May 24, 2022

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He sure looks the part

6 min read
He sure looks the part

Gary from Cross Plains, WI

Good morning! Please clarify how the cap works with the June 1 date. I get that a post-June 1 cut means a team can spread the remaining cost over this year and next year while a pre-June 1 cut means we count it all this year. Does a team just say they are going to cut a player after June 1 and the cap relief happens right away? Is there a limit on how many players you can cut now with a post-June 1 date?

Teams are allowed to designate up to two players as post-June 1 cuts even if those players are released before June.

Nathan from Manitowoc, WI

Who is the best pure run blocker on the roster? My vote is for Yosh Nijman. Gets movement on drive blocks, gets to the second level with ease, and tries to finish all the time.

I’d have to say Elgton Jenkins, with David Bakhtiari not far behind. I’m very curious, though, what we’ll be saying about Josh Myers down the road. He sure looks the part and doesn’t even have a full, healthy season under his belt yet.

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

Are you surprised that the Bears only got a 2 and 6 for Khalil Mack? A premier EDGE rusher such as this is always talked about with first-round draft picks involved. Do you think it was his cap or injury that caused this?

Mack is 31 years old, coming off a season-ending injury, and is owed $64M over the final three years of his deal. I think all of that factored into the Chargers not having to give up a first-round pick to get him.

Has there been a position that’s never been franchise tagged? If there is, would that position be considered the least valuable?

I’m not aware of a position that’s never been franchise tagged in the nearly 30-year history of the tag.

I know that players receive their annual salary in game checks. When a contract is restructured and salary is made into a signing bonus, for cap reasons, do the players receive the entire amount of the “new” signing bonus up front and thus have smaller game-day checks? Or does the payment schedule remain the same? If they receive the new bonus up front, it would seem to be a “no-brainer” to always accept an offered restructure. Money in hand, so to speak.

Generally speaking, if salary is converted into signing bonus, the player gets all the money immediately, though there can be a payment calendar built into the agreement as well. If a team is trying to maximize its cap room, it’ll take a $10M salary, convert $9M into a signing bonus that gets paid right away but spread out for cap purposes (perhaps with void years if necessary), and then the player collects a $1M league-minimum salary over the course of the season.

Hi guys, when a player goes on IR do they still collect a paycheck every week and does it still count towards the cap hit?

Yes, they still get paid and the money gets capped. Whether or not they get their full salary depends on their contract, if there’s split-salary language based on injury status. Many rookie contracts contain split-salary provisions. Most veteran contracts don’t, though some have weekly roster bonuses for being active on gameday, which serve as a pay/cap reduction in the event of injury.

Russ Ball’s name has popped up a lot lately, and with good reason. Given how important he is to the organization, since we fans know so little about him, will we be seeing an article about Mr. Ball anytime soon?

Russ prefers to stay out of the spotlight and not make himself available to the media. I’ve been fortunate enough to interview him twice for feature stories – one for the website not long after he arrived here in 2008, and one for the Packers Yearbook in 2018. Both chats were highly educational.

Lingering effects of injuries contributed to Aaron Rodgers’ dip in performance, driving BG’s drafting of Jordan Love. AR’s return to form was then not only a matter of physical recovery and likely some psychological motivation, but let’s not forget that in the offseason before his bounce-back, Rodgers’ film study revealed to him a subtle fundamental mechanics error he had been committing. Correcting it appeared to immediately bring back accuracy, contributing to two MVP seasons and now a monster contract.

If I recall correctly, a big assist in correcting the fundamental flaw was the leg workouts mentioned yesterday, so the physical recovery and mechanical reset were tied together to some extent.

Insiders, it’ll be interesting to see how far Jameson Williams falls in the draft because of his ACL. He was a projected top 10 pick before the injury and now he could fall to the bottom of the first round. If you’re a team that’s in “win now” mode, like the Packers, would you pick him up if he fell that far? He likely won’t recover enough to play until the last quarter of the season, but he could be a high-impact player in 2023. Is that worth a first-round pick for a team like the Packers?

If you believe he’s a generational talent at the position, you don’t pass him up, even if he can’t play as a rookie until December. If he’s just one of several impressive receivers with high marks on your board, it’s a different discussion.

Aaron Rodgers will turn 39 in December, and apparently will have a contract that could take him several years into his 40s. Does he at some point become the oldest player to don a Packer uniform? Or is he that already?

This is a better question for Cliff, but I do know that kicker Jan Stenerud turned 41 during his final season with the Packers in 1983.

Subhadeep from Middletown, CT

I was keeping a close eye on Tyler Huntley and the Ravens smartly extended the tender to keep him as their backup QB. No disrespect to Love, but Tyler Huntley was the backup QB that I felt was ready to take a starting position with another team. Smart move by the Ravens.

Huntley was an exclusive-rights free agent, so he remains basically on a league-minimum deal. The Ravens would’ve had to go brain dead to not keep him as an ERFA.

Larry’s “Rock Report” mentioned the Pack’s defense last year as ranking fourth in the league in “havoc” stats. Is that a real thing the league tracks, or did he just make it up? It certainly sounds plausible, but I’ve never seen that reported before.

It’s not an official league stat. It’s a category created by Pro Football Focus that combines several statistics that are officially tracked. Larry rattles them all off in the video.

My British husband became an American citizen today. The only way to celebrate is to fly to London this fall for the Packers game, right?

My guess is that the only thing that could blow Gute away enough to trade Love would be a player that he just has to have (ala Ted Thompson and Clay Matthews) that he knows won’t be available at 28. For me that guy would be Jordan Davis, but there’s a reason I get paid to write software rather than run a sports franchise.

And there’s a reason I just write about it all.

Brandon from Imperial, MO

Good morning, I have to ask, is this the first offseason in some time the “sign everyone” crowd is quiet or are you both still getting those submissions? The Mack to the Chargers trade is interesting especially because he’s out of the NFC North. Is there a contingent who wanted him traded to the Pack? What other insanity are you seeing as we wait for next Wednesday?

I think enough folks understand the Packers’ cap situation right now to temper the “sign everyone” mentality, but I’m sure it’ll ramp up again, at least a little, next week.

Linda from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Good morning, Mike. Or is Wes back? Are the two of you done with breaks for awhile? Time to back to the daily routine now? (Seems like things were happening when only one of you was covering II.)

I’m vanishing again and Wes will be back at the controls. I guarantee plenty of news with the league year starting while I’m gone. Have a great weekend, everybody.