OK, let's get after it. Basically, I have to agree with your thinking regarding going after Mack. There is a big risk -- putting all that money into two players (Mack and, eventually, Rodgers) is a big risk. One of them gets hurt seriously and it's devastating financially and on the field. But what's the better alternative? You're in the business of trying to win the Super Bowl. And even if you're a team that spreads all that guaranteed money around to several players, the same thing can happen. I think of Seattle a couple years ago. They were a legit SB contender -- not the favorite, but legit contender -- with all those good defensive players they were paying. But then Earl Thomas got hurt late in the season, and boom, they were done. They weren't nearly as good. That's one guy. So yes, I'd pursue it hard, if in fact Oakland actually is open to trading him. Maybe the Raiders aren't now, but if Mack starts sitting out regular-season games, that could change. Worst case for Oakland is he sits until the 10th week and still gets credit for this season, so he's a free agent next year, then they'd have to tag him risk going through the same thing again. So maybe if he sits some real games the Raiders will seriously consider trading him. As for what it would take, I really don't know. Would the two first-rounders be enough? Maybe, but it's not a given. Two points about trading Matthews. One, I'm thinking the Packers might really need him. They're thin at ILB, and if Martinez or Burks gets hurt, they might want to move Matthews there. There are other possible options -- like playing a safety at ILB -- but the best one might be moving Matthews. He's still a good player, just not what he was in his 20s. Trading him would save a big chunk of money -- I think he's making $10M or $10.5M in salary this year. But Oakland might not want to take on that salary. Only the Raiders can answer that one. I doubt Matthews and a first-rounder would get a deal done. Be interesting to see how this plays out with Mack and the Raiders.
I tend to agree. Kizer has looked better in practice recently and last week's game too, I think he's created a little daylight, at least in the sense that he's more physically talented than Hundley, and it's starting to show. I'd forgotten this until a friend on the beat pointed this out, but second-round picks' salary is guaranteed in Year 2, so even if the Packers cut him they'd have to pay him. I don't know the Packers' thinking on Hundley, but I'm thinking that if he plays well enough to keep on the 53, then that might/should be enough to get a seventh-round pick for him. I'd just have trouble justifying keeping both if I"m the Packers, especially if Boyle does well enough that there'd be some risk of another team picking him up if the Packers tried to slip him through to the practice squad. But they very well might see it differently, they've put a lot of time into Hundley, and he's looking better than he did last season.
I'd say their outside rush has to be a big concern. Perry is finally off PUP, but his and Matthews' histories are that at least one of them is going to get hurt and either miss games or be diminished while playing through the injury. Reggie Gilbert has moved up to the clear No. 3 OLB, and you have to be impressed with his effort and rise up the ladder and all that, but he still has his limitations. Backup tackle is a big issue too. An injury to Bakhtiari or Bulaga would really, really hurt, especially Bakhtiari. The miss on drafting Spriggs has really hurt their depth at tackle. Those are the two things that stand out to me.
I don't have the numbers in front of me, but he missed a big week of practice and the preseason opener because of a groin injury, then played only one series, with the starters, last week. So not a lot to report on or observe with him. I'd expect him to play a lot this week. He's a little on the short side, but I will, say when he's practiced, he's shown a lot of quickness covering and breaking on the ball, and looks like he's very competitive.
For the short term it's not good, but longer term I think it's still fine. Aaron Jones is back practicing, and he's their best guy with the ball in his hands, though he's also suspended for the first two games. It sure looks like Williams' ankle injury is short term. Wouldn't be surprised if he's back practicing next week. Hard to tell with Mays, he has a hamstring injury and has been out I think maybe three weeks. Sometimes those can really linger, but he's the No. 4 at best anyway. So I guess for this week they're a tad thin with Williams out, though I have to think Jones is going to play at least a little.
Haven't heard his name come up but not sure if that's because of the young WRs. I kind of look at Graham as a WR too, that's basically what he is. So we might see a lot of two TE stuff, too, with Lewis as a blocker and short receiver. Valdes-Scantling definitely shows the most talent of the three draft picks. I haven't seen anything about whether Bryant is going to sign with Cleveland, but if not, you never know what could happen once we get into the season a few games.
I can't say I know, and you should always be wary of injury information in the NFL, it's just very, very unreliable. But it does sound like his shoulder injury is not serious. Don't know if he'll be back next week, but it didn't sound like he'd be out long. But again, remember, injury info in this league is unreliable.
Just to elaborate on this a little, the theories I've read about why Oakland might be willing to trade him is that the Raiders are probably the cash poorest in the league, and when you do contracts that contain full guarantees, then whatever portion of that guarantee you don't pay them in Year 1 you have to put in escrow. So that takes cash, and the Raiders have paid out five or six other contracts in the last year, including Carr's, that contained significant guarantees. Mack will cost a big guarantee, so the theory is that paying him that kind of guarantee will stretch them as far as cash flow. I can't say this is what's going on with the Raiders for sure, but it does sound plausible. And for when the trade is plausible, an oddsmaker a few days ago came out with new odds that had the Packers as a 2-to-1 favorite to have Mack on their roster by Nov. 1, and the Raiders were 3-to-1. The Nov. 1 date is big, because I'm sure they're thinking is that Mack is serious about missing regular-season games, and after a few or several weeks of that the Raiders will be willing to trade him. We'll see.
Final cuts are due on Saturday after the final preseason game, 3 p.m. CT. There are no earlier cuts, so they go from 90 to 53 that day.
That's what I'm thinking. I could see one of them making the practice squad.
Always good to hear from the UK. I'm hoping to visit your neck of the woods next spring. Trades seem to be more common in the last year or so than before, but I'm not sure either will happen. I just don't know that anybody would give up anything for guys the Packers might cut anyway.
I don't. I have to say, the time or two I've asked people in the league about that guy for one reason or another, the review hasn't been good. He's really big but I don't think he's good laterally or in coverage, and this is such a coverage oriented game. So I'm not seeing it with him.
Yes, but it doesn't have to be as a return guy, it can be as a cover man.
I thought it was kind of a given until a couple months ago, when I read something from our Rich Ryman that said that Mark Murphy told him it's not likely. Nobody wants to give up a home game that would draw all those Packers fans. The league can force a team that's moving to a new stadium to play there, and I had assumed that the game at the Chargers in '19 would have been a natural, because they're playing in a stadium that holds only 30,000 while their new place is being built. But if Murphy said it's looking unlikely the Packers are playing there next year, then he's obviously heard something from the league to make him think that's not happening.
Can't rule it out, but McCarthy really likes the flexibility of tight ends for play calling and special teams, so he easily could keep four. Kendricks hasn't done much that's jumped out. Tonyan has made a few catches in the red zone that have stood out. Tonyan is light -- he's listed at 237 -- so that's a detriment to his blocking. But he has some receiving skills. I haven't broken down the roster yet, but I'd think he has a real chance of making it. Practice squad at worst.
My best guess is it's guaranteed money. I think Matt Ryan set the bar at $95 million. If I'm Rodgers I'm looking for at least $110 million, maybe/probably more. I will say, getting back to Mack, if somehow or someway Mack ends up with the Packers, that could actually help with Rodgers' talks. I mean, obviously that could be a big financial hit to sign Mack, but it also would show Rodgers that they're really, really serious about winning and willing to go to great lengths. Maybe that would soften his outlook on his own deal, knowing that the franchise really is stretching itself to help him win. This is all just speculation on my part.
Yeah, Amichia is not moving up the depth charts, and in the few times they've done one-on-one pass rushing he's had his problems. So yeah, I'm thinking he won't make the 53. I do not see Montgomery as a possible cut. I think they have a very specific plans on how they're going to use him.
I don't see him starting outside. I'd still bet that the starting three in the nickel will be King and Williams on the outside and Alexander in the slot. Jackson might be the No. 4, but that might be House, too. Regardless, with all the injuries in this game, at some point Jackson is going to get on the field. Could even be a lot if one of the top three is lost for a long stretch or the season. He's improved as camp has gone along. I don't want to go too far, though, because I thought Randall and Rollins were promising after their rookie seasons.
It sure looks/sounds like Brice knows the defense and is a better communicator than Jones. Jones' best chance to get on the field looks like it will be sub-packages where he's playing a LB/slot CB spot, where they want someone faster than an ILB but more physical than a CB.
Agreed. I'm not sure who you've seen/heard express that concern, but that's not a good reason for keeping someone. Cut your losses. Ron Wolf often said that you should never compound a personnel mistake by keeping that mistake.
Not really. It didn't look like he was busting it, but it didn't look like Matthews, for instance, did in his short stint either. Remember how cavalier Peppers was in the preseason? But in the real games he played. So I'm not reading anything into it. With those guys, make the judgments when they start playing real games.
I'm thinking Pipkins has shown the most of the 3 CBs you mention, though Hawkins might be ahead of him in the rotation, not sure of that but might be. Whitehead is going to make it, he came back from injury this week and was getting a lot of work high up in the rotation at safety/slot. I could see somebody picking up Evans if he's cut. Really, any of those guys would at least be a possibility to get picked up if released. They've all played in NFL games.