Monday Musings: Getting Booted?

I will do something tonight for the first time in over four decades – root for the Cowboys. As detestable as I find owner Jerry Jones, it would be nice to see Mike McCarthy win at least one playoff game. He’s a decent man and a good coach who’s been unfairly maligned for the past five years. He’s won 24 of 34 games the past two seasons in Dallas – without Aaron Rodgers. Anyway, here are a few more Packers-related thoughts that ran through my mind in recent days:


1) GM Brian Gutekunst recently hinted that Mason Crosby won’t return in 2023, which would be the right decision. Despite making 25 of 29 field goals this season, it’s time to move on from the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. The 38-year-old has become a liability on kickoffs. His percentage of touchbacks ranked last in the NFL. This wasn’t a big problem because the coverage units were so good, but the Packers shouldn’t go into another campaign with Crosby’s aging right leg on the roster. Gutekunst can’t be afraid to upgrade the position. There are always quality kickers to be found. Eddy Pineiro (Panthers), Chase McLaughlin (Colts), Riley Patterson (Jaguars), Brett Maher (Cowboys), Cameron Dicker (Chargers), and Michael Badgely (Lions) were just a few of the specialists who enjoyed excellent seasons after being on the street in the spring. As for Crosby, it wouldn’t be a shock if he decides to retire. He’ll be 39 in September, he’s made a boatload of money, and most importantly, he’s a realist. Legs don’t get stronger with age. Plus, the future Packers Hall of Famer seems like the kind of person who would take great pride in playing his entire career with the same team.

2) Gutekunst used this season’s 90-man roster and practice squad as a place to give short-term employment to pretty much every slow white tight end in the country. From Nate Becker to Shaun Beyer to Josh Babicz, they came and went faster than one of Pete Davidson’s girlfriends. It took until Christmas, but Gutekunst finally made a smart addition to the position. Yes, Austin Allen is also slow and white, but at least he possesses one unique trait – size. At 6-foot-8, the ex-Cornhusker stands out in a sport populated by big men. Allen provides an inviting target in the middle of the field, and while he’s hardly fast (4.83 in the 40) or elusive after the catch, he moves like George Kittle compared to Marcedes Lewis. The 23-year-old was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Giants last May and spent seven weeks on their practice squad before being cut in October. While the odds of Allen being around on opening day aren’t great – heck, he might not even make it to camp – this is the kind of intriguing young tight end who’s actually worth taking time to develop.

3) Since Gutekunst and Eliot Wolf made the rounds in January 2018, only one member of Green Bay’s front office has interviewed to be a GM – John Wojciechowski with Pittsburgh last spring. That’s it, despite the Packers winning three division titles and playing in the NFC championship game in 2020. There are two reasons to explain the inactivity. The first is that Wojciechowski, Milt Hendrickson, Jon-Eric Sullivan, and Matt Malaspina aren’t held in high regard around the league. The second is that the organization has done a disappointing job of developing people of color. Teams must speak with at least two minority candidates when searching for a GM, but aside from Richmond Williams, the Packers front office is whiter than a mayonnaise sandwich with the crust cut off. Not only is this problematic on a human level, but it’s also problematic on a practical level since teams are rewarded with a pair of third-round draft picks when one of their minority front-office executives is hired as a GM. Of course, smartasses would opine the last thing Gutekunst needs is more opportunities to screw up in round 3 – and they’d be 100% white right – but that’s obviously not the point.


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Michael Rodney

Packers Notes is the creation of Michael Rodney, who has been writing about the Green Bay Packers for over 30 years. His first blog, Packer Update, hit the internet in 2004. Before becoming a public educator, Rodney worked as a journalist for a couple of newspapers in his home state of New Jersey and covered the Philadelphia Eagles for WTXF-TV. He's had numerous articles on the Packers published, and he's been featured on both television and radio over the years.

4 thoughts on “Monday Musings: Getting Booted?

  1. Given how GB used Lewis, are they really playing many plays with six OL? If so, would it be better to pursue a tall athletic, slightly underweight OL who started college as a TE? Perhaps this player could catch passes as well as Bakhtiari!

  2. Mason was very accurate this season, but most of his field goals were inside 40 yards. He was only 1 for 4 outside 50. It’s time for a younger and cheaper kicker with a much stronger leg.

  3. Time to move on from Crosby before he gets one of the special team players hurt on kickoff returns.
    The entire Tight end unit needs to be dismantled. How is it we can never find an athletic and also good sized player but other teams have those types? There were several intriguing players in last years mid rounds.
    The pro side of the scouting department has definitely been the better side of evaluating players but that might go to show how little depth we have throughout the roster when those practice squad players and street free agents pass them by. Thankfully they have produced . I give credit to Williams finding those guys but I’m a firm believer it’s Gutey ‘s call come draft day, just remember he had a difficult call between choosing Meyers or Rodgers in round 2 and Meyers certainly has been up and down himself.
    With ARod saying we are a few players away it scares me to think what a desperate GM will do to prove himself right. Sorry but this roster is a mess if you objectively look at each position, it’s been that way for awhile and getting worse with the cap situation

  4. Still remember Crosby’s first game back in 07. Kicked a field goal to beat the Eagles and was a sign of great things to come.

    Packers have had a remarkable run of kickers. Chris Jacke to Brett Conwa… whoops Ryan Longwell to Crosby. Hell, even Dave Rayner wasn’t bad his one season as a Packer.

    Jacke to Longwell to Crosby is an impressive 30 year run.

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