26

April

Trader Ted Strikes Again: Packers Trade Out of 3rd Round in NFL Draft

What would Ted do? - Ted Thompson

Trader Ted was in trade-down mode Friday night in the NFL draft.

Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson traded out of the third round on Friday during the second night of the NFL draft.

Thompson initially traded the 88th overall pick to San Francisco for the 93rd pick and the 49ers’ seventh-round selection. Thompson then moved the 93rd pick to the Dolphins for their fourth-rounder (No. 109 overall) and Miami’s fifth- and seventh-round picks.

Confused? So am I. You are probably eating Fruity Pebbles and watching Saturday morning cartoons right now and would rather not have to think too hard about this kind of stuff. So, to make it easy for you, here is where the Packers will be picking on Saturday:

  • Round 4, pick 12, 109 overall
  • Round 4, pick 25, 122 overall
  • Round 5, pick 13, 146 overall
  • Round 5, pick 26, 159 overall
  • Round 5, pick 34, 167 overall
  • Round 6, pick 5, 173 overall
  • Round 6, pick 25, 193 overall
  • Round 7, pick 10, 216 overall
  • Round 7, pick 18, 226 overall
  • Round 7, pick 26, 232 overall

All of this wheeling and dealing happened after Thompson traded down in the second round — once again with NFC rival San Francisco, this time for an extra seventh-rounder — and selected Alabama running back Eddie Lacy. Packers fans were also still digesting the news of Aaron Rodgers’ five-year, $110 million contract extension.

There are still plenty of intriguing prospects left for the Packers to pick from on Saturday. With a load of extra picks in his pocket, it’s all but certain that Thompson will try and move up at least once on Saturday.

What did you think of Ted’s moves on Friday night? Who would you like to see the Packers draft on Saturday?

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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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26

April

Packers News: Aaron Rodgers signs contract extension

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

According to the team’s official website, the Packers have signed quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a multi-year contract extension.

The move was announced Friday by Packers general manager Ted Thompson. Rodgers is now the highest paid player in league history after signing a five-year extension worth $110 million. Reports are that the contract calls for Rodgers to be paid 40 million in the first year and 62.5 million in the first three years (500K more than Joe Flacco). His salary cap number will never exceed 21M.

“Aaron is a true professional and a special player,” Thompson said, per Packers.com. “He works hard, is humble, and is focused on his actions, on and off the field. He is an excellent teammate and pushes himself and others to be the very best. We are happy to reach an agreement to extend his career with the Packers.”

Rodgers had two years remaining on his previous deal, but the new contract will keep him in Green Bay for the foreseeable future.

Thompson spent his first draft pick as Packers general manager on Rodgers, the No. 24 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. After sitting behind Brett Favre for three years, Rodgers took over as the team’s starting quarterback in 2008.

In his first season as the starter, Rodgers threw for 4,038 yards, 28 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. His 93.8 passer rating was the lowest of his career, as he’s posted a rating of at least 101.2 in each of the past four seasons.

Widely regarded as the best quarterback in the league today, Rodgers was the MVP of Super Bowl XLV. He was named league MVP for the 2011 season.

When the Favre retirement fiasco went down in the summer of 2008, some fans were heckling Rodgers in hopes of the team bringing Favre back for another season. But Thompson and Mike McCarthy stood firm in their decision and remained fully committed to Rodgers.

And the rest is history.

During the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday, Rodgers tweeted to West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, “Good things come to those who wait.” It appears Rodgers was absolutely right.

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Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

7

April

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

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

I love Packers general manager Ted Thompson. Even if he was terrible at his job, which thankfully he isn’t, I would still love him.

While a bunch of other teams are out signing free agents that most NFL fans recognize and know, Thompson signs Loyce Means, a cornerback who most recently played in the Canadian Football League. A couple weeks ago, Thompson signed an Italian kicker named Giorgio Tevecchio.

While fans of the 49ers get to embrace Nnamdi Asomugha, Packers fans take to Google to try and figure out who in the hell Loyce Means is.

While Vikings and Dolphins fans get excited about signing Greg Jennings and Mike Wallace, respectively, Packers fans are left trying to figure out who (or what) a Giorgio Tevecchio is.

Sometimes I wonder if Thompson signs these unknown guys just so he can see how crazy it might drive some Packers fans. I know that’s not the case, but it’d be funny if it was.

I think by now a lot of Packers fans get Thompson. Not all of fans, but a lot. They might not agree with his strategies, but they at least get him.

That’s progress, right?

Or am I wrong?

Do the fans who didn’t get Thompson from the beginning still not get him now?

Whether you get him or not, do you find it as amusing as I do when he signs one of these unknown guys while the rest of the league signs marquee names?

Packers News, Notes and Links

  • Now a contract extension is apparently close to being done for Clay Matthews. Supposedly, a contract extension was “close” for Aaron Rodgers a few weeks ago. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Blah, blah, blah. Let me know when both players actually sign on the dotted line and the Brinks truck is actually pulling into each player’s driveway to deliver the signing bonus.
  • This is a must-read from Tom Silverstein at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about the Packers’ sound management of dead money in the salary cap. I can’t even remember the last time the Packers were in salary cap hell. How many other NFL teams can say the same thing?
  • If you haven’t voted for the Packers’ Final Four, be sure to do so here – voting closes at midnight tonight.
3

April

Report: Packers, Clay Matthews Getting Close to New Deal

Packers Clay Matthews Dominates against the Bears

Could the Packers and Clay Matthews be close to a contract extension?

Reports are trickling out that the Packers and Clay Matthews are close to a new deal that will pay the linebacker more than $13 million a year in new money.

Matthews is 26 and has 42.5 sacks in four seasons with the Packers. He’s been the Packers best all-around defensive player and is often the Packers only legitmate pass-rushing threat.Matthews also has battled hamstring issues and missed four games in 2012.

New contracts for Matthews and Aaron Rodgers are a priority for the Packers this offseason. B.J. Raji is probably also in the mix.

Yes, his hamstrings do cause some concern, but the Packers absolutely need to resign Matthews. He’s the only Packers defender that other teams are forced to game-plan around the last two seasons. Guys with Matthews pass-rushing skills, all-around game and effort don’t come around very often.

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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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31

March

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

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

Surviving Sundays with no Packers Football

As I was observing the buzz created this week by the U.S. Supreme Court hearings on gay marriage, I couldn’t help but think about former Packers great Reggie White.

Most Packers fan who are old enough probably remember this speech by White in front of the Wisconsin state legislature in March of 1998. White was scheduled to talk about some of his community service work. Instead the Minister of Defense went off about the sins of homosexuality and how being gay is a “decision.”

White also appeared in a few newspaper ads run by Christian organizations wearing his Packers jersey and promoting his opposition to homosexuality.

Can you imagine if White did these things in 2013 instead of 1998? Twitter would spontaneously combust. The comments section at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel would turn into even more of a cesspool than it already is. Collin Cowherd, Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless would reach new levels of intolerable. Activist organizations would storm Lambeau Field.

White’s legacy would probably be damaged beyond repair.

Or would it?

I freely admit that I always think of White the former Packer. The image of White burned into my brain is this one, Super-Bowl trophy held high, a sense of accomplishment on his face.

I never think of this image of White, the one of White in a suit and tie, condemning homosexuality and making other disparaging remarks.

Should I think of that latter image? Am I wrong for willfully ignoring the fact that White had some incredibly homophobic views?

I’ve been asking myself those questions this week. I try to justify my justification of ignoring the latter image of White by saying that he has a right to his opinions like any other American. White should be praised for speaking his mind and expressing a view that he knew was probably going to generate a lot of negative publicity.

I also tell myself that there’s nothing wrong with viewing White as a former Packer and nothing more. When actors or musicians spout off with some nonsensical thoughts, I really don’t care. It’s not going to stop me from seeing his/her movie or buying an album. Why should it be different for athletes?

18

March

Packers President Mark Murphy on Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers

Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers

Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers were reunited at the NFL Awards show this winter.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel beat writer Tom Silverstein caught up with Packers president Mark Murphy on Monday at the NFL Owners meetings in Phoenix.

As a favor to bloggers and online media outlets, Murphy talked about two Packers that generate a ton of clicks and web traffic: Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.

On the former, Murphy says progress has been made toward getting Favre’s jersey retired in Green Bay. On the latter, Murphy said cash will not be a problem in extending Aaron Rodgers’ contract.

On Favre:

“I don’t want to put a deadline on it, but it’s going to happen,” Murphy said. “It’s got to be sitting down, the organization, whether it’s myself or others, sitting down with him and working on the timing on it.”

On Rodgers:

“A priority as an organization…We all want to see it get done,” Murphy said. He did not know the progress of talks between Rodgers’ representatives and Packers negotiator Russ Ball.

Here’s hoping we see Favre’s number enshrined forever at Lambeau Field and Rodgers locked up to a long-term deal sooner rather than later.

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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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19

September

Matthews, Raji Could Make It Tough To Keep Greg Jennings

Greg JenningsWhen Bob McGinn suggested the Green Bay Packers should trade wide receiver Greg Jennings this year, many fans thought he was nuts despite being one of the most respected voices on the Packers beat.

The thinking of many fans, bloggers and beat writers alike was along the lines of, “receivers like Jennings don’t come around very often.  Ted would be nuts to let him walk.”

It’s a very easy argument to understand. Jennings and Aaron Rodgers share a unique chemistry and that’s not something Thompson can replace with draft pick, even a first round selection.   He’s also one of the most beloved players on the team by the fans so naturally they refuse to consider the idea of Jennings in any other colors than green and yellow.

That said, one must consider the reality of the situation.  Rodgers himself admitted it’s a very real possibility Jennings won’t be back in 2013.  Plus the Packers are faced with signing Jennings, Rodgers, Clay Matthews and BJ Raji in the next few years. Jordy Nelson also will need a new contract thanks to his stellar play.  It’s very possible one of them will be a casualty of simple math as the Packers try to stay a reasonable amount under the salary cap.

Unbelievably, that casualty very well could be Jennings.

Before the season began, many would have selected Raji out of those players to most likely be the one who is not brought back.  It made sense, given Raji’s lackluster performance (along with the rest of the defense) last season.   The Packers were and still are incredibly deep at wide receiver but thanks to how Mike McCarthy likes to run a multiple offense, it seemed like Jennings was a near-lock to be brought back.

Two games into 2012 however, the situation has taken a strange turn.

After getting burned by the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1, the Packers defense roared to live against Jay Cutler and the now supposedly explosive Chicago Bears offense.  In the 23-10 victory, the Packers sacked Cutler seven times, intercepted him four times and potentially may have sent the Bears into a season long tailspin.

Two of the key players in the defensive resurgence? Matthews and Raji.