Monday begins the offseason program for the Green Bay Packers.
You would think these workouts are mandatory, but technically they are not. If you look around the NFL, you’ll notice something funny. Players from other teams use the non-mandatory nature of the offseason program to continue doing what they want, where they want.
Not so in Green Bay, but there’s a good reason for that.
That Packers are paying their players more than any team to show up for their non-mandatory workouts.
Packers players have a combined $5,197,000 available in workout bonuses. No other team is above $4M. Green Bay starts workouts this morning.
You could say the nature of the payouts built into most of the Packers’ contacts has basically made offseason workouts mandatory. You’d get no argument here.
To put that in perspective, here’s the list of who is getting paid what to show up in Green Bay the third week in April.
- Aaron Rodgers: $500,000
- Jordy Nelson: $500,000
- Clay Matthews: $500,000
- Julius Peppers: $500,000
- Sam Shields: $500,000
- Randall Cobb: $400,000
- Mike Daniels: $400,000
- Josh Sitton: $300,000
- Morgan Burnett: $300,000
- Bryan Bulaga: $250,000
- T.J. Lang: $200,000
- Letroy Guion: $200,000
- Nick Perry: $200,000
- Mason Crosby: $150,000
- James Starks: $100,000
- Tim Masthay: $100,000
- Lane Taylor: $50,000
- Jared Cook: $25,000
- Ty Montgomery: $12,000
- Richard Rodgers: $10,000
That’s not the whole team. It is 20 guys, many of whom would be considered team leaders.
If you get those guys to show up, certainly everyone else is going to fall in line.
To look at it another way, if the guys who are more or less guaranteed a roster spot are participating in the offseason program, then the guys who aren’t better damn well participate.
The Packers have created a domino effect with these bonuses.
Since they don’t win the Super Bowl every year, you can argue about the effectiveness of this strategy. However, you can’t argue that the Packers believe in the importance of getting as much face time with their players as possible.
No one will be running Mike McCarthy’s offense this week. There aren’t any formal practices. Those things are against the rules of the collective bargaining agreement.
For the Packers, this is all about building team and chemistry and they’re willing to pay for those things.