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It all makes sense now

There's always another way to look at it


Eric from Stramproy, Netherlands

Spoff, last preseason Monday morning Insider Inbox today: nice and quiet or roster-cut mania?

The volume of emails in the Inbox this weekend rivaled a postgame Monday, I'll say that.

Josh from Pullman, WA

First off, I hope everybody enjoys their Labor Day. Thank you guys for doing the Inbox on a federal holiday. Secondly, I could not be happier with the moves that have been made by TT. Good luck to Elliott, I hope he can get healthy. Welcome Brooks, seems like a perfect fit for our defense. Anybody want to blow on the dice before we roll them?

Welcome to Week 1, also known as the toughest week to survive in a knockout pool. Let the crapshoot begin. Just to clarify for everyone who asked, Brooks was not in the 53-man roster story posted Saturday because his signing wasn't yet official. It became official on Sunday, and**the story was updated**with Sunday's roster moves.

Vegas from Orlando, FL

Michael Clark is a guy that stood out and I expected him to stand in for the suspended Geronimo. On one hand I'm shocked he didn't make it, but on the other hand, 31 other teams passed him on waivers. Do you anticipate seeing him in the regular season?

You never know. Clark is a true developmental prospect with only one year of college football to his credit, but I suspect he'll be catching a lot of passes in practice from Brett Hundley and Joe Callahan as a scout-team wide receiver. The coaches will be monitoring his progress closely.

Patrick from Dover, FL

Why is it so hard for teams to release high draft picks that are not performing? The way I see it, drafting a player just means you got the first shot at him. If an undrafted guy outperforms your draft pick so be it. It seems like pride gets in the way sometimes. Keep the best players, simple as that. What difference does it make how you acquire him? I think we made a couple of poor choices on the 53 simply because we don't want to admit a mistake.

That's one way to look at it. Another is to realize that a team committed to draft-and-develop is going to weigh how much development remains versus whether a player has topped out. So no, it shouldn't matter how a player is acquired, but some decisions become a crystal-ball business, much like the draft itself.

Tracy from Sioux Falls, SD

Hello Insiders, I hope you're doing well after the flurry of activity this weekend. It seems to me claiming Chris Odom off waivers and having to put him on the 53 man roster looks like he was someone TT wanted all along. When a claim is made do other teams know during the process or is it kept secret? If another team knows, it may clue them in about a prospect they might have missed and lead them to make a claim if they are higher in the claim process.

Teams make claims on their own, without knowledge of what other teams are doing, unless they've gleaned it on their own. It sounds like Odom is a player the Packers pursued at draft time as a rookie free agent, but he chose the Falcons. You wonder if he'd known Green Bay's fourth-round pick at his position, Biegel, was headed for PUP, maybe he'd have made a different decision. But of course there was no way to predict that.

Steve from Lake Stevens, WA

Do you think Ahmad Brooks brings enough to the table to pretty much replace what the Packers lost in Julius Peppers?

From an edge-rushing, run-stopping and pass-coverage standpoint, perhaps, but I don't see him moving inside to rush in the dime the way Peppers did. I think the Packers are counting on Dean Lowry to do more of that this year.

Michael from Combined Locks, WI

Is there a reason they waited to actually sign Ahmad Brooks until after the 53-man cut-down? Will his signing affect the compensatory picks in next year's draft? Thanks!

It gave them an extra day to put Barclay on injured reserve, making him eligible to return should the Packers want to use one of their two designations on him. I was wrong the other day in Inbox when I said the rule had changed that required players to be on the 53 initially before going on IR in order to be eligible to return. I apologize for my error. The only rule change was allowing two designations now, not just one. The Brooks signing has no effect on comp picks. That deadline passed in May.

Jennifer from Middleton, WI

Please add me to the list of people dumbfounded by Joe Callahan getting signed to the practice squad over Hill. I get he needs to hang onto the ball, but based on raw talent and athleticism (not to mention playing time), it seemed for SURE he was our third. What the heck is happening behind the scenes we don't see?

I think Hill had passed Callahan on the depth chart by the end of camp. The final practices and playing time in the fourth game indicated that. But Hill was claimed on waivers, Callahan wasn't, so only the latter was available to be signed to the practice squad. The Packers knew they were taking a chance exposing Hill, but they obviously felt the roster spot was better spent elsewhere if they were comfortable getting only Callahan back.

Isaiah from Farmington, NM

What do you think of the Jayrone Elliott trade?

On a personal note, I'm sad to see Elliott go. He was one of my favorites in the locker room, and many other media members would say the same. Just a fun, pleasant guy to talk to, and as personable as they come. I wish him the best. On the business side, it appears with the additions of Brooks and Odom, the Packers didn't see much playing time for Elliott on defense. So they tried to get something for him, should he help out another team. Conditional picks are never guaranteed, though.

Andy from Clive, IA

What do you know about Odom? I know he blocked five kicks in college. This tells me he probably has long arms and knows how to play special teams.

I did not know that. Interesting. I also heard that reader Nick in Washington, D.C., played high school football with him in the same program as Myles Garrett, giving Odom a connection to the Inbox and to the top pick in the draft. So he's got that going for him, which is nice.

Bob from New Ulm, MN

Is there really an Inbox or is this all scripted?

Good one.

Bob from Titusville, FL

You will probably get many comments on this, but Brees is 38, and three or four years from now Hill may make a superb replacement. Reminds me of Rodgers' growth behind Favre. I loved watching him this preseason and only wish him well.

Or he could wind up back in Green Bay like Callahan last year. This business can be strange. Stay tuned.

Jim from Manteca, CA

What surprised you with the final roster?

I was surprised at the 10 offensive linemen, but then when Barclay was put on IR Sunday, indicating he has a significant road of recovery yet ahead, it made sense. Seven cornerbacks caught me a bit off-guard, too, but given what happened at that position last year, I get it.

Jason from Syracuse, NY

Do you think the league would ever allow teams to protect a few of their cut players by designating them for the practice squad for development and not eligible for waiver claims by other teams? It sucks to see a team like the Saints, for a second year now, take one of the Packers' young quarterbacks.

That would have to be collectively bargained, and given the difference between a practice-squad paycheck and an active-roster one, I don't see why the players would ever agree to it.

Bill from Mediapolis, IA

I really thought McCaffrey would have made the 53-man roster. Do you think it was a special-teams player that out-performed him?

As I said several weeks ago in this space, no offense to McCaffrey or any of the Packers' young receivers, but colleges are churning out prospects at that position at a dizzying rate. There's always a fresh crop coming along. Therefore, a non-starter at receiver has to be a potential core guy on special teams, like Janis or Davis, to warrant a spot.

Lawrence from Onalaska, WI

Hey Mike, during this period of cuts, when a team claims a player on waivers, but they cannot come to a contract agreement with the player, what happens then? Does the team re-waive the player, or is the player stuck on that team?

Teams assume the player's contract with a waiver claim. There is no negotiation. Economically, you get a player without having to pay him a signing bonus.

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

I know you guys don't like to speculate over these guys' lives, but is there a surprise cut/keep that you guys didn't expect?

I really thought Brian Price was making the team.

Dante from Fredricksburg, VA

What player has everyone screamed about getting cut in your Inbox? Mine is Reggie Gilbert.

Well, Gilbert is back on the practice squad. If he can beef up his game against the run, I think he becomes a more well-rounded prospect. Hill definitely grabbed the Inbox's attention.

Evan from Rochester, NY

If this roster cut-down has taught us anything, isn't it that need really does need to be considered or else you end up wasting draft picks on guys who are going to get cut at positions that are at capacity. We could have traded the collective three picks who got cut for someone with a lot more potential than any of them.

Again, one way to look at it. Another is not putting all the eggs in one prospect basket and hedging bets with volume.

Anthony from Milwaukee, WI

I think the Packers botched the Matt Flynn situation and they just botched the Brett Hundley situation. Just like they should have parted with Flynn for anything they could get, right now they should have parted with Hundley for whatever they could get. Taysom Hill would be a fine No. 2 if ever needed. Instead, the best they will ever get is a fifth-round compensatory pick for Hundley when they could get at least a second-round pick right now. Why are they still hanging onto him?

With all the assumptions you're making, what's one more? You tell me.

Jerry from Orlando, FL

Hi Insiders, now that Vogel has made the cut, please tell me they won't let him keep No. 5.

We'll find out later today at practice. Every year since the turn of the century, the Packers' punter has worn a number between six and 11. Six, seven and 11 are taken, so the smart money is on a number between eight and 10.

Erik from Anchorage, AK

How might Datone Jones' release from the Vikings impact future compensatory pick allocations?

It sounds like Jones is getting an injury settlement, but he probably wasn't going to count much anyway. The contract he signed was less than the deals signed by Lang, Hyde, Tretter and Lacy, and roughly equivalent to the one signed by Peppers.

RJ from Grand Rapids, MI

What are the logistics of waiver claims? Suppose a team has a need at a certain position. They only want one player, but they don't know which teams ahead of them might make a claim. So they make a claim on two players at that position. If no one ahead of them makes a claim, are they obligated to take both players? If not, in what order do the decisions get made?

I believe you're allowed to prioritize your waiver claims if you desire, making some claims conditional based on whether you are awarded a player of higher priority.

Louis from Coral Springs, FL

Hey guys, what's the longest field goal you have ever seen, not so much in terms of official yards but a long kick that the kicker blew through the uprights that would have been good from...

The one that always sticks in my mind was Crosby's 53-yarder that would have beaten Washington at the horn in 2010. He clanked it off the upright, at least three-fourths of the way up if I recall. Might have been good from 65, I don't know. It was the most impressive miss I've ever seen.

David from Hilliard, OH

Joe Webb? That's the best you can come up with for QBs on special teams? How about Joe Theismann?

Y'all need to go easy on Wes. Theismann was returning punts four decades ago. I'm actually glad to say I'm even too young for that reference to be top of mind.

Cosmo from Neenah, WI

Hi Insiders, too bad Spoff didn't answer the question from Jimmy from New Richmond, WI. Jimmy wants a piece of Spoff. Jimmy's gonna get you Spoff! Jimmy and misunderstandings kinda clash. Jimmy's very unusual. Hands off Jimmy! Don't touch Jimmy! Let go of Jimmy!

Well played.

Stephen from Chicago, IL

Mike, while I enjoy the true real life drama of the preseason, I'm most grateful for it ending simply because it means no more listening to individuals give "surprise predictions" for the upcoming season. (If it can be predicted, how can it be surprising?) What is your preseason pet peeve you will not be missing?

People asking for my surprise predictions.

Richard from Bursa, Turkey

Can we start the Richard Sherman (Richard Sherman, Richard Sherman) talk now? Been waiting all offseason for this week!

I think the storylines have greatly expanded after some of the bad blood we witnessed in last year's game, and Eddie Lacy coming back to Lambeau. It should be a fun week. Enjoy the holiday today, everyone.

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