Michanda from Georgia
So can you please explain to me why the Packers let all the good veteran cornerbacks get away in free agency? I mean everyone is saying that the Packers need a veteran to make a difference like Charles Woodson did years ago. I understand them not going after Sherman. He wanted a big contract. But why let Butler and Johnson get away after saying they were interested? Can this secondary be good enough next year with just rookies?
There won't be just rookies, but more to the point, free agency isn't over yet. It's only one day old.
Tanner from Tulsa, OK
It seems like the fans got exactly what they wanted in activity in FA, and also found the cost. Personally, I don't want the Packers to lose their reputation for loyalty when it makes business sense. What is the front office communicating by not being open to re-signing him for a reasonable contract? I think he could easily be worth an amount that would have kept him around. Then again I'm allowed to be biased, the best part of being a fan.
Not everyone's definition of reasonable is the same. If the Packers indeed approached him about a lower salary, maybe Nelson saw all the crazy money receivers were getting on the open market and figured he'd be a fool not to maximize on the last couple years of his career. I have plenty of sentiments about Nelson as well,**which I expressed**, but I see this as very much a business decision made by both sides.
Chaston from Las Vegas, NV
Davante Adams' signing is looking like a steal with the ridiculous amounts of money being sent to mediocre receivers this season. It also makes Randall Cobb's salary this season look more manageable. Do you suspect guys like Bakhtiari or Adams have any regret re-signing so early after seeing how much FA inflates values? Or were they aware the value was going to increase and were willing to go for less to stay with Rodgers/Packers?
They know they could probably get more on the open market, but every situation is different. In Bakhtiari's case, he had a whole season left on his rookie deal, so the early signing gave him security to protect against injury, which requires a discount of sorts. Adams had nearly played out his deal, but he said playing with Rodgers was a huge factor, and the ability to remove any offseason anxiety and cash a big signing-bonus check four months early can matter, too.**
Chris from Milwaukee, WI
The Mo-Wilk deal is exactly the kind of FA play I've wanted the Pack making all these years. We patch a position and the player gets a chance to raise his stock and get a big fat contract (from someone else) next year. Meanwhile, we contend, and our developing guys grow into bigger, long-term roles on our team...What I'm really trying to say is that now I want Tyrann Mathieu.
The one-year, prove-it deals can make for nice free-agent patches, as you said, but both sides have to agree to them. That doesn't always happen.
Rocco from Green Bay, WI
I know better than to ask who will replace Nelson on offense; one doesn't replace a player like that. That being said, the Packers still run a lot of three-receiver sets. Barring injury and scheme, who do you see earning that spot? What are the odds that player isn't on the team yet?
At this point, I suspect it'll be Allison, Davis and a draft pick battling for the No. 3 spot, but it could in essence be the No. 4 spot if the No. 1 tight end is going to have the role in this offense I anticipate.
Jeff from Arlington, VA
Given their similar salaries and the timing of their transactions many folks are going to look at Jordy and Graham as corresponding moves. Given all the other changes that are happening and that they play different positions, what metric should we use next offseason to judge if this was a good decision?
We'll know it when we see it.
Matt from Lansing, MI
I understand that this is a business, but I wonder if sometimes there are players you just don't cut. Out of respect for what they have done for the organization, or how they are beloved by fans, or other reasons that may be based more out of respect than fiscal sense. Team identities change over time, but sometimes for fans, there are changes to a team that make you wonder whether you're rooting for the same team year after year. I've always felt this team was the same that won the Super Bowl, and maybe with Rodgers still being here I still will, but part of me thinks Jordy's departure changes that. You would think that general managers sometimes resist cutting players out of fear of losing the fan base's respect. If any player fits that mantra, it's Jordy.
I understand where you're coming from. A lot of fans would agree. But no team can afford to operate that way in the cut-throat world of the NFL. It's ultimately judged by the wins and losses on the ledger in January, not the happiness of the fans in March.
John from Fargo, ND
Non-Packer question. Sorry but it's draft time. What are your thoughts on Baker Mayfield? I think he's the QB of this draft. Is something holding him back from being the No. 1 pick that I'm unaware of?
Perhaps it's just the unique situation the Browns are in, holding both the first and fourth overall picks, and the apparent once-in-a-generation talent and athleticism packaged in Saquon Barkley.
Steven from Silver Spring, MD
AR12 had a connection to Jordy which got him more targets as a primary read. Interesting how Hundley similarly developed a primary read with Davante Adams. Is the McCarthy system setup to have a QB pick one guy as the primary and go from there? If that is the case, are we overvaluing the stats of any WR for this team? Does the player matter or is it just about being the primary read?
There's the progression of reads, and then there's a player a QB feels is always on the same page, regardless. Those are very different things, and the last thing I'm going to do is compare Rodgers' performance to Hundley's by conflating the two.
Jim from Jump River, WI
Why didn't anyone tell the fans that Mike Pettine's defense doesn't require cornerbacks?
It's March 15.
Matt from Albert Lea, MN
Just a comment. At this time the four highest-paid players in the NFL combined have not won one playoff game. Just goes to show what teams are willing to pay in hopes to land "The Man."
The search never stops until you're sure you have him.
Brian from Superior, WI
Jordy and Aaron were like peas in a pod and you could see how their relationship was very important to both of them. How do you think Jordy's absence will affect Aaron's demeanor, especially in situations where long standing traditions like the ball-spinning competition will no longer be part of his game-day ritual?
Rodgers will be a pro. Once the first game rolls around in September, no one is going to care how unhappy he might be about losing Nelson. His job is to go win games, and he will.**
George from North Mankato, MN
Where does Joe Thomas' streak of games played rank among the all-time greats for you given his position? I am interested to see if he gets a broadcast job and to hear some of his stories from being in the trenches for so long and his dedication to the Browns.
Thomas' streak of 10,000-plus consecutive snaps might be the most impressive in the history of the game, period. It's amazing the Browns had a Hall of Fame left tackle for a decade and never accomplished anything with him.
Dan from Northfield, MN
Hard to say goodbye to Jordy. Wondering your thoughts on similar hard-to-release players in the past. Also, for me and maybe many others, where ever Jordy lands, they could become my second-favorite team!
In my 12 seasons in this chair, I can't recall anything resembling this, a beloved franchise great becoming a cap casualty. It's rare in Green Bay, which says a lot on multiple fronts. In the 24 hours after the announcement of Nelson's release, the Inbox traffic rivaled that of postgame following a dramatic win or loss, which didn't surprise me one bit. There is not enough time or space to express all the fan sentiment.
Brian from Fairfax, VA
Humor me, Insiders. I think the recipe for a defensive turnaround is to draft an edge rusher first round, move Clay inside with Martinez, and sign a remaining free-agent cornerback. Best players on the field, right? With that new defensive line eating up blocks, I think Clay could excel at inside linebacker.
As I said from the day Pettine was hired, I'm very curious to see what his plans and vision are for Matthews. I think you're correct in assuming that how the rest of the defensive personnel takes shape will be one determining factor.
Ray from Clark, NJ
Mike, was the article announcing Jordy's release and the following tribute article two of the most difficult pieces to write since joining packers.com? I could feel the emotion reading it. I hope you get to write a reunion article.
The announcement of the roster move was a press release from the communications department, so that wasn't me. The column I wrote that night was like a stream of consciousness, because the best way to write about a player like that is to not think too hard. I actually enjoyed writing it, but not for the reason I had to. In a way, I had a harder time texting my dad to tell him the news. My dad was a huge Jordy fan before he made a name for himself. As a family, we got him Jordy's jersey for Christmas in 2010, and dad wore it to the game the next day when his 80-yard TD on the opening series started the rout of the Giants and the run to glory. I'm sure my dad will keep wearing Jordy's jersey to games, and I doubt he'll ever wear another one. I don't think I'd want him to.
Griffin from Belmont, NC
Most of the fans screamed for change and free-agent signings. Did we just see change just for the sake of change?
To suggest that Gutekunst is without a plan and doing nothing but throwing darts at a board is about as disrespectful as anyone could be toward a man who has worked his entire professional career to land his current job. I fail to understand how anyone could think that.
Amy from Bayport, MN
Happy New Year, Insiders! The names of so many top-rated free agents were reported as agreeing to deals during the "legal tampering" period. Is it the team or the players/agents who leak this info to the media? What is the advantage of announcing these verbal agreements well in advance of the actual start of free agency?
For the most part, it comes from the agents. The sooner they get word out they got a big-money deal for their guy, the better they look to other prospective clients.
Matt from Oshkosh, WI
How will the Vikings' three QBs signing big FA contracts affect their draft picks in 2019?
Depends mainly on how the compensatory formula weighs those contracts with the one they gave Cousins.
John from Del Mar, CA
Wes dropped in an "Uncle Leo" yesterday. Spoff, did you make a convert?
The Packers Legends Cruise pulled into Cozumel, Mexico, for a beach party and some competition in the sand. Photos by Ryan Hartwig, packers.com.
Maybe he's coming around.**
Jeff from Wautoma, WI
Should the Packers still take a tight end in the first three rounds?
I'm not going to peg a round because there's no telling how the draft will fall, but this offense must develop another young tight end, in my view.
Bobby from Montville, NJ
The only constant in life is change...
Have a good day, everybody.