Noah from Haddow, Australia
Vic, are you expecting a last-minute pick up in free agency by the Packers?
I expect the Packers to participate in free agency, but we’re hardly at the last-minute stage. Fans are too impatient to buy. They’re afraid of not getting that pair of pants they want so badly. Relax! There’ll be plenty of good khakis left when the buying spree is over.
Brett from Green Bay, WI
Vic, the Dolphins have traded Mike Wallace to the Vikings for two late-round picks, and the Vikings then released Greg Jennings. Both WRs were signed to big contracts in 2013 FA. It’s good to be draft and develop.
The dead money those guys left behind is nearly $13 million combined. We’re talking about wide receivers, not quarterbacks or left tackles. How does this happen? What am I missing?
Pete from Chapel Hill, NC
Vic, what does Tony Pauline think about Jamison Crowder, the WR/return man from Duke? He might be a late-round gem.
I’ll tell you what I think of Crowder. I think he’s a game-changing player. He’s one of those return men you fear. You expect him to do something big with every kick. He doesn’t have Rocket Ismail’s or Devin Hester’s explosiveness, but his silky smoothness reminds me of Lynn Swann, who was a lights-out punt returner early in his career.
Kason from Loves Park, IL
Vic, how do you define the term “franchise quarterback”? So many people think differently of it and I wanted to know your opinion on it.
My opinion is that it has nothing to do with performance. A franchise quarterback is any quarterback in whom his team has invested its future at the position.
Del from Sterling, IL
Vic, what was the feeling around the league when discussions regarding free agency first began?
The feeling was that it would change the game forever. It has.
Trevor from Janesville, WI
Vic, in honor of the Badgers’ great B1G Championship win, what was the greatest comeback you’ve ever witnessed?
It is either the Packers’ win in Dallas in 2013, or the Seahawks’ win in the NFC title game this past season.
Ben from Fitchburg, WI
Every time you answer a draft question explaining how the Packers have great regional scouts, I have to wonder, how big is a NFL team’s scouting department, specifically the Packers’, and do they change considerably in size from team to team?
They vary in size, depending on the team’s commitment to the draft and how much the team relies on its coaches in the scouting process. The Bengals, for example, have always involved their coaches heavily in scouting, which has kept their personnel department small. The Packers have a 16-man personnel department, which is indicative of the commitment the Packers have made to its draft-and-develop philosophy.
Bubba from Kenosha, WI
The saying goes a player makes the biggest leap from year one to year two. How does this apply to Bradford and Goodson, who were on the roster but didn’t see reps at their respective positions?
They got a year of coaching and were able to develop their talents in the Packers way. They were able to settle into pro football at a comfortable pace, and the Packers were able to evaluate them and determine how they might best be used. Player development is huge. The one thing we know for sure about all of these players is they have talent. The team accepts the challenge of identifying that talent and utilizing it.
Davy from Chetek, WI
What free agents would you consider looking at now?
I like Geno Hayes, but I don’t know what his price is.
Tom from Neenah, WI
Vic, Coach McCarthy predicted the defense would be much improved and it was. He also predicted the offensive line was the best he has had. Any idea what his prediction might be for the upcoming season?
If he makes one, my guess is it’ll have something to do with special teams.
Randy from Roanoke, VA
Of the players on the teams you have covered, which UFA has gone on to have the best career?
It was a mistake for the Steelers to allow Rod Woodson to leave in free agency. He was coming off an ACL and he was certainly in the second half of his career, but he was a heritage player and he went on to play a lot of good football at safety. The Steelers haven’t made a lot of mistakes in free agency – Mike Wallace certainly isn’t one of them – but letting Woodson leave is one of them.
Mark from Stewartville, MN
Who’s higher on your list, Hemingway or Steinbeck?
I love them both, but if I had to pick, I’d pick Steinbeck.
Sean from Saint Paul, MN
Who looks better in the late first round, corners or inside linebackers? I think I’d be happy with Kevin Johnson.
Both positions look good. Remember that name.
Robert from Pensacola, FL
Are the Packers going to re-sign John Kuhn?
Don’t you get the feeling we’re headed there? Fullbacks have to wait until the back of free agency.
Michael from Dover, PA
I can’t recall a time when there were so many trades, and I’ve been watching for over 50 years. How do you explain the sudden uptick of trades?
The baseball mentality is beginning to seep into the NFL.
James from Concord, CA
I read an article online last week about who really wins and who loses in free agency. It pointed out several negative aspects of taking players in free agency. At the end it simply stated, “The Packers win free agency every year by not participating.” Your thoughts?
It’s not true the Packers win by not participating. They participated last year. The Packers win by not being reckless in free agency. The free agents they signed will not count against them in compensatory picks consideration. The free agents they signed didn’t damage the team’s cap. Free agency is a good forum for addressing needs, but it can’t be used at the risk of damaging your team’s future, and a team’s future is all about its cap and the draft.
Ryan from Austin, TX
I thought I understood your explanations of the compensatory pick rules well enough to know the Patriots will get no extra pick for Revis in 2016 because they cut him in the middle of a two-year contract, yet, I’ve seen chatter online about the Pats getting a third-rounder for him. Is the rule so difficult to understand that even professional sports writers get it confused, or have I misunderstood your explanations?
Darrelle Revis wasn’t cut. His Patriots contract was scheduled to expire prior to the start of free agency, and the Patriots allowed it to expire, which then qualified the Patriots for compensatory pick consideration for having lost Revis in free agency.
Jack from Chicago, IL
Vic, Ted Thompson is the best in the business at building through the draft and adhering to BAP; there is no doubt about that. Has he ever made mistakes and strayed from the path, such as overpaying a FA or picking based on need that you know of?
It happens. A lot of us have a philosophy to not overeat. Do you know anybody that hasn’t overeaten? I think we’re trying too hard to make personnel a science. It’s not a science. You create a philosophy of operation and you try to stick to it, but circumstances can paint you into a corner and demand you be flexible. These are calculated risks and I’m OK with them as long as they’re not reckless. I don’t think you’ll see Thompson do something reckless.
HAVE A QUESTION FOR VIC?