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Randall Cobb

With the truly awful offseason officially upon us, it’s time to start thinking about the Green Bay Packers free agents.

The Packers have a number of key guys who will hit the open market if they are not re-signed before March. Two of them are going to command a lot of money. Some of them are going to command little or no money.

Here’s a quick look at who’s about to be a free agent and what we expect the Packers to do about that.

Randall Cobb
Cobb came up huge in his contract season, posting career highs in catches (91), yards (1,287) and touchdowns (12). He also made his first Pro Bowl, although as an alternate. Nonetheless, this guy is going to get paid. The Packers supposedly wanted to extend his contract last summer, but they obviously never got that deal done. The price tag is much higher now than it was then, which complicates the situation tremendously. The Packers have already invested $9 million a season in Jordy Nelson. Cobb should command at least $5 million per season. We expect the Packers to try to get a deal done before free agency begins, but how much salary cap space can you realistically tie up in receivers?

Bryan Bulaga
Bulaga, a former first-round pick, is likely also going to command a substantial contract. However, he doesn’t exactly have the leverage that Cobb does. There’s no doubt he was solid in 2014, but we’re talking about a guy with an extensive injury history. He missed four games in 2011, most of 2012, all of 2013 and one game in 2014. So he hasn’t played a full season since 2010, when he was a rookie. In addition, he was moved from left tackle to right, which proves he’s not an elite-level offensive lineman. Finally, the Packers have plenty of guys who could take Bulaga’s spot at right tackle. It starts with Don Barclay, who started at the position in 2013 and is a superior run blocker. They also have utility man J.C. Tretter, who was penciled in as the team’s starting center before he got injured in the preseason. We fully expect the Packers to try to re-sign Bulaga. After all, Ted LOVES his draft picks and he hasn’t hit on many first rounders. We wouldn’t really call Bulaga a hit, but he’s not a miss either. That being said, there are zero reasons the Packers couldn’t live without this guy.

John Kuhn
This is a tough one. Most teams don’t even employ a fullback anymore. The Packers have reduced Kuhn’s role considerably in recent seasons. However, this guy does still provide some value, most notably as a leader, on special teams and in throwing the occasional lead block. Mike McCarthy really needs to stop handing him the ball at the goal line though. But that’s another story. Kuhn was a free agent last year. The Packers eventually brought him back on a one-year deal for around $1 million. We expect a similar result this offseason.

Matt Flynn
Thankfully, Flynn’s snaps were largely of the mop-up variety in 2014. Still, even then he pretty much looked like crap. Flynn was only on the roster because he won some games in 2013 when Aaron Rodgers was injured. In fact, he was outplayed by Scott Tolzien during the preseason and then still somehow got the No. 2 job. What we’re getting at here is that Matt Flynn isn’t a good quarterback and it’s time for the Packers give the No. 2 job to someone else.

Scott Tolzien
That’s what you call a segue! Look, we went over this same shit last offseason. Tolzien is younger and has more physical gifts than Flynn. He’s now been in the system for two seasons. He was solid last preseason. Give this guy the goddam No. 2 job already and draft a developmental quarterback.

Tramon Williams
Tough decision here, although we think we know which way it’s going to go. While Sam Shields (undeservedly) made the Pro Bowl, you could argue that Tramon was still the team’s best cornerback in 2014. He led the team in passes broken up and tied for the team lead in picks, with three. The problem is, Williams will be 32 in March. If history tells us anything, it’s that if you’re over 30, you’re dead as far as Big Ted is concerned. The Packers could pair Casey Hayward with Shields going forward, if they want. We think that would be a mistake, since Hayward can’t tackle for shit, but that may be reality. Tramon sucked up close to $10 million of the Packers’ salary cap in 2014. Really, the only way we can see him returning is on a bargain-like ($1-2 million per), short-term deal.

Davon House
Yes, this complicates the cornerback situation a little bit more. We would suggest the Packers have to re-sign either Williams or House and feel like they’re going to go for House. He’s younger (25) and provides something no other corner on the roster does — height. House was the best cornerback the Packers had against bigger receivers in 2014. The problem with this guy is two-fold. He’s never been a full-time starter and he can’t stay healthy. He missed three games in 2014 and seven in 2012. Still, he has plenty of upside, outplayed Hayward in 2014 and the Packers can likely keep him for a fairly modest deal, perhaps in the $3 million per year range.

Letroy Guion
Boy, did this guy start slow. Guion was awful for the first quarter of the season after missing all of training camp with a hamstring injury. Then he came on big time and easily established himself as the Packers best defensive lineman not named Mike Daniels. Guion, who was signed on the cheap after being released by the Vikings last offseason, recorded career highs in tackles (32) and sacks (3.5). The Packers have already started talking to Guion’s agent about a new deal and we fully expect him to be back.

Jarrett Bush
We pretty much wonder if Jarrett Bush is going to be on the roster every year. And then there he is, on the Packers roster. Bush has never been anything more than a spot starter at cornerback, but through hard work and perseverance, he’s become one of the best special teams players in the league. The Packers could certainly use more guys like this. The question is, can they still use this specific guy? Bush isn’t getting any younger. He’s still very good on special teams, but the Packers obviously think they can just plug any jackass into a role on special teams and they’ll be just fine. That’s not the case, but that doesn’t stop them from thinking that way. If we had to guess, we’d say Bush will be back on the cheap. It just seems like he’s put too much in for the Packers not to re-sign him.

B.J. Raji
Used parts! Cheap! That’s pretty much what it’s come to for B.J. Raji, a former first-round pick and Pro Bowler. He played like complete garbage in 2013, became a free agent, found out no one wanted his fat ass and re-signed with the Packers for one year at $4 million. Then he tore a biceps tendon in the preseason and missed all of 2014. The thing is, Raji probably can still play in the league. Look at that fat fuck Kevin Williams. His fat ass is, like, 67 or something. Of course, no one was banging down Raji’s door last offseason and so we doubt anyone is going to be banging on it this offseason. Raji is probably going to end up having to sign another one-year deal for even less money than the last one and that may very well be with the Packers.

Jamari Lattimore
We really thought Lattimore had potential. We thought he could/should replace either Brad Jones or A.J. Hawk as a starter at inside linebacker and it actually looked like he would for a time during the 2014 season. Then, Clay Matthews and Sam Barrington came along and took those inside linebacker jobs. Lattimore appeared to fall completely out of favor with the coaching staff. Barrington took away his playing time and Lattimore ended the year on injured reserve with an ankle injury. That’s what happens to guys when teams don’t want them around anymore — they get put on injured reserve with an “ankle injury.” We don’t see any way Lattimore comes back.

Restricted free agents — Don Barclay, Jarrett Boykin, Sean Richardson
Both Barclay and Richardson should get tenders from the Packers. Barclay is a valuable backup offensive lineman at worst and could be a starter. Richardson is valuable on special teams and became a fixture on defense late in the season when the Packers played their Big Okie package. Boykin, on the other hand, is probably done. We’re still not sure how a guy who should be in his prime can go from 49 catches and 681 yards one season to three and 23 the next without being injured for the majority of the year.

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Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

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18 Comments

  1. Richard January 24, 2015

    That’s really not a bad list at all. I’m not sure what Sitton was talking about not being able to afford a team just as good next year, must’ve just been caught up in the shitty moment. The only thing standing in their way next year is injuries and McCarthy’s situational unawareness, same as every year.

  2. Andy January 24, 2015

    really what the fuck happened to boykin this year? showed alot of promise the year before but 3 catches this year? That is quite mind boggling that in a pass happy offence your number 4 has 3 catches.

    1. Chad Lundberg January 24, 2015

      Like Monty said, Boykin could have been hiding an injury. But I too was very disappointed by his lackluster year. In nearly every loss this year, another legitimate wide receiver threat could have been the difference. Adams was the difference in games against Miami, New England and Dallas. Imagine if we had someone playing like that all year? This could have been a 14-2 squad that could have handily beaten the Seacocks.

      Personally, I hope the Pack drafts Dorial Green-Beckham this year. He’s 6’6″ tall, he could be a poor man’s Calvin Johnson. It would be like having J-Mike again, only without the attitude.

    2. Shawn Neuser January 24, 2015

      Good point. Boykin would probably be the biggest disappointment of the year. However, the Packers are more of a running team now, so the days of the 4th receiver being a big factor may be over.

    3. Phatgzus January 24, 2015

      He also los AR’s confidence, he had his chance’s and he fucked ’em up, granted he was interfered with in Buffuffalo. This coming from someone who thought he was the next DD. He may be gone next year.

  3. Chad Lundberg January 24, 2015

    This is WHY they shouldn’t have let Jumal Rolle go!!! This CB dilemma would have been so much easier if TT didn’t stick his head up his ass and move Demetri Goodson to PS! I don’t think I saw Goodson do one valuable thing all year. Not ONE thing! Rolle meanwhile went to the Texans and had 3 picks and played solid football!

    I think TT does it right 95% of the time, but this was completely inexcusable!

    1. Shawn Neuser January 24, 2015

      Way too early to make any assessments there. The word is that they like how Goodson is coming along. I think they believe the ceiling is higher with Goodson because of his all around athletic ability, and why not take that over someone who is more polished right now since the Packers were loaded at that position? Either way, that decision had no bearing on this season.

  4. Fritz January 24, 2015

    “matt Flynn was outPLAYED by Tolzien”?? in what NFL regular season GAMES? if you don’t know the difference between prx and regular competition, then stop talking through your vagina.

    1. Chad Lundberg January 24, 2015

      Thank God you’re not the coach or the GM, you can’t see talent if it hit you in the face.

      1. Shawn Neuser January 24, 2015

        Davante Adams?

    2. Phatgzus January 24, 2015

      I agree with you on this.

  5. Vijay January 24, 2015

    What will be become of camera hog Hawk and B-rad Jones?

  6. Snarff January 25, 2015

    Hawk is to slow and Jones is to stupid, dump them both.

    1. Arcturus January 26, 2015

      You are to correct.

  7. Howard January 25, 2015

    Both Hawk and Jones are slated to make substantially more than their value is to the team. Gone. The list of free agents include several that are not deserving of salary upgrades. Cobb will need to receive at least 6.5 mil a year. Bulaga and Guion deserve increases. House may deserve an increase, however he is hard to figure when he does not get on the field consistently. Otherwise based on play this year the others are in the category of reductions in pay, ( Williams, Raji ) or you can take them or leave them at or below same pay.

    Again something is going on between the Pack and Raji. Why take an IR player in the final year of his contract on the road for games including the hawks? If you are Raji and there is nothing going to happen with the Pack most IR players would be at their own facility training. IR players with years left on their contracts generally stay away from the team and do not go on road trips. Something is up with Raji and the Pack.

  8. rebelgb January 26, 2015

    You sign Cobb. I hate to put all that money into receivers but he is extremely important to what the Packers do and if we expect our playoff inconsistent MVP QB to win us another SB we are absolutely going to need Cobb.

    The other thing about Cobb, like Nelson, is you can see him having as a big a year or even bigger AFTER signing a big contract. Ive met the guy and know several other people who have: the general opinion is he is one of the smartest and nicest guys on the team. He is a ‘team first’ guy and guys like that dont come around often. We have enough ‘me first’ guys with Daniels and Matthews on this team.

    Other than Cobb the only MUST HAVE is Guion. We absolutely cannot afford to let our Dline slip at all. It was the majority of our problem in 2013 and we cannot afford any back tracking on that unit.

    I would like to see Bulaga return as our Oline became the best in football by week 17. That being said, he is probably replaceable.

    Draft needs to focus on Linebacker and Aaron Rodgers eventual replacement (um thats not Tolzein, I like the guy but as a full time starter? no way). Hate to say it but taking another shot at a big physical TE may be in order as well.

    As someone else stated, this team is in good position to be very good the next couple of years. However, injuries are going to have a lot to do with that, and as always we will have to overcome MM and his ego.

  9. billybong January 26, 2015

    no more noodle arm Flynn…he gets worse and weaker by the month…give someone else a try, Tolzien, anyone…Packers need another TE and an ILB for sure…and maybe a big interior D lineman…we have Janis and that Abracadabra guy they should show something next year at WR…Janis probably should of been up this year but we all know how stubborn the coaching staff is about that…how could he have been worse than Boykin?

  10. jtmax January 27, 2015

    Problem with Boykin was that he hit the ceiling on route running. He runs good basic route but improvising and back shoulder are things AR expects and he has problems with that. Adams is gifted in that department in that he got the moves and can improvise. We don’t have big corners to cover big receivers in our division so we must sign House who is also young. Bring back Bush. He’s cheap but good on special teams and does a good job as backup DB. Lattimore is probably gone. Too injury prone and is just a guy. Bring Raji back for min. He’s become just a big guy to squat the middle.