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Inbox: Those are reserved for Packers quarterbacks

Exploring such possibilities sure sounds intriguing

QB Jordan Love
QB Jordan Love

Doug from Green Bay, WI

With the jump in salary cap, how does this affect your upcoming contract? How big of a piece of pie are you and your agent anticipating?

Hardball isn't my style. I won't speak for Wes, though.

Bill from Brooklyn Park, MN

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Cherry Starr, Bart's wife. Did either of you ever have the chance to meet her?

I did, but only briefly, and can't say I got to know her. By all accounts an incredible woman, and the Packers family has lost another great one. All the best to the Starr family.

Justin from Los Angeles, CA

Just saw that Andy Reid is five wins behind Bill Belichick for all-time playoff wins by an NFL coach – 26 to 31. Hard to believe any coach could ever catch a guy who won six Super Bowls, but at this point that record seems in danger of falling, doesn't it?

Depending on how much longer Reid plans to coach, yeah.

Matt from San Luis Obispo, CA

It's been mentioned more than once recently in II that a switch to a 4-3 defense would require the Pack beefing up depth at ILB. At the risk of math in the Inbox, 3 is less than 4, so what am I missing?

The 4 in 3-4 includes the OLBs who function as defensive ends/edge rushers (think Preston Smith, Rashan Gary, etc.). They move into the 4 in 4-3 terminology while the 3, traditionally, encompasses a middle (Mike), strong-side (Sam) and weak-side (Will) linebacker, positions that 3-4 edge rushers don't really fit.

Juan from San Antonio, TX

After listening to Coach Hafley describe the traits of a safety for his defense I kept coming back to Harrison Smith in his prime. Mike, is this an accurate comparison in your opinion?

Smith is a six-time Pro Bowler because he can switch between post safety, box safety and blitz safety in his sleep. There isn't a defensive coordinator in the NFL who wouldn't love to have a safety like that, regardless of scheme.

Steve from Kansas City, MO

My understanding is that if we release Bakhtiari it frees up $21 mil, but creates $19 mil in dead money on the cap. Can't we sign him for the $19 mil instead? Is anyone seriously going to sign him for more than $19 mil given his medical situation? Or am I missing something obvious here?

The $19M in dead money is money he's already been paid that just hasn't counted against the cap yet. Any additional money paid to him would add to that cap charge.

Jordan from Virginia Beach, VA

Where is the $15 million in dead money on our cap coming from?

Most of the current dead money on the cap is from the three contracts that recently voided (Savage, Nijman, Nixon), which created immediate cap charges on as-yet "uncounted" money. Another chunk of dead money came due on Rasul Douglas, post-trade.

Troy from Westminster, CO

A couple of thoughts … I've long thought the Packers dealt Rasul when they did because there simply were too many perimeter CBs on the depth chart and they recouped future value for him while they could, with Jaire Alexander, Carrington Valentine and Eric Stokes slotted in. Is there any truth to that? Regarding Stokes, I'm very intrigued by him for next season, if he could only stay healthy. Maybe it's wishful thinking on my part but what have you seen from him in the moments he's been healthy?

Stokes was really impressive his rookie year, leading the team in pass breakups with 14, and he would've made himself an instant Packers legend had he hung onto the pick-six Garoppolo threw him in the playoffs. His second season started slowly, he suffered a nasty injury midway through, and health has betrayed him since. I asked Gutekunst on Tuesday in Indy what he envisioned for Stokes this season. Here's a portion of his answer: "I think he's got a good plan as we go forward this summer to try to get some of those (injury issues) righted, but yeah, when he's out there, we're a little bit different because of his ability to take speed away." Translation: Gutey still believes in him and is counting on him.

Herbert from Palm Desert, CA

Hi guys, Packer fans have gotten so used to asking if the team should sign a veteran wide receiver that we've forgotten that this next wide receiver room will be filled with veterans. Is there any position group that you think might benefit with the addition of a veteran FA?

I'm very curious what the Packers will do at safety, which is why I asked Gutey if he felt a veteran was needed to lead that group in Hafley's defense. He said not necessarily, so maybe he goes all young there like he did at receiver, or as I said on "Three Things," perhaps he's just not tipping his hand on free-agent thoughts, re-signing one of the Packers' own or exploring the market. Given the Hafley transition, safety stands out to me as a risky spot to lack a veteran, but plenty thought no veteran receiver with a new QB was risky, too, and it paid off. Stay tuned, I guess.

Ken from Oceanport, NJ

Gutey said there is a lot of depth at the top of the draft. Do you think that means he may be more aggressive in moving up in the draft to get some of these players?

I took it to mean he feels the top of the draft is deep enough he can get a pretty darn good player in the 20s.

Jim from Tempe, AZ

There's no shortage of RBs hitting the FA market this year. Given the topic of concern about overusing AJ33 it would make sense to have another RB with a similar skill set. His explosiveness has shown how valuable a player of his type is to the offense. Three guys I think would be a good fit are D'Andre Swift, Zack Moss and Devin Singletary.

I'd rather get younger, fresher (and cheaper) legs in the draft.

Bob from Rome, NY

Gentlemen, after seeing the list of previous 25th overall draft picks and their success (or lack thereof) can you at least mention to BG to move up or down at least one spot in the draft?

The No. 24 and 26 spots? Sorry, those are reserved for Packers quarterbacks. Green Bay doesn't get to commandeer those slots for other franchise-altering players.

Rob from Lennox, SD

II, my question is when Jordan Love signs his new contract in May, will he play out his existing contract in the upcoming season and his new contract goes into effect for 2025, or will his new contract void his existing contract and go into effect for this upcoming season? Thanks for the clarification!

The new deal will in effect replace the current one, but how it's structured for cap purposes will matter most.

Erich from Sheboygan, WI

I would love to see the Packers think outside of the box for our QB's next contract and front-load it instead of back-loading it. By taking the hit now, in 2-3 years they should be able to retain more of their younger talent and maybe even add a piece in FA when JL is even more polished. It would also protect against injuries and trades to not take a big dead money hit if worst case happens. We all know how hard it is to sign players when the QB's cap number is maxed out.

I understand what you're saying, but frankly it's irrelevant. Unused cap space carries over, so the Packers will structure the contract to give them flexibility now, rather than tying their hands, and what's not needed in one year can still be spent in another.

Benjamin from Bear, DE

Just watching 2023 highlights, one thing that continually showed up was how QB10 reacted under pressure. When pressured, it sure looked like QB10 never took his eyes or attention away from his progressions. He seldom, if ever looked at the rush. Do you see the same thing? It sure looks like there's a bright future in the Green Bay QB room. Your thoughts.

I thought Love handled all forms of pressure – both in his face and in his head – with aplomb. It's what made his final pass of the season so mystifying. But that anomaly served as a reminder of how he never seemed rattled, which was remarkable given the situations and circumstances he faced.

Jacob from Holmen, WI

Do you think San Fran is doing a disservice to Purdy by not signing him to an extension? By all accounts he will play next year on his rookie deal.

He's required to. The CBA prohibits any draft pick from altering or renegotiating his contract until after his first three seasons.

Celebrate Leap Day with photos of former and current Packers players performing the beloved end-zone celebration.

Tim from Olathe, KS

Insiders, the Chiefs are going to tag L'Jarius Sneed, but agreed to let him seek a trade. We have seen CMC get traded to the 49ers, Montez Sweat to the Bears, and other key trades by our rivals. I am not certain what Sneed would cost in draft capital, but I don't want to see him in our division or conference. Do you think Gutey will make an inquiry?

I expect he'll be aware of the asking price, and it'll be too steep to generate serious interest.

Ross from Hudson, WI

In amazing fashion Gute rebuilt the wide receiver group, fortified the defensive line, magicked up a tight end group, jigsawed a cohesive offensive line all in the span of only two seasons. Imagine if the linebacker corps, and secondary are next! Which is a better candidate for a draft double dip: cornerback, safety, or linebacker?

Any or all, and those are some interesting verbs.

Duane from Bangor, WI

Mike, you said the Packers are expecting three comp picks and I've heard that before. However, today I read that they will probably get four … 5th for Lazard, 6th for Reed, and two 7ths for Lowery and Tonyan.

I've seen some projections including a 7th for Tonyan and others that have him beyond the cutoff. We shall see.

Jeff from Wauwatosa, WI

Hi guys, it is so good to hear Hafley say that he is going to put Quay Walker in a position to make plays. I can't be the only one who thinks he has been underutilized the past two years. He's a fabulous athlete and I'd like to see the Packers use him like the Cowboys use Micah Parsons.

Exploring such possibilities sure sounds intriguing to me.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Brian Gutekunst said about drafting quarterbacks, "There's some guys with interesting skill sets that are going to get taken later that might have a pretty good chance to make it." Doesn't it sound like he's got his eye on a Day 3 selection again?


Ron from Bellaire, MI

Isn't it nice not having to listen to or read about the Packers having to take a wide receiver in the first round?


Colin from Milwaukee, WI

Every year the NFL cap goes up and the price of a starting QB goes up. The top earners aren't necessarily the top performers, rather they are the ones who have the newest contracts. Love is going to get a big contract, and the sooner it happens the less it will cost overall. Am I completely off base here?


David from Janesville, WI

Gents, I know all the talk is about the new DC and the combine, but as much as I'm looking forward to seeing the new defense I'm more excited about the offense in Love's second year. Last year had a lot of contributions by rookies, and now the coaches know what they have. I can't wait to see how they use Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft together. What are the new wrinkles for Jayden Reed? A healthy Christian Watson? We know what Romeo Doubs can do, but Dontayvion Wicks has just scratched the surface, much like Melton. It should be fun.

Yup. Happy Leap Day.

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