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Jason Spriggs Won’t Be Moving Inside

Jason Spriggs’ situation is somewhat fascinating to us. The Green Bay Packers drafted the left tackle in the second round of the 2016 draft. That says a couple things — we expect you to be a future starter and (at the time) we really aren’t sure about David Bakhtiari.

There were rumors leading up to the draft that the Packers wanted to replace Bakhtiari at left tackle and move him inside to guard. The Spriggs selection seemed to point to exactly that and maybe that lit a fire under David Bakhtiari’s ass.

The guy went out and showed that he’s one of the best left tackles in the league in 2016. The Packers rewarded him with a much-deserved contract extension last year — four years, $48 million.

So now what, exactly do you do with Jason Spriggs?

Bakhtiari is entrenched at left tackle and Bryan Bulaga is entrenched at right tackle. Perhaps move him inside to replace T.J. Lang, a spot he fulfilled for two games in 2016 while Lang was injured?

No. The Packers still want Spriggs at tackle.

“He’s a tackle, and the first thing you have to say about Jason is he can play left tackle in this league, and that’s huge,” McCarthy said. “That’s a priority position in my view. That tells you the importance that he has to our offensive line. I think we’re very fortunate we have David, Bryan Bulaga and Jason, so we have three high-quality tackles.”

You could look at this a couple ways. First, we all remember the debacle of 2015 when Bakhtiari got injured. The Packers didn’t find a decent replacement until they put guard/center J.C. Tretter out there.

That obviously hammered home the importance of having a quality backup for that position. Spriggs would appear to be that, especially since Tretter is now gone.

However, a second-round pick is a high price to pay for a backup player, an insurance policy.

It’s possible Spriggs could one day replace Bulaga at right tackle, but Bulaga’s contract runs through the 2019 season. The Packers do have a financial out after this season — one that could potentially create more than $6 million in cap space — but unless his play slips dramatically, we doubt they’ll take it.

So, it is entirely possible Spriggs is just a valuable backup for the foreseeable future.

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Joseph Bonham

Joseph is a fiction writer when he isn't doing this. In his spare time he likes to do manly things like drink beer and procreate.

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13 Comments

  1. PF4L March 28, 2017

    Are they going to re-name Green Bay “Fantasy World” anytime soon?

    Doesn’t a player have to prove he can be a left tackle in this league, i mean, don’t you have to show you have what it takes? Not in Green Bay apparently.

    Hell, why doesn’t McCarthy just call him a high quality tackle? Oops….too late.

    I’m not dumping on Spriggs, but c’mon man, don’t you have to show you can do it first? Much less call someone a high quality tackle.

    Just because you are a 1st rounder, that doesn’t automatically make you a great player. Nobody should know that better than the Green Bay Packers.

    Murphy just said, regarding free agency: “I think we’ve helped ourselves in a number of positions,”

    In what world do the 3 stooges live in?

    I’ll tell ya what, i gotta stop reading this shit, i’m about to go fucking postal.

  2. Kato March 28, 2017

    Ok. For one, I am not going to say Spriggs is a bust despite his questionable play last year. MM, what is he supposed say, the guy struggled and he sucks? I like his statement even though I do not agree with it at this moment. Part of coaching is keeping a players confidence up.

    On another note, it’s funny that people, writers in this site would bitch if Bahktiari went down with a season ending injury and the packers didnt have a viable backup (example the backup is a 6th or 7th rounder) but yet they will criticize the packers for spending a 2nd rounder on what they think is a viable backup. I mean, I bitch some about the packers, but Jesus Christ some will never be happy.

    1. PF4L March 28, 2017

      Show me where anyone called him a bust? …..yea,,,,, i understand, nevermind.

      Joseph is exactly on the money. His point being, a 2nd round pick shouldn’t be sitting on the bench. A 2nd round pick should be starting, at the very least playing. This isn’t all that hard to understand.

      What’s curious, is that apparently, McCarthy would rather have Spriggs on the bench, than play guard. that’s a head scratcher. That tells me he isn’t versatile enough, or he doesn’t have the build to play guard.

      At the end of the day, if you have a healthy 2nd round pick that you traded up for, and his job is to sit on the bench and be a back up, someone, somewhere, fucked up.

      And then after all that…….we still have to find out if he can play tackle.

      1. Kato March 28, 2017

        I understand what you are saying. A 2nd round pick sitting on the bench is far from ideal. Especially when you field a defense that has struggled. I am not necessarilly defending TT. My point is, would you, in all honesty, be pissed if Bahktiari went down this year or last, and there was not a capable backup on the roster. What if, instead, TT spent a 5th or 6th round pick on a lesser prospect at LT? This isn’t to suggest that I think Spriggs is a bonafide NFL LT, I think that is a little questionable at this point. I am not trying to start a pissing match, I just want to hear what you think would be best in that situation.

        1. PF4L March 28, 2017

          To your first question, i don’t care if a back up tackle is a 2nd round pick, or a 6th round pick, or an UDFA.
          What i care about is that he can protect the franchise QB. the problem is…with Tretter gone, and from what my eyes saw, i don’t know if we have a capable back up tackle, as we speak.

          Again, i’m not dumping on Spriggs, he’s a 1st year guy. He’s not there right now. Will he be? I don’t have a clue.

          Here’s what i think happened….I think they targeted Spriggs, traded up, for the sole purpose of replacing Bakhtiari instead of paying him. Somewhere along the way, maybe during training camp, they decided they better just sign Bakhtiari up long term. Was it because of Spriggs play in camp? It’s plausible.

          Spriggs maybe too tall, and not strong enough to play guard. Again, i’m speculating.

          But this i do know, sitting a 2nd round pick on the bench, was not the Packers original plan for Spriggs. Christ…at least i would hope not.

          Give Joseph credit when it’s due, he wrote an excellent article with great insight.

          1. PF4L March 28, 2017

            Oops…to answer your last question. The best thing to do in this situation?

            No clue my man, i’ll leave it to Ted to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

            I hate to even say this after only 1 season. But the 2016 draft class, may go down as the worst of Teds career, time will tell. Nobody stood out, no one.

  3. PF4L March 28, 2017

    Just for clarification……No one expects McCarthy to say he struggled and he sucks, to even suggest that is juvenile. McCarthy can say positive things about Spriggs, without insulting our intelligence.

    But he’s basically lying, or better yet, blowing smoke up our ass. Don’t we get enough of that from the other 2 Stooges?

  4. Howard March 29, 2017

    MM can say what he wants now, but when training camp and preseason roll around the mantra from MM will be “we are going to put the 5 best lineman on the field”.

    To me that leaves out Spriggs at guard because he is not a guard. It also leaves out Barclay as a guard because Spriggs is better at guard than Barclay and Spriggs is not a guard. This leaves Bulaga, Patrick, Murphy, or the new draft pick(s). If Patrick, Murphy, or the new guys don’t show they are ready then I still think Bulaga could move inside.

    If Spriggs improves like I think he will over the off season, and stays healthy the Packers are going to have a hard time keeping him off the field. It is all up to Spriggs to make MM have to put him on the field.

    Not sure how many remember but Bulaga by the end of last year appeared to have a lot of health problems. Bulaga to me is a guy that will fight through injury to make sure he is on the field on game day. Bulaga has dealt with a lot of injuries over the years including to his legs. Bulaga may not want to move inside but to me Bulaga will do what it takes to be on the field to help the team no matter what. Kind of like Sitton and Lang. I guess that is not a good sign for Bulaga is it?

    1. PF4L March 29, 2017

      Moving Bulaga over is the last resort. He’s a right tackle, and you don’t fix what isn’t broke. If they ended up moving Bulaga to guard, then they are officially in desperation mode early playing musical chairs.

      If Lang or Tretter were kept, we wouldn’t even be having these discussions. But apparently, having problems on defense, wasn’t enough.

      1. Howard March 29, 2017

        I agree, If Patrick, Murphy, or the new guys (?) don’t prove they can play guard then (out of desperation) Bulaga will be it. I don’t even want to envision Barclay at guard. You know what I think of the Sitton and Lang decisions. No matter what happens at this point unless the Packers pick up a cut veteran guard after the draft, one of the current or new guys for guard are going to be a transition project, either from the college ranks, or offensive tackle, or both at the same time.

        To me no matter what happens at this point at guard Rodgers will not be as comfortable in the pocket, or have as much time this year as last. There is a reason MM did not consider what would happen at guard with no Lang. MM probably believed he made it clear to TT he had no viable replacement at guard so Lang needed to be kept under any circumstances. If desperation occurs at least we know Bulaga can pass block. I don’t think we know that any of the others named can pass block as evidenced by a real NFL regular season game. I think It is musical chairs even before the injuries occur.

        1. PF4L March 29, 2017

          Way before free agency started, just from watching Spriggs. I posted that if the tackles get hurt, we’ll be scrambling and playing musical chairs on the line again. Well, no one got hurt, we lost 2 guys, and …..here we are.

          Last time we played musical chairs, Tretter stepped up and stopped the bleeding, for like 3 games i think, Rodgers was about to get killed.

  5. Kato March 29, 2017

    Either way, TT screwed the pooch. This is a broken record by now, but the packers needed to have a better plan for the interior of the offensive line this offseason. They should have known Lang’s price would be pretty high. Especially with the deal that guard from KC signed, that kind of set the market. The packers had two options, MAYBE a third. A: pay Lang whatever it took. You can’t tell me that they didn’t have a general idea, and that they thought $6million guaranteed was going to work. Then B comes into play if they didn’t want to pay Lang what his rate was: approach Tretter and offer him a starting spot at RG and give 6-7 million. He is young, and could reason with him that if he stays and excels at guard, he will make a lot more money in his next contract than if he plays center. This is the option I actually would have preferred, because if worst case scenario happened and either Bahktiari or Linsley got hurt, you could slide him into either spot. You don’t have that flexibility with Lang as far as LT goes. That’s if you still don’t feel comfortable with Spriggs playing left tackle. Of course the third option was an outside free agent or a pick in the draft, although I would say that isn’t desireable.

    PF4L- last years draft class, early on, scares the shit out of me. I have some hope in Kenny Clark, although given Ted’s recent history in the first round, that hope is fairly limited. The one thing that goes in his favor is he is extremely young, one of the youngest players in the league, and just turned 21 last October. He still has a lot of room to grow and get better.

    1. PF4L March 29, 2017

      Actually you bring up a good point. Tretter would have been somewhat of an alternative if Lang left. And then still would have been here for emergency duty at tackle if needed.

      I think when the Packers negotiate, it’s what businessmen call a “cold negotiation”. I don’t think they thought Lang would leave, and the Packers called his bluff and lost.

      Thompson stepped up and did the right thing with Favre, but since then, i’d give the player the benefit of the doubt. I think Ted has as much personality and style in negotiations as a pet rock.