Success in this league is a product of continual progressionWes Hodkiewicz
Rich from De Pere, WI
In reading your free-agency rundown article, it basically tells me we re-signed six special-team players and lost four starters. It's no longer early in the free agency cycle, so this scares me unless we are committed to rebuilding with rookies. Are my concerns legit?
Rich, as a good friend of mine likes to say, "Lotta ball game left."
Ben from Pensacola, FL
Of course, temper expectations. Duh. Why is this an issue? No, let's just say we guarantee Jordan Love will be a Hall of Famer, win one Super Bowl, and have four MVPs. Why do people love to take things so out of context or twist them? Ugh. And I swear this is not (just) years of Wes and Spoff rubbing off on me. I promise.
I'm glad Matt LaFleur said what he said on Tuesday morning because I feel it's important to remember there's an entire generation of Packers fans who know nothing other than Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. MVP quarterbacks are not built in a day. Love will make mistakes. It's gonna take time to smooth out the edges, but this guy has the tools and work ethic to get there. Success in this league is a product of continual progression. Class resumes April 17, with the opening phase of the 2023 offseason program.
Josh from Seattle, WA
Vinny from VA, started a great conversation. Can you tell us more about Jordan Love, the person? What's his family background, did he get lots of college offers or a chip on his shoulder? What's a unique story about him you want to tell?
Many terrific stories have been written on Love, but I'm gonna use this question to plug my draft profile on the 2020 first-round pick. There's some nuggets in there on Love's upbringing and how he got his start with football. His close friend, Krys Barnes, provided probably my favorite quote in that story: "The challenges he's overcome, there's no better story than him right now." That's the truth.**
Bruce from Appleton, WI
Do you think Love is ready to be a starting quarterback in the NFL?
I do, and I'm very much looking forward to it - and that's nothing against Aaron Rodgers. He is one of the absolute best players in NFL history and I enjoyed documenting his career for the past 11 years. But Aaron Rodgers was already Aaron Rodgers when I started covering the team full-time in 2012. He'd already won a Super Bowl and an MVP. I'm just excited to see the beginning of this movie and watch it from start to finish.
Mike from Cascade, ID
Hi Wes, I hope you're enjoying the weather in AZ. It seems like winter here in the mountains will never end! My question: With Love being the starter at QB this upcoming season, how much can we expect to see him on the field in the preseason?
No firm decisions have been made yet, according to LaFleur. It sounds like he's open to the idea of Love playing in the preseason, but we'll have to see where things are in a few months. It is a long, 17-game season.
Bruce from Jackson, WI
Bingo Wes...you hit it on the head with your response to Paul from Mount Pleasant. As anecdotal evidence in terms of the movie business (entertainment for the masses) back in the '70s, the big thing to do was get in line sometimes days ahead of time to get tickets for a blockbuster. Flash forward to today and you buy your ticket two months ahead of time as soon as they go on sale. We want everything now! Trade Rodgers? Now! Carly Simon said it best, "Anticipation. is making you wait!"
And the older I get, the more I realize anticipation is as important as the experience itself. If I learned one thing the past few days in Arizona, it's that both Green Bay and New York want to make this trade happen. Deadlines may be the ultimate facilitator, but the smoke is already billowing.
Jim from Franklin, WI
Guys, is there any chance the Packers and Jets have already agreed to the Rodgers trade, but it is not advantageous for either side to announce the trade yet?
No. That would be like purposely not filing your taxes on time because you wanted to feel sassy. If it's done, it's done.
Dave from Middletown, CT
Wes, for those of us who can't tell a contract extension from an EKG, can you please explain the pros and cons for both the team and for JL of exercising his fifth-year option?
The fifth-year option, which must be exercised before the player's fourth NFL season, is now fully guaranteed for both injury and skill. It previously was only guaranteed for injury in the 2011 collective-bargaining agreement. There is some risk involved. A year ago, the New York Giants didn't exercise the option on Daniel Jones and ultimately shelled out $160 million over four years. It's a big decision.
TK from Grafton, WI
1. So, now I see there is a "Tom from Grafton" in addition to myself. I think this competition will bring out the best in both of us! Maybe one of us will win consecutive MVP awards. 2. I just want Woody to get impatient and give in! Who's with me? All of Packer Nation!
Hey now, you may be called to defend your position within your hometown. Woody Johnson sounds like a man who's brimming with excitement over the possibility of acquiring Aaron Rodgers and I don't blame him. The Jets have been through quite a bit the past few years.
Keith from Wallace, ID
I'm always curious how a player goes from "the future" of a franchise to the trash heap in one year. It's not as if Zach Wilson pulled a Ryan Leaf. What do you think makes them convinced he can't be "the man?"
Again, a lot went down last year. The NFL is a win-now league and fanbases quickly grow weary. The Jets have a championship-caliber defense and a good array of offensive weapons. They don't necessarily have the luxury of time to wait on a young QB to (possibly) develop into a starter. Rodgers makes New York a contender the minute he boards the jet.
Rich from Manitou Springs, CO
Good morning, Wes. Hope you're enjoying the warm weather down there. I'm just curious if you get the feeling that Packer fans in general have less angst this time around with Rodgers apparently leaving. I know I am. In response, it seems fans are excited for Love and see what he's got. We have to move forward at some point because nothing lasts forever. How do you feel?
Just gratitude. Like most, I'm excited to see what the future holds. The Packers faced some tough decisions with their roster this offseason. When all the dust settles, this likely will be the youngest team Green Bay has had during Brian Gutekunst's five years as general manager. So, it makes sense for this to be the year. Undoubtedly, there will be a wave of heavy emotions whenever a trade is finalized - and rightfully so. Rodgers is one of the best stories in NFL history. Just like Bart Starr, memories of Rodgers' epic run with the Packers will be passed down from generation to generation.
Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL
Happy Arizona morning, Wes! I noticed cactus in the foreground of the lead in to "Three Things" but didn't sense any prickliness in any of the Gutekunst's 17-minute interview. Would I be safe in saying that he possesses the same qualities as Inbox writers in handling questioning?
Perhaps. Again, I appreciated what Gutekunst and LaFleur said in Arizona and how they said it. Both spoke from the heart. It is not easy to turn the page, but the Packers are doing the best they can to do right by themselves and Aaron Rodgers.
Steve from Middletown, KY
Good morning, Wes. I hear it's awesome to go out on the mesa, sit on a rock, and watch the sunset. Take a flashlight for climbing back down. Anyway, it would be nice to have a veteran presence in the WR room, but Sammy Watkins didn't work out last year and I don't see that happening again this year unless it's through a trade. So, my question is, wouldn't we be best served to at least double up on that position in the draft?
Logic says it would be in the team's best interest to address the receiver position in the draft, but as I keep saying, Watkins' impact last year went beyond just what he did on the field. I fully understand the Watkins signing didn't live up to the expectations of Packers fans, but he still made a lasting impression on Green Bay's rookie class. To that end, maybe there is an accountable veteran out there who could come in, fill a role, and help mentor these young wideouts. I just don't know who that individual is right now.
Jake from Madison, WI
I thought Samori Toure looked great playing increased snaps against the Lions last season. If it weren't for a couple of underthrown balls by Rodgers, he would've had a nice showing in the stat sheet, too. What stands out to you most about Toure?
He's a football player. As fans and pundits, we often get wrapped up on how a receiver needs to be this tall, weigh this much and run this fast. Toure just keeps playing and proving people wrong. He's not the biggest. He's not the fastest. But he competes at the highest level. As a former seventh-round pick who played one season in the Big Ten, Toure has as much to gain this summer as any player on the Packers' roster.
Eric from Stramproy, Netherlands
Good morning, Wes. So, the owners decided to get back to the original proceedings of cutting player numbers from 90 to 53 on one single date. I liked the set-up of having multiple moments and decreasing in stages. Any idea on the reasoning behind that decision?
I wasn't a fan of it, personally. They got rid of trimming rosters in stages a few years ago but then reverted back to it after the COVID-19 pandemic. I'm not sure why. Bubble players already have one fewer preseason game to make an impression on a team, so why limit their opportunities? Give these guys a full training camp to state their best case for sticking around.
Wayne from Stevens Point, WI
When I read the name Frank Patrick my heart sank. I couldn't remember why except I thought he played QB, not TE. Thanks for clearing things up, and no thanks for digging up a depressing memory. You guys do it all. Wasn't Patrick exceptionally tall?
Patrick (6-foot-7) is the tallest quarterback on record to appear in a regular-season game for the Packers. I learned that two years ago when Green Bay signed Jake Dolegala, who would've tied Patrick if he'd made the team.
Joe from Hampshire, IL
Wes, how did you and Matt Schneidman get dibs on the seats next to LaFleur at the table? Early wakeup call or clout? As a bonus, you will likely become a meme with your intense, contemplative look captured on camera.
We got in there early to get a seat at the table, but media members are usually good about letting the locals get nearest to their respective coach. And yes, my resting face isn't ideal. I get pretty zoned into what I'm doing.
Craig from Appleton, WI
Do you believe John Lynch when he says Brock Purdy should be the starter for next year or do you think he was trying to light a fire under Trey Lance's tuchus?
No, I don't think it's that. With the way the 49ers rallied around Purdy last year, he should be the guy. Purdy is an exciting, smart player who picked up Kyle Shanahan's system quickly. Once Trey Lance is healthy again, he'll have his own chance to get things back on track.
Neil from Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Wes, thank you for recognising the UK fans. Did you enjoy the trip over the pond last year?
I wish I would've slept better, but I loved every second of it. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is a gem. The press box provided the best view I've ever had for an NFL game.
Jeff from Madison, WI
Not a question, but an answer for John from Black Rock, Nova Scotia, about his grandfather, Charlie Mathys. The reason he's only listed for 1925-26 in the all-time jersey list is that the Packers didn't start wearing uniform numbers until 1925. He is correctly listed on the all-time players roster as having played from 1922-26. That's the way she goes, buddy.
And that...is the rest of the story.
Kenny from Wild Rose, WI
OMG! I thought I was the only one who would have remembered my first NFL game: a 2-0 loss to the lowly Bears. I was so excited to attend with my dad only to watch and yawn through the worst exhibition of an exhibition game. I had a beautiful view of the "offensive" play from my third-base-side seat. This marked the start of 20-plus years of awful football that I somehow felt responsible for. Thanks to Chuck in Richfield for making me feel better! Misery loves company.
It sounds like a reunion might be in order.
Mike from Ames, IA
Following up on the idea of Packers owners joining the owners meetings, via Lambeau Field: What's the first thing that would be outlawed following a vote of 72,850 to 31? Turf fields? Onside kicks? Ayahuasca?
Doug from Neenah, WI
Good morning, Wes. There are lots of outdated football terms we don't hear much anymore like flanker, coffin corner punt and soccer-style kicker. What are some of your favorites? Maybe that would be a good Outbox question. Thanks for keeping us informed.
"Hauling the mail!" Bring it back, NFL scribes.
Gary from Cross Plains, WI
Wes, only three cent discount? Come on, we all know the two of you together could get 88 cents off.
Watch yourself, Gary.
Mike from Eau Claire, WI
My girlfriend recently had a spinal stroke and has been in the hospital for a month working on getting her leg movement back. I spend quite some time up there and have done some 'remodeling' to prepare for her trip home. II is always a great read to take my mind off other things, and of course, it's about the Packers. Thanks for all you do!
I'm sending positive vibes to you and yours, Mike. Please give your girlfriend our best regards.
Barry from Green Bay, WI
I've just recently discovered your daily posts and I must say they are incredibly fun, and fact based. The two of you should be commended for your fine work! I now look forward to your column every day as it boosts my morale while I recover from my 20th and hopefully last major surgery. While my body has been a wreck, I find healing in your insights, updates, and sarcasm!! God bless you for lifting me up!
The more, the merrier. Welcome to our humble corner of the Packers universe. I'm flying back to Green Bay later today but still have a few other stories in the works. Please keep on the lookout for those. Have a great Wednesday, everyone.
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