In this year of the free agent (20 of them) for the Green Bay Packers, there are two players in particular where difficult decisions must be made. As much for their leadership and veteran smarts as for their play on the field, John Kuhn and Ryan Pickett will make it hard for the Packers to leave them behind.
But the possibility exists that both players could be looking at very different futures than the ones they’d like to have, thus impacting the official NFL Futures of the Packers. Both have expressed a desire to remain with the Packers, but a cut in pay would surely be required for both. If given a “home town” discount, should the Packers re-sign these grisly veterans? Let’s explore…
John Kuhn has been with the Packers for seven seasons, thriving at a position that is quickly becoming cast aside in the NFL. For Kuhn, the key has been making himself valuable in as many ways as possible. Need to gain a tough yard for a first down? Need someone to lead the way for Eddie Lacy? Need an ultra-reliable pass protector? Need a receiver out of the backfield? Need help with protection calls? Kuhn is your man.
To top things off, Kuhn is a “company man,” having been quoted recently as saying “”I love it in Green Bay, and I love playing for the Packers.”
It’s the little things that all add up to Kuhn being a very good value for the Packers. Not flashy in any way, it’s easy to lose perspective on John Kuhn. This writer is guilty of the same, having recently questioned his value to the Packers on a recent CheeseheadRadio episode.
In an offseason where money must be paid out to more “impactful” players, I found myself wondering if keeping John Kuhn made sense. After all, Kuhn earned a healthy 2.5 million in 2013. Well, after more closely watching his performances against the Bears and in person against the 49ers, I have to change my tune and say YES.
Aaron Rodgers recently said there is no one he trusts more on the field than John Kuhn. If he’s good enough for Rodgers, he’s good enough for me.
One a perennially youthful roster, Ryan Pickett is the “old man” in the locker room. “Uncle Pick,” as he’s called, is the sage you can go to for advice on whatever is going on in your life, on the field or off. Young defensive linemen like Mike Daniels credit Pickett for being a big (no pun intended) and positive influence on their careers and their lives. Johnny Jolly praises Pickett for being there for him when he most needed it.
Now a veteran of 13 NFL seasons, Pickett doesn’t see himself slowing down just yet. He says he feels great and plans to play another few years, whether for the Packers or elsewhere. He has, however, stated his desire to retire as a Green Bay Packer.
Whether the Packers will give him that chance is debatable. Pickett had a solid season in 2013, perhaps not his best, but he was battling a few injuries, the biggest being a knee injury suffered against the Eagles in game nine. Pickett has been nothing short of remarkably consistent in his time with the Packers, leading the defensive line in tackles four times and successfully occupying blockers when called on to do so.
Tramon Williams recently commented on the need for more veteran experience on the Packers defense, and it’s something I wholeheartedly agree with. But now Pickett’s seven million dollar per year contract has expired and the Packers’ need some, if not all of that money as eight starters from this year’s team are free agents.
Pickett has been quoted as saying that’s he’s not looking to break the bank, and if can be brought back on a one or two year contract for half that annual number, I say YES. Do it.
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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 can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.
20 thoughts on “Veterans Kuhn and Pickett Mull their Packers and NFL Futures”
It’s a no brainer if they are willing to take pay cuts they remain Packers, if not they can go and fade into the sunset in Minnesota and make the big bucks.(and stay home for the playoffs)
No one likes to take a pay cut, and no one likes to see their own abilities decline. Athletes get slapped with both as they age. I hope to see both Kuhn and Pickett in Packers’ uniforms for another couple of years.
Kuhn played well this year. One mental mistake on special teams, otherwise solid to spectacular, (block on Peppers in Bears game).
Pickett looks like he can still play. I agree with Tramon. Need veterans.
Didn’t realize Pickett was making $7MM, but if so, and the Pack could do a deal with him at $3MM and Kuhn at $1.5MM effective per year, and pick up that net gain of $5MM, that would go a long ways towards keeping Shields.
Time for ted and the boys to get creative, sign both these guys to 4 year contracts(vet minimum), with 2mil signing bonus.
That way they can spread the bonuses out over 4 years, the cost for each the 1st 2 years would be around 1.5 mil + any bonuses(roster,workout ect.).
JMHO, but I think The Packers still need both these guys for another 2 years, they can be evaluated after the 2nd year and it wouldn’t cost The packers much if they had to let them go at that point.
Forgot to add, Guarantee the 1st 2 years of the contract.
I don’t think they’ll go 4 years, but otherwise I like your thinking.
Signing Pickett in particular, assuming that he doesn’t get old in a hurry, would allow the Packers to attend to other needs through the draft for a year or two.
That’s the problem. Pickett was already showing his age. I don’t think he would be worth a 2 yr deal. One year about all you could hope for.
I fear that vet minimum for those guys is more than Ted is willing to pay.
Sign Pickett for a reasonable two years and let Raji look for greener pastures. Pickett can still play and he will help build the next D-line.
Kuhn is worth 2 million a year. He proved it in the crunch games and he will show up to play every week. Plus, he is smart and well spoken. He can only be a positive influence for all the poorly educated, immature college kids coming to the Packers.
TT is turning the locker room into a daycare. We need some smart, hardworking veterans to help mold the team going forward.
The other kind of mould :o)
I agree with Tramon Williams about Pickett. Now if we can get him to re-negotiate his contract for which since the SB he has been way overpaid and free up some money to keep Pickett….
While no one likes to take a pay cut, lets remember that these guys will still be making in the millions of dollars and will have more money than they could spend in their life times, unless they just blow it. Many workers all over the country, working for way less are seeing their pay and benefits reduced. If they like Green Bay,where they have a great chance for postseason play, then they should stay and make their millions in green and gold.
Give these guys a 10% increase and resign them. It wont break the bank. For these 2 it would be an increase of 1M. Big deal.
What? Is there something about Salary Cap that you don’t understand? Did you read the article? Pickett is willing to take a pay cut to stay in GB, and you want to give him a $700K raise, WTF?
Pickett stays, slight decrease & Raji goes. Frees up big bucks. Hate to say it but Finley gone, and probably James Jones too. More big bucks for someone else like Jordy, Cobb or Quarless. Tramon maybe gets scaled back & more $$ for shields. I’m afraid to say it, but I think eds will go & Kuhn will go too unless he accepts less. If this all works out, maybe we could keep one or two among Flynn, CJ Wilson, Starks, jolly or Neal as well. I’m excited to see how guys like Worthy, tretter, Richardson, Dorsey, Palmer, White, D. Jones, Barrington…etc develop. You know some will be keepers. Will be almost like extra draft picks next year.
Love both players they give you 100 every play sign then .r
I think Pickett is worth keeping at about $3.5/yr for 2 years, preferably with more than half of the guaranteed money being paid in year 1. Kuhn is worth keeping at 1.25 million for at most 2 yrs. I would pay T. Williams next year, especially if we lose Shields, and hope TT re-signs him for 3 years.
I don’t know what Tramon Williams and the author would deem an experienced defense. I see few facts to support the notion that the D was too young. It seems likely that the D had as much experience last year as it is ever likely to have under TT. Facts:
Secondary: CBs: Williams (8), Shields 4), Bush (8 years), House (3), Hayward 2), Hyde (Rookie); Safety: Burnett (4) MD Jennings (3), McMillan (2) Richardson (2*), Banjo (2*);
LB; CM3 (5), Hawk (8), B. Jones (5), Lattimore (3), Perry (2*) Francois (4) Neal (4 but 3 at DE), Mulumba, Palmer & Barrington (Rookies)
D-line: Picket (13 – 8 in GB), Raji (5), Wilson (4), Jolly (4 sort of) Worthy (2*), Daniels (2), D. Jones & Boyd (Rookies).
It’s hard to argue with the years these guys have been here, and yet the defense plays sucks. Kinda looks like a talent deficiency, doesn’t it, and if so, does that make the coaching staff, or TT the problem?
Instead of paying Raji 8 mill., he can pay me 800,000/yr. Easy job 1. put on lots of weight. 2. Sit like a bloated Jaba the hut on the line. 3. look suprised when the other teams runs all over you. I just saved the Packers 7.2 million in salary cap. Thats just one deal. I could do a lot more. TT give me a call bro…
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