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2019 Optimism Is Warranted But Is The 2020 Complacency?

The Packers' offseason moves have given rise to a lot of optimism for the 2019 season, and rightly so in my opinion.  Overall, I liked the team's 2019 draft.  I have warmed up to the Rashaan Gary selection, though I still view him as a bit of a boom or bust pick. 

I liked the players signed by the Packers in free agency, though not the contract structures.  The only free agent move that gave me pause was signing Marcedes Lewis, and that at least was for just one year at modest money.

The Packers needed a massive infusion of talented players who would be ready to play in 2019.  That included at least three, and probably four, new defensive starters and at least one new offensive starter.  The problem was Green Bay only had enough cap space to sign two (or stretching a point, three) significnat free agents using proper contract structures.  Let me compare two signgings by San Francisco to the Packers' top two signings.      

Dee Ford: 5 years, $85M, $16.5M average, $19.75M guaranteed versus Zadarius Smith, 4 years, $66M, $16.5M average, $20M guaranteed.  Both were young, highly sought outside linebackers.  The average annual value is the same and the amount guaranteed at signing is almost exactly the same.  But they signed very different contracts.

Name Cap # Dead Saving Cash
Ford Yr 1: $14.6M $6.4M $9.7M $21M
Ford Yr 2: $16.1M $4.8M $12.8M $35.5M
Ford Yr 3: $17.6M $3.2M $15.4M $51.5M

Compare that to Zadarius Smith's contract structure:

Name Cap # Dead Saving Cash
Smith Yr 1 $7.25M $15M $2.25M $22.5M
Smith Yr 2 $17.25M $10M $10.75M $34.5M
Smith Yr 3 $20.75M $5M $15.75M $50.25M

Preston Smith signed for four years, $52 million, an average of $13M, with $16M guaranteed.  Kwon Alexander signed for four years, $54 million, an average of $13.5M, with $14.25M guaranteed.

NAME Cap # Dead Saving Cash
Kwon Yr 1 $11.53M $3M $10.1M $14.5M
Kwon Yr 2 $13.10M $2M $12.4M $26.3M
Kwon Yr 3 $14.40M $1M $13.5M $40.0M

Compare that to Preston Smith's deal:

NAME Cap # Dead Savings Cash
P Smith 1 $6.0M $12M $1.5M $18.0M
P Smith 2 $13.5M $8M $8.0M $27.5M
P Smith 3 $16.0M $4M $12.5M $39.5M

San Francisco signed Ford and Alexander and took first year cap hits totaling $26.13 million.  Green Bay signed Smith and Smith and took first year cap hits totaling $13.25 million.  The difference is $12.88 million.  Not by coincidence and using the same type of structure, Green Bay signed Amos, Turner, and Marcedes Lewis as well and took first year cap hits totaling $12.25 million.

The Packers essentially were able to sign Amos, Turner, and Lewis by grossly skimping on first year cap hits for each free agent signing, a long-term pattern in Green Bay.  The team took a cap hit for Zadarius Smith of just 43.9% of his AAV and just 46.2% for Preston Smith.  San Francisco's numbers were 88.5% and 85.4%. 

San Francisco could take a bit of a gulp and cut Dee Ford after the 2019 season ($6.4M dead) but Green Bay won't cut Zadarius Smith given his $15M dead money charge unless Smith is just awful or gets injured. The difference is less pronounced but still significant if San Francisco wanted to cut Ford after two seasons (after the 2020 season) since his dead money charge would be just $4.8M,  whereas Z. Smith still would have a hefty $10M dead money charge. 

San Francisco could easily cut Kwon Alexander after the 2019 season since his dead money charge would be just $3M.  It would be just $2M after the 2020 season.  Green Bay won't cut Preston Smith after the 2019 season since his dead money charge would be $12M and it would still be $8M after the 2020 season.  As a note, $13.5M seemed like a lot for Kwon Alexander: it occurred to me that San Francisco might have paid a little more in terms of AAV for him in return for his acceptance of a small signing bonus.

 Complacency:

I think I have detected some complacency in the comments over the 2020 outlook.  There seems to be a casual acceptance that several players will be allowed to walk. Perhaps fans are just giddy with optimism over how the team looks on paper for 2019 and just want to enjoy the sensation for now.  There is nothing wrong with that.

As things stand now, Bulaga, Daniels, Martinez, Lowry, Allison, Tramon Williams, Fackrell and Crosby will almost certainly be on the 2019 team but might not be on the 2020 team.  Others include Marcedes Lewis and Spriggs, though I think both are good to very good bets to make the 2019 team, and Trevor Davis.

That is quite a bit of talent.  On an individual basis, one can assert decent arguments for both re-signing each player or letting each player walk, whether it be age, declining ability, injuries, presence of an internal replacement, or simply that the player will command too much money.

To replace that much talent, the Packers would need an all-time great draft, or more likely two or three pretty good drafts.  True, none of the players named above appears to be bound for the hall of fame (so far), but some of them are simply pretty good starters and the rest have at least useful qualities.  The Packers' ability to operate in free agency will be pretty limited next March. 

According to Overthecap, the Packers will have $13.7M in salary cap space for 2020, assuming the cap limit rises to $200M, plus any rollover.  The Packers currently have $8.4M in cap space, but that number likely will decrease when the Rule of 51 ends with the beginning of the regular season, barring any surprising trades or cuts.  It is possible Green Bay might pick up another player or two (by which I mean someone paid more than the rookie minimum), particularly at ILB, S, and CB.  $5M would not be a surprising amount to rollover from 2019 into 2020.  $13.7 plus $5M in rollover would leave the Packers with roughly $19M in cap space next March.  Of course, the cap might increase more (or less) than anticipated.

That is enough to re-sign some of those named above, depending on how they play this year.  Burks and Sternberger might blossom enough to make Martinez and Graham expendable.  Gary, Z. Smith, Adams and Keke might make Daniels expendable.  The young receivers might make Allison expendable even if Allison has the break-out season many are hoping for from him.  And so on.  

There are some wild cards (with some being wilder than others). Cutting Graham would mean $8M in additional salary cap space, but it only makes sense to cut Graham if there is an internal replacement or the Packers intend to draft or buy a tight end with the cap savings. Kenny Clark and Bakhtiari both will be in contract years and can reasonably expect extensions.  Sites are counting Clark as $7.69M against the 2020 cap, but with an extension that number could go up or down, and the Packers could substantially reduce Bakhtiari's scheduled $14.2M cap hit for 2020 with an extension.

I am against extending any players at present.  I need to see how they play and how their potential internal replacements perform.  I would love for the Packers to make an offer on the Kwon Alexander model (i.e., strictly pay-as-you-go) to Bulaga and perhaps to Daniels (depending on how they play and how much they play in 2019), but it takes cap space Green Bay does not appear to have to do that.

I am optimistic for 2019.  That probably means some of the young players will blossom. As an example, the Packers could have a great 2019 season in part because Graham rebounded nicely with a career year or because Sternberger had a fine rookie season.  I would gladly take either (or both).  That said, Sternberger playing well means the front office will have good choices, perhaps keeping both players, or saving $8M in cap space and/or trading Graham for a draft pick.  There are other players many are expecting to perform well who could ease the loss of any players who will be UFAs in 2020. 

It should be an exciting year, and it definitely will be interesting.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (40) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

SterlingSharpe's picture

None of these guys leaving will cause problems, other than Blake Martinez who we will keep.
If any of the other guys come cheap, keep them, otherwise, they're JAG types and won't impact us if they get overpaid somewhere else.

"Bulaga, Daniels, Martinez, Lowry, Allison, Tramon Williams, Fackrell and Crosby will almost certainly be on the 2019 team but might not be on the 2020 team."

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

This is part of my point. Bulaga isn't a JAG. He is a top 5 RT and top 20 OT, who played 72% of all possible snaps at that level despite playing with some injuries. I don't think Daniels is a JAG either, though it is harder to present his case just on stats. Casually dismissing their value is what I called complacency. Maybe posters were just accepting a probable reality, and complacency is the wrong term.

Lowry is a useful player. I think we did, in fact, miss Allison last year, though the hoped-for development of MVS, ESB, and maybe Kumerow might mean GB won't miss him should he depart in 2020. Tramon is just okay, but at least he's just okay at two positions. Crosby is overpaid, but is a cut above JAG level. These guys and possibly Fackrell provide depth, which might be missed in the future.

Coldworld's picture

I agree on Bulaga. I think we underestimate how hard it is to find a really good tackle even one who may miss some time. That too is overblown, however.

dblbogey's picture

Bulaga never has gotten the respect he's deserved. He's played a lot of very good football, often playing hurt to help the team. I'd love to see him for yet another year, in 2020, assuming he avoids another injury requiring surgery.

Bure9620's picture

Bulaga is a good player, maybe even under appreciated, but his body is simply breaking down. I would be very surprised if he plays 16 games in 2019. If this happens, a 3rd contract is still a rarity in GB, particularly for injury plagued players on the wrong side of 30. The Packers were trying to restructure him last offseason. Yes, tackles are hard to find but I see it being very unlikely he gets a 3rd deal unless it's very team friendly which he won't accept. He may even pull a Doug Baldwin and be done.

flackcatcher's picture

Right, and do the Packers have a replacement for Bulaga, for Bahk. Or do they someone who can play the position, not just fill it. Last year the answer was no to both. Injuries, GM choice in what positions to invest in, bit this team in the backside in a big way. And that's the point TGR is making here. The last thing any manager wants, is to have decisions made or forced on him. Right now, GUTE is trying to get ahead of both the cap and injury curve, and as we saw last year, that's a mighty hard thing to do.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I wouldn't be shocked to see Williams cut before week 1 if King and Jackson are healthy and playing well. It would save ~3.25 Million dollars.

I'm not calling for it. Just pointing out the possibility.

Bearmeat's picture

I agree. I think the writing is on the wall for all of them except Martinez. Possibly Allison. The others have all been good to very good players, but there are younger, cheaper options for each of them already on the roster that can reasonably replace something close to their production.

I also would extend Bakh ASAP. Unless he gets hurt, he's only going to get more expensive, and I expect him to reset the LT market. Clark we have under control for 2 more years, so that would get done sometime next offseason I'd think. Having him on his ridiculously cheap deal is nice for the cap, but if you resign him this early, you'll get a nice team discount...

Tough choices in a hard cap league. Always.

flackcatcher's picture

TGR point hits home when the Packers are in year two of a soft rebuild. This is young and very thin roster at this point in time. The number of dependable core players is unknown at this point, especially for an offensive system that just got installed. We are assuming that many of the players who started for this team will be back at their positions this year. We should be careful in making that judgement. Right now there are too many X factors in play, and the Rodgers contract has restricted Gutes freedom in how wide a net he threw in the free agent market. Now I believe that most of this will work it self out. That most of the decisions the Packers make will be made for them of the football field. The question is, has IAMGUTE team made the right moves to keep this team moving into the playoffs and hopefully the Superbowl in the coming years. I believe so, but any honest fan knows the jury is still out on that one too.

Lare's picture

I think the relevant saying here is "It takes money to Make Money". Sure, they have a lot invested in current players but as we saw with TT, teams have to get good free agents in this day and age in order to be competitive.

The Packers should be fine in future years, they just need to spend their money wisely.

JakeDickerson's picture

I don’t think anyone is being complacent about 2020. That is the no excuses year for this Packers team. There will be an efflux of talent as there is every year. If they guys you have listed play well, there’s a very good chance most of them aren’t here next year. It looks like, outside of the ILB position, that Gutey has a plan. I’ll continue to put my trust in him for the time being. He’s shown nothing so far that makes me believe that he’s anything but competent.

ShooterMcGee's picture

I wonder how James would feel about 2020 if we also gave up a 2nd rounder for Dee Ford like San Francisco did. I will take Z Smith and our 2nd rounder all day long.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I wouldn't have liked giving up a 2nd for Dee Ford and also paying him.

That is a red herring though: I am not comparing San Francisco's draft or free agency activity to GB's. I am showing what a team with ample cap space can do in the structuring of their free agent contracts.

And it is evidence that players, even highly desirable free agents, will accept such terms.

I do think there is a happy medium between 43% and 88% (percentage of the first-year cap to AAV), in part dependent on age and injury history. At least the guys GB signed are all young and have pretty good injury histories (except for Turner), and should be in their physical primes for the duration of these deals.

Qoojo's picture

Way too early to worry over which players will be gone in 2020. Allison could have another injury shortened season. Lowry might have hit his ceiling. Bulaga is Bulaga. Williams might show he hit a wall due to age. One football season is a lot of wear and tear.

Also, complacency in comments means nothing. We are just fans, and have zero effect on anything in the Packers organization. At best, someone here might bring up a topic that a report might ask.

GLM's picture

Optimism is a good thing. It's what we, as fans live on...any fan worth their salt has to be an optimist for their team. I wouldn't apologize for being an optimist.

That being said..I think we all know that reality plays a different game... ;)

If our players are healthy, they match up with any team in the league...if we can win this battle of attrition, then good things will follow.. there's more optimsm for ya'...lol

Old School's picture

Interesting. It appears that the Packers like to structure FA contracts so that at after two years there is an out without a lot of dead money.

It’s a two year rental agreement.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Eye of the beholder perhaps. Zadarius still has $10M dead after he has played two years (2019 and 2020). Nick Perry had $11.1M in dead money after playing two years of his five-year deal. Preston Smith still has $8M dead after he finishes playing two seasons. Both have more cap savings than Perry had, but it is still dead money.

Coldworld's picture

Russ Ball is a genius per local lore. You must be confused.

Bearmeat's picture

Your sarcasm is noted. haha. Russ Ball is competent at his job. Hardly a genius.

DThomas's picture

TGR: "Zadarius still has $10M dead after he has played two years (2019 and 2020)."

How important is dead cap money vs. cap savings? For example, according to overthecap's site, in 2020 Jimmy Graham's cap number will be about $11.67M and if he's waived the result would be about $3.67M dead money and $8M in cap savings. A team with a lot of dead money has made a lot of mistakes (or one really big one) so I'm certainly not advocating for the Packers to have a lot of dead cap money going forward. But as soon as waiving a player results in cap savings, if it makes sense to waive him, the team should admit its mistake, in spite of the dead money. I certainly don't expect this to be the case but if for whatever reason it makes sense to release Za'Darius in your year 2 example, they should waive him. It would create dead money but also cap savings to spend on his replacement.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

"As soon as waiving a player = cap savings, ... the team should admit its mistake."

Think about that. From the player's perspective, it then makes sense to agree to a contract that doesn't have cap savings for as long as possible. Nothing structural can completely help the really awful player, but things can be done for the underwhelming player.

The vulnerable years are the 3rd, 4th and 5th years of a deal. The agent's goal then is to keep cap savings down in those out years. That's why players love signing bonuses: they get the money right away and prorated portions don't come off the contract until the end of the contract, which helps protect their base pay in the 3rd, 4th and 5th year of the deal. If the deal has $20M guaranteed, and team X's offer includes a guaranteed $10M roster bonus in year one and another in year 2, that means there is no dead money for year 3. If team GB includes a $20M signing bonus instead, that's a much better offer because there is still $10M dead going into year 3.

PackerfanAuggie15's picture

TGR, how do you feel the looming unknown of the next CBA may be influencing contract negotiations? Added incentive to back load the cap and hope for a big jump?

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

IDK. Reports are mostly positive from the meeting last April so far but it hard to say. The union is still advising players to save money, enough for a year long strike. Teams can hope for a big jump in the cap or an uncapped year, but they need to be careful. And last time both sides were surprised that the cap didn't go up, it actually went down. The limit was $123M in 2009 with 2010 being uncapped;, but the cap didn't again exceed $123M until 2014.

The sbnation article partially linked to below seems like straight forward reporting. There are plenty of opinion pieces by agents like Joel Corry and by OTC's Jason Fitzgerald. They are excellent, but I disagree with most of their recommendations, and all of the important ones for one simple reason: I don't think the changes would improve the quality of the play on the field, quite the reverse in fact. I don't see how changing rookie contract lengths from four years to three is going to improve play, for example.

There are some weird rules for the last league year in this CBA. Come March of 2020, there will be no June designation. Waiting for June doesn't even help. None of a player's dead money can be deferred into 2021 because there is no agreement for 2021. Some unlikely to be earned incentives can be made to count in a future year at present, but not in 2020.

The 30% rule becomes more important (salary can only increase by 30% more than the player's 2020 salary, excluding signing bonus prorations). So if his salary is $10M in 2020, it can't be more than $13M in 2021, and $16M in 2022. GB could not have signed Zadarius Smith to the contract he just got if it had been 2020. Smith's $7.25M cap number, but really his $2.25M salary, could only increase by 30% each year 2021. That would not cut it. Smith's cap hit increases 237% in 2020 over 2019. His $2.25M salary increased to $12.25M the next season, more than 5 times his first year salary. 5 times is a lot more than 30%.

The 30% rule affects Kenny Clark, Martinez, Bakh and anyone else GB wants to try to sign or extend in 2020. Right now, Clark's 5th yr. option is all cash for $7.69M. Let's say $8M to ease the math. Due to the 30% rule, Clark's $8M salary could look like this: $8M, $10.4M, $12.8M, and $15.2M. That adds up to a 4 yr., $46.4M deal, or $11.6M AAV. I think Clark will command more than that. $14M AAV would be $56M, or $10M more, so GB could keep the cash salary the same and add a $10M signing bonus and be in compliance. Of course, that would increase Clark's cap number from $7.69M to $10.5M in 2020, or $2.81M, and decrease GB's cap space from $13.7M to $10.89M. It appears to me that extending Clark, Bakh, Martinez means that GB has to put a 2020 first year cap hit of 70 to 75% (that's a guestimate - I should run some examples first) of AAV in place, a far cry from the 43% and 46% Z and P Smith got in 2019.

I am not going to give a concrete example of what Bakh's extension might look like. First, IIRC I read some ways around the rule, probably in Jason Fitzgerald's book, "Crunching Numbers" and because I am on a lot of antihistamines at the moment.

sbnation.com/nfl/2019/4/10/18285740/collective-bargaining-agreement-cba-2021-nfl-nflpa

murf7777's picture

TGR, It seems to me that Packers are in a bit of win now mode being they are taking less Cap hit in the 1st year thus pushing more into later years of recently signed contracts.I posted this yesterday and got some of disagreement. I’m not against the approach as AR is still in his prime but not for long so being aggressive seems to make sense. Is my assumption correct stating that we are leaning to win now and risking our future salary cap thus being more likely to having a rebuilding period down the road?

With TT except for his last couple of years I felt he did an awesome job at managing our cap yet still winning year in and out but always felt he might’ve missed out on some FA deals. Of course, they might not have wanted to come to GB, something none of us know. With Gutey, I respect his decisions so far in drafting and filling gaps in FA, but am a bit concerned it comes with a price since they were mostly all high priced deals. We all crave for those first two day FA signings, now we have 4 in one year.....I’ve been reading your comments for years and really respect your opinion and was wondering your thoughts on this.

flackcatcher's picture

" and because I am on a lot of antihistamines at the moment"............ ( So am I. I hate spring time in DC......-:)

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Murf - I am working on the theory that AR has 3 to 5 more good to elite years. That's a long enough time frame that the team needs efficient production and prudent management of the cap for the next 3 seasons. The last two years, well maybe I won't be very concerned if GB buys a player or two it can't really afford and pays the cap price after the team thinks AR will retire/decline.

IDK whether AR has 5-7 years, or what Gute thinks the timeline is - maybe 2-4? Because it does seem like Gute has spent like a drunken yuppie (which I support because the team simply needed more talent than it had).

Adorabelle's picture

A long list of players for 2020. Bulaga will return or a free agent will take his place but a tackle is needed for sure. Martinez will also get signed. I will admit I don't know how to judge Daniels and what he is worth to the team. So signing him will depend on how much is much. Allison and Lowry will need to show things this season to return. If Allison plays the season as the number 2 receiver he will have the stats to back up a signing. Kickers are kickers. So far Fackrell will need to see how much he can even see the field.

Bearmeat's picture

TGR,

Great stuff, as always. I am far from a numbers guy, and your posts make my head spin a bit. haha.

I'd like to get some clarification though. When you mention 2020 complacency, do you mean that Packer fans are sure that the youth rebuild will be complete in 2020? Or do you mean that we are sure that the older guys will be gone by 2020? Both? Neither?

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

The very first comment suggests that GB should sign Martinez and let the rest walk because they are all JAGs who won't be missed. I don't think any of the UFAs is really a JAG. I don't know why that poster thinks they won't be missed in 2020. And even if MVS, ESB, and Kumerow put Allison on the bench in 2019 because they've taken the 2nd year jump, I like the idea of having Allison on the bench, ready, willing and able to keep the offense humming in the event of an injury. I remember running out of WRs in a playoff game. Ditto for Lowry even though the DL might be crowded with Clark, Daniels, Gary, Z Smith, maybe Keko-Adams-Lancaster.

IIRC two of the most respected posters on CHTV wrote that Bulaga and Daniels won't return in 2020. I think they were simply accepting a probable reality. Love to sign Bulaga to a contract with $3.2M in game active bonuses and $6M more in base, W/O, etc.

By the way, the long comment above about the 30% rule is better stuff than the article itself. The author is an idiot for not mentioning the 30% rule in the article. Some checking to see if there are ways to circumvent the 30% rule is required, but I suspect that a lot of teams with minimal cap space are going to be out of the FA market in 2020.

Bure9620's picture

I actually think the Packers front office is banking on a work stoppage in 2 years and this is their justification for the somewhat back ended contracts and FA signings. We will be in fine cap position for the next 2 years and when Amos, the Smith's and Turners contracts take big cap jumps we may not have football anyway. Spend now, try to win now in these 2 years with Rodgers.

Bearmeat's picture

Got it.

I'll add my .02 here. I think that Turner was signed to be the injury replacement at OT this year, and the RT of the future once Jenkins is ready to be the RG. I think Daniels is done in GB after this year. He was not as effective last year as he has been, and there is young and cheap talent behind him. I do think that Martinez will be resigned. There is no quality behind him, and he's been generally solid, if unspectacular. Plus, unlike Bulaga and Daniels, he's still young.

I would also say that I agree with you that I don't love the structure of the FA OLB's salaries especially. I see why it was done. But I expected one OLB signing, not two. I think perhaps Gutekunst is trying to put together a winning team immediately, rather than go full-on rebuild. The roster certainly needed it badly by 2017 - it was an old and generally less talented roster (other than Zeus throwing the rock). But you don't expect a rebuild if you're a fan of a team with Zeus at QB. Tough line to straddle.

Regardless, I am excited with the personnel of the team. Excited to see it all come together. I think this team has more potential and less holes than any GB team since 2014. I also think that this team will be killing it by 2020. This year may be a let down, but next year? I'm already excited.

Bure9620's picture

Potentially Bearmeat, however I would argue Turner struggled mightily at Tackle when called upon. He gave up a lot of space to speed rushers and really was no better than mediocre imo. He is much better suited at guard. If the Packers see him as the RT of the future, that is a bit disheartening.

dobber's picture

"I think that Turner was signed to be the injury replacement at OT this year, and the RT of the future once Jenkins is ready to be the RG."

If Turner had been signed AFTER they'd drafted Jenkins, I'd agree with you. I think Turner's a potentially flexible piece, but was signed primarily for his ability to shore up the inside. Don't fall asleep on Jenkins as the longer-term replacement for Linsley at C.

Dzehren's picture

2020 draft Packers will be drafting offensive players early and often. Sign Martinez and maybe Fackrell or Lowry. Graham will be released for cap savings.

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

TGR,
Well done!

Since '61's picture

TGR, great job as usual. I’ll remain focused on 2019 and worry about 2020 when it gets here. The new CBA will definitely be a factor as well as how our upcoming FAs perform in 2019.

I expect that Gute and his staff will be prepared for the 2020 FA period, as they were for 2019. We’ll see.
Thanks, Since ‘61

Lphill's picture

The Smiths are both proven players,now more motivated to get a ring being teamed up with Aaron Rodgers ,I would not worry about their performance .

Ryan Prueher's picture

Can any of you do an article or explain the cap ramification of the Vikings’ recent moves this year? We pushed a lot of money into future years, but it feels like it pales in comparison to them. I’ve tried explaining it to my Viking fan friends here in MN, but it feels like a more detailed explanation would be far more warranted as a comparison to our situation

flackcatcher's picture

Two reasons: Win now. As has been mention here, the CBA is coming. The relationship between the owners and players is flat out bad and getting worse. Both sides are preparing for a long lockout or strike. Player contracts: Vikings signing for what they believe is a cornerstone QB locked the team in. Most of their top line starters on defense contracts are coming due and there is no way they can sign them all without going way over the cap. Which means either a cut and trade or a complete strip and rebuild. When you put those factors together, one can see why the Vikings are in a win now mode.

greengold's picture

The Packers will take care of business. I have zero worries moving forward. A lot of players need to prove their worth, and this will be a great year for them to do so, hopefully, making the job of who to re-sign more difficult.

Focus on today and see how the rest shakes out. That's not being complacent, that is having trust in 1265.

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