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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 Nelson, it would take $10.25 million off the cap. Cobb would save $9.5 million.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.