Sawyer from Simpsonville, SC
Thanks for stealing my Bobby Bonilla reference Hod Rod! Now for my question, er, statement. Today (Wed) marks the start of the saddest period for a fan, and April 29 marks the start of the happiest. Any thoughts on how hope dies and then springs to life as the league year goes on?
My prescription for you is to watch an Aaron Jones highlight reel and you should feel a lot better. The Packers will have a new team in 2021 but the playmakers remain in place for another championship run.
Michelle from Ringgold, GA
What do you think is the biggest challenge the Packers face this upcoming year?
Maintaining the chemistry that the last two teams had. It was magical. Retaining Marcedes Lewis would certainly help if he desires to play a 16th season.
Chuck from Gold Canyon, AZ
Good morning Wes, Day 3 of 12. You can thank Spoff when he returns but I hope you have your big boy pants on during this silly season to respond to the “sign everyone” fans. My question is I thought the NFL had a minimum amount of cap space required for each team. The Jets, Jags, Colts and NE this year having around $50 million-plus available space. I can’t imagine who the expiring contracts on those teams would lead to that much space so am I wrong about the minimum cap?
They do, but it’s not based on a single season. Teams must use 89% (or thereabouts) of their allotted cap room over (I think) a three-year span or risk losing it.
Henry from Brown Deer, WI
Wes, welcome back. I can’t remember if you were high on or just intrigued by Yosh Nijman when he was signed to the practice squad. His trajectory is going to be interesting. Fourteen snaps last year to backup tackle this year. From what I can see of the pictures of him, he appears to be a giant of a man. Do you think he has the capacity for more action this year or next?
I’m still high on Nijman. I just wish we could’ve seen him in a game to get a feel for how much he grew in Year 2. He is a massive dude, so pad level always will be the main thing with him. But I can only imagine how much he’s learned over the past two years from not only Adam Stenavich but also sharing a position room with David Bakhtiari. This is a big year for the big man.
You have both covered the combine for years but will miss it this year due to COVID. What is the strangest/funniest thing you witnessed at the combine in your years of covering it?
I’ve never encountered anything too crazy in Indy, though I find it funny when young agents confuse me for a scout and try to give pamphlets and brochures of their clients. That happens at least once or twice each year I’m down there.
Good morning, Wes. Good to have you back nice and rested. I was looking at some sleepers at OL, possible centers, and Rashawn Slater from Northwestern really looked like a good fit. He was a right tackle but they are saying he is too small for the NFL and could move inside, with Corey Linsley going to the Chargers maybe he could help us out? What do you think?
Converted tackles have been the prototype for the Packers over the years, whether it’s been Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang, JC Tretter, Billy Turner or now with Jon Runyan. It makes sense. Unless the player is coming from a perennial powerhouse, most college teams put their best O-linemen at tackle. Green Bay has some viable candidates to start with Runyan, Lucas Patrick, Nijman and perhaps Lane Taylor but would do well to add another OL or two this offseason to the competition…and obviously they’ve hit on a few overlooked guys from Northwestern in recent years.
Aaron Rodgers has gotten a lot of credit over the years for his hard count and ability to create free plays, and rightfully so, but I don’t think enough credit goes to the center’s ability to recognize when a player jumps offside and snap the ball quickly enough to prevent the ref from calling the play dead. With Corey Linsley heading to the Chargers, do you think whoever fills his place will be able to replicate the success that Linsley and Rodgers have had over the years?
It’ll take some time. We talk so often about receivers getting on the same page with Rodgers and the telepathic connection he developed with Davante Adams, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones. But the battery Rodgers formed with Linsley was special. They played together for seven seasons. You can’t replicate that familiarity overnight.