Tom from Fairfield, CT

So how would you articulate the view that the Packers are better off with Martellus Bennett than Jared Cook?

They retained the veteran, playmaking tight end the offense needs, plus maybe kept more cap room toward re-signing Lang or Lacy, or bringing in another free agent, or extending Clinton-Dix or Linsley by the end of next season, or something else I’m not thinking of.

Nathan from Baltimore, MD

For as much as everyone complains that this site can’t announce Packers transactions until the official press release goes out, I found it very satisfying to see an official announcement that the Packers had signed a big-name free agent, then checked other media outlets and see them just starting to report anonymous rumors that we were interested in him. You have to admire TT for keeping things under wraps, right?

It was similar to how quiet the Peppers deal was three years ago, only this was on Day 2 of free agency, and apparently in the midst of negotiating with another player at the same position. Funny how this business works sometimes.

Greg from Ann Arbor, MI

As of Thursday night, word was the Packers and Jared Cook were very close to a deal. Things must have gone south from there very quickly. Will we ever know any more than that about how it all went down?

Probably not. The end result surprised me, but the process with Cook did not. If you’ll recall, several weeks ago I said his market would be tricky to figure out, because there are only so many teams that could utilize him the way the Packers and Rodgers do. That said, I don’t begrudge Cook for trying to get what he can now, a month before he turns 30. There’s a reason he signed only a one-year deal last year.

Michael from Wausau, WI

So did Jared Cook have any knowledge of the Packers courting Martellus Bennett, or was he unaware? Free agency is tough, man.

It’s just business. Only a select few are truly irreplaceable. That said, the catch in Dallas won’t soon be forgotten.

Chris from Racine, WI

What a difference a few hours can make for my fellow Packer fans. Fire Ted! I mean, great job Ted!

He always has a plan. You may not always agree with that plan, and he’ll never explain it publicly, but he always has one.

Martin from Koblenz, Germany

Hey Insiders, a bit sad to see Peppers go. Do you think he’s still got enough gas in the tank to harm the Packers the same way he did with the Bears in recent years? He seems extra motivated when playing his former teams.

To be honest, I don’t think Peppers has ever been that way. I admire a man who can play this game for as long as he has, and keep going. I don’t know how much interest he had in returning to Green Bay vs. going back home to Carolina, but I’m glad I get to say I covered him, if only for three years. In the meantime, the lights on Kyler Fackrell Street just got brighter.

Harun from Stolac, Bosnia

With so many young CBs, do you think that getting an experienced free-agent CB would solve the situation in the secondary?

I said earlier this week a veteran corner would be a nice addition, but no single personnel move is going to “solve” the pass defense. Randall, Rollins and Gunter must continue to develop. That’s really what it comes down to, and that would be the case even if the Packers had outbid the Patriots for Stephon Gilmore.

Curt from Westby, WI

Will a team like Cleveland with 27 picks in two years run into trouble when all those rookie contracts end in the same year?

If the Browns draft well, yes, but it’ll be good trouble to have. If they don’t, no trouble at all.

Kevin from Rockton, IL

Spoff, lies, damned lies and statistics. I trust no percentages unless they extend to three places beyond the decimal. In the future, please be more precise.

Duly noted. Speaking of math …

Bruce from Bloomington, IL

There are three types of teams in terms of cap management. Those that can do the math, and those that can't.

I like that.

Barton from Tulum, Mexico

Are the Packers interested in signing LB DeAndre Levy? I like that he is from Wisconsin like I am but has traveled all around the world. He seems like he would be a respected influence in the locker room, and if he is healthy he is a dynamic inside LB.

I have no idea if the Packers have any interest in Levy, but I think injuries have robbed him of what should have been some of his best football days. I can remember at least twice walking away from Packers-Lions games I covered believing Levy was the best player on the field that day, and that’s saying something when Rodgers, Megatron, et al, were part of those rivalries.

Jeremy from Roberts, WI

Hey rubes! Listening to a local radio show this morning, and they were talking about how much impact signing to a team in Florida is with the tax benefits. The host says that players don't get the tax break for the away games, just the home games. Is this fact? I thought you were taxed based solely on where you live. Keep up the good work!

I don’t know the ins and outs of all the tax laws, but there’s at least some truth to that, because even I have to file income tax forms in multiple states each year. Not every state the Packers play in, but some. I get it as far as highly paid professional athletes are concerned, but it sure is a pain for a rube like me.

Chuck from Poynette, WI

Hi Insiders! My question regards compensatory picks for next year. Are the picks rewarded for the value of each player’s contract separately? Looks like Hyde’s and Tretter’s contracts total around $5 or 6 million a year each, which is pretty close to Casey Hayward’s contract last year, so would those contracts equal two fifth-round picks? I was hoping they would combine them and we might receive a third-rounder! I know the NFL's formula isn't an exact science, but I thought you could enlighten me.

No way to tell right now. Losing Peppers, gaining Bennett are in the equation now, too. Green Bay’s full net gain/loss in free agency hasn’t been determined yet, and when it is, it will depend on how it compares to other teams. That’s what makes the formula so hard to decipher from year to year.

David from Lake Forest, IL

Lombardi: "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." Spofford: "I don’t get the all-or-nothing mentality." Why would you suggest fans settle for "good enough" rather than the ultimate goal of excellence and championships? It isn't a lack of appreciation for the wins we do have, I relish every one of them. It is the understanding that the exceptional play of Rodgers at the most critical position on the field presents a unique opportunity. I will enjoy the game-in-and-game-out ride next season, but this fan won't apologize for wanting more for his team and for that player in particular.

I’m not saying you should, and I won’t apologize for it, either. My comment was in response to someone suggesting they’d rather have a high draft pick this year than see the Packers win eight straight and come one win away from the Super Bowl last year. I’ll never get that sentiment.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Now that Micah is gone, who gets first shot at the punt-return duties? Has Jeff Janis ever been tried there?

I think Trevor Davis will have a huge opportunity on punt returns next season.

Brad from Mounds View, MN

Insiders, so Gilmore is snatched up by guess who, the Patriots. The Packers lose Hyde and the Packers again are the bridesmaids for a difference-maker at corner. What did the Patriots see that our front office seems to consistently miss out on? The Patriots were willing to break the bank for this guy, and they were not even desperate for corners like we are.

The Patriots signed Gilmore to replace Logan Ryan and to buffer against the potential loss of Malcolm Butler, either this year (if they decide to trade him) or next (when he becomes an unrestricted free agent). I understand the Packers have not adequately replaced Sam Shields, and some progress must be made in that regard this offseason, but let’s understand New England’s situation, please.

David from Athens, AL

Which game are you most looking forward to next year? Why?

At Carolina just got more interesting. Fourth down, game on the line, Ripkowski v. Peppers? I’ll be watching.

Matt from Hartford, WI

Is there a position group in this draft worth double-dipping into?

Pass-rusher and corner, definitely. Maybe running back, too, depending on what happens with Lacy and if there’s a chance to trade back for more picks.

Justin from Titonka, IA

If Thompson always wants to keep as many of his own guys as possible, why is it that every year at least one of our free agents says that he wasn't even made an offer? Are their numbers just that far off from each other?

Ding! Ding! Ding!

Ruben from Portsmouth, VA

Hyde said we didn't give him an offer. How or why would we not even put up an offer to Hyde? Your thoughts, please.

Since you asked so nicely, if you’ve pegged a player’s value at far less than he’s being offered on the open market, and your offer is not going to come close, why insult the player? You thank him for the good times and wish him the best. It’s a cold and ruthless business, but teams that believe in their way will trust it and stay disciplined. It’s similar with the draft. Teams will value players differently, just as teams have varying grades on draft picks.

Kerry from Margate City, NJ

Ever watch Terry Cummings or Sidney Moncrief play? I am an old 76ers fan and used to love watching the 76ers and Bucks go at it in playoffs.

They had some classic postseason series in the ’80s when I was a kid. I enjoyed watching the NBA much more then than now. Not really sure why.

Max from Milwaukee, WI

I loved what Mike Daniels said when they asked him about the "Run the table" soundbite. He said if you need those speeches you should go home. Vic's right. These guys don't need big speeches.

Guys like Daniels, no. But sometimes the younger guys do, and they need to know when the veterans believe in them.

Austin from Galesville, WI

Russ Ball is at it again! While Packer fans were being shocked by Perry's $60 million deal, I was being amazed by the less than one-third guaranteed money and cap hits of $6 and $10 million the first two years. Russ is an unsung hero. Can you give us some idea of how the cap wizard does it?

I don’t know, but he sure plays a mean pinball.

Maximillian from Sydney, Australia

What I can't understand is the amount of people who post in this forum blaming the front office for not knowing what they are doing. Your heads must be sore from all the banging on the walls.

But it feels so good when I get to stop. Have a good weekend, everybody.

 


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