Mike's Mid-Week Chat: What's in store for the offseason?

Senior writer Mike Spofford answered fan questions in his live chat

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Lambeau Field

Hey everybody, welcome to an offseason chat. Hope all is well. Thanks for logging on. Go ahead and start sending in questions and I'll get going here shortly.

Over 4 years reading ask Vic/ II, many submissions, first time getting to kick of the inbox. Thanks mike!

There is no science behind the selections, trust me. But glad it appears to have made your day.

In Inbox, there has been much recent discussion about the next Packers inductee to Canton. Does Verne Lewellen have any chance with the Seniors Committee? Cliff Christl outlines a pretty robust case for him in The Greatest Story in Sports.

Yeah, Cliff has made a very strong case for Lewellen for some time, and it's a compelling one. I just don't see it, though, primarily because they just had that centennial class a couple years ago where they had a huge list of senior committee finalists and chose a big group for induction, and Lewellen didn't make it with that opportunity. It's hard to see him getting another shot like that, but we'll see.

Go, Rich Bisaccia, Go!

Interesting the Packers also hired his assistant with the Raiders to help on special teams, too. That hire was made official yesterday.

HI mike just wondering where the organization stands with Aaron Rodgers? thank you for your thoughts?

That's the question on everyone's mind, right? LaFleur said after the season all the higher-ups are on board with wanting Rodgers back, so that's their stance. I believe if Rodgers wants to come back, they will do everything they can to accommodate him and manage the salary cap challenges to remain a contender.

With Jaire Alexander back and Eric Stokes holding his own, does that leave Rasul Douglas odd man out?

I would love to see Douglas back, and I'm sure the Packers would, too, but given their cap situation, it would be very difficult to spend the kind of money Douglas will command in a new contract with corners like Alexander and Stokes, as you mentioned, in the fold.

In the Super Bowl when Kupp took the shot to the head in the end zone it looked like he was concussed. I was wondering why someone didn't test him at the time. Just curious if you saw that and what are your thoughts?

I wondered about that, too. I don't know if the field spotter wanted to have him checked out or not. But it also would have been tough for the Rams to lose a player like that, even for just one play if he checked out fine, with the game on the line. Not an easy situation for anyone involved.

It still boggles my mind if you take away the first and last drives, the packers and niners offenses scored only 3 points each the entire game.

Hadn't thought of it quite like that, but you're right. It was a strange playoff game in a lot of ways.

What offensive coaches are left to hire, I don't see a QB coach liked yet?

There has been no QB coach hired to replace Luke Getsy, as of yet. I think that's the only hire to be made, unless there are other duties/positions LaFleur wants to spread around.

Mike, what are your thoughts now, with the passage of a few weeks, regarding the Packers playoff loss?

Not much different than when it occurred. It's just incredibly disappointing after all the years Green Bay's defense struggled in postseason games that the unit would turn in its best playoff performance of the Rodgers era and the Packers still couldn't get it done.

Aside from alternating weeks of Inbox duty, what are you (and Wes) working on in the coming weeks for packers.com?

The scouting combine is coming up, so we'll see what happens there. Then after the combine we'll try to get more vacation time in before diving into pre-draft stuff.

Refreshed from your short hiatus?

A little bit. I've got more time off coming up this month and next so I'll probably be feeling more energized come April.

I've never heard of the position coaches being referred to as Passing/Running game coordinators until McCarthy rearranged things. Now I see it everywhere. Are those titles new or have they always been there and I just never noticed?

They're somewhat new. It's a promotion from being a straight position coach, usually with a pay bump. It's given to coaches who deserve the title and responsibility but it can also be used to keep someone around a little longer who might be generating interest from other clubs.

Will you follow the revamp of the USFL?

Doubt it. Once football season is over, I dive into college basketball and then baseball (fingers crossed there, obviously). I watch enough football from Sept.-Feb.

Are both Smiths on defense still under contract yet?

Yes, but Za'Darius Smith has the second-largest cap number on the entire roster for '22 after Rodgers, as it stands now, so we'll have to see what happens there.

I am on the side of trade Rodgers now and get what you can. If Rodgers couldn't get it done in the past 3 years with byes each year, why would we think that next year will be different? He is older, Adams is older and will command huge money, losing key defensive players (De'Vondre Campbell, Rasul Douglas, 1 or both of the Smiths) in the name of salary cap- I don't see next year being different. I would trade and move on.

There are plenty of fans who feel that way. I think the Packers' stance, as well as mine, is the window is still open to win a championship if Rodgers sticks around. Nothing about the future is guaranteed with regard to being in contention if you don't have certainty and a known quantity at QB in this league.

What can we expect from Amari Rodgers in 2022?

I think the Packers are counting on a more confident player in Year 2 who can help as a returner and receiver. They believe in him and are looking forward to his development, even if his rookie season wasn't as productive as many hoped.

It's a ways down the road, but to watch a practice can a person simply walk up and watch? I assume only certain practices are open to the public.

In training camp, yes. There are usually around 15 open practices every summer that anyone can watch, free of charge. In the regular season, practices are closed.

Following up on Bill's comment, I am very excited about the Packers' offseason regardless of its direction. Relatively speaking the offseasons are about as interesting as watching paint dry. That will certainly not be the case this year.

Absolutely not. There's a lot to get figured out, starting with Rodgers and Davante Adams.

Assuming Rodgers and Adams stay on the team, what position would Mike Spofford want to draft early?

I'd need to see how the rest of the roster shaped up. Is Campbell back at inside LB? MVS at WR? Lazard as an RFA? Regardless, I'm always a fan of getting the big guys early in the draft, so offensive and defensive line are always high on my radar no matter what.

Hey Mike - is the question really sign Rodgers and as many other players to try to win the SB next year at the expense of the future cap?? How much is the cap expected to rise to in 2023 given the new TV contract and another year removed from the pandemic??

I don't know the cap projections with the new TV money, but it's going to be significant. With the moves the Packers made last year, and the ones they'll make this year if Rodgers returns, they'll be at a disadvantage cap-wise compared to other teams when it goes up, but it sounds like they're willing to make those sacrifices to take another run at it with Rodgers. The new TV contracts are enormous, though, so the cap jump from those, combined with the pro-rated/carryover cap drops from the pandemic ending at some point here (in '24 maybe?) will provide a whole new landscape soon.

The Bengals are not used to drafting this late in the rounds, does their draft strategy change with an unfamiliar (to them) position?

I don't know. I'm not familiar enough with their draft strategy to really say. But based on how many times Burrow was sacked in the postseason, I would imagine they'll be looking very closely at any top offensive linemen who are projected to be available late in the first round.

I just want to see a little more fire from Rodgers in the Playoffs..Is that too much to ask of him?

I guess I don't understand why people are so hung up on showing outward emotion and/or equating it to a player's passion, whether it's Rodgers or anybody else.

Check out photos of Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers from his 2021 MVP season.

Any idea who will be the Steelers QB?

Great question. An interesting offseason ahead in Pittsburgh, too, as well as Tampa Bay, looking at teams that made the playoffs.

Do you think Brady is definitely retired?

I have no reason to think otherwise, but he was the one who said never say never, so who knows.

What did you think of the halftime show? Commercials?

Didn't pay much attention to either, to be honest. Not my things.

Imagine Brady Signing with the 49ers on a 1 year deal? Yikes!

Amazing given how up-and-down their regular season was how close the 49ers came to another Super Bowl. If Tartt catches the INT on the Stafford deep ball right to him in the fourth quarter of the NFCCG, we would have had the third Bengals-49ers Super Bowl matchup.

When might we hear more about the possibility of Green Bay hosting a future draft?

I'm not sure when the next round of announcements on draft locations is coming, but there are two owners' meetings every spring, one in late March and another in May. It's possible some news could be learned then.

So glad to see Leroy Butler make the hall, Is Rodgers the next or is there someone else close to getting in?

As I've mentioned in Inbox, I'm curious to see if the senior committee takes up Sterling Sharpe's case, and/or if the new coach category gives Mike Holmgren a shot.

Do you think you will be traveling with the team next year? Would you want to do an overseas trip if the Packers play in London or somewhere else?

I would absolutely not want to miss out on that if it does happen. Wes and I certainly hope we're back to traveling like normal next season.

Is there any chance the NFL moves the Superbowl to Saturday sometime in the future? Or at least make a push for a national holiday the Monday after?

It would seem in the current environment that playing the game on Saturday night would be a nice change, but the NFL hasn't ever suggested it would strongly consider it. I think the league wants to own the TV airwaves for all of Sunday with a gazillion hours of pregame coverage, and they wouldn't have as captive an audience perhaps on a Saturday with the game in prime time.

Do you feel MM's job is safe in Dallas?

He's got the team headed in the right direction after a rough, injury-wracked 2020. After getting things back on track, I don't get how one playoff letdown should cost any coach his job.

I wouldn't hate it if the NFL moved the Super Bowl one weekend further back to coincide with the President's Day holiday the Monday after.

Goodness gracious. The Super Bowl on Feb. 20 or thereabouts? Yikes. I would only be fine with that if they didn't start training camp until mid-August. Then I'd have more of my summer before work kicked into full swing. I'd make that trade.

Are you close to having 2 kids in college at the same time? If so I'll be happy to push for a pay raise for you.

Ha. I appreciate the consideration. I have one in grad school and one in college now.

Any new rules changes this year?

Rules changes are taken up at the owners' meeting in late March, I believe, so we'll find out in about a month what proposals are on the table from the competition committee that are being considered.

All right folks, with that I think I'll sign off. Thanks for your participation and we'll talk again sometime soon. Take care, Mike.

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