Second-year jumps are vital to the future of every NFL team

Second-year jumps are vital to the future of every NFL team

Johnny from Salt Lake City, UT

Wes, I can’t take it anymore. When will you give us any breaking news about a certain Packers QB? Have you heard chatter wandering the hallowed halls of Lambeau? Can you just throw us a few crumbs please?

I’m sorry Johnny. I haven’t heard anything about Danny Etling’s whereabouts.

Damien from Manning, Australia

Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady have had some great battles over the years, even as recently as Week 3. It truly feels like the end of an era. What was your favorite Rodgers/Brady battle?

It’s still 2014 for me. I know, I know… the Packers won, so obviously Hodkiewicz picked that game. But beyond the outcome, it’s one of my five favorite games I’ve covered. They were two phenomenal teams with first-round Hall of Fame quarterbacks, brilliant coaching staffs, and an unsung hero (rookie Davante Adams) for his winning team. New England did not lose another game the rest of the season. Brady will be a legendary figure for future generations of NFL fans… just like Don Hutson, Curly Lambeau and Vince Lombardi were for so many of us. Tom Brady has raised the bar to new heights, and we’ve been lucky enough to witness it for 23 seasons.

Now that Tom Brady has retired “for good”, does that guarantee Aaron’s participation in the 2023 season? I mean, I don’t see him wanting to be in the same year of HOF eligibility as the “GOAT.”

Aaron Rodgers is his own man. If Rodgers feels the time is right to move on, then that’s what he will do. If the fire is still burning, then Rodgers will play. I don’t think Brady’s retirement changes that one way or another. So, the most decorated player in NFL history speaks last in Canton? Big deal.

Mike from Franksville, WI

It blew my mind earlier when I realized that Reggie White was still playing when Tom Brady came into the league…

And Bruce Smith… and Troy Aikman… and Warren Moon… and Thurman Thomas… and Bruce Matthews, Michael Irvin and Darrell Green. Brady is a gateway to NFL history, connecting generations of players. That’s what struck me the most after he announced his retirement on Wednesday morning.

Dustin from Kansas City, MO

It’s a real shame to hear that Brock Purdy has to have Tommy John’s surgery. What are the chances that he can come back and become the player he was before the injury? I know MLB pitchers are successful all the time, but off the top of my head, I can’t think of any QB who had the surgery to know how they were after.

UCL surgery is not as common in the NFL as it is in MLB. Jake Delhomme is probably the best example of a QB who needed Tommy John. He tore his ligament in October 2007 but made a full recovery. He was back for Week 1 and earned 2008 AP Comeback Player of the Year honors.

A website has half the NFL teams over the cap. Is it unusual to have so many teams over the cap, and should that help the Packers sign their free agents? Additionally, the Bears seem to be able to make some noise in free agency.

I know a lot of Packers fans think the cap constraints apply strictly to Green Bay, but that’s a problem for all competitive NFL teams. It’s a byproduct of the cap shrinking after the 2020 season and teams pushing money down the road.

Color me viridian, but I’m super interested in seeing Bo Melton’s story unfold in 2023. Melton’s speed, rapport with Christian Watson, and being on the radar before GB’s draft offer potential fascinating. If we see high turnover in the WR room, he’ll have opportunities on offense and looks like a terrific lunge prospect, if Randall Cobb isn’t brought back. And then there are the punt return duties. Assuming we re-sign Keisean Nixon, he could focus on KR and CB. Lots of ifs, but still quite intriguing.

I like to follow these late season signings and see the potential butterfly effect they have on the Packers. Robert Tonyan (2017) and Allen Lazard (2018) only signed with Green Bay in December during their respective seasons. You can easily see why the Packers brass love Melton. He’s savvy, incredibly quick and fills a potential need for the Packers, who don’t have a traditional slot receiver on the roster other than Cobb, who is expected to be an unrestricted free agent.

Margaux from Tallahassee, FL

Wes, I love stories about Devonte Wyatt and Bo Melton. Giving insight into Packer’s mindset and player development is so appreciated during the AR12 pursuit. What’s particularly interesting is that Devonte contacted Aaron in his attempt to improve. It’s taking personal responsibility and not always expecting others to make the first move. A lesson we can all learn from.

That’s being a rookie. These stories are also fun to write when things slow down this time of year. For example, I spoke to Melton shortly after he signed with the Packers, but there really was no place to write about him with Green Bay in the heat of the playoffs. playoffs. Now that we’ve all had a chance to recombobulate, it’s good to look at a few young players who could contribute next season. I did the same with Lazard in 2019.

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