Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Packers chat with Pete Dougherty

Submit your questions for Pete's weekly chat at 1 p.m. Thursday.

    He's a willing tackler and a physical guy. But he also didn't play football in college until after four years of basketball, so he has so little experience, I'd think a position move would be tough. But interesting question, he had speed issues at CB, that would be less of an issue at safety.
    I really like the idea of adding Wilkerson to the d-line and think he could really help put pressure on Qb's by himself and freeing up other players. What do you think? What do you think our chances of signing him are? I know he likes the coach but do we make a competitive offer?
    He'd potentially give them a really strong DT rotation with Daniels and Clark. I'm not sure all three would play together much -- NFL teams play so little base defense, it's mostly nickel and dime. I'm trying to figure out what kind of contract he's in line for. I'm thinking because of his issues with the Jets last year, maybe a one-year deal at around $5 million plus incentives. But that's just a wild, wild guess. He made $14.75M last year.
    Pete,
    With so many teams Pining for Cousins, and media outlets claiming how great Cousins is, them why in the world would the Redskins NOT sign or had signed him to a long term deal? Do they know something the rest don’t????
    Please reply
    There are enough teams desperate for even a decent quarterback, that's the big thing, he has a market. Washington clearly thinks Alex Smith is at least as good if not better at a cheaper price. I still don't think Cousins is going to get $30M a year, but I could be wrong.
    Is TE Eric Ebron a poss for GB?
    Maybe. He's been a bust as a first-round pick. I wouldn't pay a lot for him, but they at least have to be taking a look. Like I said, my dark horse for that position is Luke Wilson of Seattle.
    Do you believe Ryan Fitzpatrick would be a good back up option ?
    Can a great defense carry a mediocre quarterback to success? If so, who are the most impactful defensive FA out there?
    It can, but it's really hard to sustain that success because playing great D requires having several outstanding players, and you just can't afford to keep them all (plus they're usually of varying ages, so some begin to diminish and the D quality drops with them). Look at Seattle. The Seahawks sustained a really good D longer than most, won one SB, and now that defense is breaking apart. I don't think the Packers can sign their way to a dominant defense. But they don't need a dominant defense, just a decent one.
    I believe one of the reasons why New England has been so successful for years is because their management hasn't been afraid to shake up the roster some. On the other hand, I believe the Packers have been somewhat comfortable with the roster, especially with Wide Receivers. If the Packers parted ways with both Nelson and Cobb, then it would force Aaron Rodgers to develop chemistry with different players. Do you think that the Packers have gotten too comfortable with the Wide Receiver group (namely Nelson and Cobb), and that we might actually be a better team if we cut both of them? I realize Nelson and Cobb are both fan favorites, especially Jordy, but don't you think those two receivers are taking reps away from other players who could get significantly better? What are your thoughts on cutting both?
    There was a really interesting article by Packers historian Cliff Christl on Packers.com today that basically addresses that. He said one of Lombardi's core philosophies that contributed so much to his sustained success was his willingness to move on from good players who'd helped him win titles. Belichick has done a lot of that in recent years. I highly recommend the article, great food for thought. I don't think the idea of cutting both Nelson and Cobb is far fetched, but in the end if I'm the Packers, I cut one and keep one, and make good use of the money saved. Both have played really good football for the Packers and helped them win a lot of games and are tough men and great competitors, the franchise should feel indebted to them. But as Lombardi is quoted in the article, football is a "hard headed cold business." You can't let sentiment be a factor if you want to keep winning.
    Does Cobb have any trade value? or is he making too much money as a slot receiver to garner real interest from another team?
    No, no team is going to take on that contract, it has only one year remaining, and at a really high salary ($9.5 million).
    With Pettine taking over at DC, will the Packers give Randall another shot at playing outside corner or do they still view him as an inside player?
    I'm curious to see that myself. Looks to me like slot is his best position -- he was a safety in college but played a lot of slot -- but it could depend on who they sign or draft. For instance, if they drafted James from Florida State, it presumably would be because they see him as an impact guy in the slot as a blitzer/cover man/run supporter. Then Randall probably would have to play outside.
    Maybe a silver lining In Rodgers injury is they got to see the “real needs” of this team instead of Aaron covering up weaknesses ?
    A lot of truth to that.
    Speculation is that as many as four quarterbacks could be taken in the top ten, essentially giving the Packers a top ten pick from the non-quarterback pool of talent. To trade up into the top ten would be foolish, in my opinion. There will be plenty of good players at positions of need available at #14. I could see trading up later in the draft, maybe even back into the bottom of the first round depending on how the board falls, giving up a lot to have a little positioning doesn't seem smart. Do you agree, Pete?
    Pretty much agree, yeah. Now, I don't have all the information they have on all these guys, and I'm not a professional scout. As we know from the history of drafting, projecting college players to the NFL still is as much art as science. So maybe they'll see something is someone that makes it worthwhile to trade into the top 10 for a guy they really think is special. But I'm inclined to agree with you, just sit there and pick. The four quarterbacks helps, as you say.
    Wilkerson looks like bad blood aka Bennett. Why bother with him for more than a couple million?
    What makes this interesting is that he's played for Pettine. So maybe Pettine knows some things about him -- how to use him, how to motivate him -- that would help. I'm also thinking doing a one-year prove-it deal would be safe, he'd have a lot to play for. As I said earlier, I'm thinking maybe $5M plus incentives, but that's just a wild guess. I'd think that would be a decent or better deal for the Packers. But I really don't know what his market is after his issues last year.
    If they cut say Nelson do they get all 11 million off the cap?
    If they cut Nelson, it would take $10.25 million off the cap. Cobb would save $9.5 million.
    A lot of mock drafts are saying Harold Landry and Marcus Davenport to Packers at 14. I think that if Derwin's James, Denzel Ward, Tremaine Edmunds, would be MUCH better picks there. If none of those guys are available at 14 you can probably trade down and get either of those guys. I think Arden Key looks abysmal and should be taken off the packers draft board for round 1-3. Do you agree/disagree with any of this and why/ why not?
    I'd agree in guessing that Key is not a first-round option after he left the LSU team for a while last year. I'd also agree that the three guys you mention (James, Ward and Edmunds) would be value picks at 14 and they more likely than not won't make it there. Sounds like at least for now, Davenport is likely to go in the middle of the round, right around where the Packers pick. I don't have much of a feel for Landry, whether he's a first-rounder or more a second-rounder.
    I can envision the Packers drafting a couple of offensive lineman this year. Do you think drafting tackles is more important than guards? Seems to me like Tackles transition to Guards easier than Guards transitioning to Tackles. If you could only take one offensive lineman in the entire draft, would you take a Tackle or a Guard?
    That was their history under Thompson, and it worked great. Lang, Sitton and Tretter all were tackles in college but picked as guards. All fourth-round picks, too. Very good drafting with those guys and Bakhtairi, another fourth-rounder. Gutekunst has two fourth-rounders this year, at least for now.
    Hey Pete...great stuff. Seems like everyone is so focused on reducing Jordy and/or Randall Cobb...but I'd personally start with Clay and Bulaga. I just really don't understand the fascination with the declining/injury-prone Clay Matthews...making $14-$15 mil. That's insane. Nothing against Clay...but would our defense be THAT much worse without him? I'd continue to pay Jordy/Cobb in a heartbeat if it meant our offense would continue to hum and keep our D off the field. Top-notch teams like N.E. don't overpay for guys like Clay...but will snag them up cheaply in the last few years of his career. I think the media and fans like to put a "Band-Aid" on the situation...draft a TRUE ILB...don't plug in an aging/injury-prone one like Clay and then be scrambling when he gets hurt. Good day!!!
    As for Matthews, there's at least a plausible argument to cut him, and you make it. I wouldn't, though. I still think he's one of their most talented defensive players, and they just don't have talent to spare on that side of the ball. If I'm him and the Packers asked me to take a pay cut, I'd say no and tell them that if they don't want to pay him what his contract says, cut me. I don't think they're in position to cut him, they need him even if he's not a $15 million (cap money) or even $11.1 million (2018 pay) player. He'd still get a pretty good contract on the open market. Now maybe they'll do an extension with him to cut his cap number, but I'm thinking it would be an extension that wouldn't reduce his '18 pay, it would just convert some of his '18 pay into a signing bonus that's prorated and thus lowers his '18 cap number.
    At the end of 2017 season I had maybe 2 GB starters cracking the Vikings 22 starters. Will they ever catch up to their clearly talent superiority?
    Well, the difference between Rodgers and Keenum is huge. I'd take the Packers' OL last year when healthy over the Vikings'. Vikings' WRs and TEs were better. On defense, the Vikings were better at most positions. I do wonder how long they'll be able to sustain that, though. They need to keep drafting really well, because you can't keep all those defensive guys after you pay a quarterback, as Seattle has found out. So if they sign Cousins, that could affect their defense in a year or two. The talent level of NFL teams can change quickly, up or down, in as little or a year or two sometimes. I think the Vikings were 8-8 two seasons ago.
    If the draft were held today, which do you think has the best chance of happening: Gute stays put at 14, trades up or trades down?
    I'd say stay put, but that's always the safest guess. I'd also guess more likely to move up than down, so of course he'll end up moving down.
    Hi Pete, If the nose tackle from Washington its on the board, Vita Vai, do we take him. It is hard to find big men and this would give us a strong DL that will benefit a pass rusher from the edge. It is hard to find good big men and to me football is all about having strong lines on both sides of the ball.
    I've been thinking about that, need to find out more about him. But he's 347 pounds, is he really an edge rusher in the NFL? In my opinion, they'd have to think he is, which would make him an extremely rare player, or that he's another Aaron Donald as an inside rusher, to make him worth picking that high. He's a really interesting prospect, and of course any team would like to have him. But today's game is so passing oriented, and the Packers' pass rush is a real problem, so to make him worth picking that high for the Packers he'd better be a real pass rusher.
    How do incentives count against the cap? If a player has a two-million-dollar incentive in his contract does that go against the cap right away or later in the year if he hits it
    This is where the rules get a little arcane. If he reached the incentive marks in question in the previous season, then they count on this year's cap. If he didn't, they don't. So let's say a guy's '18 contract has a $250,000 incentive for 75 receptions, and he caught 80 passes last year. Then the $250K counts on this year's cap, and is only taken off if he doesn't reach the 75-catch mark by season's end. If he only caught 60 passes last year, then the incentives don't count until after the season if he catches at least 75 passes. In official CBA language, the former case is defined as a "likely to be earned" incentive, and the later "unlikely to be earned." The likely or unlikely is based on whether he achieved the mark in question the previous season.
    Pete- From your observations and pretend the safety net of Ted Thompson was not here, how good do you think the GM staff on whole is in knowing the talent. We always heard the names of Gutey and wolf and highsmith but these lesser known names seem to have a lot of experience. Are we in good shape with the staff we have now in your opinion and if so why and if not why
    I really don't know. Losing Wolf and Highsmith was big, those are two really experienced scouts who have really good reputations. That's a significant brain drain. But departures mean someone else gets a chance, and Jon-Eric Sullivan (college scouting director) and John Wojciechowski (director of pro personnel) presumably will have a lot more influence now. Sounds like Gutekunst is planning on making a significant knew hire or two, also, after the draft. I really don't have an opinion worth knowing on whether these guys will be good, not much to base it on other than people who work for the Packers think well of them. But losing Wolf and Highsmith -- not just one, but both -- is a big blow. That's why I wonder if Gutekunst will try to convince Scot McCloughan to join the staff after the draft.
    With Morgan Burnett gone, 12 picks in the draft, and Seattle dangling Earl Thomas, Any chance Packers give up some picks or players to get a guy like him?
    OK, this is going to have to do it, so many questions I didn't have time to get to, but thanks all for taking the time to stop by. We'll do it again next week, so try again then if I didn't get to your question. I saw that report about Thomas. It sounds like Seattle is going to want a lot for him, so I don't know that he'll be in play for the Packers. Outstanding player, just turned 28 yesterday. But if Seattle wants a high pick for him, that would be tough to do. He's not a CB or pass rusher, which are far greater needs for the Packers. OK, that's a wrap on a long chat. Thanks again everyone, always enjoyable chatting with you. Until next week, take care.
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