All right, let's dive right in. Just a quick glance at the Jimmy Johnson trade chart suggests they'd have to move down to about 20 to get a second-rounder (that's based on a pick in the middle of the second round), and to about 16 for a third-rounder. But remember those are just rough guesses. Many teams have their own charts, and circumstances can change some from trade to trade. But that's a rough idea.
If they had to just go as is, my guess is it would be Allison, he has the most experience in the system, and last season Rodgers mentioned him as a guy who can play the slot even though he's a lot taller than the prototypical slot receiver. So that would mean either St. Brown or Valdes-Scantling as the No. 2. St. Brown overtook Valdes-Scantling for the No. 2 by the end of last season, but that could change by the start of the 2019 season.
And when quarterbacks are involved and other teams want to move to that spot, the price can be a little higher. Your scenario is a real borderline call. Move back three spots and there are two guys you really like, so both could go before you pick if you do the deal. I guess it depends in part on the positions they play, but to use your standard of players they "really like," I probably don't do the trade. They haven't picked in the upper half of the first round very often, and while plenty of picks even in the top 15 and top 10 are busts, it's still also your best odds at finding a difference maker. So I'd be inclined to make the pick, not the trade.
Brown is a very talented guy and by all accounts a real hard worker. But he also wants a new contract with a lot of guaranteed money, which only empowers him. It sounds to me like he changed over time as he became more successful and made more money. I just wouldn't do it. I don't think the Rison example helps your argument much. The Packers picked him up after he'd been cut late in the season. He was with them only a handful of games and then the playoffs, and then they let him walk, didn't even try to re-sign him. So he was only a couple months rental. Brown would be a much more significant financial investment. No question he's a talented player and on paper it would be a good move, he and Adams would be a really, really talented receiving duo. But Brown had issues last year feeling underappreciated with Smith-Schuster catching more passes than him. How would he handle Adams getting more targets than he gets? I'd be really considered that he'd be an outburst waiting to happen. He was late for meetings in Pittsburgh routinely, according to reports. The Packers want to ramp up accountability, so if he continued to do so if traded to GB that would undermine LaFleur's efforts in that regard. Maybe it would work out great and he'd be a good locker-room citizen, but I just wouldn't take that chance on a guy who's going to be 31 in July and could begin his decline at any time. I see why he's intriguing to you, he's definitely gifted, but especially because he wants a new contract I just wouldn't take the risk if I were the Packers.
The media just met with them Monday for the first time, and it sounds to me like most or all of the new ones are still at the hotel.
I don't know all the details of these rules, but I think they could as long as they didn't talk about the scheme, etc.
I don't know that anyone has asked LaFleur about that yet. My guess -- this is just a wild guess -- is that he wouldn't want to do it in his first season because he's teaching a new offense, so he'd want the emphasis on that. You bring another team in for a couple days of practice, it could interfere with what he might want to schedule on those days. It probably helps to practice against somebody else, but it takes two to tango also. The Packers probably wouldn't go to another team's facilities to practice because training camp practices are important to the local economy, and they have an obligation to do what they can to help because of their public ownership setup. So they'd need to find somebody to come here. I don't know if that's something LaFleur wants to do or not.
They can talk to agents but they're not supposed to talk about other team's free agents until the legal tampering period opens. But of course they do. A lot of that happens at the scouting combine.
I've asked I think three scouts in the league about this during the season. That's a small sample, but none of them said they had any indication before the draft that Madison wasn't going to play. One scout told me he talked to Madison for a little bit at the combine and thought he was kind of different -- he didn't say in what way, just a little different -- but that's as far as it went. Maybe the Packers missed something or didn't do quite enough homework. The fifth round isn't a high pick, but it's still a pick and you don't want to just throw one away. You have to do all the homework on those, too.
Graham as a $5.3 million roster bonus -- the details aren't listed, so it could be that a small amount of that is weekly during the season, but the bulk (at least $5M) will be due in March after the league year begins. So no, it's not an option to hang onto him and see what happens in the draft. They have to make the decision before the $5M is due.
I don't know really know enough about him to give an opinion worth hearing. Seemed like he was pretty good with Washington. Only 29 catches in nine games last season, don't know what happened with the dropoff there but of course they lost their quarterback halfway through the season. I don't know what he'd cost. He has the physical makeup (5-9, 177, quick) of a slot receiver. He's a guy worth looking into for sure. Cost will be the huge factor.
Those are both big needs. They drafted Burks last year for that role, but after one season it's unclear whether he's going to be the answer. Not saying he isn't -- he flashed some explosiveness in training camp -- but he played his way off the field as a rookie. We'll see what kind of jump he makes. It's pretty rare for an ILB to be worth taking in the top 12, I don't know if there are any ILBs worth picking that high this year. But second round, third round, for an ILB or a guard? Sure. I could even see them taking a tackle with their second first-rounder, and if they bring Bulaga back, then the draft pick might play guard as a rookie. It's just a little tough to say they're going to pick this or that with their first few picks, they have so many needs they could take almost any position. Though I have to think they'll be taking a pass rusher early. Pretty hard to see how they wouldn't.
He's scheduled to make $6.6M this year in salary and bonuses. You're right that that's not a huge amount, all things considered. He turns 30 in March, but it's an old 30 because he's had some serious injuries (hip, ACL). His back injury last season would worry me if I were the Packers. I think he missed only a couple games but if I remember right he was unable to finish another four games because of in-game injuries. Those back issues with linemen are a problem -- look how they've affected Sitton and Lang. Bulaga is a good player when he plays, I'd just be really concerned that he's going to end up missing a lot of time again this season. His salary is low enough that keeping him is a real possibility, but I'd be inclined to thank him and move on, just because of the injury potential, and use the $6.6M in cap room elsewhere.
It is a risk. Among the many things an OL coach has to do is make in-game adjustments, and the more experience with that the better. I thought after hiring Stenavich for OL that LaFleur would hire a veteran coach as the OL assistant. He didn't, he hired Luke Butkus, who'd been U of Illinois' OL coach for a couple years and before that was an assistant OL coach for Jacksonville and Chicago. LaFleur hired Stenavich because he wanted an OL coach who had worked in the specific version of the West Coast offense that he's going to run -- LaFleur is a protege of Kyle Shanahan, and Stenavich was Shanahan's assistant OL coach the last two seasons, so he knows the details of that scheme. I don't doubt that that's important. And maybe Stenavich is a really good coach at a young age and will be fine making in-game adjustments. I'd just be a little concerned about the inexperience of the coaches at that position group, it's such a crucial job on an NFL coaching staff.
Sounds like Clowney, Ford and probably Collins will get tagged. I see Thomas high on some free-agent lists, and I have to admit I don't get it. He was a great player, but he turns 30 this offseason and has sustained two broken lower legs in the last two-plus years (in '16 and again last season). Those are severe injuries and I have to think it's taken something from him. Now, if his recovery is going well and he can be had at a palatable price, sure he's worth looking into. But I have to think this latest injury will only hasten his decline, so I'd say buyer beware on him.
I don't know if anybody said there was a lot of enthusiasm at the introduction -- there was, but there always is at those things. But from a couple people I've talked to at the Packers, it does sound like the younger staff, starting with a young head coach, has brought a new vibe and energy to the building. Young equals hungry, which is a good thing. Experience matters too, though. In the end, what matters most is competence. That's what will win games.
There's probably not just one straight answer to that. The head coach determines playing time, though I think assistant coaches sometimes determine who's on the field on a given play. I think the play callers generally have the say on who plays on any given snap, but there are rotational decisions occasionally made by assistant coaches, like on the DL or at WR or RB. But in the end the play caller or head coach has the most say, because knowing who's on the field plays a big role in the play called. But as for how much playing time a guy gets, that's the head coach's call, so if you didn't think Jones or Tonyan was playing enough, then you should have been upset with McCarthy.
I just did a quick Google search on him, and it looks to me like there's a decent chance the Giants are going to tag him.
That's one of the big questions of free agency and one nobody seems to have a great feel for. Can he be had for $12M or $13M a year? Or will the demand for him drive the price up to $16M or more? I talked to one scout who thought Bell's market will be a little depressed. Another said he thinks he'll end up getting a really big contract. I've read a couple analyses by experienced national reporters who looked into it, and they came away unsure as well. I'd guess that at the combine his market will take shape, though we won't know what it is until free agency starts.
I'm not sure his record as a GM is that great. If you look at his drafts, he misses on a lot of picks, just as many as everybody else. He's signed a couple expensive FAs who didn't pan out, though Gilmore is one that did. What he's good at his cutting his losses and moving on from players and churning his roster and finding bargains. He gets rid of guys and moves on and doesn't think twice. Belichick the GM has Bill Belichick as his coach and Tom Brady as his quarterback, that's his secret sauce as much as anything. And he churns his roster.
OK, this will have to do it. Thanks to everyone for coming by, always enjoy finding out what's on your minds. As for Perry, he's due to make $10.7 in salary and bonuses. Not sure what you consider significant, but I'd think he wouldn't take a big cut (like in half), that he'd rather take his chances on the open market. That's a guess. The Packers are probably just going to have to cut him and move on. When he's healthy he's played pretty well, but he just can't stay healthy. And with that, we'll call it a chat. Remember to keep checking back to PackersNews.com for news updates, and the scouting combine is next week, so things start picking up then. We'll have three reporters in Indy to bring you all the news, and they'll have access to Gutekunst and LaFleur, so there will be plenty of news. Thanks again for stopping by, we'll do it again next week. Until then, take care.