Thursday Thoughts: Elgton’s Move
Of all the shows Netflix could’ve saved, it chose Manifest? I heard all the buzz, so I gave it a chance – and lost interest a few episodes into season 2. Oh well, there’s no accounting for taste. Anyway, here are three Packers-related thoughts that ran through my mind recently.
1) The only “winner” in David Bakhtiari beginning the season on the physically unable to perform list and missing at least six games is Elgton Jenkins, who’ll now have a chance to prove himself at left tackle. If the Pro Bowl guard plays well outside, his price tag will skyrocket. On average, top left tackles make $5 million a year more than top guards, so general manager Brian Gutekunst would almost certainly have to pay Jenkins between $18 million and $23 million per after his rookie contract expires in 2023. If this scenario plays out – and it’s still a big if since the former Mississippi State star has taken just 29 snaps at left tackle in the National Football League – Gutekunst might be forced to move on from Bakhtiari only two years into a deal that would’ve already paid him over $60 million.
2) Kylin Hill is why it almost never makes sense to give a big second contract to a running back. There are just so many talented players available at this position in every draft. That’s why I still think the Packers should’ve let Aaron Jones walk, even though he’s an outstanding player and his four-year, $48 million deal is reasonable. I’m not suggesting Hill will be as good as Jones, but the seventh-round draft pick from Mississippi State has a chance to be comparable at a fraction of the cost. And in a league with a salary cap, that’s always going to be a winning formula.
3) Considering how much he loves draft picks, you’d think Gutekunst would do more to increase the number of minorities in positions of power within the organization. The league now awards a third-round pick to a team when a member of its coaching staff or front office becomes a head coach or GM with another franchise. Don’t look for the Packers to reap that reward anytime soon. Only one of their coordinators (Maurice Drayton) and three of their position coaches (Ben Sirmans, Jerry Montgomery, and Jerry Gray) are black – and the top five members of the front office are all white. Look, you should always hire the best man for any job, but it makes sense to be as diverse as possible. It’s not only the right thing to do; it’s also a competitive advantage in today’s NFL.
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