I think you can make a good argument for either. If forced to answer, guess I'd probably say a tight end who can run. Good tight ends have become really valuable weapons in the NFL. Look what Cook did for the offense in 2016 when he was healthy.
That's one of the problems when you have so many viable internal candidates for the GM job, the ones who don't get it will feel spurned. Most of that fallout has happened -- Highsmith and Wolf to Cleveland. Ball got a promotion so that might assuage him. On the flip side, those departures create opportunities for others.
Not much yet, I've been talking to mostly people involved with or close to the Packers to find out what was going on. But I'll be curious to hear from others in the coming weeks.
I'd have to take some time to really think this through for a good answer. I'll start by saying this: To a large degree in this league, there's Belichick and everybody else. There are things to criticize with McCarthy, as there are with all coaches in the league, but overall I'd have to consider him one of the better coaches in this league. Yeah, he's had great QBs. But what coaches with long histories of winning haven't? I remember being really impressed with Bruce Arians, but then he had a couple bad years when his QB got hurt. Zimmers seems like a good coach but Minnesota had a bad season in '16 despite all that defensive talent. Tomlin wins year in and year out but is catching a lot of flak in Pittsburgh for not even getting to the championship game this year. McVay had a great year and maybe he'll be special. But let's give a few seasons before putting him in the Hall of Fame. Let's put it another way: Aside from Belichick, who's clearly better than McCarthy? Probably not a lot separates these guys, they have their strengths and weaknesses, just like players. I can't disagree with your assessment putting him in the top seven in the league.
Sounds like age was a big thing.
I asked about that, obviously a lot of guys from out West in general and the Pac-12 in particular with those high picks. Didn't get much answer other than he seems to like guys from that league. Never heard anybody give a particular reason why he liked them, just that he did. Maybe we'll learn more now that Thompson is no longer GM.
Yeah, maybe throw receiver in there. I'd think pass rusher would be hardest because teams generally don't let even decent rushers hit the market unless there's an extenuating issue, such as injury history, or locker-room or off-the-field problems.
Yeah, that's a good point and one worth bringing up regularly. When's the last time a team had a premier QB and a great D? I'd say Dallas in the early '90s. Even the Packers in '96, who finished No. 1 in defense for yards allowed, they were an excellent defense but not a great one, if you understand the difference. The QB money plays a big role. Seattle built up that D when Wilson was on a rookie contract, now he's been paid and age and injury are diminishing that D. Minnesota doesn't have big money invested at QB, even with Bradford there the Vikings didn't pay his big bonus a few years ago, Philly did. Jacksonville could pay Campbell and Bouye in part because Bortles is on a rookie contract. We talked about the complex D scheme earlier, and I have the same questions you do. Will be interested to hear what Pettine and McCarthy have to say about it, and more importantly, how the defense performs next season.
Agreed, that's why I threw WR on that list below. Rookie receivers are doing a little more now than even a few years ago, but the point remains and seems to especially hold true for TEs. So I'd think WR and TE are good targets for free agency, and without knowing all that much about Robinson, he has to be worth looking into. There's also Landry from Miami, but he seems to carry some big red flags, seems like he can be really difficult for coaches to deal with. He had problems with the Dolphins staff early in the season, then he played well and they started talking contract extensions, then there were more problems after that. It's a bad sign when a guy is difficult to deal with when he had a contract on the line. Once he's paid it only empowers them. It's something teams will have to look hard into before deciding whether to commit the money to signing him.
Don't forget Josh Jones, either. I don't know if Pettine would want to play him more in a linebacker-type role or if he likes him as a box safety, but Jones is a safety by trade.
I thought on his last deal Rodgers easily could have squeezed a couple million dollars a year more of the Packers but didn't. Peyton Manning always seemed to get every penny he could from the Colts, for instance. You have to remember Brady's wife makes a lot more money than he does, so that makes it easier for him to take less. I'll be curious to see Rodgers' next deal, but if he does like it his last one, he'll be the highest-paid guy but leave a little money on the table. I don't know that he'll do that, but he did the last time. Maybe the change at GM will give him more incentive to do it again. I still have to think he'll come in at at least $30M per year in new money. Definitely worth every penny.
I'd say no. Because it's the difference makers who win games. You just kind of have to roll the dice, because you're right, injuries are often decisive in this league, it's kind of ridiculous that way.
Unfortunately I'm going to have to cut it off here, have some other work to get to. But really appreciate everybody coming by and sharing your thoughts and questions, always enjoy chatting with you. We'll be doing it every week, so if I didn't get you this time try next week, I made an effort to pick through the questions so I wasn't just answering the early birds this time. As for Graham, I want to call around on him. Obviously a talented guy. I just looked it up yesterday, he turned 31 in November. That's a concern because he's also had kind of a chronic knee issue for a couple years, though it seems like it wasn't as bad last season. So you have to wonder how much he might be in decline. But obviously worth a good hard look. The Packers are so thin at tight end right now, they badly need an upgrade. I'll be curious to see what kind of offers he gets considering the age-knee issues. Definitely a guy to keep an eye on. OK, that will have to do it. Lots of news to come this offseason, so check back with PackersNews.com a couple times a day, we're always updating and adding. Thanks again everyone, and take care.