Packers Aren’t Tanking, Huh?
Let’s take a look at the last week and a half for the Green Bay Packers.
General manager Brian Gutekunst trades starting safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to Washington for a fourth-round pick. Fine. Clinton-Dix was garbage as far as we are concerned. However, the Packers coaches clearly didn’t share that opinion. Clinton-Dix played 100 percent of the Packers’ defensive snaps before the trade. Maybe that was because there was no better option. Certainly a plausible conclusion, considering Uncle Ted left the Packers without an actual free safety on the roster.
Nonetheless, that move made the coaching staff adjust. And let’s be honest. That’s something they aren’t too keen on.
Gutekunst traded running back Ty Montgomery the same day. Sure, he was a third-string running back, but Montgomery was also the Packers primary kick returner. We wouldn’t consider Montgomery a big loss, but he was a contributor. And like Clinton-Dix, the Packers only brought back a draft pick — in 2020, mind you — and not anyone who can help the team now.
After these moves, Gutekunst comes out and insists the Packers aren’t tanking. He insists that he isn’t trying to send a message to the locker room by getting rid of two players who had become distractions.
The Packers go to New England and lose to the Patriots. In this game, cornerback Bashaud Breeland is the team’s kick returner. Meanwhile, receiver Trevor Davis sits on injured reserve, could be practicing with the team and play this week. Davis is the best return man the Packers have. Yet, they won’t pull him off IR.
On Monday, Gutekunst released safety Jermaine Whitehead. This is a guy who was more or less a starter as a third safety or second inside linebacker. He played extensively and has been lauded as one of the smartest defensive players the Packers have. Or had, in this instance.
Lastly, the Raiders released edge rusher Bruce Irvin over the weekend. The Packers have a pass rush that is basically shit. Irvin could have helped that situation. Did the Packers make an offer? If they did, it wasn’t competitive. Irvin signed with the Falcons. After he did, he mentioned that the Steelers and Patriots offered more money, but he wanted to be in Atlanta.
The Steelers and Patriots are all in on improving their teams and on the Super Bowl. Apparently, so are the Falcons.
Who isn’t all in on either of those things? The Green Bay Packers.
Here is my creeping suspicion.
Gutekunst wants Mike McCarthy out. We can’t blame him. We want McCarthy out too. But we can only bitch and moan about Gravy Head. Gutekunst now appears to be doing something about it. He’s taking away contributors and, in many of these cases, forcing McCarthy to play rookies or young players.
Do you know what that is?
That’s rebuilding. No one in Green Bay will ever use that word, but that’s what is going on with the Packers right now.
As for McCarthy, Gutekunst is effectively sabotaging him as coach. Unless McCarthy is in on the plan.
Even if he is, I would find it hard to fathom that anyone would remain the coach of the Packers after two consecutive losing/non-playoff seasons.
McCarthy is on his way out and Gutekunst is ready to show him the door. Unfortunately, that means this is another lost season for the Packers and Aaron Rodgers.