The Lass Word: Packers Hope You Get What You Pay For

It's critical that key players play up to their contracts.

The Green Bay Packers continue to make their best players among the highest paid in the NFL at their position.  This week’s extension of cornerback Jaire Alexander is the latest example.  Of the thirteen position groups on an NFL roster, the Packers now have one of the top ten highest paid players in seven of those groups.   

In order to compare apples to apples, I am using average annual salary as the benchmark.  The various ways to manipulate cap hits make it too convoluted to compare any other way.   

Green Bay currently has the top salaried player at two of the positions.  Aaron Rodgers is not only the highest paid quarterback, but, at $50 million per year, is by far the top compensated player overall in the entire league.  In fact, he is the highest paid player in the history of the league.  The new deal for Jaire Alexander, averaging $21 million, makes him the highest paid corner. 

David Bakhtiari’s $23 million average makes him the second highest paid tackle, albeit he is just ten thousand dollars behind Trent Williams of the 49ers.  De’Vondre Campbell got a new contract worth a $10 million average, making him the sixth highest paid inside linebacker.  Mason Crosby, at $4.3 million, is the seventh best compensated kicking specialist.  Running back Aaron Jones stands eighth among his peers at $12 million per.  Kenny Clark ranks as having the tenth richest deal among defensive linemen at $17.5 million.  (Figures from Spotrac) 

That’s an annual average of just under $138 million per season for just seven players.  In order to fit all of the deals under the cap, the front office has had to push huge amounts into future years.  Overthecap.com already has the Packers at more than seven million over the projected 2023 cap, and that’s without upcoming extensions for Rashan Gary and Elgton Jenkins, and the possible extensions of Adrian Amos and Robert Tonyan, all of whom will likely want to be in that top ten, if not at the very top. 

There’s an old expression that you get what you pay for.  The Packers had better hope it is true. Green Bay management feels they have a team that can win a Super Bowl, and these are the going rates to keep the players that can get you there.  But if the Packers are to compete for the big prize, they certainly will have to get the top notch performances they are paying for.  That’s not a given.  The team got almost nothing for their investment in Bakhtiari last season, as he struggled to come back from a knee injury suffered in 2020.  Ditto for Za’darius Smith, whose $14 million average salary yielded one tackle and one sack in two games, due to a persistent back injury.  Mason Crosby’s 75 percent field goal accuracy put him in a tie for 27th league-wide.   

Davante Adam’s departure only makes it more imperative that Green Bay’s well paid players earn their contracts.  Even if they do, the team will likely need several of their lower compensated starters to show significant improvement and become major bargains.  The best possibilities for that are guys like edge rusher Preston Smith, who ranks 34th among edge rushers in average salary.  Josh Myers, beginning his second year, ranks 26th among centers at $1.395 million.  Any current receiver on the roster who becomes productive will be a bargain.  Green Bay’s highest paid pass catcher is currently Randall Cobb, who ranks 33rd highest in the league.  Elgton Jenkins is listed as a tackle by Spotrac.  That’s probably how the team will have to pay him.  Until he gets his extension, his $1.69 million average would make him the biggest bargain of all, as he would have only the 73rd highest deal among tackles. 

The Packers are far from the only team that has been burned by paying top dollar for disappointing performance.  The Carolina Panthers made Christian McCaffery the highest paid running back in the league at $16 million per year.  He wound up missing ten games and rushing for just one score in 2021.  The Arizona Cardinals are dishing out $27.5 million per year to receiver Deandre Hopkins, but last season he missed seven games and grabbed just 42 passes. 

It’s a roll of the dice, these big contracts.  Sometimes you come up big.  The Rams opened up the vault for Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey and others, and will have to extend Matthew Stafford this year.  They got what they paid for and they won it all.  Sometimes you roll snake eyes. You have to take the chance to have a chance.  The Cleveland Browns have coughed up $46 million per year, second only to Aaron Rodgers, to sign quarterback Desean Watson, despite having no assurance he will even be allowed to play the coming season. The Jacksonville Jaguars just inked receiver Christian Kirk to a deal that pays him $18 million per season.  He has never even had 1,000 receiving yards in a year.  The Denver Broncos signed linebacker Randy Gregory for $14 million per year, even though he has been suspended three times for violating the substance abuse policy, and has never played more than 55 percent of the defensive snaps in a season.

At least the Packer players who have been given the mega deals have a proven track record of production.  It is understandable if Green Bay fans have their concerns about so many huge deals to so many players, but this need not be a source of worry.  To the contrary, you should feel good this team has this many top level players to sign.  You could be pulling for the New York Jets, who usually find themselves awash in money but with nobody on the roster worth paying it to.  If the Green Bay players with hefty contracts play to their salaries, there may well be Lombardi trophy number five in our immediate future. 

  

 

 

 

 

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Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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4 points

Comments (72)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Rarescope's picture

May 20, 2022 at 06:24 am

It is easy to say you over paid for a player in hindsight, but it speaks a lot to their ability to find quality players. You just don’t offer top dollar for players that weren’t performing at a high level.

Now I’m off for the first camping trip of the season at Wyalusing. Burpy buddy you keep your nose clean while I’m gone now, ya hear?

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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 20, 2022 at 06:53 am

Not a chance Rare, not a chance! :D

Have fun camping and remember, nightly woodtick checks. Wyalusing? Wyalusing...cuz, you didn't score enough points?

>^• ^< & >^••^<

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dobber's picture

May 20, 2022 at 09:03 am

Enjoy the trip! It might be a wet one, but that means more cards and beer.

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Spock's picture

May 20, 2022 at 06:31 am

"At least the Packer players who have been given the mega deals have a proven track record of production." Yup. The question though is how well will these guys play after coming off serious injuries(see Bahk last year))? It's the NFL so anyone with a large contract could be out for the season. As fans all we can do is keep our fingers crossed!

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NickPerry's picture

May 20, 2022 at 06:47 am

Obviously we need to see what the cap will jump to in 2023 once it's all said and done, but I'll be very curious to see how the Packers handle the O-Line in particular.

So many here have posted they think the Packers are/could cut David Bakhtiari next season. I just don't see that personally, not with a cap savings of about $5.9 million. Assuming DB comes back and plays to form this year which I believe he will, I'd think the Packers would rather pay him $29 million to play for them opposed to $23.1 Million not to play.

With the drafting of Zach Tom and Sean Rhyan, are we 100% sure they re-sign Jenkins? They have Royce Newman, Yosh Nijman, and Rasheed Walker waiting in the wings already, are we 100% certain they can even pay him Tackle money? Hey, I love Jenkins and it pains me to think of letting him walk. Maybe eating the dead money for DB will be what they do but it's going to be pretty interesting...And then there's Gary and others still...

That cap better take a HUGE jump.

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Coldworld's picture

May 20, 2022 at 08:10 am

Not signing Jenkins while retaining Bakh would make little sense given their respective ages next year. Health could factor into both, but assuming such things are equal, I can’t see that happening unless the Packers find themselves backed into a cap corner that forced it.

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dobber's picture

May 20, 2022 at 09:07 am

So many balls in the air at this point, and the biggest is #12 and what he wants to do.

We've all talked about how Rhyan and Tom both profile inside...but remember that many thought Bakhtiari's natural position when he came into the league was G. I think those two are both competition and depth picks, and if they end up being star tackles, all the better.

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greengold's picture

May 20, 2022 at 10:21 am

So true, dobs.

It’s so funny reading Bakhtiari’s draft profile today…

Gutekunst gets paid to make the tough decisions, and he’ll have some more tough ones in the years ahead. Maybe some of those will be made by themselves.

I’ve felt last year was a revelation to Gutekunst, how he ignored OT and DL. He understood our true lack of OT depth when Bakhtiari went down, and more so when Jenkins followed.

At DL, I think he and Barry maybe had a heart to heart. Maybe he saw the effect of top DL play upon a D when he scouted Georgia…? Maybe a combination?

I like all 3 of Sean Rhyan, Zach Tom & Rasheed Walker selections. Great depth, versatile depth, with huge development upside.

At least, I think we can always be assured Gutekunst will never ignore the trenches again in GB.

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Jaqu’eau's picture

May 20, 2022 at 08:47 pm

Packers have a history of retaining and paying their o-line stars. At least until they hit 30.

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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 20, 2022 at 06:57 am

#12's compensation is higher than $50M/year when figuring in his buds the organization signed &/or are keeping to try and help make him happy.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

May 20, 2022 at 11:59 am

Bingo, Mr. Burpy Pantz.

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stockholder's picture

May 20, 2022 at 06:59 am

I get the contracts. But what about Covid. What about the changing world. The NFL sets the cap. And They could reduce it.
Especially if every Team loses money again. Not every team has a fan base like the packers.
Gas prices will effect the attendance. If not everything. The Rocky Times aren't over.
Mega Deals don't make players better! And how they reward their fans will be the deciding factor. OH, They deserved to be paid. But Cap Hell will be back next year for us.
So I'll keep my fingers crossed that the packers haven't dug a hole they can't get out of.

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greengold's picture

May 20, 2022 at 07:58 am

SH, I think that’s a very well reasoned point.

Everything, from what I see, revolves around this loose timetable with Aaron Rodgers’ tenure in GB. You’re absolutely right that the cap could come in lower than expected. I do trust Gutekunst & Ball have that figured into the equation, but, it’s not going to be easy.

Seems they see these cap contortions to be somewhat temporary. One, two, three years, tops?

Strapping in for that rough fiscal ride, knowing the landscape changes drastically after Rodgers retires, or is traded, or is retained even further. No one knows.

Winning a Super Bowl this season would change things in ways we can’t imagine. Looks like they’re shooting for that, with another two year window, willing to let the chips fall where they may, and figure it out from there.

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Handsback's picture

May 20, 2022 at 08:23 am

Couldn't have said it better myself. The economy will affect attendance and hence the CAP. The Packers seem to have this year and maybe next before the team is blown up because of their spending....but they won't be alone in that regard.
So hope this is the year the stars align and the Pack bring back the Lombardi trophy.

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dobber's picture

May 20, 2022 at 09:35 am

Attendance isn't necessarily what drives league revenues and the cap. The majority of league revenues are generated by corporate sponsorships, TV/Media deals, and licensing. That's shared across the league and what drives the cap.

Local revenues like ticket sales and the like are all vary from team to team, represent money in the local owner's pocket, and have far less to do with the cap. They might impact how a local franchise is doing, and might have something to do with how an owner pisses and moans at league meetings, but rest assured that none of these guys are losing money.

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LLCHESTY's picture

May 20, 2022 at 04:28 pm

The economy won't affect attendance at Lambeau. Maybe some season ticket holders will sell and extra game or two but they will have no trouble finding buyers.

Now Chargers games in LA? That's a different story.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 20, 2022 at 10:53 am

One goes, one probably stays. Draft the replacement with a high pick.

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Return_To_Sanity's picture

May 20, 2022 at 11:56 am

And yet you celebrated when the Packers broke the bank, and their future, to keep Captain Collapse around for a few more years. So paying the 39 year old crybaby makes sense but paying guys in their prime does not?

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stockholder's picture

May 20, 2022 at 03:12 pm

You Bet. Pay the Hall of Fame guy first. Especially since the whole world knows #12 is a great player. Where we would be without him? Look at the teams trying to trade for him. Park next to a bear fan sometime. You'll get an ear full.

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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 20, 2022 at 03:24 pm

"...#12 is a great player. Where we would be without him?"

I would LOVE to find out StockH, I truly would.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

May 21, 2022 at 08:38 am

Then just have a look at the Saints without Drew Brees, the Giants without Eli Manning, the Colts without Peyton Manning, and the Pats without Tom Brady. We will see what happens with the Steelers. I’m not ready to look at years of missing the playoffs just because I’m ticked off we didn’t get another trophy.

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PeteK's picture

May 20, 2022 at 03:53 pm

Captain Collapse, LOL

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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 20, 2022 at 04:13 pm

Some say his play in the playoffs is mainly due to the pocket collapsing...but, he has done an incredible job of filling his own pockets to prevent them from collapsing.

I need to turn my frown upside down, I need a check up from the neck up, an attitude adjustment...Sweet Pea, where did I put the famous quote book by Rumi with all the beautiful nature images and his sayings?

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

May 21, 2022 at 08:35 am

The cap money isn’t due to game attendance. It’s television deals and merchandise. That’s not going away.

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greengold's picture

May 20, 2022 at 07:09 am

Man, THAT PICTURE tells 1000 words. I can’t wait to see those two starting together again.

Great piece, Ken. Russ Ball working cap gymnastics. Gutekunst searching out top new talent values (De’Vondre Campbell, Rasul Douglas, Jarran Reed). They work very well together.

I really didn’t foresee hope in 2022 like this, which we are now witnessing.

That Davante Adams trade changed everything.

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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 20, 2022 at 08:12 am

Some people claim #12 didn't toss it to the open WR last playoff game. He did try to get the leather&lace to the open WR in Davante.

Davante was open...to playing someplace else.

Go Pack Go! (this season will be fascinating on many levels). I just hope when they run into the can they been kicking down the road...the price for recycling aluminum is around $65M an ounce.

*Hey, as fans we can have some fun with the (kicking the can approach) with a Can Drive. The monies we collect...we divy up and go to Packer Pro Shop and buy Packer items...that $ stays with the organization = brilliant! I am exhausted.... ;)

*Calling all people with that Can Do attitude...go, go, gooo......

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Coldworld's picture

May 20, 2022 at 08:14 am

As far as I can tell, all those paid major money are individuals with good attitudes who play football for more reasons than just getting paid. They don’t seem to be the types to loose their desire once they get that big signing bonus.

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PatrickGB's picture

May 20, 2022 at 08:21 am

My Daddy used to always say, “You pay yous money and you takes you chance”

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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 20, 2022 at 09:21 am

True PatGB, true. My Daddy use to say, "Shut your pie-hole son, I can make another one just like you".

Man, I miss that guy! 🙏🙌

I did turn the tables on Pops a little. We were cutting firewood; Pops running the chainsaw and I was busy tossing cut logs and stacking brush. Well, he had to take a leak...so he stopped the saw and was proceeding to take care of business when I shouted, "I know what you're gonna do next". He ignored me like a pesky mosquito. He was just going to give the trusty Jonsered a pull when I said, "I know what yer gonna do next pops". He seemed a little annoyed, turned around and said "What?!". I, almost giddy with anticipation said, "Moan, all you ever do is Piss and Moan". Yep, that was a mighty fine day! 👍😁💪

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dobber's picture

May 20, 2022 at 09:37 am

"True PatGB, true. My Daddy use to say, "Shut your pie-hole son, I can make another one just like you"."

I think in my case it was the fact that he MIGHT make another one like me that led him to tread carefully...

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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 20, 2022 at 10:02 am

Yeah, but your smart dobber and so is your dad, "My pops knew I could only get by with my looks and charasmatic nature for so long before reality would step in. He was hoping my path would lead me to a salt of the earth occupation rather than an underwear model.

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dobber's picture

May 20, 2022 at 09:47 am

"He was hoping my path would lead me to a salt of the earth occupation rather than an underwear model."

...what was her name?

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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 20, 2022 at 09:59 am

Ivanna _______ . And, we did! 👍👌

In the industry (modeling underwear), we sometimes get nicknames. Mine is "Shoplifter" for some reason?

Okay, seeing myself to the door now...[audible of door slamming in the background]. :D

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crayzpackfan's picture

May 20, 2022 at 03:35 pm

I used to model socks……..on the radio.

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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 20, 2022 at 03:52 pm

Love it crazyz, made me chuckle like Santa when I knew the mall was shutting down for the day and I didn't get peed on by any rug ratz.

I always took an extra sock with me when I played 9 holes...in case I get a hole in one.

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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 20, 2022 at 04:55 pm

Old Radio?...socks? = had to be tube socks! ;)

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PatrickGB's picture

May 20, 2022 at 12:36 pm

Another favorite. “I brought you into this world and I can take you out if I want to”.

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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 20, 2022 at 04:15 pm

So true PatGB! How I handled that little diddy was telling Pops I look much more like the Milkman than him...he was real quiet after that.... :)

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Since&#039;61's picture

May 20, 2022 at 08:35 am

Going all in means paying to either keep or to acquire the players you need to win. The Packers are doing just that. Injuries can't be controlled but how well the players play is up to the coaches.

we should be fine as long as #12 is standing. If he goes down everything goes down the tubes pretty quickly after that. Nothing against Love but I doubt that he is ready yet to save our season if it comes to that. Then again stranger things have happened in sports before.

Here's to hoping that our players stay healthy and earn every penny of their salaries, bonuses, incentives etc. and it all adds up to an SB win and the Lombardi trophy back in Green Bay where it belongs. Thanks, Since '61

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PeteK's picture

May 20, 2022 at 09:38 am

Yes, most importantly we are geared up for another run with a strong possibility of having one of our strongest defenses to match our offense.

I remember when Giants lost Simms to injury and in came Hostetler and with his mobility and youth won it all. When a team has a strong defense, O line, and running game it can make a QB look very good.

We have an out with Rodgers after the 23 season or he simply decides he has had enough ( money 350 mill after 22 and lumps) and retires after this season. He has had to get himself motivated lately so I believe retirement is a strong possibility even more so with a SB win.

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greengold's picture

May 20, 2022 at 10:32 am

Great, great point, PeteK!

I believe in Jordan Love, and think he’ll surprise a lot of people this TC/Preseason. Probably the most NFL ready QB2 to step in and start as QB1 since AR himself, should the need arise.

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Leatherhead's picture

May 20, 2022 at 10:46 am

"we should be fine as long as #12 is standing".

That's my thought, too. If we can keep him healthy and give him time to do his job, he'll protect the ball, keep the offense on the field, and usually score enough points to win. That's why I kept hollering for offensive line help in the draft (I'm still at Defcon 4 until we see what we've got).

Win with offense. Score 23 points and keep your defense off the field. When our defense IS on the field, it looks to be fairly good (on paper). 23 points is enough to win. In fact, including playoffs, LaFleur's team has taken the field 54 times. They've scored at least 23 points 47 times (yeah, that's a real high percentage.) In those 47 games, they have a record of 41-6 We've lost 6 games in three years where we hit 23, and if you look at those games, you'll see some mitigating circumstances.

So I'm with you , 61. It's going to come down to the blocking. Rodgers (and Jones, and Dillon) can get their job done if they just have the guys in front who can push people out of the way.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

A little extra data. We've been amazing consistent at scoring, as the 41-6 record in games where we score at least 23 would attest. Defensively, when we hold a team to 24 or less, we're 34-2. 34-2.

Can anybody remember the two losses?

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Ya_tittle's picture

May 20, 2022 at 02:18 pm

Yes. Painful losses.

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Since&#039;61's picture

May 21, 2022 at 08:53 am

Leatherhead, for me it always comes down to those 5 guys on the OL. The offense goes as far as they take them.
They keep the O on the field and they enable the skill players to score the points and they keep our defense off the field. Combine a good/great OL with a solid defense that makes stops and gets off the field and we have a winning combination. The W-L numbers in your post prove it. If our STs can actually contribute to winning the field position battle that would be the cherry on top. Thanks, Since '61

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Packer_Fan's picture

May 20, 2022 at 09:18 am

Like y

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dobber's picture

May 20, 2022 at 09:27 am

"That’s an annual average of just under $138 million per season for just seven players."

Let's not lose sight of the fact that AAV is an amalgamation of contract values and does not equal cap hit in any given year (e.g. Alexander's AAV is ca. $21M but only counts about $7.5M in 2022). Management gets big bucks to massage and balance how and when the money is paid to make all these pieces fit together. You can count on the fact that there's going to be over 30 players who count less than $2M (many the league minimum) against the cap in any given year, too.

"that’s without upcoming extensions for Rashan Gary and Elgton Jenkins, and the possible extensions of Adrian Amos and Robert Tonyan, "

It's a pretty safe bet that the Packers will invest in Gary and Jenkins, but it will be necessary to see some core players walk. Sign young ascending players first, find a way to keep other guys who figure into your long-term plans, and be ready to replace the rest. That's how the NFL has worked since the inception of the cap and free agency, and it's not changing any time soon.

"There’s an old expression that you get what you pay for....It’s a roll of the dice, these big contracts. Sometimes you come up big."

You hope you get what you're paying for. Every contract is a projection: you're trying to pay value for what the player will be over the duration of the contract, not for what he was prior to the contract. It says that the team expected that Alexander and ARod and Bakhtiari would be high end players over the duration of the deal (or until there's a reasonable out or renegotiation). Sometimes desperation forces you to make a deal you ordinarily wouldn't make. We can look at the Bakhtiari contract and say it was a poor decision in hindsight, but the abject failure of Jason Spriggs forced the Packers' hands, and nobody can foresee injury--especially in a guy who's mostly been durable in his career. Those contracts aren't the ones you lament...it's the Joe Johnsons and the Jimmy Grahams that you wish you had back.

At this stage, teams are banking on big dollars on the horizon, and players (i.e. their agents) who saw salaries stagnate for two covid years are cashing in at that watering hole. It's not a sustainable path, and there's going to be a reckoning at some point.

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Since&#039;61's picture

May 20, 2022 at 10:00 am

Excellent post Dobber! Thanks, Since '61

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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 20, 2022 at 11:44 am

Quit showing off Dobber! Now, I can't say what I was going to say since what I was going to say is almost verbatim to what you just said! ;)

Come on, share the limelight Super D!

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

May 20, 2022 at 09:45 am

When I was a kid, I would never have anticipated that the Packers would give a corner back an $84 million dollar contract to play the game every Packer fan on this website use to play and love. But then in the real world we had to go to work.

Imagine if our boss would come to us and say:

"Alex, you are doing a good job painting the houses this year and I want you to stay with us and I will offer you a three year contract for $15 million if you will agree to stay with the company."

However, I recall the summer jobs I had when I was trying to earn enough money to cover some of the expenses for the next year of school. I worked as a spray painter, in a cheese factory, and as a bill collector and was delighted to get the $3.75 per hour. Of course Packer corner backs were being paid around $20 thousand per year. Times changed, especially for the football players.

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Since&#039;61's picture

May 20, 2022 at 10:17 am

It's all become a matter of how much value/revenue you can add to your employer's/client's bottom lines.

You can earn money (legitimately) in 4 ways;

1. You can inherit it.
2. You can marry it.
3. You can build an organization and have other people earn it for you.
4. You can have your money work for you so that you can live off of your investments.

I went with #3 and now I'm on #4. I decided that I was never going to achieve the financial freedom and goals for my family by working for someone else. I was very fortunate and after a few bumps trying to go it alone I hooked up with an excellent business partner and we made the best of it.

As an NFL player you're basically on your own until your second contract. At that point many of them can let their money work for them if they are smart about it. For those who make it to their 3rd contract they should be set if they don't end up with a permanent injury or CTE. But yes, times have changed considerably for the players.

Back in the day most of the players had to get real jobs when the NFL season ended to just make it through the year. Many of Lombardi's Packers were heavily motivated to earn their championship bonuses. They would self-police any player who they felt was hurting their chances to reach and win the NFL championship. Now the players make so much money they don't need or depend upon the championship bonus. Primarily they play for their next contract. If a SB comes along it's great but it is not the matter of pride that it once was for the players.

Times change, but the beat goes on. "We didn't start the fire." Thanks, Since '61

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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 20, 2022 at 10:30 am

Excellent post '61! Between you and dobber, I have nothing to add. Soooo, I will take the remainder of the day to play electronic football with my sweet, youngest nephew. You know the old game where the players vibrated this way and that? I like playing my nephew cuz he doesn't realize yet that if you stick your index finger under the field and lift just slightly, all players (O and D) move to the same end zone. I tell him it is due to shifting plate tectonics....

Okay, gotta run...jog...walk. Peace and be gentle with each other on this board today, okay? No name calling, kicking or hair-pulling please....

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Since&#039;61's picture

May 20, 2022 at 03:05 pm

Pantz, I had 2 or 3 of those Electric football games back in the 60s. I had one game where I had the Packers v. the Bears. The players ran all over the place but it was great fun and who knew any better back then anyway.

Enjoy your nephew. I'll be seeing my grandchildren over the weekend which is the best fun of all. Stay safe.

Thanks, Since '61

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Pantz_Burp's picture

May 20, 2022 at 03:15 pm

Thanks, you too '61. I remember as a kid literally staring at the Electronic football game and being amazed that the QB can actually throw the football? Since no one ever figured it out, we lined up with the half-backs? in blocking position all the time. I called all hands on deck defense and blitzed with as many players at the line of scrimmage as I could no matter the down and distance. I liked when you jacked up the vibration FULL BORE and the poor players fell on their sides running in circles like Curly from the Three Stooges... :D

HEY, maybe that damn game is the reason for my keep it simple offensive mind???

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Johnblood27's picture

May 20, 2022 at 10:18 am

with your work history I am surprised your tag isn't Pinto Driver...

6 points
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Ferrari-Driver's picture

May 20, 2022 at 01:03 pm

Johnblood27, that was funny. Fortunately for me, they turned out to be about three months long during summer breaks and provided ample motivation to study hard when school started each fall.

4 points
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Johnblood27's picture

May 20, 2022 at 07:39 pm

Good on ya driver!

2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

May 20, 2022 at 10:20 am

This is a good story, Ken. I've said for many years that the guys at the top of the pay pyramid have to get it done or you're not going to win it all, and yet when we lose, we blame it on guys at the bottom, like Ruvell Martin and Brandon Bostick and Ladarious Gunther. The "weak links". The JAGs.

What did the top of our pay pyramid do for us last year in the playoffs? Rodgers? Adams? Bakhtiari? Z? Cobb? Some well-paid guys did play well, but others didn't help very much, and when we lost, where was a lot of the blame directed?

If you're going to pay the studs, then these are the guys who have to win the games for you. You can't expect some guy at the bottom of the roster to win the game.

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greengold's picture

May 20, 2022 at 11:46 am

Jarrett Bush. Frank Zombo. Howard Green.

Not sure what you’re trying to say here. We might not have won our last Lombardi Trophy if not for the amazing, game changing contributions of these bottom of roster players.

They are all important.

Do you know the story of Alonzo Highsmith blowing a gasket asking Ted Thompson to not take Bostic? Because he was a coach killer? Because he would do exactly what he did?

The autopsy on that last playoff loss pretty much assigns blame to two extremely wealthy players who decided to play catch, excluding all the other kids in the yard. That, and a horrid decision by our new OC to jumble his OL for that game, an OL that was humming. Not to exclude a HC who let it all happen, for whatever reason, and not a single adjustment. Um… Special Teams DO MATTER AFTER ALL???

Every rostered player, no matter where they are on the depth charts, can positively or negatively impact the outcome of any game.

If you’re saying our top paid players need to play better, I agree 100%.

Quite frankly, I can’t make ANY SENSE of what occurred in our last game. So many complete derelictions of duty occurring at nearly every level.

** Appreciate the hell out of Gutekunst’s passionate, focused improvements at the bottom of our roster. He’s always working it. Hey, a shining light it’s looking like we can always count on, and it seems to keep getting brighter. We’re so fortunate to have Gutekunst as our GM.

6 points
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Leatherhead's picture

May 20, 2022 at 12:06 pm

My point, GG, is that you can't expect the bottom of the roster guys to win games for you. Sometimes, yes, they do make a big play for you, like Bush,Zombo, etc., but you can't count on that. You should be able to count on your high$$ guys, because they've alledgedly shown they're worth it.

Also, I think it makes little sense to pay $125 million to 7 players and then put the game in the hands of a guy on the bottom of the roster. Take the game out of his hands, and put it where it belongs.

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greengold's picture

May 20, 2022 at 12:28 pm

It doesn’t work that way. Sometimes, those players are brought up into games out of necessity.

You have to expect that next man up is ready. I just listed 3 examples from a single game where that mattered greatly. Top coaching is vital.

2 points
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tincada's picture

May 20, 2022 at 11:38 am

"At least the Packer players who have been given the mega deals have a proven track record of production." Uh huh, LMAO. Could you run Jaire Alexander and David Bakhtiari’s numbers from last year by me again?

-9 points
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Return_To_Sanity's picture

May 20, 2022 at 12:05 pm

Both have all-pro seasons on their resume. Bakhtiari having multiple all pro seasons and Alexander is just 25 years old. Garbage take, man.

7 points
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dobber's picture

May 20, 2022 at 01:25 pm

Don't feed the troll.

5 points
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NitschkeFan's picture

May 20, 2022 at 01:38 pm

Tincada obviously does not follow the Packers. Bakh got his contract extension late in the 2020 season. What had he done? If you have been watching any Packers games which obviously you have not, he was an excellent Left Tackle for multiple seasons and an All Pro selection for both 2019 and 2020.

Alexander, at a young age was let us see... if Tincada actually watched Packers games he would have seen an ascending top tier CB over Alexander's first 3 seasons. 2018 NFL All-Rookie team, one of PFF's top ranked CB in 2019 and 2020, Pro-Bowl and All Pro selection 2020.

Yup they got injured last season so I guess you can question what did Alexander do "last year". Bakh got his contract in late 2020 so it is good of you to have the crystal ball and see into future and the injury that was to come several months later.

Tincada, good luck with your Bears!

4 points
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jhtobias's picture

May 20, 2022 at 02:20 pm

Garbage response. Injuries are the luck of the draw . Your a clown

3 points
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Swisch's picture

May 20, 2022 at 01:18 pm

It seems it's all on how the contracts are structured -- so that the team can get out of it after a season or two if the player sustains a major injury or has a sudden decline.
I want these contracts to be win-win for the team and the player. It seems the guaranteed money helps to protect the player, while the option to in effect void the contract protects the team.
***
In baseball, it seems the fully-guaranteed contracts are too much in favor of the player, who can be drawing big money years after playing his last game.
In football, it seems that the players have been at a severe disadvantage, with teams being able to end a contract by simply cutting the player. Maybe the recent increases in guaranteed money are helping to make things fairer for the players.
***
Ideally, in my opinion, contracts in sports in general -- those without guaranteed money -- would be partially guaranteed in the event of career-ending injury: perhaps at 60% the first the season after the player is done, 30% the second, and 10% any following seasons. This money wouldn't work against a salary cap.
As far as players getting cut for declining play, a similar system of partial guarantees (at a lesser level) could be set up -- unless another team signs the player. A team would have to assume some risk for signing players that go bust, but not have to pay anywhere close to full contract.
***
These are just principles and guidelines, and I'd be interested in what other fans think.
(A different but related subject, perhaps for another time, is what seems to be a widening gap in contracts between the very best and all the rest. In other words, the rich players get fabulously richer, while the average players are left behind. All the while, the fans get the shaft with outrageous prices at the stadium).

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NitschkeFan's picture

May 20, 2022 at 01:54 pm

Swisch, I agree with your sentiments. I don't have data to back up my feeling that football players run the risk of significant career threatening injury more than most North American sports league's players (MLB, NBA, NHL).

I agree with your ideas and like the idea of both paying a player who gets injured and not punishing the team in terms of cap space. I guess the potential is there for manipulating the injured reserve with under-performing players to free up cap space.

As for declining play, I have mixed feelings. In many other sports (think Tennis or Golf) where your pay is tied to your performance. That makes sense to me. But I don't see golfer's getting the kind of head shots NFL players get! The guaranteed money seems to be a reasonable compromise but am open to new ideas.

The NHL is the only other league (that I know of) with a "hard cap" like the NFL. But they sign players to full guaranteed money and often for longer term like 6,7 or 8 years. Many teams have found themselves in cap hell as players reach the 4th year of a contract and their age/play decline but the team is stuck.

The pandemic certainly messed up cap space projections for all GM's across all sports.

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Swisch's picture

May 20, 2022 at 05:05 pm

It does seem as though professional football players have had it much worse than their counterparts in baseball and basketball, even though football is much more dangerous in its immediate impact (so to speak) and long-term effects.
In any case I'm appreciative of your caring and intelligent thoughts on the matter, NitschkeFan, in the spirit of trying to make things fair for both the players and the teams. Also, it's not fair to fans to have their teams burdened with contracts for players who have been injured out of the game or who have just gotten lazy after receiving big money.
***
In a related matter, I'm all for social justice, but disagree with the way the NFL has handled it.
Why not have the NFL do social justice for its own employees and fans?
For example, not only make sure the average players get paid more proportionately, but give them an option to put some of their money into safe accounts that are guaranteed by the NFL to both gain 2% interest per year and to not lose more than 2% of their value. The players could withdraw 20% per year from these accounts in a way that would be tax free.
The NFL would use its abundant profits to help make this happen, and perhaps work with state and federal lawmakers.
If it's true that Roger Goodell makes $40 million per year, it seems he could still get by in high style with $5-$10 million. The owners could donate not only a percentage of profits from team revenues, but some of their own money.
Then these elites would be actually putting their money to good use in support of social justice.
***
Another idea would be to make sure the white collar and blue collar employees for each NFL team get good salaries and benefits and opportunities for advancement.
Also, let's take care of the stadium workers in generous ways to share in the abundant wealth of the NFL. Perhaps some of them could be employed by teams in other ways during the offseason.
***
Then again, make sure NFL merchandise is made in America by American citizens making at least $15 per hour (only about $30,000 per year) and getting good benefits. How cool would it be for depressed areas such as Green Bay and Detroit and Cleveland to employee its own people in making NFL merchandise!
The employees would be locals hired by color according to their percentages of the population in that city (or the percentages of the poorest residents of that state). This seems a kind of quota that makes sense for fairness.
To offset the added cost of making merchandise in America instead of abroad, the NFL would use part of its profits to subsidize these manufacturing operations (instead of donating to outside organizations that can be controversial and divisive and distracting to the fun of football).
Plus, fans could show their concern about social justice by paying 5% more for a team jersey. It seems to me Americans are very caring and generous people when they believe their money is not being wasted but truly helping others.
All the while, the NFL would really be encouraging its teams to bond with their communities in a way in which not only would the material benefits be widespread, but also civic morale.
***
These are great ideals and ideas to talk about as far as making them effective and fair -- but so much better would be to see some of them implemented in reality.
How uplifting it is to show that all lives matter, and to raise up the less fortunate by getting them good jobs.

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Qoojo's picture

May 21, 2022 at 10:54 am

Injuries happen. That's why it's important to always bring up which contract the player is on. Only very special players get that 3rd contract or a big contract after 30, and it's those contracts to be mostly concerned about.

The only recent contract I do not agree with is Jones' contract, and not because of the player, but because of the position. RB position is brutal, and to pay top dollar is a lot more risky. RB players have traditionally always been my favorite players too.

Then paying players gives incentive to the younger/other players. If an org is always cheap, then the best players know they have to leave.

Injuries happen a lot in football. Using hindsight to say a 2nd contract was bad is like holding a draft 3 years after it happened and pointless. The players mentioned as getting paid top dollar were performing as one of the best at their position.

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greengold's picture

May 21, 2022 at 01:12 pm

Rock solid, Qoojo.

I’m guessing Gutekunst & LaFleur figured they’d also be keeping Aaron Rodgers long term at the time, saving a lot of wear & tear on Aaron Jones when they signed Jones to that deal…

Aina hey? LOL.

All kidding aside, I was a little surprised by the move as well, then more so by Rodgers & LaFleur ignoring Aaron Jones in this offense.

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