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Packers Will See a Familiar Face -- or Two -- During the Preseason

-- An unexpected encounter between old allies will take place in the middle of the Green Bay Packers' slate of preseason action this August.

They'll venture to Oakland to face the Raiders, now complete with former Packers receiver Jordy Nelson. With it being the third preseason game, there's a good chance most of both the Packers and Raiders' starters will play, as coaches traditionally allow.

On top of starters like quarterback Aaron Rodgers playing extensively for the Packers, Nelson is expected to see a good portion of field time against his former teammates.

It will be the third time the Packers and Raiders have met in the preseason in the last five years and the first time meeting in Oakland since 2001.

Nelson was released by the Packers on March 13 and subsequently signed a two-year, $15 million dollar deal less than 48 hours later. He had interest from teams like the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, but he instead made the swap to the AFC without hesitation and reunited with former Packers receivers coach and offensive coordinator, Edgar Bennett, now Nelson's position coach in Oakland.

There isn't expected to be any bad blood between either party, but obvious resentment still lingers over Nelson's release.

"I think the hurt part was, to be honest, was the unwillingness to try and make it work," Nelson said last month in an appearance on the Wilde & Tausch Show.

"I met with [Brian] Gutekunst and had a discussion because I had to get a feel for not just the pay cut but what their plans were going forward. After that meeting, there wasn't, I don't think much desire there. I think with the combination of both, we decided what was best for myself and my family, just as they decided what was best for them and the Packers."

Due to the NFL's rotating schedule, the Packers are on-course to play the AFC West division in 2019, and given whether or not Nelson's still a member of the Raiders, he'd make a return to Lambeau Field to run out of the visitor's tunnel in silver and black.

Nelson isn't the only ex-Packer scheduled to clash heads with his former team again this preseason. Just a week before the Packers' date with Nelson, former safety Morgan Burnett will be back in Green Bay as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. It's the first time both teams meet in the preseason since 1996.

Burnett signed a three-year deal with the Steelers last month worth up to $14.5 million, however, unlike Nelson's situation, he may or may not see the field since most starters don't play as often in second preseason games. The mid-August meeting with former teammates should add a little extra flare to the exhibition contests.

The Packers open their preseason against the Tennesee Titans for the first time since 2014. It's only the second time the Titans have made the trip to Green Bay for exhibition football since 2008.

The Packers will travel to Arrowhead Stadium to close out their preseason against the Kansas City Chiefs for the seventh time in the last nine years.


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (34) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

dobber's picture

At least the Packers will get Pittsburgh in GB and not on that awful turf at Heinz Field.

worztik's picture

Dob... who do ya think would be the “ideal” pick for the Packers in the first round? I trust your way of thinking...

dobber's picture


My view of the talent at #14 is that they've moved to the edge of the high-end prospects and are likely into a pretty flat distribution of talent. I think the value at that stage will be on the defensive side of the ball. How the QB scenario plays out will have a lot to do with who the Packers will get a shot at. My guess is at least 3 QBs, Barkley, Nelson, Fitzpatrick, Chubb, Edmunds, Smith and Ward are all gone at that point. I like Derwin James a lot. I'm warming up to Vea, too. I'm warming up to Davenport for his ceiling...he's just not going to be an impact player year 1 while James or Vea could contribute right away. I think that if I were picking #14, I would likely be picking a front 7 guy: Vea or Davenport. I'd jump all over Edmunds first if he slid that far (but I don't see that happening).

I'm honestly pulling for one of the QB prospects to slide a little and generate some trade-down options for the Packers that could net them a day-two pick. If the Chargers move up to get ahead of Arizona, that pushes the Packers back to #17 and potentially nets them a mid-3rd rounder in return...and still gets them a shot at a really good player. That's not a popular view, but I think that extra day 2 pick would be enough draft capital to allow them to turn their second rounder into a late first if they wanted to.

I'm flattered, though, friend.

CJ Bauckham's picture

I agree with all of this

stockholder's picture

I agree but disagree. The Packers want a CB. They had Randall. We signed Williams. Yes he's not long term. But it's a patch. Who really replaced Nelson? Adams only moved into his position. Who replaces Adams. Monty? The Wrs have lost speed. Janis is gone. Davis is a bust at WR. Cobb is a FA next year. Your game changer may be a Wr. The packers created to many holes. You can't pass on Q. Nelson G, with this OL. And you can't pass on Ridley for a failure @ LB. Nobody is saying Davenport, Landry, Edmunds, etc. is going to be an all-pro. Their work. But CB does set the packers draft. The packers need better at WR. But I would take Q. Nelson. WE must pertect A-ROD first! Draft Mock. Would you and others be happy with this A-Rod draft: Nelson @14. Hernadez @45 or sooner. @75 LB And yes I 'm thinking Griffen. And draft WRs an Cbs for depth. (It worked with the RBs)

dobber's picture

If Nelson's there at 14 it would be foolish not to take him, I agree. I just don't think he makes it out of the top 8.

Spock's picture

stockholder, " Davis is a bust at WR.". EDIT. For some reason I read this as "Davante" is a bust. My apologies. Davis is a bust I can agree with.

worztik's picture

I like your scenarios here!!! I’m still stuck on a CB based on what we have on the roster but, I, too, am warming to a small trade down to pick up another second day prospect. #17 would be ok as would an early 2 and a high pick next year with the right team. I’d like to see Ward or Fitz or James slide to us but, I’ve watched some highlights of Oliver and he’s another that I’d consider. I’m getting really excited for two weeks from today! If Gute has a blockbuster trade up his sleeve for a lockdown corner or a top Edge rush guy, I’d be ok with that, albeit very, very surprised! Thanks, Dob, for your answer... I appreciate your presence here more than you can know.......!!!

worztik's picture

This was for DOBBER!!!

The TKstinator's picture

Whereas I appreciate his "presents" here. As well as on Christmas morning.

dobber's picture

Flaming bags of dog doo all 'round!!!

worztik's picture

We were bad as junior high kids!!! We had a home room teacher that we didn’t like so we gave her the flaming bag of doo doo thing and when she came out with a broom to beat the fire out... the broom started on fire!!! Too mean but, we got 2 birdies with 1 stone (er... bag of doggie poo!)! It seemed like the thing to do at the time... nowadays, a homeowner would come out with an AR-15 and open up!!!!

dobber's picture

I wish I could say I never have been chased off someone's property by what I thought was a shotgun-wielding-psychopath at the time. These days? I'd be the one carrying the shotgun...

worztik's picture

TK... I have a present here for you to pick up! It’s a “NEW CLEAVER” and I’d like you to put it to good use on some on this site that really annoy me to no end! Not commenters... just the knobs that have someone “read the comments to them as they are incapable of reading themselves”... the down voters here that follow “Pacific” people around (stalk works...) and downvote those of which they stalk!!! Just sayin’!!!!

The TKstinator's picture

Ha! I always figured a downvote is a way of saying, “While I find your eloquence impressive, I differ from your view in a fundamental, but respectful, manner.”

worztik's picture

Excellence shines through again, TK!!!

The TKstinator's picture

I appreciate your appreciation, kind sir.

I bleed green more's picture

Man I am going to miss Jody I got to see him play at Kansas. I remember when Taylor left. A time comes for all fans love them and we know it's a business.

The TKstinator's picture

He sure got a sweet deal from Oakland!

worztik's picture

He deserved better from the Packers!!!! ;~€(

DD's picture

I Bleed: it's a business for sure. My question then is why was Jordy really low balled with no respect. He said he was willing to restructure and stay yet the Packers didn't respect him. Yet they don't restructure or even try to restructure Matthews, Cobb, Baluga, and overpaid Perry? All the above mentioned players were not very productive and all injured and missed multiple game. The Packers played chickenshit with Jordy. Low gutter ball tactics. So not very professional except to step on the person as is with the business philosophy of who gives a shit if we throw you out. I do. Fan since 58.

stockholder's picture

The unwillingness to try and make it work said it all. Adams got overpaid. Cobb is going to be a free agent. The rest of the Wrs became a waste of time. The mistakes at TE! We know why. The packers needed a way out. Nelson was the Goat! We now look for a new beginning. The hype of the draft, The experience of Rodgers. The next Jordy Nelson. The instability of the Wrs is obvious to any fan. The OL should have given any QB more time. There is more here than just the release of Nelson. So whats the RIGHT PLan. Replace Burnett with Jones, or draft better. Replace the Guards and OT. Replace Nelson and so many other Wrs that seem destine to failure. The packers created the holes. The reality is the packers are playing a shell game. They want you to focus on chance, rather then bad business. The packers need players. Good players. And they just let a couple go to rebuild. No One has come out and said it. Just WE SHOULD BE OK!

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Quick question, and I won't disparage any answer:

With all the young super-teams being built around cheap young QB'S, and with all the holes on this roster, how confident are you Green bay can build another Super Bowl winner around Aaron Rodgers's next big contract?

Scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being "I'm sure we'll win another Super Bowl with Aaron."

Tarynfor12's picture


Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Ha! Thanks, I got a good laugh from that one :)

worztik's picture

I’m thinking anywhere between a 4 and a 6!!! I know that’s quite flippant ALP BUT, I don’t think we’re gonna be that great paying ARod all the money he wants... possibly deserves... without a strong cast supporting him. We aren’t gonna get a strong cast by drafting low in rounds or drafting badly... I won’t mention any names at this point! I said “way back when” to let his contract run out and either sign a new one during 2019 or use the tag for a year or two!!! I’m excited to see what Kizer is made of... it somewhat bothers me that Cleveland was willing to part with him and I’m not sure why they did! I’ve switched from Josh Allen to Mason Rudolph for a QB addition to the team and let Kizer and him battle for #2 and possibly trade the other. We could do worse!!! This has been a long winded answer to a question that I could have answered with a number... oh well... call me long winded or just plain verbose but please, don’t call me late for my ice cream!!!!!

egbertsouse's picture

No more than a 4.

And for those of you who apparently haven’t watched him,Kizer is terrible. Remember, this is the guy that made Brett Hundley look almost good last season.

egbertsouse's picture

Sorry, I forgot that now Kizer will be tutored by Mashed Potato Mike McCarthy, QB guru and self-proclaimed highly successful coach. Kizer will definitely be in the HOF.

egbertsouse's picture

I say Kizer sucks, I get dislikes. I say Kizer is great, I get dislikes. You guys are like the crabby old man in the nursing home, nothing pleases you.

worztik's picture

Especially your negativity WC...

Since '61's picture

ALP - I'm going with a 9 to win another SB with Rodgers. I can't go to 10 because there are too many variables to account for over the course of an NFL season.

If hE was not injured last season I would have put our 2017 chances at an 8. Going forward we have improved our chances by adding Philbin and Pettine and chucking Capers. I believe that Gute will continue to improve the roster by adding better players. With a healthy Rodgers for 16 games we win 10+ games in a season. Add in better players, especially on defense and we win the additional 3-4 games we need to get through the playoffs and win an SB. Maybe not in '18, but '19 and '20 should be good seasons. So, yes I am very confident that the Packers can win an SB around a big Aaron contract. The Broncos went to 2 and won 1 around a big Peyton contract. Rodgers is still better now than Peyton was when the Broncos won. Never give up on our best player or our team. What's the point of being a fan if you do? Plus we may never see another player like Rodgers again in our lifetimes. Thanks, Since '61

flackcatcher's picture

ALP, it's a good question. I'm with '61 on this. QB1 is so good he raises the play of others around him. But we all saw the danger of putting everything on one player shoulders (even if he is the best player in the league). One thing I noticed is we fans have a tendency to underrate Packer players when things go south on the field. Still, never thought that I see a Black Swan event on a football field in Minnesota. Still trying to wrap my mind around the complete collapse of both the front office, the coaching staff, and the players on the field. I do not believe the house cleaning is done yet among the front office after the wreckage of the GM search. I think the right man was picked, but good grief, is was a mess of a process with a lot of unnecessary hard feelings left over. This could lead to real problems down the road, if not handled properly. Still, I like this team chances, as long as the Packers have Rodgers, they will be a favorite in the SB hunt.

tincada's picture

For sure. Gute will be wearing his Terrible Ted mask

Johnblood27's picture

I would say a 7 without knowing anything about Guteys drafting prowess.

A kick-azz draft this year bringing in "hits" at OLB, WR, CB and support youngsters would bring the grade to an 8.

2 killer drafts in a row and we are in 9-10 range.

Free Agency is a new toy for GB, howeer all the big numbers for the next 2 years come with a cost. Lookat the players that will be coming off the books if we do indeed recapture the cap $$$. We will have to replace them with at least equel production.

Carry on...

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