Packers XLV

Season Finale? Who Cares? Here's Pack's Offseason To-Do List.

Posted December 29th, 2017 @ 02:12pm

This is my eighth year writing this blog and for the first time I won't be previewing a Packer game. The season finale in Detroit has literally nothing on the line, so instead, I'll dive into the big issues the Packers face heading into the offseason.

One word on Sunday's game: with the Packers locked into third place in the North and a shot at avoiding a losing season the only real thing on the line, look for extra playing time for most of the healthy young players on the roster. That means a long look at guys like Reggie Gilbert, Lenzy Pipkins and Michael Clark--all of whom flashed against the Vikings.

Here's my Packers to-do list heading into what promises to be an active offseason:

1. Move on from Capers: Not breaking any ground here. If it was up to the fans, he'd be long gone by now. Mike McCarthy has been exceedingly loyal to the longtime DC, but it's time for a new voice, preferably from outside the organization. If this is going to happen, it should happen within 48 hours of the last game. If it happens, will his replacement change schemes? If so, it could impact who stays, who goes and who gets moved around. Bottom line, the unit's failures on third down and the red zone were alarming in 2017. I don't put the blame on Thompson's players. I think there's plenty of talent on this side of the ball. Yes, they need re-enforcements at OLB and CB, but the success of Hayward and Hyde elsewhere is an indication that Thompson is stocking the defensive cupboard adequately.

2. Sign Davante Adams: He has demonstrated that he's the Pack's biggest playmaker behind Rodgers and deserves to paid like the top ten WR that he is. The two brutal concussions he suffered this season are an obvious concern, but with Nelson and Cobb's future up in the air, Adams needs to be locked in. He would be the biggest WR prize on the free agent market and Thompson needs to take care of him, stat.

3. Figure out the right side of offensive line: It's in flux, with Bryan Bulaga's late season ACL injury and Jahri Evans' advanced age. There's no guarantee Bulaga will be ready for the season (the same holds true for his replacement, Jason Spriggs). Is there another potential right tackle on the roster? Justin McCray? Patrick Murphy? As for right guard, despite Evans' solid season, he'll be 36 next season and Expect either McCray or Lucas Patrick to take over there.

4. What to do with Nelson and Cobb? Both are signed through 2018 and both count more than 12 million dollars against the cap next season. Once Adams is signed, we'd be looking at $35 million in cap space devoted to the top three WRs. If either is released, the Pack would take on about $3 million in dead cap money--that's not horrible. I would think they would try to redo both guys' deals to reduce the cap number, but my hunch is that Nelson will be more amenable to that idea. It wouldn't shock me to see them cut Cobb loose. He's still a solid player, but in no way worth $12 million a year.

5. What to do with Ty Montgomery? It wouldn't surprise me at all to see the Pack cut ties with him. His switch to running back was a non-starter, unable to stay on the field. With two promising rookies ahead of him on the depth chart, maybe they move him back to wide receiver to replace Cobb. He has a small salary, so it wouldn't hurt to hang on to him, but not as a running back.

6. Sign free agents Linsley and Burnett: Of the Pack's 11 unrestricted free agents, there are only three must signs, in my opinion: Adams, Linsley and Burnett. Linsley proved himself in 2018, staying healthy for the first time (and with no JC Tretter waiting in the wings). He has earned a new deal. The Burnett decision is a bit murkier, with the Packers having nice depth at the position. He remains the QB of the defense and the unit is stronger when he's out there. His ability to step in and play some linebacker was much needed and he played well there. Josh Jones may be an eventual replacement, but as long as Burnett doesn't demand a huge deal, the Packers defense needs his steadying presence for a few more years.

The other free agents could all be gone. In order, I'd be interested in trying to keep House, Rodgers, Brooks, Evans, Dial and Goode. It's time to move on from Janis and Goodson.

7. Give Rodgers a new deal: With two years left on his contract, this is the offseason to make Rodgers the highest paid player in the NFL. It will likely be structured to do the least damage to the cap long term, but this is an obvious move and one that will likely happen pretty quickly.

8. Bring in a veteran backup QB: I'm probably living in fantasy land here, since Hundley has one year left on his deal and likely won't be traded, since his performance in 2017 was beyond shaky. Obviously, we hope and expect Rodgers to stay healthy in 2018, but I'd rather see a proven, veteran QB at the wheel, should Rodgers go down. Imagine if the Packers had a guy like Josh McCown or Ryan Fitzpatrick this season. I think they'd be playing for something on Sunday.

9. Move Clay inside: Assuming the Packers' defense doesn't undergo a major scheme shift, it's time for Matthews to be an inside linebacker and play alongside Blake Martinez. He could be moved outside on obvious passing downs, but he can't be counted on to be a pass rushing stud down after down anymore. The Pack needs to identify a pass rusher in free agency to complement Nick Perry. Youngsters Kyler Fackrell, Vince Biegel and Gilbert will get more opportunities, but the team needs a major upgrade at OLB.

10. Try to find another FA tight end: We were all excited by the additions of Marcellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks but it turned out to be a failure, with Bennett quitting on the team and Kendricks showing a penchant for drops. With Rodgers a free agent, the team may be starting over here. There are plenty of productive tight ends out there. Thompson and his staff need to restock this position with a veteran or two, and then draft one in the spring.

Note: The season finale of "Packer Preview" airs this Sunday at 7am on KFAN. You'll also find it at iHeart Radio if you don't feel like waking up that early on New Year's Eve day. We'll go into further detail on the Pack's offseason and take an early look at next year's schedule.

 

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Comments (19):

this looks like the beginning of a 30 year dry spell 4 da pack missing the playoffs...ViQueens rule the division every year

on December 29th, 2017 at 05:15pm

This site is going to be so much fun after the Queens lose again in the playoffs.

on December 29th, 2017 at 05:19pm

It's truly amazing how many names on that list Dave is down on. If you listen to him heading into the season on radio, all of them are good to great. It's so sad to read this stuff after what he spews out of his mouth.

on December 29th, 2017 at 11:15am

*sobbing* My Minnesota co-workers are being mean to me again! *sniff* This has nothing to do with my body odor or my crappy work ethic--it's all due to me being a Packer fan from Wisconsin! Waaaahhhhh!!

on December 29th, 2017 at 12:11pm

I'm with ya 2 Pak! This NFL season can't end soon enough for me!!!! Viking fans are insufferable a-holes! I have been hounded and harassed by my neighbors every day since Aaron was injured. So much so that our family is considering a move back to Wisconsin. I hate Minnesota!!!

on December 30th, 2017 at 01:22pm

Glad to see them re-up Adams, had to be done. Gave way too much money to Linsely, who I think is just okay. I hope Capers is gone, this defense needs some new blood. I think Cobb is gone, Montgomery should take his spot.

on December 30th, 2017 at 05:29pm

This season is an abberation, spun mostly on the dirty hit that fractured Aaron Rodgers' collarbone in October. Without that foul play and a few less injuries elsewhere the Pack would be on their way back to the playoffs with 10-12 wins already. With Rodgers back next season they're all but assured of a jump back into the playoff circle. But they are entering the "fourth quarter" of the Ted Thompson-Mike McCarthy-Rodgers era in Packers football. Rodgers won't be around for more than 4-5 more seasons at best. TT is 64. After coaching the team for 12 years MM might be getting into the "stale" stage of NFL coaching shelf-life. As commendable as their record over the past decade has been they really need to cap their legacy in franchise and league history by getting one or two more Super Bowls during the next few seasons. And they're in good situation to do what is needed to achieve that. They currently hold the 14th spot in next year's draft and if they lose Sunday and some other things shake out they could move up all the way to 10th. With 12 picks in hand already drafting high will be a real opportunity for them going forward. They're in very good cap shape and can do some things to gain even more. Soon enough this season will be as remembered as much as 2008 or 2005. And after the all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl between the EAgles and Steelers is played in Minneapolis the rest of the division and the league will find out what it's like to have the Pack come back on them.

on December 30th, 2017 at 09:14am

Sign the TE coming out of South Dakota State - Goedert. Position would be set for 7-10 years!

on December 30th, 2017 at 11:32am

I LOL every time I see this: "the dirty hit that fractured Aaron Rodgers' collarbone in October." FYI: A good team is able to get past the loss of their #1 QB. Look to the west GB and see a team in your division who's #1 QB played in less games than yours did It's obvious that Packer fans are now only interested in when the Vikings season ends. SAD!!! Only 1 team holds the trophy. Will it be the purple? Maybe, maybe not. I know one thing, it wont be the Packers. :) Not this year and probably not next year. Heck, look at the 'wish list" of changes Davey wants. Too many to be taken serious next year.

on December 31st, 2017 at 05:11pm

Well, even as we speak the Packers are moving on the 2018 rebound. Davante Adams and c Corey Linsley signed to extensions. Two of the "must keep's" already kept. Besides changing def. coordinator McCarthy needs to shuck his Pittsburgh 3-4 defense fantasy and convert the team to being a good 4-3. They already have many of the players in place to do it. Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark and young Montravious Adams would be dynamite tackles working inside of a four man front. Virtually impossible to run on inside and crushing pockets with their interior rush power. Blake Martinez, Jake Ryan and Vince Biegel could be a nice trio of linebackers, at least to start. What the Packers have - and need- in the secondary would be the same regardless. Keeping Burnett and getting Clinton-Dix's game turned around, developing Josh Jones and Kentrell Brice would make a solid safety group. Do a major free agent signing at corner, draft and push the development of KIng, Randall and Rollins could turn around that weak position quickly. They will be looking for edge rushers in any case and this year's draft has several blue chip de prospects that they could land on the draft's first day. Dean Lowry can play one end. Moving Nick Perry up on the line is another option. Maybe not playing out in space will improve his penchant for getting injured. They could have some creative options for using Kyler Fackrell and REggie Gilbert as speed rushers on the line or from the linebacking position. Time has come to move on from Clay Mathews. He'll always be a beloved icon in Packers' history but time has caught up with him. He doesn't fit a 4-3 and certainly doesn't warrant $12 million or more in cap space. The additional cap space created by jettisoning him will help the Packers in other multiple positions.

on December 31st, 2017 at 10:42am

GET READY Packer faithful ! .... Dave from Maple Grove is absolutely prescient ! .... 30 minutes from now, Brent Dudley (Thanks to my coaching) is going to absolutely DESTROY the Lions and make Stafford look like a Rookie ! ..... The NFL is going to take one look a that and say, you know what, for ratings sake, we are going to give Green Bay one of the Wild Card slots ..... I know this is a bit out of the ordinary but, Dave from Maple Grove had it right ! ..... MM out.

on December 31st, 2017 at 11:39am

GBPamper, the hit on Rodgers was dirty. Well after Rodgers had released the ball, And as he was pulling up on his roll out. It was unnecessary roughness, being picked up like a wrestling takedown and driven into the turf with 250 lbs on top of him beside. But you are correct about the second part, The Packers fall this year was due to the dirty hit on Rodgers AND the utter incompetence of Brett Hundley as an NFL qb. It's one of the most critical questions McCarthy and Thompson need to answer: how could they have so badly overstimated this guy and been willing to take their chances with him after seeing him in the system for 3 years? He never changed or showed any indication of progress in the 9 games he played this season. He should be released this week.

on January 1st, 2018 at 05:43am

St Paul packers backer here. It's been a disappointing year but good things happening so far this off-season. I'm surprised by my fellow packers backers complaining about the barr hit. In my opinion he was following through with the play and didn't go helmet to helmet or anything. Rodgers takes this risk every time he holds onto the ball. Our guy Matthews would have done the same thing to case if he was in that position. I think it was a blessing in disguise for this packers team. They were never going to win another super bowl with that defense. Plus Rodgers injury wasnt career threatening and he showed us that he is the same old qb in the Carolina game. A revamped team with hopefully some added free agents and an exciting d coordinator should make next year fun. And who knows, maybe the bikes win it all and we can chase them down for nfc supremacy next year

on January 1st, 2018 at 09:30pm

The Queens only made the playoffs because of the dirty absolutely illegal hit on our QB. Barr should have been suspended at least 5 games, and the queens should get a draft pick taken away. Mike Zimmer is the dirtiest coach in the NFL and has obviously paid off Goodell to make the playoffs this year. I personally shed a tear when Aaron went down, and every night before bed I pray for his collarbone to get better. I also pray every night that Barr will he paralyzed and that both of Keenums knees get ripped apart. The dirty queens fans will rue the day they see Aaron and the pack again next year! I'm praying for you Aaron, and I will shed a tear again, of joy, when I see you lead our pack on the field next year!!!!

on January 1st, 2018 at 09:50am

I am a Packer fan that has to suffer living in Minnesota. Everyday at work since the dirty hit on Rodgers, I've dealt with hateful and downright nasty comments by queens fans. I've made multiple HR complaints and am awaiting disciplinary actions. This has caused me and my family much stress and heartache this season, and it is forcing me to look for work back in LaCrosse.

on January 1st, 2018 at 09:57am

Packer fans always make me laugh. Your depression over your team is just sad. So let's get down to it. Good teams win despite injuries as I have seen in NE. Heck look to the Vikings they lost Bradford and there really good rookie running back. What did they end up doing? They went 13-3. I can honestly say with there defense I certainly do not want to play them in the super bowl at there stadium. Second a lot falls on coaching in Bean town we have one of the greatest and the Vikings I think have a gem in Zimmer. Third the hit by Barr was not flagged, evaluated by the league and deemed legal. I played football and if that QB leaves the pocket you make him pay. Maybe Rogers will think twice before trying those fake outs and rollouts and be safe. Though with a highly suspect line I doubt it. Lastly what do you packers fans expect when you are the most arrogant fan base in football with little to no reason to be in the modern era of football (Brady's rings for every finger are doing just fine by the way). What would packers fans do if the Vikings win the super bowl? Also with Rogers how would you be a playoff team? Lost to Atlanta, took it to beat Cincinnati, barely edged the Seahawks. The Vikings rolled both of those two teams and beat all but two in the playoffs. Rose colered glasses I guess are green this year.

on January 1st, 2018 at 12:36pm

I moved to Minnesota looking for a better life but people here suck! They treat us like outsiders and we’ve been here for 10 years. My kids have been bullied at school for wearing Packer gear! My wife and I are good people, but we can’t put with this shit! I don’t care if I have to take a 30% paycut, i’m moving my family back to god’s country, Fuck you Minnesota!!!!!!!

on January 3rd, 2018 at 09:08pm

I have read a number of posts on this website about Packer fans unhappily living in Vikingland let me tell you, you can come home again! The wife and I recently sold our Lakeville home and moved to Eau Claire. We couldn’t be happier and we wear our green and gold openly, and with pride! If you are on the fence, do yourself a favor and move back to Dairyland! You won’t regret it!

on January 3rd, 2018 at 10:34pm

HI Dave: The way it look the Vikings are going to win their first Super Bowl. The fans are so rude. I was never this rude to the Viking Fans when the Packers won the Super Bowl. I am so depressed. My question to you is how do I get over this depression? Also Paul Allen is being a jerk as well. Tell him to relax

on January 8th, 2018 at 02:13pm

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