-sewn-to-the-carpet moment for me if the Packers choose another QB high in this draft.

Damien from Perth, Australia

Aaron Rodgers has talked about how he and Adams had a playing relationship where they knew what each other were going to do at different moments in games, and not a lot needed to be said to each other. Is Randall Cobb going to be that guy next season, or will he try and form that sort of similar relationship with Robert Tonyan or Allen Lazard?

He has that with Cobb, and I suspect it'll be more prominent this year in Cobb's second season in LaFleur's system. It's been under development with Tonyan and Lazard and should continue to grow, particularly in the red zone with Tonyan and on back-shoulder throws with Lazard.

Jerome from Midland, TX

Most NFL analysts would say that a drafted player is an upgrade from an undrafted free agent (UFA). Three UFA starters (2-off/1- def), Nijman could be another. If Nijman starts at right tackle, would he be one of the first UFA to start the season at a tackle position for the Packers? I hope Yosh is back, seems he is continuing the tradition of an UFA being a valuable contributor on the offensive line.

The Packers have a solid track record in that area. At the tackle position specifically, Don Barclay comes to mind.

Dan from Allen, TX

I've seen several mock drafts by "experts" and the average Joes online that have the Packers taking a OT with their first pick at 22. Did these people not see Yosh play last year? I think they'll pick 1-2 OL but not that early. Am I missing something?

In a rather significant year in team history, the Packers had Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher as their starting tackles and drafted Bryan Bulaga at No. 23 overall. How did that turn out?

Eric from Green Bay, WI

What do 2007, '11, '12, '13, '14, '19, '20, and '21 all have in common? We lost to the best front seven in the playoffs. And most of those teams had average QBs based on how they were playing and/or where they were at in their careers at the time. We've had great WRs over those years. It didn't get the job done. I want the best front seven and if we don't have it I want the best OL to stop that front seven. Draft the big men and the pass rushers! They still matter in January.

Point taken.

Ingrid from Superior, WI

Inbox Detox is another great idea for a T-shirt.


Russ from Clackamas, OR

"I'll stick to exercise bikes and racquetball games, thanks. No way I'd last one workout in Gizzi's protocol." Would love to have video of you attempting one of the workouts. Just give us mortal fans an idea of what it takes. Bonus points if you complete the "protocol."

Um, no. Happy Monday.