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February 26, 2017

Positional Analysis: Wide Receiver

This is the fifth of a 15-part series examining each position going into the offseason. Starters (B): Jordy Nelson was a good, not great No. 1, Davante Adams was a good, not great No. 2 and Randall Cobb was a good, not great No. 3. Nelson put up impressive numbers (97 receptions for 1,257 and

Players & Coaches

Murphy Should Be Tried Inside

Assuming either T.J. Lang or JC Tretter leaves in free agency, the Packers will be very thin at guard heading into the draft. One option to reinforce the position would be to move tackle Kyle Murphy inside. The former Stanford star has never played the position before, but it could be the best spot for

Notes: Shields Was 1 In 200

The Packers released Sam Shields last Wednesday. After suffering his fourth concussion in September, it was only a matter of when. The move clears $9 million against the cap, giving the Packers close to $45M to spend heading into free agency. As much as the Packers could use an extra $9M – think of all

Notes: Veteran Depth Is OK

Last week was the 20th anniversary of Super Bowl XXXI, a game in which the Green Bay Packers captured their third Lombardi Trophy by pummeling the New England Patriots. Looking back, I had almost forgotten how experienced that historically great team was, especially at a number of key backup positions. Prior to that magical season, Hall

Keeping Coach Will Be Costly

With all the talk about general manager Ted Thompson’s future, it’s easy to forget that Mike McCarthy’s contract is also up after the 2018 season. And since highly successful coaches almost never work on the last year of a deal, the Packers will have to make a decision sometime between now and next winter. It’s easy

Notes: Money For Nothing

Richard Rodgers, along with center Corey Linsley, will see their base salaries get bumped from 696,000 to $1.838 million for next season because they qualified for the salary escalators available to players drafted in rounds 3 to 7. As it pertains to the fourth-year tight end from Cal, that might not be such great news.

No Good Options At Corner

I‘ve watched the Packers for over three decades, and I’ve seen a lot of cornerbacks have really bad games. Estus Hood, Ahmad Carroll, Vinnie Clark, Joey Thomas and Pat Lee come to mind immediately. But I can’t remember many worse efforts than the one produced by Damarious Randall against the Cowboys. Let’s hope Randall’s awful performance

Role Players Lift Defense

On a day when highly-paid stars Mike Daniels, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers were mediocre at best, the Packers needed other players to step up on defense. Fortunately, Micah Hyde, Kenny Clark and Joe Thomas heeded the call. While the Cowboys managed to score 31 points and amass 429 yards, those numbers would’ve been much

Time To Use Full Monty

A player who wasn’t even a running back when Green Bay and Dallas met in the middle of October could be the key to the rematch in the divisional round of the playoffs. Ty Montgomery, who made the switch from wide receiver around Halloween, needs to make an impact on Sunday – especially with Jordy

What’s Cook Worth?

While the Packers obviously didn’t want tight end Jared Cook to miss six games with a foot injury, it may have been a blessing in the disguise. The free agent-to-be returned in time to help the team win six games in a row, and his modest final numbers (30 catches for 377 yards and 1 TD)

Notes: Price Gets Raise

Green Bay gave rookie nose tackle Brian Price, who’s spent most of the season on the practice squad, a pay bump in order to keep him from signing with the Colts. Price had been making $6,900 a week as a member of the practice squad. The former Texas-San Antonio star is now making $26,470 a

To Sign Or Not To Sign

T.J. Lang’s name has been on the injury report 29 times since the start of the 2014 season, and yet the veteran guard has only missed 4 games. That tells you a couple of things. One, the former Eastern Michigan star is one tough dude, and two, he’s put a lot of wear and tear on

Who’s Defensive POY?

There’s no doubt Aaron Rodgers is Green Bay’s most valuable player. Heck, he’ll probably finish in the top 5 when the NFL announces its MVP in February. The offensive player of the year – if you take 12 out of the equation – is either David Bakhtiari or Jordy Nelson. And the rookie of the

Off The Field

Tramon Can Still Play

After ex-Packer Tramon Williams was released by the Cleveland Browns earlier this month, I spent a few days analyzing the 33-year-old’s play in 2016. I was fully expecting to see a dottering old man barely able to keep up with young wide receivers. Instead, what I saw was a still capable defensive back. While Williams

Packers’ Offseason To-Do List

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell is a really smart guy, but his “Five moves the Packers should make this offseason” story wasn’t all that impressive and proved just how hard it is to closely follow all 32 teams. So here’s a “Five moves the Packers should make this offseason” story written by a person who closely follows

$izing Up Free Agents

Free agency begins in 22 days, and the Packers currently have 11 players ready to hit the open market. After taking into consideration age, performance and contracts around the league, here’s what I think a fair deal for each player would look like: OL DON BARCLAY – The human turnstile can line up at all

Could House Come Home?

The Green Bay Packers need to add a veteran cornerback between now and the start of training camp, and it’s hard to imagine general manager Ted Thompson paying big bucks to any of the top unrestricted free agents. And the list of second-tier players isn’t particularly impressive. So where might Thompson look to upgrade his

Sharpe Belongs In Canton

Another Pro Football Hall of Fame class was announced on Saturday night in Houston, so it’s time for my annual early February rant. I wrote last year about LeRoy Butler not getting the respect he deserves from the voters. Well, thanks to former Bronco Terrell Davis’ induction, this year’s post will be about Sterling Sharpe.

Front Office Remains Intact

Director of Football Operations Eliot Wolf and director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst will remain in Green Bay for at least one more year. That’s because the two highly regarded front office executives removed their names from consideration for the GM job in San Francisco and signed new deals with the Packers. So while ultimately nothing

Better Off Ted

It sure seems like a lot of people want to push GM Ted Thompson out the door, or at the very least relocate him to a small corner office at 1265 Lombardi Ave. It’s certainly understandable. After all, what’s that slacker done in 12 seasons other than take the Packers to the playoffs nine times and

49ers Eye Wolf, Gutekunst

According to reports, director-football operations Eliot Wolf and director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst will interview this week for the GM job with the 49ers. Considering the success of former Packers front office executives John Schneider (Seattle), John Dorsey (Kansas City), Reggie McKenzie (Oakland) and to a lesser extent Scot McCloughan (Washington), it’s no surprise

Don’t Take Winning For Granted

Eddie Lacy and Sam Shields are out for the season. Injuries forced Jared Cook, Clay Matthews and T.J. Lang to miss a combined  13 games. The team didn’t win between Halloween and Thanksgiving. The most recent draft has provided next to nothing. And yet Green Bay is 9-6 and in position to capture the NFC

Draft Providing Little Impact

The Green Bay Packers’ 2016 draft class might eventually be terrific, but right now it’s one of the least impactful in the entire league. And that simply can’t happen when a general manager avoids free agency the way a vampire avoids sunlight. Ted Thompson drafted seven players last April, and all seven are on the

Packers Missing Their Brain

The Green Bay Packers haven’t been the same team since winning their first six games to start the 2015 season. Everything seemed so good until last October, when all of a sudden one of the most successful franchise of the 21st century starting losing home games to the likes of Chicago, Detroit and Indianapolis. Maybe

Looking Ahead To Free Agency

With Eddie Lacy, Nick Perry and 40% of the starting offensive line due to become unrestricted free agents next March, general manager Ted Thompson could be facing his most challenging offseason since the Summer of Favre in 2008. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, so things can and obviously will change in the next four months, but

Previews & Reviews

Positional Analysis: Tight End

This is the fourth of a 15-part series examining each position going into the offseason. Starter (B-): Jared Cook finished the season strongly, but let’s keep things in perspective. The soon-to-be 30-year-old dropped four passes in the playoffs, did very little after the catch and was a pedestrian blocker. That said, he was also the

Positional Analysis: Fullback

This is the third of a 15-part series examining each position going into the offseason. Starter (B): General manager Ted Thompson’s decision not to re-sign popular veteran John Kuhn was validated by the play of Aaron Ripkowski. The 24-year-old from Oklahoma proved to be far more dangerous with the ball in his hands (4.3 yards on 43 carries)

Positional Analysis: Running Back

This is the second of a 15-part series examining each position going into the offseason. Starter (C+): Ty Montgomery made the switch from wide receiver after injuries sidelined Eddie Lacy and James Starks and quickly stabilized the position. The second-year pro from Stanford averaged an impressive 5.9 yards on 77 carries and showed surprisingly good instincts. He ran with patience and was

Positional Analysis: Quarterback

This is the first of a 15-part series examining each position going into the offseason. Starter (A+): Aaron Rodgers struggled a bit early, but ended the season playing the position about as well as it’s ever been played. New England’s Tom Brady will likely win the Lombardi Trophy and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan will probably win the MVP, but

Packers Dom In By Defense

Let’s be clear, the highly drafted young corners from two years ago played poorly all season and the inside linebackers still aren’t good enough. That’s on the front office. But for the third time in eight years, a Dom Capers defense didn’t even compete in the playoffs. If Sunday’s embarrassment against the Falcons in the

Preview: Packers vs. Falcons

The Packers upset Dallas thanks in part to the significant contributions of role players. They’ll need that and more to beat Atlanta on Sunday afternoon and earn a second trip to the Super Bowl in six years. With wide receivers Jordy Nelson (ribs), Davante Adams (ankle) and Geronimo Allison (hamstring) battling injuries and LaDarius Gunter

Crosby Kicks Packers To Atlanta

Fans of the Green Bay Packers couldn’t take another January heartbreak, and thanks to huge plays by a handful of players in the final minutes of an incredible divisional round game against the top-seeded Dallas Cowboys, they didn’t have to. Instead, they were able to enjoy one of the most thrilling wins in franchise history.

Preview: Packers vs. Cowboys

The Packers figure to have 19 of their 22 preferred starters available for today’s playoff game against Dallas. That’s pretty good after 18 weeks of banging bodies. But what’s not pretty good is who won’t be in uniform. Eddie Lacy, Sam Shields and Jordy Nelson began the regular season as three of the team’s top

Packers Slay Giants

It was a sequence that would’ve crushed a lesser team. First, a failed 4th and 1. Then, just two plays later, a long TD pass cut a 14-6 lead to 14-13. But these Packers aren’t a lesser team. These Packers are a gutsy team. And now these Packers are headed to the divisional round and

Preview: Packers vs. Giants

The Packers need to win the middle of the field if they’re going to beat the Giants today at frigid Lambeau Field. The offense needs to exploit the space between the numbers and the defense needs to keep from being exploited in that area. On offense, the Packers wide receivers don’t match up all that

Packers Reclaim NFC North

With Sunday night’s convincing win over Detroit, Mike McCarthy has now taken the Packers to the playoffs for eight straight seasons. The only other coaches in league history to do that are Bill Belichick (New England), Tom Landry (Dallas) and Chuck Noll (Pittsburgh). If McCarthy can win four more games without any cornerbacks, he’ll deserve

5 Down, 1 To Go

It seemed like typical player-talk five weeks ago, but Aaron Rodgers’ “run the table” comment is now one game away from being a reality. Here’s another reality – the Packers are one win away from capturing yet another NFC North title. Sunday’s 38-25 pummeling of the reeling Minnesota Vikings featured Rodgers at his absolute best