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The upcoming two-day window could be crazy

Negotiations get rolling at the combine


Rod from Ironwood, WI

I know a number of towns enjoyed two-sport championships such as Pittsburgh in '79. Were there any triple crowns won in one year in one city?

The closest I can remember in recent years was Boston in 2007-08. The Red Sox won the World Series, the Patriots went undefeated but lost the Super Bowl, and the Celtics won it all that spring. Closer to home, a few years ago UW-Whitewater won the NCAA D-III titles in football, men's basketball and baseball in the same school year.

Adam from Jackson, WI

"Foster offers difference-maker potential. He's a rush-and-hit playmaker and he can be used in a multitude of ways. He's a defensive coordinator's dream. I think Foster is the kind of player the Packers need to add to their roster." This response is way more elaborate than what we are used to. Are you OK?

Vic just wanted to say "he won't be there at 29" in a nice way.

Steven from Panama City, Panama

How do teams assign value or points to picks traded in future years when you have no idea what the draft order will be?

In the later rounds it doesn't matter as much, but in the early rounds, the team giving up the picks is making the trade because it's planning to be better, or make a run, now, thereby believing they're giving up a later pick. I don't think the Vikings thought they were giving up a top-15 pick for Sam Bradford.

Chris from Katy, TX

When teams prorate a signing bonus to adjust cap space, do they have the option to pay additional toward the signing bonus in future years? For example, if a team finds itself with additional cap space a couple years after they've given a player a large signing bonus, could they choose to pay it off the remainder of it that year? The situations where it would be advantageous are limited, but maybe in a case where a team is going to be below the 89 percent cap spending limit, this would be a way to avoid penalties.

I don't believe such provisions are in place, but they don't need to be, because teams can carry over unused cap space from year to year, so teams can earmark extra space to account for bonus proration down the road. Also, with the 89 percent floor covering a four-year span, it's not a year-to-year proposition so the ability to carry over space again fits the bill.

Lukas from Rosenheim, Germany

Hey Vic, Mike and Wes, thanks for your great work. Wonder your thoughts about T.J. Watt going to the Pack in the first round. Would he be a good fit for Capers' D? Greetings from Germany.

Lots of questions about Watt, for obvious reasons. There's talk of him climbing as high as late first round with a good combine. We'll see. He had one productive year as a pass-rusher in college. Will teams view him as unproven, or untapped potential?

Matt from Winfield, IL

As tags go out, the list of available, worthy pass-rushers shrinks. Do you think Nick Perry just got more expensive? And necessary?

Pass-rushers Chandler Jones, Melvin Ingram and JPP were all tagged on a busy Monday when the tags started flying. The landscape would point to Perry using the two-day negotiating window (March 7-9) to see what his market is, and the Packers will have a big decision to make.

Tom from New York, NY

What do you think will be the top three issues addressed by the next CBA? How might they impact the game overall?

Commissioner power in disciplinary matters and marijuana could be two big issues. If I'm right, not much will change for the fans as far as the game on the field. I'm not sure about a third.

Steve from Florence, WI

If a team trades a player for a draft pick, and the team that traded away the draft pick gets it taken away as a penalty for an infraction, what happens to that draft pick?

The league's penalty would be for a draft pick the team actually owns, not one it's already traded. You were the kid at lunch always trying to trade sandwiches without telling everyone yours was peanut butter and jelly, weren't you?

Charlie from Bozeman, MT

Are the Packers able to sign their own free agents as of right now? If so, are they waiting until after the combine to assess who they will sign?

A lot of negotiations with agents occur at the combine, because they can meet face-to-face. Then things usually start happening, though with the combine ending just as free agency is about to start, it could make for a crazy two-day negotiating window next week.

Kyler from Redding, CA

I'm wondering if a player gets tagged, does that mean any team can sign that player away for two first-round picks, and if so, am I the only one that thinks Bell could legitimately make our offense unstoppable for the next 2-3 years and give Rodgers a shot at 2-4 more rings and be worth it?

Of the five tags handed out Monday, Bell's was the only "exclusive" one, which means no one else can negotiate with him. Washington QB Kirk Cousins also got the exclusive tag on Tuesday. Even for those who get the non-exclusive tag, the original team has an opportunity to match any other team's contract offer.

Ben from Indianapolis, IN

Hi, Insiders! I am not a fan of free agency or the pipe dreams of signing that one big name. However, I am a fan of signing our own free agents that should be kept. With that in mind, and seeing the franchise tags coming out, I was starting to think of first-round picks and the fifth-year option. When do the Packers have to decide on Clinton-Dix's fifth year?

The deadline is around May 2 or 3. I would expect the Packers to pick up Clinton-Dix's fifth-year option, at the very least as a negotiating tool for a long-term deal. The Packers have yet to pick up a fifth-year option on a first-round pick since the provision came into existence with the 2011 CBA, though they did bring back Perry last year on a one-year deal for less than the option would have paid him.

Jason from Klamath Falls, OR

Insiders, what rookies from last year do you think will make the biggest jump in their second year? In the Rock Report from Feb. 27, Kenny Clark was showed as a budding youngster with a high ceiling. Who else jumps out at you as a potential star for the 2017 season?

I'm not targeting anyone for stardom this early, but I answered a similar question last week and said the best thing for the 2017 Packers is if the next player on the rise in Year 2 is Kyler Fackrell, because he's a pass-rusher. Switching to offense, I'm intrigued to follow the development of receivers Trevor Davis and Geronimo Allison. They have different physical attributes that can't be coached, and they're just getting started.

Chris from Burnsville, MN

"Running backs and tight ends, top end and depth are outstanding. Tight ends, haven't seen a group like this in years. Wide receivers, very good. Defensively, it's unbelievable. The edge rushers, we haven't seen a group like this in a long, long time. You'll be able to get a starting edge rusher in the fourth round that last year or most drafts you'd compare to an edge rusher in the second round. Cornerbacks and safeties, it's the best I've seen in 10 years at least." – Mike Mayock, via Peter King. That sounds like it matches up perfectly with the Packers' needs, doesn't it?

Sure does. A lot of Inbox readers won't want to hear this, but if Ted Thompson and the Packers agree, that might influence their thinking in free agency. Nothing ever happens, or doesn't happen, in a vacuum.

Joe from Bloomington, IN

This draft is said to be loaded with good pass-rushers and cornerbacks, especially in the first two rounds, where the Packers could get one of each. Who are your candidates?

That's what I want to spend the next few days in Indy figuring out. It'll still be hard to tell who's going to be there late in the first two rounds, but after the combine, we'll have an even better idea of who won't be.

Ted from Howard, SD

I know B.J. Raji said he might come back to football after the 2016 season. Have you heard if he is coming back to the Packers?

We continue to get a ton of questions about Raji. He has not spoken to anyone in the media, as far as I can tell, since he made his announcement last year. If he does decide to return to football, he would be a free agent and available for any team to sign.

John from Crivitz, WI

Do teams ever leak "alternative facts" regarding a draft prospect, say someone they have no interest in, but claim to, in order to affect the draft?

Of course, but they'd never admit it.

Bill from Mediapolis, IA

Over this past weekend I was watching a program on Charles Woodson. When Green Bay acquired him, his quote was, "Green Bay? I don't want to go to Green Bay!" So my question, why would he not want to come to Green Bay?

To a lot of single athletes who like the night life, Green Bay is not an attractive place. Woodson settled down in Green Bay and left it a married father with a wine business. I doubt he regrets being wrong. It turned out Green Bay was the perfect place for Woodson at the perfect time, in his life and career. It was a treat to cover him for seven years.

Cal from Sturgeon Bay, WI

I keep reading headlines all over on how Hyde might be the most overlooked free agent. Kinda loses its intrigue when everyone's talking about it.

With four interceptions during Green Bay's eight-game run, Hyde finished the final year of his rookie contract in style, just the way any player would draw it up.

Greg from Hamilton, Ontario

Didn't the Packers franchise Corey Williams and then trade him to Detroit? What did we get for him?

The Packers franchised Williams in 2008 and opted to trade him to Cleveland, with whom he reached a big, long-term contract. Green Bay got a second-round draft pick in return. It didn't work out for either side. The Browns traded Williams and a seventh-round pick to the Lions for a fifth-round pick just two years later and took a huge cap hit on the signing bonus amortization. The Packers used the second-round pick on Brian Brohm.

Tim from Duluth, MN


I expressed my thought on the matter last week.

Chris from Menomonee Falls, WI

I just wanted to wish you luck finding enough variety in your Inbox to write a full column, now that Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles and Darrelle Revis will be available in free agency.

And we've reached the end for today.

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