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Free Agency Opens: Packers Options

Free agency, well the "legal tampering" portion of free agency has officially opened.  Green Bay has something in the area of $21 million in cap space after the Randall / Kizer trade.  If you believe recent reports (and the earlier comments of Packers GM Brian Gutekunst) they're going to be aggressive.  There are also multiple avenues for Green Bay to create cap space without releasing key players so they do have a multitude of options.  

2.  Muhammad Wilkerson

12.  Orlando Scandrick

Just released by the Cowboys, Scandrick is a nickel corner who would excel in Damarious Randall's old role. It's also possible that he would come in at a bargain. 2 years, $5M

13.  Trumaine Johnson

Often the player most linked to the Packers, Johnson is not my favorite.  He was exceptional as a rookie, had a few down years, was better in 2015, then pretty average over the course of the next two seasons.  Don't get me wrong, average is better than what Green Bay has had at the CB position for the last few years.  Even though, that's true I don't need the Packers to pay $13M a season for average.  Now if Pettine can squeeze better out of him, great.  I believe that's a thing that can happen.  His QB rating against in 2015 of 55.0 was second best in the league, to just Josh Norman and he's only 28.  I just don't know how excited I can get about a player whose current team worked so very hard to replace.  4 years, $13M

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Ryan Graham's picture

A lot of talent and opportunity to pick from. Need to make cap room...Need to address both talent and depth on both sides of the ball....but even more so importantly bringing in a defensive leader. I don't see what defensive leadership they had in Burnett returning, I think it would have been done by now. Defense needs someone to take accountability for the entire defensive unit.

Ross Uglem's picture

probably gonna be Mike Pettine, TBH.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Nice writeup Ross!

I really like the ideas of Colvin and Pryor. I think they will be good values. What about Tramon Williams for depth though? he graded well last season and would be a great backup and true pro to provide and example to the young guys.

croatpackfan's picture

Tramon is washed. He played well for Packers and I want to rtemember him by that. From NFCCG when he was responsible for that OT TD, his play is at quick down spiral...

jh9's picture

I got my popcorn!

Ryan Graham's picture

Honestly I think he's gonna be a huge part of that and I'm tired up over what he brings. I still feel like they need a guy in the game to do that. Mike Daniels needs to be apart of that, Matthews has never been that guy I don't see that changing. If Blake Martinez wants to step his game up he will not only take that next step forward, he will hold everyone else to that same standard. They need a dog out there that not only carries a big stick but expects everyone else to bring it too and will call out those who don't.

EdsLaces's picture

Don't forget about Breeland.

Ross Uglem's picture

meh.

EdsLaces's picture

Meh? Is that code for younger than DRC and more talented than Gaines?

HankScorpio's picture

Now that the legal "tampering" period has opened, the Packers have been linked to Allen Robinson, Sammy Watkins (by Ian Rapoport) and Jimmy Graham (by Mike Garafolo) so far.

Interesting to see offense first. I wonder if the Robinson and Watkins thing is real or just an attempt to squeeze Nelson and/or Cobb in extension talks.

John Kirk's picture

I was thinking about this. Perhaps, they decided Aaron needed VETERAN help on offense. We know he hasn't clicked with a lot of young guys. So, adding 3 guys who know how to play and Aaron won't have problems with makes some sense.

Sadly, Ha Ha spoke to veteran void on the defense but it sounds like they have decided to handle the O via FA and the D in the draft, IF the rumors are true.

EDIT: I wish we could know what's going on with the guys with the bloat. I don't believe we want to extend Nelson, Cobb or Matthews, as they aren't in long term plans. I don't believe Brian wants to cut any of them. I believe the players want their money as it looks now for next year. An impasse that will keep things as is and then they'll all be off the books after 2018.

If we can get AROB and or Sammy, then Brian will be forced to cut Cobb and Nelson. Who would you rather have? AROB off ACL and Sammy or Nelson and Cobb? I'll take the first pairing. What would Aaron think? I can't imagine the cost would be all that different for either pair.

EDIT: It's pretty funny, at least to me, that the 4 guys I've heard us linked to from national voices, not home media, were: Richard Sherman, Jimmy Graham, Allen Robinson, and Sammy Watkins. What do all 4 have in common? They're either currently injured or have lengthy injury histories. Sniffing for those deals. I picture Brian pressed up against the window in his office, just like the Badger car salesman... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPigcNxXVog

dobber's picture

" What would Aaron think?"

If you like theories, what if the ARod/BG conversation has included a line where ARod says: I'll give you a cut rate if you get me some high-end pass-catchers to throw at?

Let's be honest...if they sign one of those guys (Robinson or Watkins), either Nelson or Cobb is immediately on the street, so how much cap (at least for 2018) would would he really be taking up?

"What do all 4 have in common? They're either currently injured or have lengthy injury histories."

There's a reason why they're on the street...

John Kirk's picture

I like it dobber. I like it uh lot. Perhaps, it's true. A commitment to the offense is as important as it is to the defense. TE is as bad as CB. WR's are not good. We need a true #1. Robinson would help. I like Watkins speed element for big plays that have been missing. How could Aaron not like having that pair?

croatpackfan's picture

dobber, there is no discussion between Aaron and Gutekunst. Aaron is not even sitting at meeting. His agent negotiate with Packers, so, nice wishes, but with no reality there...

dobber's picture

It's fun to imagine it, though, eh?

croatpackfan's picture

Yeah, it might be more easier for teams...

Johnblood27's picture

If Aaron really fells like your post states, his words would be brought to BG by his agent.

That is what agents are for.

That line of communication keeps bad feelings from developing between star player and management . That is the role lawyers take, they are called advocates for a reason.

HankScorpio's picture

I have been wondering if they want to stand pat with their pass catchers or revamp things a little bit. I've said it before a lot and I don't want to sound like a broken record, but their offensive output in most of their playoff losses have been less than optimal. The Packers have scored 24+ and lost just twice in the playoffs with Rodgers-. Neither are real recent-in 2012 & 2009. Why not give Rodgers every bit of help you can?

Bert's picture

I would like either Watkins or Robinson for sure. No thanks on Graham though. He was very good with the Saints but pretty much a JAG with Seattle. Let's not overpay for a guy who hasn't played good football for a few years regardless of his reputation.

kevgk's picture

A number 1 CB does nothing against a number 2 receiver. I rather see a good trio of corners with depth and some coverage LBs than one big splash signing. Colvin or Gaines plus a cheap veteran like williams will be better for the team than Butler or Johnson. Especially with a high DB draft pick.
I also thing a TE will make a bigger difference to the team than another WR of similar talent. They could cut Cobb and sign Burton and save money.

jh9's picture

If BG can sign E.J. Gaines, Mo Wilkerson, and Sammy Watkins, draft an edge rusher in the 1st round (like Landry or Davenport), a TE in the 2nd Round (like Goedert, Hurst, or Gesicki), and a slot CB with the first pick in the 4th round, he'll be my hero.

Can you imagine Aaron Rodgers having Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, and Sammy Watkins running down the field as targets? Throw in a rookie TE like Goedert, Hurst, or Gesicki, with Montgomery coming out of the backfield, and you'd have defensive coordinators changing their Pampers. It would be the NFL equivalent of Phi Slamma Jamma.

That would be fun to watch.

Update... Nagler reports the Chiefs have signed Watkins. Pretend this post never happened.

Royalty Free GM's picture

Johnson, Wilkerson and Graham/Richardson for 26-28M?, yes please.

croatpackfan's picture

No Jimmy Graham. Noooooooooo

Royalty Free GM's picture

You’re right.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Dreamer your just a little dreamer. Can you put your hand inside your head oh no...

Jersey Al's picture

You can go dream your manic dreams somewhere else, Doug, because your ass is out of here. Door. Ass. Out.

John Kirk's picture

While hardly a Jerry Maguire moment, I'll take my ball and leave with Doug but not because Doug has been banned.

I asked Ross for a little more as to why he liked Colvin so much and brought up some points that indicated he was actually not a good fit. (zone CB vs. press man that Pettine prefers, and Al Harris was) No interceptions in 4 seasons. That post is gone. I understand Doug is gone for his contentious interaction with a writer, but asking simple questions shouldn't cause censorship. Doug was wrong in his presentation but right at the heart on some of the things he said here in this thread. No fan will ever be banned for drinking too much koolaid but one will who is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Doug is no less a fan than anyone here. We all express in our own ways. Shoot, Spock just ripped Corey for being the worst writer here which is fair. We have a poster who goes by "jerseyalisavirgin" spelled backward. Nothing done to that constant disrespectful poster who is rude and uncalled for with his personal attacks on others.

Outside of spammers and the occasional rival fan looking to cause dissension EVERYONE here loves the Packers. Being challenged is fine and fair especially for the writers here. Personal attacks are not. This site got that backward. The "fan friendly" feature shows exactly who this site is tailored and catered to.

Jersey Al's picture

Doug has a long history of yelling and screaming and disrespecting people on here. All I ask for is RESPECTFUL and sane discussion, I don't care if you are a Kool-Aid drinker or a constant critic. Consistently calling others stupid for their opinions will get you booted. I don't have the time to monitor every comment on here - I'm sure there is plenty I miss. If your comment is gone, it's only because it was part of Doug's thread and the system deletes the whole thread. Doug is gone. The virgin guy is gone too. If you feel you need to leave in protest, that's up to you.

jh9's picture

Al, you run a great site. You have my support and gratitude.

John, don't leave. You're one of the few posters who has original thoughts and can write. We need more posters like you.

John Kirk's picture

Thank you for taking the time to give me an explanation even though I didn't deserve one. I understand this is a site owned by you, and you're free to do as you please, as I am in the case of wanting to leave over perceived censorship. I'm glad to read my post was not removed for censorship purposes, because I wouldn't want to be part of a site that operated that way.

jh9...thank you for the kind words. As long as I can be me there's no reason to go. If I feel I have to tiptoe around to play the game, I just couldn't do it.

Lare's picture

I don't care who they sign or re-sign as long as they aren't overpaid, they are productive and they aren't another slow, often-injured player on the downside of their career.

That's the main reason I don't want them to extend Nelson, Cobb, Matthews and Bulaga. All that does is dump more money for less production in the future.

Listen to Vince.

Royalty Free GM's picture

I’m sticking with Trumaine, Wilkerson and Ridley. That is so achievable and makes team more competitive in all levels.

I’m afraid all we get is old, slow, often injured Graham and 35-40M Rodgers.

stockholder's picture

I think Colvin is an excellent choice. He would free up the #14 pick. The Packers could Pass on House then. Pay him! Not a Graham fan. WERE NOT AN OLD MANS GRAVE YARD. I like Wilson at TE as a bargain, over the others. Then they could gamble on Wilkerson.

worztik's picture

I like Colvin too, from what I’ve heard!!!

worztik's picture

Ya wanna know my idea and suggestion for getting us some more cap space and lots more cash to compete with the “Billionaires” that backload contracts and tilt the field in favor of their teams...??? We sue TT for embezzling talent from our team for over seven years, which when added up should actually fall into the Grand Larceny realm of the law and require him to pay us back by working the concession stands during our two home playoff games this year and every home game from this point onward! How’s that for a 2 sentence rant that at least comes up with a viable plan to help our team beat these big city bullies like Dallas and NE. Make that 2 1/2 rambling sentences... John, this rants for you, buddy! ;~€)

Handsback's picture

I think all Packer fans should not look for any signings until 2 weeks. Don't get all worked up and then be disappointed, understand it will be a process.

Spock's picture

Handsback,
A voice of reason. Thank you. "It will be a process". Two thumbs up for that. :)

Lare's picture

I agree. There are seven NFL teams with over $60 million in available cap space at the start of free agency. You have to wait until after they throw a lot of money at a few players.

$14 million per year for a WR (Robinson) coming off a torn ACL ? I'm fine with the Packers passing on that deal.

Since '61's picture

Sign Allen Robinson, Jimmy Graham and Sammy Watkins. Offense done!
If there is any money left sign Wilkerson and DRC.
Draft for depth at OL, LB and DBs.
Thanks, Since '61

Chuck Farley's picture

Wouldn't the irony in all this speculation end up with Murphy giving marching orders: no big money for fa, extend Cobb, Mathews, beluga and Nelson cause Mike hates change, put our faith in the draft and find some developmental to fill cb.
In other words nothing is changing and those so called fa`s is fantasy.
All I know is this team needs a lot thanks to Ted`s incompetance.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I spent several hours on a spreadsheet trying to devise a contract extension for CM3. Obviously, I made assumptions that could be wrong about what is good for the Packers and what CM3 might be induced to accept. Never found a win-win. I was always about $10M apart over 3 or 4 years.

I just don't see why CM3 would accept the 3-year, $24M type deal many suggest GB should offer. I think he can get that anywhere. If your employer said he is going to pay you an amount that every competitor would immediately offer, if not a lot more, would you take it? Maybe if you've got family or love it in GB and have to move for the other offer.

Royalty Free GM's picture

It might be interesting to see what Pettine could do with Matthews.

But what about his groin and hamstring injuries? How many games he will be able to play? -> paycut?

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I guess I think your reply sums it up: intrigued by what your own DC (for us Pettine provides the new scheme) could do with a versatile guy like CM3, yet there are durability concerns. I ran numbers assuming that GB and CM3 had agreed that he is worth $7M AAV as well (a little less than what say Whitney Mercilus might get) and still had issues. That $11.368M is tough for CM3 to pass on if he can induce Gute not to cut him.

Royalty Free GM's picture

I was hoping for this: It seems Bears will sign WR Robinson, which means they are probably not going to draft WR at #8.
It gives us better change to get Ridley.
Miami or Washington might be looking for WR too, so moving up couple spots might be necessary to get Ridley for sure.

Royalty Free GM's picture

But moving up might not be an option when Bills moved to #12. They probably don’t want to move down after that move. And #10 spot may be too high(pricey) to make move.
We probably have to wait at #14...

dobber's picture

It also appears that the Broncos are going to sign Keenum, which means...
1) they won't be a player for Cousins.
2) they likely won't be taking a QB ahead of the Packers.

Royalty Free GM's picture

Sammy Watkins... injury proven player with not very good stats either.
http://m.espn.com/nfl/playerstats?playerId=16725
Let’s pass these injury proven players. We have had enough injuries already in the past years.

Bure9620's picture

Robinson to the Bears, would Sammy Watkins be worth the money?? He'd be really dangerous with Rodgers.

Nick Perry's picture

I'd love Watkins in GB. Now if Graham didn't cost too much I'd be in favor of adding him but I think he wants to go to NO as long as Brees stays there. Matter of fact my favorite scenario would be restructuring Cobb and Nelson, signing Watson, and then adding a player or two on defense.

Signing Watkins would most likely mean the end of Randall Cobb unless both Nelson and himself renegotiated which would kinda suck. I LIKE Cobb, just not at the cap hit he'll cost the Packers this season.

Now what would be awesome would be while Minnesota is screwing around trying to sign Brees is the Jets swoop in and sign Cousins, Brees stays in NO and Minnesota once again is screwed and looking at Bridgewater as a best option.

Royalty Free GM's picture

I think Watkins will be too expensive (with his injury history). Robinson went for 14M, so how much Watkins will be?
With drafting Ridley we get a fresh, better player with less money for many years to come. ARod will make this guy a star player.

Ps. I think Watkins just went to Chiefs for 16M?

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Rapoport: 3 yrs, $48M, $30M guaranteed at signing!!!!

Absolutely massive. And ridiculous. Sportrac estimated $9.2M and I thought that a trifle high.

dobber's picture

Weren't the Chiefs already pretty tight up against their cap? I understand wanting to have weapons for their young QB, but wow. I'll be curious to see how they structured that deal, but if he's not much more than what he has been in his career, that's a tough one to swallow.

Royalty Free GM's picture

Do we have any good alternatives for Wilkerson type of player(pass rush)? Inside or outside pass rush.

Without his previous connection to Pettine, I would not be sure about this guy. Is he going to act as a child or as a man? With Pettine I think he will act mature and would be a difference maker for the team.

Bure9620's picture

Moncreif??

dobber's picture

...or Jordan Matthews.

Donster's picture

Looks like the Gute is having trouble signing any FA's. Allen Robinson is going to sign with the Bears. Sammy Watkins is signing with the Chiefs. Graham will most likely sign with the Saints. Suh will be overpriced. Money is speaking much louder than the chance to play with Aaron Rodgers. Gute will end up signing a few low cost FA's that no one else really wants. He is going to have to build up the team from the draft, just like TT. So we will be looking at another two years down the road for the chance to compete for a championship. Rodgers will want to be the highest paid QB in the league, which will further cash strap the Packers in the coming years.

Royalty Free GM's picture

Too pricey. We need veteran CB more.

carlos's picture

I agree with you Thegreat...All this will shake out in time and some of this excess money is mind boggling. There’s plenty of talent out there yet.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Since I've yet to read about a Free Agent signing that hasn't struck me as about 50% too much money, I am fine with the current inactivity. If that 50% premium applies to Trumaine Johnson, we should pass on him too.

Royalty Free GM's picture

Reynoldo, How much would you pay for Johnson, max?

dobber's picture

"Looks like the Gute is having trouble signing any FA's."

Nobody has signed any of these FAs, yet. Until their name goes on the dotted line tomorrow, nothing's set. Still, for the silly money Watkins and Robinson are getting, they're doing the Packers a favor. I'll give Gutekunst credit for not blowing his wad.

carlos's picture

Watkins going to Chiefs.

HankScorpio's picture

3 yrs, $16 mil/yr for Watkins.

It's hard for a WR to play good enough to justify that kind of money.

Royalty Free GM's picture

We have our own 15M guy, so we can compare in coming years...

carlos's picture

Maybe Paul Richardson from Seattle would consider Green Bay? Haven’t heard anything on him yet.

pooch's picture

Signed

carlos's picture

Thanks Pooch

John Kirk's picture

Actually, Davante will be in the 16.6 range in a couple of years. Way too much for him but Watkins makes it a little easier to swallow.

Bure9620's picture

Watkins is fast, but not a large catch radiius and does not catch that many balls for his targets. Not a $16 mil receiver. Robinson is a loss however......

Royalty Free GM's picture

that torn ACL? It is a big question mark.
If he is healthy... who will cover him twice a year?

dobber's picture

Has never really lived up to his hype. Sure, he's had to deal with QBs like Tyrod Taylor and Jared Goff, and that gave optimism that he could flourish with a QB like ARod. For that kind of money, I'm not sad to see him go elsewhere.

Johnblood27's picture

Hey!

If Arod has to "make him a star", why pay him all that?

Just get a fast, skilled young draftee and let Arod make HIM a star.

I just dont understand what in the heck some of you are trying to say...

Royalty Free GM's picture

This is good so far. If we would have overpaid Watkins or Robinson, we would not have change to sign Johnson AND Wilkerson.
They both are still available.
Don’t sign Graham.

Royalty Free GM's picture

We should stay away from 8M-16M FA WRs.

If we really want to sign some FA WR (No need if we draft Ridley)... It should be in the range what Cobb’s real worth is now: 4-5M and replace him.

Donte Moncrief
Paul Richardson
Terrelle Pryor
Marqise Lee
Taylor Gabriel

If we don’t get any WR cheaply, it’s totally ok.

Lets put our FA money on defensive players Trumaine and Wilkerson if we can get them with reasonable money, about 25M total. And draft no1 receiver, Ridley.
Plus cut/restructure our overpaid quartet to free up FA money.

snowdog's picture

Ridley Please

Chuck Farley's picture

Looks like a lot of the guys of the list are already gone this morning. No word on any packer deals, seems like old times just new boss is all.

dobber's picture

If "a lot" of the guys on that list is 3-4 of them, then maybe you're right. If the scuttlebutt we're hearing so far on contracts is right, the best values might not be on that list...

Marklindy62's picture

So far the new GM has done little to nothing, lots of talk but no action - I hope that changes otherwise he is a younger version of TT.

dobber's picture

This is the talk, and FA hasn't even really opened yet. Talk about short honeymoons...

Spock's picture

As usual the early FA deals (when signed) are for huge sums of $$. People lamenting the Packers' signing of Davante Adams may not be the "ridiculous money" some people were lamenting. I'm glad Gute isn't going crazy in the early bidding; better value deals will be later as is typical for beginning FA days.

dobber's picture

Packers linked to a lower-end TE:

https://www.profootballrumors.com/2018/03/falcons-packers-interested-in-...

Delvin Breaux also not tendered by Saints.

Royalty Free GM's picture

C’mon Packers and Rodgers.
Let’s make history...
5 year / 100M FULLY GUARANTEED deal NBA style!

-> multiple Superbowls

Johnblood27's picture

Richard Rodgers is not worth $100 million.

Royalty Free GM's picture

Oh, I forgot Aaron. 101M FULLY GUARANTEED deal includes both.

Oz40's picture

Bears signing Robinson and Burton.....so you are telling me the Bears are a more attractive free agent destination than Green Bay. Wow. Ted did more damage to the Packers brand than originally thought. Sad

Royalty Free GM's picture

Before today... almost every post here was about that we should aim for defensive FA!?

Today, it sounds like we should forget D# and get another 14M WR?!

We have to have some kind of vision of what we want.

dobber's picture

Window shopping is easy...

Lare's picture

The Bears came into free agency with almost $63 million in available cap space, Green Bay is around $16 million.

John Kirk's picture

Yup...and why is there that disparity? We have 36 mil tied up in 18, 52 and 87. We could be as active but have chosen to remain the same. Brian has been anything but bold and more of the same old same old.

Bears have rookie deal QB for 4 more years. Vikings had the space to absorb Cousins 27 or 28 whichever it actually is over the next 3.

We're not the favorites in the NFCN anymore. I'm curious to see what Vegas does with the SB odds when Cousins becomes official.

Lare's picture

Brees is signed, Cousins agrees to sign with Vikings- $84 million for 3 years which is around $28 million per year.

Everything is set up for Aaron to sign for $30 million per year.

John Kirk's picture

...and the worst part of that 30 mil will be the FULLY GUARANTEED part. Thanks Minnesota for that little poison pill.

Do we really want to pay 30 million guaranteed to Aaron IF we're just going to hold onto the status quo? It makes some sense if you're clearing dead weight but that doesn't appear, now, to be our plan. We seem to want to make a last hurrah with the old guard who we fell short with year after year.

It's time to decide... 30 million fully guaranteed to Aaron Rodgers given our overall status?

egbertsouse's picture

Who says Gutey isn’t doing anything? He just tendered Joe Callahan. Now we will never run low on bad back-up QBs.

John Kirk's picture

Thank you for a moment of levity in this all too familiar depressing time of the year for us Packers fans.

Wonder what MM thinks of this bold new FA approach?

Lare's picture

The scary part of re-signing Joe Callahan is that he isn't even good enough to replace Hundley. That's pretty bad.

Royalty Free GM's picture

goo.gl/rGqvBY
This site has a great list of FAs (bottom of the page) and it is updated regularly. Check it out.

Lare's picture

Colvin signing with Houston.

Lare's picture

Packers sign Jimmy Graham.

Ryan Graham's picture

At the expense of Jordy Nelson? does he resign?

TXCHEESE's picture

Jordy is a very good player, but let's face it, he is no longer the threat he was, especially at his current cap hit. Graham, when he's healthy is a very dominate TE, and a huge matchup problem for defenses. He's 31, but lot's of TE's play well into their mid to late 30's (Gonzales, Gates, Witten). If I'm Jordy, I take a pay cut, maybe with some incentives built in. He could see his production really rise with Graham and Adams taking attention off him.

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