Brandon from Mililani, HI

GM Vic, there is a player; we will call him John. John’s performance as an inside linebacker this past year was balanced against both the run and pass. He’s large, over 6-0, 250. He plays a position of need but because of his troubled history it drops his value. Free agency opens. Do you call him and drop an offer?

You’re describing Paul Dawson in this year’s draft. Why not just target him? He’ll likely be more affordable, which lessens your risk.

James from Madison, WI

Vic, I took your advice and eliminated the word “that” as much as possible on my last paper. My professor did not like it and when grading my paper pointed out a couple times (that) he thought I should have used it. Still aced the paper, though.

It’s school. It’s about the grade.

Martin from Tisovec, Slovakia

I am sure (that) the level of angst in your inbox must be almost critical. I must admit, I would hate to see Cobb leave myself. Please, tell everyone there is a plan in place.

Packers fans worry too much. R-E-L-A-X!

Lars from Skorping, Denmark

Vic, I’ve signed a contract with Team Vic for one year. No bonuses of any kind, just straight salary. If you cut me before the preseason games, have I worked for free? What about after pre-season Game 4?

You won’t see any of that salary, unless it’s guaranteed, and Vic doesn’t like guaranteeing salary.

Roger from Auburn, CA

Vic, I read (that) Manning has taken a $4 million pay cut that can be made up with playoff success. In your opinion, does that qualify as NLTBE (not likely to be earned)?

That’s a shot.

Todd from New Richmond, WI

If Greg Jennings gets released, do you see the Packers picking him up if the price is right?

I agree with Thomas Wolfe.

Eugene from Seatac, WA

The downside risk of a highly recruited premier player not negotiating a long-term deal but instead accepting the franchise salary/cap hit is more than offset by the potential reward of two first-round picks. If the Packers lose Cobb to a bidding war, wouldn’t it have been sweeter to know we didn’t settle for one third-round pick?

Let me be blunt: You ain’t gonna get two first-round picks. No chance. No way. Forget about it! I can’t remember the last franchise player that returned two first-round picks. Was it Sean Gilbert?

Tim from New Richmond, WI

What are the experts saying about TE Maxx Williams? Is he worth a late first-round pick, or is there a chance he is still there in the second?

I participated in Williams’ media interview at the combine. He stood right in front of me. I was greatly impressed by his poise. His father is a former player and coach and has groomed his son well. Williams is coming out early, and I couldn’t help but notice his body didn’t have the edge to it you would expect from an NFL tight end. Williams even commented on his tender age being his greatest weakness, and then said it was also his greatest strength due to the upside it offers. I agree with him. I think he’s got big-time upside, but what he might lack in the present could drop him to the second round.

Matt from Sun Prairie, WI

Why would a team want to release their player before he becomes a free agent?

To get cap room, or to avoid paying a roster bonus due, say, on the first day of the league calendar year, which is also the start of free agency. It’s all about the cap, Matt. Know the cap and you know the biggest part of the game.

Dan from Stockton, CA

I watched the NFL Network discussion on the greatest Packers quarterback of all time. I heard arguments for Favre and Rodgers, but less than five seconds of lip service for Starr. Why no love?

Two reasons: He played long ago and he doesn’t have the stats the young fans of today respect. It’s a sad fact.

Justin from Trabuco Canyon, CA

What does GM Vic think of WR prospect Dorial Green-Beckham? He seems like an athletic freak and hard to pass up.

I also sat right in front of him at his combine press conference. I had two thoughts: He really passes the eye test, and he was really nervous as he answered question after question about his off-the-field transgressions. The risk/reward with Green-Beckham is off the charts.

Ben from Fremont, NE

Vic, I’m freaking out about this Cobb situation.

I know.

Dan from New York, NY

Do you see a possible way the Packers could re-sign Cobb and Bulaga?

I expect the Packers to re-sign them, but I acknowledge the possibility they might not be able to do it. I’m not freaking out on this. You have to be willing to allow players to leave in free agency. That’s one of the rules of the salary cap era. You set a price you’re willing to pay and you do everything you can to retain that player, but if you bend to pressure from other teams’ offers, then you’re allowing those teams to run your cap. You can’t do that. It’s a game of replacement.

Matt from Lincoln City, OR

Vic, as someone who has seen football through the ages, do you prefer the salary cap years to those in the past? Which era is more impressive?

Every era has its special memories, and its problems. The ’60s were too unstable; the AFL-NFL spending war forced too many teams into uncompetitiveness. The ’70s were too violent. The ’80s lacked parity. Too much of the ’90s was spent on learning how to manage the salary cap. The 2000 decade might be the best in my lifetime. It was the dawn of a new day, but there was still enough of the old game left in it to make it real football. I reserve judgment on this decade. I worry the game is changing too much, too quickly.

R.W. from Stamford, CT

Should the Packers have used a second-round draft pick on a player they would choose not to re-sign for market value?

If they lose Randall Cobb in free agency and are awarded a third-round compensatory pick, would it not have been worth trading a second-round pick for a third-round pick to have Cobb’s services for four years?

David from Minneapolis, MN

Vic, I hope your weekend will be relaxing. I have a feeling come Monday your inbox will be filled with anger and impatience. Lots of fans wondering why the Packers didn’t pay Cobb and wanting them to sign Suh, Houston, Thomas and Maxwell. I trust Mr. Thompson, but I know there will be some craziness come Monday. Good luck.

I was walking on the beach yesterday when I noticed a large family walking out of their beautiful home and onto the beach. I noticed them because it appeared they were gathered for a purpose. They walked hand-in-hand: mom, dad, kids, grandkids, even the family dog. They all walked to the edge of the surf, where they hugged. One by one they reached into a bag, took something into their hand and then tossed it into the air. It appeared to be dust, but I quickly understood it to be the remains of a loved one, and the wind carried the loved one away. It was a beautiful family and I thank them for helping me achieve perspective.


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