Eddie from La Crosse, WI
Hey Mike, welcome back! How was the quest/vacation at Wally World, and did you and the family actually have to get plastic surgery to remove your smiles?
I wish I had some great cross-country venture in a family truckster to share, but it was a stay-cation more than anything. I appreciate Wes holding down the fort and entertaining y'all for the week. Now I'll try to do the same.
Chris from Lexington, KY
I'm desperate for some news. Can you make up a juicy rumor we can speculate and debate over till something real happens?
Wow, the most active offseason in Green Bay in recent memory and it's still not enough. Six months from now it'll be Week 3, folks. I may have just gotten back, but it's still take-a-deep-breath time.
Ollie from Bedfordshire, UK
To what extent can we compare Minkah and Derwin James to last year's top safeties coming out of college like Jabrill Peppers and Jamal Adams?
There are definitely comparables, but I'm hearing more about Fitzpatrick and James having the hybrid potential of Peppers while also possessing the pure safety skills of Adams, if that's where a team wants to plug them in. They're an attractive blend.**
Chris from Eau Claire, WI
Other than injury, what could prevent Tramon, Graham, Kizer, or Wilkerson from making the final cut?
Loads of dead money on the cap for two of the four.
John from Evans, GA
When the Packers inevitably win the Super Bowl, who pays for the rings?
The league pays for a certain number, and the team picks up the cost for any additional rings it wants produced.
Bruce from Bloomington, IN
As much as I like Tramon, I can't see that he adds much to fill our needs. The Inbox reacts like we just signed the 27-year-old Tramon. He's old. I give him 50/50 to play more than Pipkins or Hawkins. It feels more like a hug than a win. Sorry.
Packers welcome back CB Tramon Williams who has played in 167 games with 130 starts during his 11 NFL seasons. Photos by Chris Callies, Harmann Studios, AP and James D. Smith
The proof will be in the pudding. The best-case scenario for the Packers is Williams not having to play as much as it appears right now, meaning they'll find another top corner or two in the draft and the other young guys will come along. But he'll be right there as a veteran leader on and off the field.**
Matt from Roanoke, VA
Is the addition of Williams enough veteran presence to turn the secondary around? I feel like one more CB with 1-2 years left in the tank would be great to get the young guys up to speed. Signing House to another one-year deal may be very beneficial.
That's certainly an option, but I don't see signing veteran corners like Williams and possibly House as "turning the secondary around." It could take a couple of drafts to fully rebuild the corner position, and a vet like Williams is a bridge to the future who can help keep the Packers in contention in the present. Unless Gutekunst has another move up his sleeve.
Sam from Hughesville, PA
While I like and approve of the Packers bringing back Tramon Williams, I can't help but keep reliving that awful moment in the 2014 NFC Championship Game where he was beat for the winning touchdown against the Seahawks. While he's been productive at CB the past few years after leaving the Packers, could he maybe be better suited for a safety role in the defense?
Williams is a corner, and while what had been his last play in Green Bay was not the way for a player like him to exit, it was near-perfect coverage on a perfectly thrown ball against a blitz call with no safety help. Do you remember the play before the TD, on third-and-7 from the Seattle 30, where a stop gives Rodgers the ball back needing only a field goal to go to the Super Bowl? No one remembers that play and who was beaten in coverage far worse than Williams was on the TD.
Steve from Lake Stevens, WA
Does this draft look to be deep enough that the Packers will have a better than even chance of meeting value and need in the early rounds?
Green Bay's draft position hedges against the depth this draft may or may not have in the early rounds.**
Jace from Eagle, ID
Long snapper is also a position up for grabs not mentioned. An important one that shouldn't be overlooked.
The Packers continue to try to find a long-term replacement for Brett Goode, but it hasn't worked out thus far. We'll see if this is the year.
Antonio from Kimberly, WI
How do you like Roquan Smith? I watched a video of him recently. Smith has ridiculous closing speed, but his glaring flaw is his smaller size – teams can run right at him and maul him to death. However, Telvin Smith has a similar skill set, and the Jaguars have been able to capitalize on his speed by keeping him out in space at weak-side linebacker. The only catch is that you need a big defensive lineman like Calais Campbell to eat up blocks. Do you know if the Packers have any big, mean defensive linemen laying around?
I can think of a few.
William from Scranton, PA
With so many players out there eligible for the draft, how is it determined who will be featured on the Prospect Primers?
It's a combination of factors – access to good highlight video, worthwhile soundbites from the combine interview, draftnik grades that make the player likely to be drafted, etc. Also, while aiming to represent lots of schools and conferences around the country, we're also trying to feature positions the Packers may be looking at more thoroughly in the draft, to increase our odds of hitting on a player Green Bay picks, which then provides a nice package we can re-post on draft day the instant he becomes a Packer. In past years, we've hit on as many as four (I think) and as few as zero. No way to know.**
Matt from Aurora, IL
With Davante as No. 1 and Cobb assumingly as a slot or No. 3, who do you believe will fill the No. 2 role? Also, do you believe that this year we will lean on Geronimo to be close to an every-down option?
As I continue to say, that's up to Allison. He'll get the opportunity. But taking away the actual position designations and looking at it from Rodgers' perspective, I see whatever battle that takes shape being for the fourth option behind Adams, Graham and Cobb.
Allen from Los Angeles, CA
During draft day, is there communication between the teams that may be competing for the same player? In the sense, say the Packers want to trade up for Chubb who is still on the board by some miracle at the No. 7 spot (a boy can dream). How do the Packers (1) know that Tampa is going to take him and (2) contact Tampa with some deal that allows the switch? Is there some pre-announcement? Thanks for your time!
Teams don't reveal any intentions and no one knows anything for sure. Preliminary talks happen all the time, though. To carry out your scenario, around pick No. 4 or 5, the Packers may talk to the Buccaneers about a package of picks to move up to the No. 7 spot if "their guy" is there. Tampa may agree to something provided "their (Tampa's) guy" is not there, but the Bucs may also be fielding calls from other teams, trying to get the best deal because "their guy" is already gone. There are any number of ways it can play out, and the 10 minutes a team is on the clock to make a decision can go by pretty quickly.
Etienne from Gaspe Coast, Canada
Rams are now the front-runner on Suh? Rumors, but wow, if they confirm, they will be scary good. Our offense is gonna have to be really good to compete with the turn of tide. Days of Seattle, Green Bay and Arizona being clear favorite are gone. Welcome to Philly, Minnesota and L.A., until it changes again.
You forgot about the years this decade when Dallas and San Francisco were top contenders, along with Atlanta, and now the Niners could be right back in the mix, plus New Orleans …
Adilson from Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Reading how Kizer has worked with a throwing coach in the offseason got me thinking. Which coach from Mike McCarthy's QB school should get the most credit for cleaning up Aaron's throwing mechanics and turning it into what it is today? I always thought it was either Joe Philbin or Tom Clements.
Clements probably spent more one-on-one time with Rodgers, especially in the offseason, than any other assistant coach.**
Dave from Los Angeles, CA
Hi, Mike. Well, I've read enough about how the Packers are somewhat hindered in free agency due to having to remain flexible to extend Rodgers' contract. Talking about needing to ensure some other team doesn't quickly pay their QB more than Rodgers, maybe 100 percent guaranteed or automatic escalators in his contract. It all makes me sick actually. He has one SB. And all the personal accomplishments are just that, personal individual accomplishments. Does Rodgers really think we can pay him an exorbitant salary and surround him with stellar talent? We will see how badly Rodgers wants to win more championships vs. get a record-setting contract. My concern is that physically, Aaron is no Tom Brady based on his games missed with various injuries. Should we be comfortable guaranteeing a contract for someone who may not physically be able to play more than three or four years?
What is your alternative? Look, I don't know exactly how this Rodgers contract is going to come together, but people have to start accepting that having the best player at the game's most important position comes with a cost. Other teams would kill to be in Green Bay's position. The Packers have consistently managed the cap well enough to avoid being flush up against it during Rodgers' career, and now fans expect him to provide even more flexibility? I don't think that's a realistic expectation. It's a new type of offseason in Green Bay. Even though one of the new GM's major moves was obviously not to Rodgers' liking, in the big picture, he can see there's a different approach to building the roster now. As I said when the contract subject first came up, there's a happy place all sides can find, and I don't think Cousins' contract changes that much. The numbers in his deal weren't really shocking.
Ryan from Green Bay, WI
A lot of talk has been CB or OLB at 14. What are the chances we see the Pack draft one at 14 and trade up into the back half of the first round to grab the other?
A lot of readers are suggesting this, but it just depends on how the draft falls and how the Packers have players rated. Ted Thompson didn't know a month in advance he was trading up to 26 to grab Matthews, but it was a possible scenario on the radar, and when he was there and Thompson was able to find a trading partner, it worked out. Remember, the 2009 draft doesn't go the way it did for Green Bay if Oakland doesn't pull the head-scratcher, taking Darrius Heyward-Bey at No. 7, which kept Raji available at No. 9. Without that bit of good fortune … but that's the draft.
Patrick from Tampa, FL
I don't know about you guys, but it seems to me that Loyola was simply underrated in this tournament. That's the vibe I get more than a Cinderella scenario. They have a talented squad who has excelled all year. If you could re-seed this tourney, where would you say they belong on talent alone? Perhaps a 4or 5 realistically?
With all due respect to a valid question, who cares? Loyola is what March Madness is all about. Throw in a couple of buzzer beaters and the next thing you know you're headed to the most exclusive party in your sport. If the last-second heave from 3 in the first round against Miami doesn't go in, no one is talking about Loyola being underrated at all. But again, who cares?
Kyle from Los Angeles, CA
Happy Monday morning, Mike! Another vacation, another big roster move, eh? My question is, does the front office work weekends during the offseason or should we only expect updates during the week?
Things can happen anytime, and as usual, one or two happened while I was out. We'll see if this week starts a new tradition with Wes. Time will tell.