What would it take for you to stop following the Packers?
I’m asking because of the hullabaloo over the Packers signing troubled Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla and the “risk” that people think comes with signing a guy like him. Really, what risk is there?
Let’s say Lyerla gets arrested for cocaine again. The Packers can just cut him and move on. Let’s say he tweets something terrible again. The Packers can just cut him and move on. Let’s say, God forbid, he does something on the same level as Aaron Hernandez. Once again, the Packers can just cut him and move on.
(By the way, it’s unfair to lump Lyerla in with Hernandez, but people are doing it, anyway. A drug arrest and an offensive tweet don’t mean you are going to murder someone in the near future.)
I suppose you could argue there is risk if Lyerla does, in fact, make the team, then does something to get cut during the season and forces the Packers to scramble to fill a roster spot. But even then, teams have to fill vacant rosters spots all the time during the season.
Is Lyerla a public relations risk? Are people mostly worried about the Packers’ image taking a hit and the term “Packer people” becoming more and more a thing of the past (if it ever existed in the first place)?
Obviously, no team wants to deal with its players getting arrested or making offensive remarks on social media, but is anything a public relations risk to the NFL these days? Does the phrase “public relations risk” even exist in the Packers — a team who has no trouble selling “stock” in the franchise and has a season-ticket waiting list filled up for what seems like forever — vocabulary?
The New England Patriots had one of their players (allegedly) commit multiple murders. I didn’t notice fewer people at Gillette Stadium last season or large quantities of New England residents renouncing their Patriots fanhood. Ray Rice (allegedly) knocked out his then-fiance in an elevator and just gave a really weird news conference about it, but I doubt people in Baltimore will stop supporting the Ravens or cite the incident as a reason to stop filling the NFL’s coffers with cash.
The Packers and the franchise’s most popular player went through a bitter divorce in 2008. The bleachers at Lambeau Field were still packed and the team today is more popular and profitable as it ever was.
Unless you think the Packers follow, or should follow, some pretend moral code when it comes to the players they bring in, what’s the risk in giving a guy like Lyerla a shot? Does signing a guy like Lyerla make you question your Packers fandom? Are you now one step closer to not following the Packers because they gave this kid a shot after he did and tweeted some very dumb things?
I doubt it. Besides an extended run of futility on the field, it’s hard to envision anything significantly dampening enthusiasm for the Packers in the foreseeable future.
The only way I would stop following the Packers is if I lost interest in football, and that doesn’t appear to be happening any time soon. I used to be a huge baseball fan, but my interest has waned recently because baseball has gotten really boring, even more boring that it always has been. MLB seems to be intentionally pushing away fans by not addressing easily fixable pace of play issues and it’s even driving once die-hard fans like me away from the sport.
Sure, I’d like every Packers player to be an upstanding citizen and a beacon of the community, but that’s not realistic. I respect your point of view (even though it’s pie in the sky) if you feel that the Packers should simply stay away from players like Lyerla, whose red flags are completely out in the open. I get it. We all want to root for people with a track record of doing the right thing and staying out of trouble.
But if you’re against the Lyerla signing because of the “risk” involved, you’re way off base. There is little, if any, risk.
Packers News, Notes and Links
- We’ve heard plenty about Lyerla’s off-field issues. What are the Packers getting on the filed with the tight end? Zach Kruse focuses just on the football aspect of Lyerla, and it kind of gets you fired up about his potential.
- This week’s Cheesehead Radio featuring Dan Shonka providing a Packers draft review is an absolute must-listen.
- Ross at Packerstalk.com wonders if Clay Matthews could play more snaps at inside linebacker. I’ve always wondered the same thing. Matthews is definitely fast enough and explosive enough to play the position, I think. But if he moves inside beyond just the occasional snap, who’s going to rush from the outside? That’s putting a lot of faith in players like Nick Perry, Andy Mulumba, Carl Bradford or an undrafted free agent to come through.
- ALLGBP.com’s Thomas Hobbes breaks down some numbers for Packers kick and punt returners. I thought Micah Hyde was too slow to be an effective returner last season, but he did better than I thought he would. I’m anxious to see Jared Abbrederis in this role, although I worry he could break in half after one too many hits.
- Brandon Marshall signed a new contract (on “The View,” for crying out loud) and Jason at Acme Packing Company wonders if the 3 year, $30 million deal sets the market for Jody Nelson, who will turn 29 on May 31 and hits the open market after this season. If the Packers can get Nelson for 3 years and $30 million, they need to get that deal done now. I’m guessing after accepting a below-market deal last time, Nelson is probably looking for something in the five-year range.
- Packers president Mark Murphy said this week that ideally the Packers would like to extend Ted Thompson’s contract before Mike McCarthy’s, since all football decisions are made by Thompson. In a perfect world, that’s how I would do it too. But if the Packers think highly of McCarthy and view him as the coach they want for the forseeable future (and it appears that they do), they shouldn’t risk losing McCarthy if Thompson doesn’t sign an extension in a timely fashion.
- David at LombardiAve.com makes season predictions for the Packers sophomores in 2014.
Non Packers links and other Nonsense
- I am not in favor of slavery reparations, but after reading this piece from Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic…wow. Makes you think…
- Men are paying up to $1,000 for a wingman to help them meet women. If any of you men out there would like to hire me as a wingman, I’d do it for a case of Spotted Cow.
- If hiring a wingman for $1,000 isn’t working, try Twitter.
- David Zurawik absolutely nails it on the Ray Rice fiasco.
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .