Blue 58, #15: Step Up, Ship Out, or Not His Fault
Blue 58 goes beyond the headlines to help you become a smarter fan of the Green Bay Packers. Hosted by former WTMJ newscaster Jon Meerdink and his friend Gary Zilavy, Blue 58 brings you a unique, upbeat perspective on your favorite NFL team, as long as that team is the Packers.
There are some hard decisions ahead for the Packers this offseason. Jon Meerdink and Gary Zilavy start by breathing a sigh of relief that Eliot Wolf remained in Green Bay and wade through both sides of the "draft and develop" and "#FireDomCapers" debates. Then, the guys evaluate whether disappointing players this season for the Packers need to step up, ship out or if their bad season wasn't their own fault.
Here are the headlines we covered in Blue 58:
The Packers front office appears to have made it through another year without a major departure after director of football operations Eliot Wolf was passed over for the general manager post with the Indianapolis Colts. Director of college scouting Brian Gutekunst interviewed along with Wolf for the San Francisco 49ers GM. With Wolf and Gutekunst both remaining in Green Bay, the Packers continue to keep their front office full of promising football minds.
It's fair to call the Packers a conservative franchise, as McGinn does in a column this week criticizing GM Ted Thompson's roster construction this season. A mid-season game in the Georgia Dome ended up deciding home field advantage for the NFC Championship Game, one where the Packers were thin at wide receiver and running back. McGinn has advocated for the Packers to bulk up their roster with more veterans.
Pete Dougherty of PackersNews.com makes a good point about defensive coordinator Dom Capers, suggesting that the Packers haven't had three difference makers on the defensive side of the ball since Super Bowl XLV: Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson and Nick Collins. Collins suffered a career-ending neck injury early in 2011 and Woodson's physical skills began to decline. There weren't a lot of difference makers on the defense for the Packers in 2016.
Our main topic: Step Up, Ship Out, or Not His Fault
The NFL continues to be a cutthroat employer, with the average player making it in the league for about three years. The Packers had a number of players this year who didn't quite meet expectations. We took a look at a few and decided if they needed to step up their play, ship out of Green Bay or if their performance was not of their own fault.
Here are the players we discussed – listen to the podcast for our picks.
LB Clay Matthews
- 2016 Cap Number - $13.7 million
- 2016 Stats - 5 sacks, 20 tackles
- 2017 Cap Number - $15.2 million
WR Randall Cobb
- 2016 Cap Number - $9.15 million
- 2016 Stats - 60 catches, 610 yards, 4 TD, 10 carries, 33 yards
- 2017 Cap Number - $12.75 million
DE/LB Datone Jones
- 2016 Cap Number - $2.455 million
- 2016 Stats - 1 sack, 17 tackles
- Pending Free Agent
RB James Starks
- 2016 Cap Number - $2.25 million
- 2016 Stats - 63 carries, 145 yards, 0 TD, 19 receptions, 134 yards, 2 TD
- 2017 Cap Number - $3.75 million
LB Jake Ryan
- 2016 Cap Number - $600k
- 2016 Stats - 56 tackles, 0 sack
- 2017 Cap Number - $700k
RB Eddie Lacy
- 2016 Cap Number - $1 million
- 2016 Stats - 71 carries, 360 yards, 4 rec, 28 yards
- Pending Free Agent
Bad Mock Draft of the Week
We're in the second week of selecting a mock draft where the author may have looked past or not fully understood the needs of the Packers. Last week, we highlighted Mel Kiper Jr.'s selection of Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey. This week, NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah has the Packers selecting Tennessee RB Alvin Kamara.
Jeremiah writes of Kamara, "Kamara is a name that's generating a lot of buzz in the scouting community. He's also a player who would fill a need for the Packers. He is a major mismatch for linebackers in the passing game."
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