Tory from Burlingame, CA

Two fourth-round picks for Tramon and House? I can’t wait until the NFL lets us trade those picks. Do you think more teams will back off free-agent signings when that happens?

Yes.

Peter from Eagan, MN

Vic, I agree that signing our own free agents is a signing of a free agent. With that said, there is certainly talent outside the Packers organization and, perhaps, in some instances there is talent that exceeds the players in the Packers organization. The heavily skewed signing of Packers free agents makes one wonder if the personnel department seriously considers or attempts to sign free agents from other teams.

I think by now you should have a pretty good idea the Packers prefer their own players to other teams’ players.
They look, they evaluate, they investigate but, in most cases, the Packers prefer to sign the players they’re about to lose, rather than sign players other teams are about to lose. I think that’s a captain obvious statement.

Anthony from Brisbane, Australia

Do you do anything to prepare for free agency to cope with the fans’ emails about the Packers not signing enough of them?

No, I just wake up, turn on the laptop, go into the inbox and tell everyone the truth. I tell them I believe free agency is by and large an expensive and risky market for talent acquisition, and that I am a steadfast believer in the draft and that’s not likely to change in what remains of my life. I do it every day, and every day fans ask me why the Packers don’t sign free agents. I know that on Monday at 5:30 a.m. ET, my alarm will go off and Sonny and Cher will be singing “I Got You Babe.”

Eric from Minneapolis, MN

Vic, your answer on Friday to Jason from Toronto got me thinking. Could you share your opinion on free-agent signings from 2014 or 2015, now that it’s a year or two later?

Let’s take a look at last year’s signings. Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown and Brian Hoyer were the top quarterbacks. Sanchez is gone, the Browns are likely to use their top pick on a quarterback, and the Texans have just paid big money to sign Brock Osweiler. Running backs? DeMarco Murray was the headliner. He’s gone. WR? Jeremy Maclin got the big bucks, $55 million over five years. The Chiefs were just found guilty of tampering with Maclin and have lost draft picks. TE? Julius Thomas was the big winner. He played in 12 games, 455 yards and five touchdowns. OT? Bryan Bulaga was the No. 1 signing. That was a good deal. Mike Iupati was the No. 1 guard/center signing. That was a good deal for Arizona. Pernell McPhee was the top edge defender; five years, $39 million. He had six sacks. Ndamukong Suh was the top free agent at six years, $114 million. Had six sacks, too. ILB? Rey Maualuga would seem to be the best of a non-descript group. He was re-signed by the Bengals for three years, $15 million. CB? Darrelle Revis did it again. This time he came away with $70 million on a five-year deal, and he nearly led the Jets to the playoffs. Revis is the king of free agency; he’s almost always worth it. S? Devin McCourty was re-signed by the Patriots at five years, $47.5 million. Form your own opinions. My opinion is the misses far outnumber the hits, and the teams that re-signed their own guys did better than the teams that signed other teams’ guys.

Micah from Waconia, MN

Vic, the more I read your column the more I am led to believe very few people read it thoroughly, otherwise, you would not be answering questions you answered the day before. I can’t imagine the questions that don’t make the column.

Here’s one.

Wayne from Luang Prabang, Laos

What is the trade value of Aaron Rodgers? We could get a ton of draft picks for him now, it would seem. Give the team to Brett Hundley and roll the dice. What do you think?

Then we wouldn’t have to worry about Aaron Rodgers’ window.

Matt from Madison, WI

Do you remember the vibe surrounding the death of Big Daddy Lipscomb? The circumstances sound questionable, at best.

I remember reading in the newspaper he had died, and I remember very little being written about his death. It was as though it was no big deal, and it bothered me because he was an absolutely sensational football player. If it happened today, it would be a major news story that wouldn’t go away until all of the facts were known. The NFL’s place in American culture is greater than we know. Life wouldn’t be the same without pro football, yet, I can remember a time when teams were begging for news coverage.

Dave from Arlington Heights, IL

Vic, if there was one free agent you’d like to see on the Packers next year, who would it be?

I still like Jared Cook, at the right price.

Michael from West Bend, WI

Who is the most underrated coach you have observed who did not get the credit because he just did not have the right players?

Forrest Gregg comes to mind. What if Pete Johnson had gained one more yard?

Jason from Wausau, WI

Vic, you must be ecstatic your favorite team signed the best free-agent tight end available in Ladarius Green. I read the details of the offer, which stated a four-year deal worth $20 million over four seasons, with just $4.8 million guaranteed. I don’t know why I keep trying because you never address any of my posts, but I just couldn’t help myself with this one. Admit it, Vic, Ted Thompson dropped the ball and you are absolutely delighted how that worked out to favor your favorite team. Congratulations!

Thanks, Jason. My towel is very excited.

Joe from Asbury, IA

Two fourth-round picks for Williams and House. Is that good or bad?

In 2017, those two fourth-rounders might get you a high fourth-round pick or a low third-rounder. I think that would be real good.

Richard from Clearwater, MN

I know the average football fan eats up the free-agent frenzy and that’s why media outlets have to report on rumored free-agent movement and trades, but it gets to be so reckless at times. It was rumored the Packers would attempt to trade for Martellus Bennett. I can’t imagine a scenario in which either team would want to hand something over to a divisional opponent that would be beneficial. Do you really think there is a scenario in which there could be any validity to a rumor like that?

Rumors are easy and risk-free to create because teams aren’t likely to deny them. Even if they do, the creator of the rumor can counter with, “What did you expect them to say?” Free agency is all about rumors. It’s all about intrigue. It’s Christmas, especially for the non-credentialed media. They can report anything they want and call it a rumor, even though it’s likely an idea that popped into their head as they were eating breakfast. I’m still waiting for the Packers to sign Wes Welker.

Jim from Appleton, WI

The Bears are trying to trade Bennett, their outstanding TE. He is adamant about not playing for them next year. What are our chances of picking him up?

Richard said the chances aren’t good, but there are rumors.

Rod from Peoria, IL

Learning from experience means looking back to evaluate past decisions. In the case of the decision to let Williams and House go last year, GM Vic would need to look at the cost required for the Packers to retain them, their 2015 performance for their new teams, and the relative value equation for the players who replaced them. What other factors would GM Vic consider and how would he rate that decision looking back now?

GM Vic would ask himself, “Did we get younger and better?” Then GM Vic would smile.


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