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Packers Coaches, Players Reportedly Angry About Losing T.J. Lang

No doubt, one of the Green Bay Packers’ biggest offseason losses was guard T.J. Lang.

Lang ended up signing a three-year deal with the Detroit Lions, averaging $9.5 million per season. That’s clearly more than the Packers wanted to pay, even though they could have afforded the number.

The Packers’ offer, which didn’t come until just before free agency opened, was $8 million per season. It was also heavily incentive-laden and Lang was reportedly offended by it. After visiting with Seattle and Detroit, Lang offered the Packers an opportunity to compete with their offers and they didn’t budge.

In fact, they reportedly didn’t even respond.

The Packers don’t look much better from there, either. In addition to offending one of their most loyal players — a guy who constantly played through injury — it sounds like the front office (GM Ted Thompson and chief negotiator Russ Ball) lost some coaches and players in the process.

Lang had been talking to James Campen, his position coach for all eight seasons, throughout the process. You’ll be subjected to all that “next man up” happy talk for months to come. The truth is that the Packers’ coaches were incensed, and no doubt some of the players were, too.

We will assume the coaches referred to there are offensive line coach James Campen and perhaps offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett. By now, head coach Mike McCarthy surely knows how things are done upstairs.

Of course, there has been rumored friction between McCarthy and Thompson over the years and we’re sure McCarthy would have loved to have Lang back.

As for the players, many of them find the Packers to be cheap. In many cases they are.

When it comes to contract negotiations, the Packers will have a number in mind. They typically draw a line in the sand and don’t budge above that number.

So unless you’re Aaron Rodgers or guys like Clay Matthews and Randall Cobb, who are now being overpaid, then you probably do think the Packers are cheap.

It’s frustrating the way these guys do business. It may be even more frustrating watching Lang’s fill-in at right guard this season.

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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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10 Comments

  1. Howard April 24, 2017

    This all came down to the signing bonus. Lang wanted to make sure his family was going to be set up financially. The Packers looked at it as thanks for the years and playing hurt, but we are not going to take a chance on a true professional.

    What really pisses me off besides the fact Lang was lost is the Lions really only gave Lang a 2 year deal that averaged 8 mil in those first 2 years. The last year may not be realized by Lang. If the Lions cut Lang in that final year the Lions will incur an approximate 2.6 mil. dead cap hit. That is nothing in today’s NFL to protect a franchise quarterback.

    The Packers could have had Lang for around 8 million a year if they would have guaranteed a true pro more money. The one thing about the McGinn article is it never indicates the guaranteed dollar amount offered by TT and Ball? My guess it was more than 5 million but less than 9 million a year. Detroit valued Lang and Stafford enough to guarantee Lang 19 million. The Packers showed they have little value for Lang and Rodgers, otherwise they would have guaranteed Lang the 8 million a year for 2 years plus a little extra for that final year as at least a thank you for all you have done to protect the franchise, even when you shouldn’t have been playing, due to injury.

    Instead the Packers just told Lang Fuck you. It will be remembered by many players, some coaches and some fans of the team.

    1. ay hombre April 24, 2017

      This might be the one time I disagree with you Howard. That’s exactly what you do is draw a line in the sand and stick to it. Make your analysis, figure out the parameters and stick to the work you’ve put in and have faith in it.

      You make an exception one time then you may as well start over with a new philosophy because if you flip flop then the one you’re using isn’t working.

      It’s a cold business. TJ was totally open and wounded in his interview with Wilde. I feel for him but don’t disagree with the Packers handling of it.

      1. Howard April 24, 2017

        I still think the Packers could have held close to the 8 million a year they wanted with a higher guarantee to Lang. Let’s say a 4 year 34 million with 9 million signing bonus and 19 million guaranteed. I think it would have kept Lang and the Packers could have walked away from the final year.

        I know TT does not value guards when they are reaching their upper 20s and are due a pay day, but please see below part of an article about the NFL trend regarding interior pass rush. I think the Packers are being short sighted in their view of guard play :

        ‘When the Carolina Panthers inked Kawann Short to a five-year, $80.5 million deal earlier in the week, the news flew under the radar — but astute football observers viewed the blockbuster deal as validation of a trend that’s quietly building in the NFL.

        Defensive tackles with pass-rushing skills are not only coveted at a premium on the open market, but they increasingly have become the top priority for teams intent on building championship defenses in a pass-happy league.”

        “You have to have a dominant interior pass-rushing presence in today’s game,” an AFC personnel executive told me. “A big-time defensive tackle disrupts everything at the point of attack and sets the table for the edge rushers. If he can command a double-team on passing downs, he creates one-on-one opportunities for edge rushers, which leads to sacks and turnovers. If he is able to get to the quarterback on his own, he creates the kind of chaos that changes games.”

  2. Ace April 24, 2017

    It’s business. They did it. Move on people.

    1. KILLER April 24, 2017

      ACE, your comment is less than intelligent. A less polite way to put it is that your statement is stupid.

      “It’s business. They did it. Move on people.” Sure, we know the NFL is a business. It seems that your philosophy is that if it is business then nothing can be wrong and everything is right no matter what it is.

      ACE also seems to feel that the fact “They did it” means they are not guilty of having done it. Oh man, don’t go and be holding them accountable for something they actually did! Now, maybe if they had not done it or there was some question as to whether they had done it, well then, have at it. But… for sure guilty? That is too easy man, let them off the hook then.

      And the classic “Move on people.” Like Leslie Nielsen in Naked Gun 33 1/2 saying there was nothing to see as the fireworks factory blew up repeatedly behind him. Sure, sure. If it is in the past and, let’s face it, everything that has ever happened is in in the past, well then, “Move on people”.

      World War II? “Move on people.”

      O’Reilly harassed women? Trump harassed women? “Move on people.”

      A family member murdered? “Move on people.”

      Really puts things in perspective, ACE.

      1. ay hombre April 24, 2017

        Wow. That’s real perspective there. A real apples to apples comparison from start to finish. And you call the original commenter stupid?

  3. Deepsky April 24, 2017

    Is Lang worth the 5th highest paid guard in the league?

    1. KILLER April 24, 2017

      Is Rodgers worth protecting?

      Are Packer fans worth putting a good team on the field?

      Should the Packer organization spend all their money and TT put forth his best effort or should the money be saved to buy land in shady deals that profit rich cats?

      1. KILLER April 24, 2017

        Should Packer players be paid competitively or should they be required by Green Bay city ordinance to work for minimum wage?

        1. Packers fan April 26, 2017

          Killer, why has the Vikings started 5-0 and than went 8-8?