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Keeping your own is a part of the process

It's not cheap to trade up on draft day


Andrew from Ettrick, WI

If the Packers make the playoffs next season, does Aaron Rodgers still have the gold C or does it go back to white? Is it overall seasons of captain service, or consecutive seasons?

He still gets the gold C. It's based on overall seasons. Rodgers would have worn the patch during the regular season for many teams, but the Packers use weekly captains until the playoffs.

Chris from Sulphur Springs, TX

With 32 teams, if you look at the top 50 free agents each team should pick up one or two. If the Packers re-sign Morgan Burnett, that would be their one "superstar" free agent. Why do fans expect more than every other team?

I saw someone in the comments Monday talking about how a team re-signing its own free agents doesn't count since that's staying "status quo." So what happens if the Packers don't re-sign Davante Adams, Lane Taylor or Corey Linsley? They all would have been considered key additions elsewhere. Look what Calais Campbell did this past year in Jacksonville. You think Arizona wants a mulligan there? Keeping your own isn't status quo; it's a part of the process.

Ben from Lannon, WI

Has Mike Pettine given any insight into what he plans on doing differently to improve our defense?

Everything is only words right now, but Pettine puts an emphasis on pass defense. That's not to say Dom Capers didn't – he was a secondary coach by trade – but I think a fresh start is probably what's best for this pass defense.

Phil from Milwaukee, WI

Why is LeRoy Butler getting no love from Hall of Fame voters? Is he still eligible for the modern-era vote? He has comparable stats to Brian Dawkins and Troy Polamolu and did it in a time when those things weren't expected from a SS.

Butler is still a modern-era candidate. I wrote last year about how Butler and Fritz Shurmur don't get nearly enough credit for being ahead of their time. Shurmur deployed Butler like few other coordinators were using safeties at the time and Butler excelled. I have no issue with Dawkins getting in, but Butler deserves to be in that same finalist conversation as John Lynch and Steve Atwater.

Brad from Brookfield, WI

With tight end being a position of need this year, what about trying to convert Michael Clark (6-6) from WR to TE?


I don't know how much you've watched Clark, but he's a pretty thin guy at 217 pounds. I don't know if he could carry 240 or 250 pounds naturally. Brandon Bostick, who converted from a college receiver, weighed 245 at Newberry for comparison.**

Jason from Lake Geneva, WI

Is this the first time a Bear and a Packer have been inducted into the Hall of Fame in the same year?

Technically, it happened as recently as 2016 when Brett Favre and Orlando Pace (2009) were inducted. Otherwise, you'd have to go back to 1995 when Henry Jordan and Jim Finks were both enshrined posthumously.

Matt from Verona, WI

I'm glad I saw the Foles TD catch in the Super Bowl because no one can ever run that play again.

No defensive coordinator will ever leave the quarterback uncovered again.

Nathan from Baltimore, MD

Wouldn't a sensible strategy for using those extra draft picks be to stay put at No. 14 and then package some mid-round picks to move up in the second or third round?

That falls more along the lines of what the Packers have done in the past. It's not cheap to trade up on draft day. The cost of moving up in the middle rounds is cheaper than jumping a few spots in the first.

David from San Francisco, CA

I get frustrated with the point of view, "this Super Bowl proved you don't need pass rushers." No, it didn't. There were no elite pass rushers and there were also more than 70 points scored. One sack happened and it won that team the game. This proves to me the value of pass rushers.

And I get frustrated by people not hearing what I'm saying. Those two teams, without one dominating outside rusher, were playing in the Super Bowl. I'm not saying teams don't need pass rushers. I'm just saying you don't need Michael Strahan leading the league in sacks to win it all. You can get there through deep, balanced rotations.

Dana from Eau Claire, WI

Given Rodgers' two collarbones and the immense impact he has on winning or losing, does the coaching staff or even other players try to convince him to be more conservative? Throw the ball away more and scramble less?

I don't want Rodgers to change the way he plays. It's what makes him who he is. I'm not saying you want to take unnecessary risks, but those two injuries wouldn't deter me. You play to win.

Cindy from Oshkosh, WI

I think people's expectations of having a backup quarterback on the bench to step in for "The Man" are unrealistic. The stars aligned for the Eagles this year. Brock Osweiler did a serviceable job filling in for Peyton Manning, which landed him the big payday in Houston and look how that worked out. There are no guarantees. More often than not, it's luck.

It's tough. I think it's a little more than a coin flip, but the best laid plans don't always work out. You shoot your shot every offseason and hope for the best.

Bob from Racine, WI

Here's an idea for those egregious hits: fine the hitting player a percentage of his salary for each game missed by the one who was hit.

Not a bad idea.

Corey from Whitehall, PA

This is unfamiliar territory for the Pack this offseason. Changes in staff and a top 15 draft pick. Are you 98 percent excited and two percent scared or maybe 98 percent scared and two percent excited?

If you're not excited this time of the year, you've already lost.

Brandon from Austin, TX

I like the response to the Trevor Davis/Jeff Janis question. Over time it has become apparent to me that people think those are the two fastest receivers in the league. Why don't people understand that 40 time and football time are different and that other teams have fast people on the field, too?

Those two guys are insanely talented, but speed is only one component to this game. If that was the only thing that mattered, Darrius Heyward-Bey would be running roughshod over the league.

Adam from Racine, WI

If Jeff Janis did switch positions and became a DB, would he have to change his number? It's one thing to go from a WR to a RB, but switching from offense to defense?

I swear I received this question 100 times over the last 24 hours. Janis would have to change his number. Players are only allowed to keep it if they remain on the same side of the ball and at a skill position. For example, Montgomery would have to change his number if he became an offensive lineman (don't start with me).

Kent from Lewiston, ID

How much competition do you expect for Mason Crosby and Justin Vogel in camp? I hope everyone gets challenged in 2018. It is the only way to improve.

I'm not sure what the Packers' plans are for Jacob Schum, who was on injured reserve all season, but I wouldn't be surprised if the only specialist with in-camp competition is at long snapper. Green Bay took only Vogel into camp last year. With how well he punted, I don't know why the Packers would bring in competition now.

Jeff from Green Bay, WI

Morgan Burnett, to me, while the QB of the defense and wearing the helmet speaker, is not doing anything to make impactful, game-changing plays or create turnovers. I see no problem with setting a limit on what you are willing to pay him and letting the market determine his value, much like they did with Micah Hyde and T.J. Lang last year. At some point in time, this defense is going to have to go younger and cheaper and hit on draft picks that can impact the game right away, similar to 2009, in order to get back to the Super Bowl. Kenny Clark is B.J. Raji (and actually better). Now, the Packers need to draft a replacement/complement for Clay Matthews.

Brian Gutekunst inherited a contender that just happens to be picking earlier in the draft than Ted Thompson has in the past nine years. That isn't lost on him. In many ways, this is just like in 2009 when the Packers were picking ninth in every round and landed Raji, Matthews and Lang.

Mariano from Cerritos, CA

I understand that a Super Bowl winning coordinator is an attractive hire, but I would think a struggling team would prefer one that wins consistently. What is the allure to hiring a coach before they are ready to be head coaches?


Take a look at photos of Packers QB Brett Hundley from the 2017 season. Photos by Evan Siegle and Corey Wilson,

Hiring a former head coach isn't always a recipe for success, either. It's about matching your team to a coach's personality and philosophy. The Rams did that with Sean McVay and the Chiefs found their guy with Andy Reid. There's different avenues to get there regardless of background.**

Carrie from San Jose, CA

Ted Thompson's best free-agent signings, in my opinion, were guys who had been cut by their teams to make room in the salary cap (Peppers, Cook and Guion). I realize Gutekunst will have his own approach to free agency, but which players should I be keeping an eye on if I'm interested in a TT-style FA pickup?

We won't know that market until teams begin cutting their cap before the new league year. One thing to note is Julius Peppers, Jared Cook and Letroy Guion were all released players who made sense for the Packers based on areas of need. I'd imagine Gutekunst will stay in those same frays.

Rich from De Pere, WI

With the new structure, do you think Coach McCarthy will have more of a say into the final 53-man roster than he did in the past?

The final say on the roster belongs to Gutekunst. Mark Murphy made that perfectly clear. Like with Thompson, I'm sure there will still be steady dialogue about the roster.

Joseph from East Moline, IL

I'd like to get into the NBA, but what discourages me is it seems teams are able to make super-teams and sports radio DJs are able to pick the champions at the beginning of the season. My question is, do you think adopting the "Psyche Out" rule at the free throw line would help level the playing field? Do you think the implementation of this rule would inevitably lead to the banning of Journey due to their overwhelming effectiveness?

I have a difficult time with the NBA for this reason. In the NFL, the Eagles can still win a Super Bowl without their star quarterback. In the NBA, it's rare for a team without one of the league's top two or three players to make a run. Mid-season waivers also drives me bonkers. However, I agree one way to level the playing field is more Journey.

Josh from Oshkosh, WI

Tuesday's Inbox was 100 percent fire from you, Wes. I love it. At the start of the regular season, when the baloney ends, do you ever have any personal prediction of what you think the season may shape up to be?

I was convinced the Packers were going to go on a run after 2014 because of the strength of Rodgers coming back, a solid draft class and how many veterans they had coming back.

Eric from Milwaukee, WI

J.T. O'Sullivan was acquired after the 2004 season started (he was part of the Mike McKenzie trade). Earlier in 2004, however, the Packers did sign Tim Couch, although he of course did not make the opening roster.

Great point. So it probably is Couch depending on how you label Doug Pederson (started career in Miami, played final season with Packers in 2004).

Tom from Montreal, Canada

You mentioned Ryan Taylor and I thought I would share a heart-warming story. Last summer, my wife and I were hiking with our three young sons in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We were above the tree line on Franconia Ridge, all wearing our Packers tuques as cold weather set in. We crossed a gentleman hiking in the opposite direction who noticed our tuques and asked if we were from Wisconsin. Lo and behold, that gentleman happened to be Ryan's dad. We had a lovely conversation and I recall him saying that Ryan's time in Green Bay was one of the greatest Taylor family life experiences that they cherish dearly.

That doesn't surprise me. Taylor's family will go down as one of my favorites during my time on the Packers beat. His brother, Scott, is a real mensch.

Greg from Cuenca, Ecuador

In terms of percentage, how much of a drop-off do you see in the offseason with respect to volume of questions coming to your Inbox? I ask because getting your question "published" during the regular season (or even the playoffs) versus the offseason should merit a quality-of-question consideration when ranking those who get their questions posted most frequently.

Honestly, not a whole lot. I vividly remember my first day on the job on April 25, 2016, when I snuck onto our analytics site to look at the traffic. I was blown away at how many people were reading Vic's latest entry. There are always more questions than we could ever answer during anytime of the year.

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

If you had the talent, what Olympic event would you most want to participate in? I have so many and hard to decide, but am amazed how engrossed I am with curling.

I actually used to curl in high school. I wasn't great at it, but it was fun.

Greg from Marquette, MI

In response to Tony from Green Lake on which quarterback can throw the hardest. I watched Jeff George when he was playing for Atlanta warm up at Lambeau Field. He could throw 50 yards on a rope with no effort. He was the original Jay Cutler.

He's still no Uncle Rico. Back in '82, he could throw a pigskin a quarter-mile.

Rocco from Green Bay, WI

Hogan, Flair, Austin or The Rock? Happy offseason.


Scott from Sauk City, WI

Ugh, Yu Darvish to the Cubs. My Brewers don't stand a chance in this league. Is there/has there/will there/should there ever be a hard salary cap in the MLB? It's hard to be a fan of a team that can't spend Cubs or Yankees money year after year.

Don't get me started.

Mark from Philadelphia, PA

"Get busy drafting-and-developing, or get busy buying."

That's (gosh darn) right.

Vegas from Orlando, FL

Have to love offseason Inbox. Since we are in-between football and the combine, why not give credit to some of the behind the scenes people that make what you do easier?

Absolutely. A big thanks to Matt Haberkamp and Kim Ippolito for posting my stories to, and Ryan Hartwig, Sam Strejeck and Victoria McBryde socializing all of our content. They make all this happen. And I'd be remiss not to mention Duke Bobber. He's the leader of this ship.

Kevin from Asbury Park, NJ

Wes, your humor really gets me. I find myself laughing every time you write the column.

So you're the one. Thank you.

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