Category Archives: Off-Field

30

July

NFL Suspensions Should Not Be “Cold Turkey”

Packers Jolly FootballJonny Jolly is one of the few bright spots in the NFL of a player who was suspended from the league but managed to make a comeback; in 2008 Jolly was arrested for selling codeine, a control opiate intended to be used typically as a cough suppressant but in this case was being used to make purple drank, a recreational drug.  Jolly was suspended indefinitely and was caught again for attempting to sell codeine again in 2011 and was subsequently sentenced and sent to jail, where he was granted an early release with shock probation.

For most players, no matter how talented, the story ends here.  Teams, rightfully wary of having to deal with more negative press and a out of shape, older player who hasn’t been practicing for years would likely have just released the player and gone about their business.  However the Packers gave Jolly a shot and were rewarded with a very good season in 2013; while Jolly was never a great player at any point in his career, he definitely was a good player and while he might never play again after suffering a neck injury, at least he can exit the game knowing that he didn’t waste his opportunity.

Throughout all of this, Aaron Rodgers offered up an interesting take; yes Jolly had screwed up, but was suspending and barring him from the Packers organization really the best course of action?

“I think the commissioner’s done a great job of cleaning up some of the stuff in the league. That said, if you take a guy away from his support system … I don’t think that’s helping.” – Aaron Rodgers on Johnny Jolly, ESPN Milwaukee

Rodgers isn’t alone in this mentality either.

“It’s a big blow to us. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t, it’s not a big blow.  But the thing is, we have to rally around him. I know all the things people say — ‘he should be cut, he should be this’ — he shouldn’t. He’s a 23-year-old kid. He made some mistakes. A lot of people’s 20-year-old sons make mistakes. We have to help him, and that’s the bottom line. We have to help him collectively. It’s not going be one person that helps him, it’s not going to be two people that help him. I’m talking about from the front office, the coaching staff, the players and his whole family. We have to help him not only for football purposes, but for life purposes to get his life in order.” – Donte Whitner on Josh Gordon, SirusXM NFL Radio

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27

July

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers football

Packers training camp opened Friday and we now have plenty of Packers storylines to analyze and break down. That means today’s “Surviving Sunday” will be the last until the Packers 2014 season comes to an end, hopefully after Feb. 1 and a victory in Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona.

Now that training camp has started, what Packers storyline would you like to see go the way of “Surviving Sunday ” and disappear for the rest of the season?

I’m sick of talking about the defense. I mean really sick of it.

I’m sick of hearing about how bad Packers’ safeties were last season. I’m sick of being worried about having to watch A.J. Hawk for another season. I’m sick of speculation about B.J. Raji ever being a useful player again. I’m sick of wondering if Nick Perry will ever stay healthy. I’m sick of Clay Matthews’ thumb (and his damn hamstring) and I’m sick of trying to figure out if Dom Capers is a good defensive coordinator or not.

The sooner the Packers defense improves, the happier my life will be. I’m not asking for the Packers D to morph into the second coming of the Purple People Eaters or the Steel Curtain, but show enough promise that fans can have reasonable hope that the defense could catch fire late in the season and ignite a Super Bowl run.

That seems to be the formula for success in today’s NFL: Have a good to great quarterback who goes on a run late in the season and back that up with a good defense that heats up as the weather turns cold.

If I have to put up with #FireCapers hashtags and another season of bumbling play from the middle of the defense, it’s going to be a trying season.

Packers News, Notes and Links

  • Now that I’m done ranting, we can get to some happier news, like the Packers signing Jordy Nelson to a 4-year, $39 million contract extension. I see Nelson as a Cris Carter type of receiver. He has very good physical ability, but stretches those physical tools even further by catching anything he can reach and always thinking a step or two ahead of the defense.
26

July

Packers Sign Jordy Nelson to Four Year Extension

Jordy Nelson gets four-year contract extension from Packers

Jordy Nelson gets four-year contract extension

The Green Bay Packers today took care of wrapping up the first of their potential 2015 free agents, signing first-priority receiver Jordy Nelson to a contract extension.

According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Nelson received a four year extension for 39  million dollars, just short of the 10 million per season he was looking for. The deal includes 14.2 million of guaranteed money and an 11.5 million signing bonus. Nelson, woefully underpaid in the eyes of most Packers observers, gets a deal roughly equal to that of Pierre Garcon (based on per year average), and slightly below Victor Cruz.

In a statement released by the Packers, Ted Thompson said, “Jordy’s hard work and dedication has made him a good player, teammate and a core member of this team. We are pleased to come to an agreement that will extend his Packers career.”

Coach McCarthy, finding out after today’s practice, said, “Jordy Nelson is an outstanding football player and great ambassador for the Packers. It’s something everybody is excited about. I’m glad to see Jordy will be here for some time. Just made aware of it. I think Jordy is so consistent. He shows up each and every day, performs at a high level consistently. He’s the ultimate pro.”

Last season, Nelson had 85 receptions for 1,314 yards and eight touchdowns, mostly without Aaron Rodgers throwing the passes. That put an end to the “Rodgers makes his receivers look better than they are” narrative some of those who doubted Nelson’s worth were putting forth. 

At 29 years old, Nelson is the same age as Greg Jennings and James Jones were when the Packers chose not to re-sign them.Keeping money in reserve for “core” player signings is something Ted Thompson is very aware of and factors into every decision to let someone go. For those still complaining about Evan Dietrich-Smith not being re-signed, this is where that money went. happy now?

And from the perfect timing department. just this morning, our own Cory Jennerjohn predicted Packers GM Ted Thompson would show Nelson the money.

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He is a PFWA member who can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

26

July

Cory’s Corner: Ted Thompson will show Jordy Nelson the money

Jordy Nelson picked a pretty good time to break out. He caught nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown in a Super Bowl XLV win.

Jordy Nelson picked a pretty good time to break out. He caught nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown in a Super Bowl XLV win.

Jordy Nelson wants $10 million per season.

The question isn’t if Nelson is worth that much dough. The question is if Nelson is worth more than Greg Jennings or James Lofton.

We all know how squeamish general manager Ted Thompson gets about signing guys that are within a whisper of age 30. Jennings was 29 and coming off a sports hernia injury in 2012 that only allowed him to start five games.

Even though Jennings was the Packers’ No. 1 option from 2008-2011, Thompson made the right call in letting him go.

James Lofton is a little bit more interesting. He led the Packers in receiving from 1978-1986 and went to seven Pro Bowls while in Green Bay. When he left the Packers, Lofton was the team’s all-time leading receiver, a record that’s now owned by Donald Driver.

But the Packers surprisingly moved on. Lofton’s last season in Green Bay was at age 30 and it turned out to be a good decision, as Lofton never caught more than 60 balls again and only notched one more 1,000-yard season.

Which brings us to Nelson, who might be one of the most undervalued receivers in the league. Last year he proved his worth by producing when all-everything quarterback Aaron Rodgers was out for seven games and he had to adjust to four different starting quarterbacks. Nelson’s running mate, Randall Cobb, was injured as well. So with all that, Nelson still caught a career-high 85 balls for a career-high 1,314 yards and eight touchdowns.

Nelson just turned 29 in May and despite not getting any Pro Bowl love, he’s worth every penny of the $10 million that he is asking. Barring an unforeseen injury, I don’t see Nelson’s production falling off. That’s because he wasn’t consistently starting at wideout until his third year in the league.

Conversely, Jennings and Lofton started the majority of games right away.

Thompson may be pacing back-and-forth with this decision, but the right call is to give Nelson the money. Cobb is a dynamic athlete, but with his stop-on-a-dime mentality, he is more susceptible to a knee or ankle injury.

24

July

Everything you need to know about the Packers shareholders meeting in 200 words

Packers shareholders meeting

About 15,000 people attended Thursday’s Packers shareholders meeting and another 10,000 watched online.

The Packers held their annual shareholders meeting on Thursday at Lambeau Field. Here’s everything you need to know in 200 words or less.

  • Packers president Mark Murphy reported that 350,000 stockholders hold more than 5 million shares of Packers stock.
  • The Packers were ninth in total revenues last season at $324.1 million.
  • Ted Thompson put everyone to sleep with his remarks and ended with “Go Pack Go.”
  • The Packers have 112,000 people on their season ticket waiting list.
  • Lambeau Field now holds 80,750 people, second most in the NFL.
  • The playoff ticket policy is changing. Playoff tickets will only be paid for if the game is played. No more holding money to deposit toward next year’s season tickets.
  • Murphy said they’re working on improving in-stadium wi-fi.
  • The Packers are buying up all kinds of property around Lambeau Field and hoping to attract businesses and other development to a “Titletown District.”
  • The average ticket price for a Packers game ranks 17th in the league. Team may move to variable pricing for preseason games next year.
  • It doesn’t sound like the NFL will bring the draft to Green Bay any time soon.
  • The Packers have $272 million in corporate reserves (this team is loaded on the field and at the bank).
  • Murphy said the Cowboys call themselves “America’s team.” The Packers are the “World’s team.”

That about sums it up as succinctly as possible. Players report to training camp on Friday. Who’s ready for some football?

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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20

July

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers football

As training camp approaches, I feel really good about the Packers cornerbacks this season.

It’s a deep group, and the depth includes a nice mix of players. There are proven players (Tramon Williams), good players still on the upswing (Sam Shields) and talented players who have yet to establish themselves, but have still achieved some type of success in their short careers (Casey Hayward and Micah Hyde).

There’s also players like Davon House and Demetri Goodson who could come out of nowhere and exceed expectations.

I wish I could say the same about the rest of the defense. No, I’m not predicting another season of doom and gloom when the other team has the ball, but the depth mix isn’t there with the other defensive position groups like it is at cornerback.

I realize that every position group can’t be stacked, especially with the salary cap. And I get that there will be questions in many spots when you’re a team like the Packers who rely so heavily on young talent. I just wish the depth mix was different at linebacker, safety and defensive line.

If you look at the offensive side of the ball, every position group (except maybe for tight end) has a good depth mix of proven veterans, players who are already good but could be great, and youngsters with potential.

If A.J. Hawk gets hurt or Brad Jones flounders again, there’s not much to be excited about beyond Jamari Lattimore. If Ha Ha Clinton-Dix doesn’t pan out, we’re looking at another season of crossing our fingers that Morgan Burnett turns into a player. If Julius Peppers is past his prime, we have to hope that Nick Perry stays healthy or some other player we’ve never heard of breaks out. If B.J. Raji is useless again, who’s going to anchor the middle in the base package?

Hopefully players like Datone Jones, Sam Barrington, Sean Richardson, Josh Boyd and Carl Bradford shine in the preseason and put some of these concerns rest. Back in 2010, I thought the cornerback group would struggle with depth. Then a guy named Sam Shields emerged and helped the Packers win the Super Bowl.

Here’s hoping something like that happens again.

Packers News, Notes and Links

15

July

NFL MVP odds – Packers Rodgers Behind only One Other Player, Lacy Makes List

Aaron Rodgers - NFL MVP

Aaron Rodgers – NFL MVP

As I’ve written previously, I’m always intrigued by NFL “Future” or “prop” bets.”  Last time around, we took a look at Super Bowl odds for all the NFL teams. (If you need more info on Super Bowl betting, be sure to check out SuperBowlBets.com).

This time around, let’s take a look at the current odds for the player who will win the NFL MVP award in the 2014-2015 season (odds are provided by Bovada.lv, formerly Bodog).

ODDS TO WIN NFL MVP

 

Peyton Manning 3/1
Aaron Rodgers 6/1
Drew Brees 7/1
Tom Brady 9/1
Andrew Luck 16/1
Jay Cutler 20/1
Matthew Stafford 20/1
Colin Kaepernick 22/1
Adrian Peterson 25/1
Calvin Johnson 25/1
Robert Griffin III 25/1
Russell Wilson 25/1
LeSean McCoy 28/1
Nick Foles 28/1
Cam Newton 33/1
Matt Ryan 33/1
Philip Rivers 40/1
Tony Romo 40/1
Ben Roethlisberger 50/1
Marshawn Lynch 50/1
Eli Manning 66/1
Jamaal Charles 66/1
Jimmy Graham 66/1
Julio Jones 66/1
Matt Forte 66/1
Brandon Marshall 75/1
Demaryius Thomas 75/1
Dez Bryant 75/1
Andy Dalton 100/1
Arian Foster 100/1
Chris Johnson 100/1
Rob Gronkowski 100/1
Alex Smith 150/1
Alfred Morris 150/1
Antonio Brown 150/1
Demarco Murray 150/1
Eddie Lacy 150/1
Joe Flacco 150/1
C.J. Spiller 200/1
Frank Gore 200/1
Johnny Manziel 200/1
Eric Decker 300/1
Geno Smith 300/1

Interesting stuff:

Only three running backs crack the top 20; Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy and Marshawn Lynch.  AP & McCoy certainly deserve to be in there. Both play on teams without an established QB and are more likely to be the star on their team. As much as I like Marshawn Lynch (if only Ted had traded for … oh, never mind), he is unlikely to be MVP in a Russell Wilson-led offense and should probably be in the 100-1 range.  Much like Eddie Lacy will never be “the guy” in a Rodgers-led offense.

Only one wide receiver makes the top 20, Megatron at 25-1. Next closest receiver is Julio Jones at 66-1.  Same odds as tight end (or wide receiver or whatever) Jimmy Graham.

Jay Cutler and Matthew Stafford are both higher than Colin Kaepernick, Russel Wilson, RGIII and Cam Newton. Oh come on… Really? Is marijuana legal in Vegas now too? I suppose it should be – would probably make as much sense there as anywhere.

Eric Decker makes the list? Vegas does know his QB is no longer Peyton Manning, right?