BT from Ripon, WI
Vic, if you pick up a guy in free agency before the draft, I would assume the team would then not draft a player for that position (at least very high). So what positions of need do the Packers have the draft will not be able to help?
I apologize for not understanding your question, but I understand your opening statement and I must take issue with it. If you allow what you do in free agency to determine what you do in the draft, then you’re allowing free agency to poison your fundamental draft philosophy: Select the best available player. Under no circumstances would I allow that to happen. Always, and I believe the Packers would agree, the draft comes first, free agency comes second. How do you blend the two? It’s difficult to do. You have to have a feel for how free agency complements the draft and your long-term strategy for growing the roster, but never, ever allow what you do in free agency to determine your fundamental draft philosophy.
Kyle from Salt Lake City, UT
What would you do with all the cap space teams like Oakland and Jacksonville have?
I would sign a couple of blue-chip free agents and front-load their contracts so they eat up a lot of cap space now and provide a more even flow of cap room in the future. It appears the Jaguars are about to sign Malik Jackson, and he’s one of the bluest of the blue-chip free agents. I’m not a fan of the shotgun approach. Targeting a special player and swallowing hard at the cost has been a better formula for success, in my opinion, than trying to catch lightning in a bottle by signing a lot of Plan B types.
Dave from Lake Zurich, IL
What does Aaron Rodgers need to do to land on your Mt. Rushmore of quarterbacks?
The four quarterbacks on my Rushmore represent four distinct eras of professional football. Tom Brady represents the current era. I don’t see anyone knocking him off his perch.
Brenton from Appleton, WI
Vic, last year the Dolphins signed Suh and now they’ve signed Mario Williams for outrageous money. What can that do to their cap in the years to come?
It eats up more cap room from future caps. Eventually, there will be a price to pay. This is what happens when an owner declares an ultimatum for making it into the playoffs. The big picture gets a lot smaller. Now replaces always.
Jeff from Superior, WI
After Tuesday’s release of Mike Wallace from the Vikings, would there be value in the Packers taking a look at him? We are in need of a more consistent deep-threat receiver.
Wallace is a pure speed receiver, which means you need to know his true speed before you can sign him, and it’s difficult to know if he still has the same speed he had when Ben Roethlisberger was throwing him the ball. Wallace is interesting. Was it Roethlisberger? Was it the combination of Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown? Was too much expected of Wallace in Miami? The Vikings are a run-the-ball team. If Wallace still has his speed, he might be one of those bargain guys. He certainly won’t cost his new team what he cost the Dolphins.
Cameron from Nashville, TN
Vic, I remember last year during the draft you said after we drafted Randall and Rollins you would burn your khakis if the Packers didn’t draft a linebacker in the rest of the draft, and then we drafted Ryan. What position are you willing to bet a good pair of khakis on this year?
With the crop of big guys as deep as it is, I can’t imagine the Packers not tapping into it. I’ll go with a defensive lineman. I could say the same of an offensive tackle.
Phil from Omaha, NE
How do you think you would do on Around the Horn?
We used the same format in the gameday pregame radio show and I loved it. The thing I love the most about the show is Dennis Krause asked questions I would not have asked myself. It helped me identify how I really felt about the game I was about to cover. I also enjoy irritating Mark Tauscher.
Steven from Milwaukee, WI
I’m okay with the talk in the column of reasonable moves by the Packers, like a run at Forte or Ladarius Green, but why do you waste all of our time answering improbably speculative questions involving things such as crazy trades for aging players that would never even be considered, more or less occur?
It’s an entertainment column, Steven. Those questions you judge as not worthy of publication dominate my inbox at this time of the year. I think it’s important, and entertaining, for fans to get a look at themselves.
Sean-Luc from Oceanside, CA
I can only imagine the Forte mania you are receiving in your inbox. I have to hear your honest opinion, though. Is Forte the guy to get in free agency?
I love his pass-catching ability out of the backfield. It would give the Packers another weapon, and I have no doubt Aaron Rodgers would like having that weapon. Here’s the question: If Matt Forte isn’t your every-down feature back, and if he comes into the game predominantly in passing situations, can he be as effective against a defense stacked to stop the pass? Remember, it’s Forte’s run/catch combination that made him what he is. He’s never been a specialist; he’s always been a guy who did both. Eddie Lacy is this team’s feature back. That’s not going to change. As a change-of-pace, complementary back, I think Forte can help the Packers. Is he willing to accept that role?
Tom from Omaha, NE
I cannot be the only one who sees a pattern here. Was the issue in the loss to Seattle in the playoffs the same issue in the loss to the Cardinals? Our defense being on the field too long at the end of the game? How do we fix it for the next season?
Sacking the quarterback fixes everything. In my opinion, the Packers would benefit greatly from a more consistent pass rush, and that begins with returning Clay Matthews to outside linebacker.
Jason from Charlotte, NC
Vic, today is the day the Packers’ howling wolves start to snarl. We all know the Packers will only dip their toes into the free-agent pool and not go all in. Why do the wolves keep howling knowing this?
Don’t be so sure the Packers won’t make a splash in free agency. They’ve done it in the past. Charles Woodson was a splash. Julius Peppers was a splash. They don’t do it often but it’s not as though they haven’t done it when they’ve found a guy and a price they like.
Todd from Menominee, MI
Can a team rescind a franchise tag if a player doesn’t sign the tender?
Tyler from Red Deer, AB
I’m not too familiar with Graham’s career. Why have you included him on your pinnacle for the all-time greatest quarterbacks?
Seven league titles, 1950’s all-decade team, 75th anniversary team, five league MVPs and seven-time all-pro, one of the first great T-formation quarterbacks. The big one for me is Otto Graham is the representative of the lob-ball era. He’s the player that defined the era that preceded the game Johnny Unitas invented.
Katinka from Tromso, Norway
I’m the soon-to-be-wife of Jonas Goll from Tromso, and I would like to invite you to our wedding this summer. Jonas is a big fan of your column. Personally, I prefer soccer (or football, as we call it in the rest of the world), but I’ve been told you don’t share this love. We are going to get married on my family farm in northern Norway on the 13th of August this year. People will be nice; there will be around 100 people there, four of them interested in Packers. Free booze and delicious food! You are the only stranger I invite; I don’t have a habit of inviting people I don’t know to events. But me and Jonas were talking about the wedding and sports, and I don’t remember how it came up, but the question was asked if he’d rather have one of the players on LFC or Vic at our wedding. He answered you. He said you were very smart and funny, and that it would have been really amazing if you just showed up to our wedding. I’ve understood that August is offseason for NFL, so I thought I’d give it a try. It would be amazing if you wanted to join us on this very special day. Northern Norway is exceptionally beautiful. Our town is far above the Arctic Circle, so from May-July the sun never goes down. The family farm is located 20 minutes outside town; it’s quite beautiful. Just write to me. Love from Tromso.
I hate soccer but I love you. This is the most wonderful email I have ever received. I’m not an Arctic Circle kind of guy, but I would love to attend your wedding. The problem is August is not the offseason; Jonas will explain. Please stop back in early August and let us know how plans for the wedding are progressing. I want your wedding to be the “Ask Vic” social event of the year.
Geordie from Brantford, Ontario
Vic, my goodness, I come from a place of deep respect and admiration for this article. Sometimes it seems like you’re all about ego. You are so afraid of being wrong about free agency that you defend your side to the point of ridiculousness. What Denver did these last two offseasons has proved you so wrong. You said the sky would fall in Denver. Wrong! You said the team would be in salary cap purgatory. Wrong! You said they’d be a team with a poor winning record. Wrong! Here we are two years later and you’re still wrong. Vic, there’s a fine line between stubborn and stupid and I think it would be better if you just toed that line.
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