The 2014-15 Green Bay Packers season (un)officially kicked off this morning as players began arriving at Lambeau Field for the start of off season workouts.
One by one, the names we all know drove into the parking lot at Lambeau Field. The quest for the Packers 14th World Championship begins today, and fans are once again reinvigorated during this dead period before the NFL Draft
One other interesting thing happened on this crisp, cool April morning in Green Bay:a good number of players got paid-big time.
According to a report in the Green Bay Press Gazette, more than 20 veterans earned a bonus just for reporting to the offseason program. Nearly $4.3 million of this season’s $133 million cap will be paid out to 21 veteran players as incentive to show up for this program. This comes after the Packers reprtedly paid more in workout bonuses in 2013 ($3,672,500) than any other team in the league.
While these workouts are optional, they are part of Mike McCarthy’s vision of keeping the players close to Green Bay in the weeks leading up to the team’s mandatory mini camp.
That all sounds well and good, but why do the players need to be paid to want to be in Green Bay?
Case in point: Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, and Sam Shields.
Each of these players will reportedly receive a $500k bonus for reporting to Green Bay and going to work today. Think about that for a minute: $500k to go to work, to do their job.
It is not just these three players who are going to cash in either. Thirteen other players are set to take home a six figure bonus just for taking a trip to Northeast Wisconsin and going to work for a few days.
That is crazy money being thrown around for what is basically bribing the players to report to work.
Yes it is the off season, and players should be allowed to enjoy their time off as they most certainly earn it. But the Packers having to shell out millions of dollars in bonuses just to get players to report? Something doesn’t jive.
It maybe a little naive saying this, but one would think that if the Lombardi Trophy was the goal for every team that every player would WANT to show up for workouts and try to make the TEAM better. They shouldn’t need money to want to win the prize.
Green Bay isn’t a small, dumpy town anymore. Believe it or not, it actually has all the amenities that a major city has. Along with electricity and running water, Green Bay has a Five Guys, Buffalo Wild Wings and even a mall. These are all just a small part of Green Bay life these days, so the need to have to try and convince players to go to Green Bay should be a thing of the past, right?
Money talks. Just ask the members of the Packers who all got a little richer today for showing up to work.
Packers 2014 workout bonuses
Aaron Rodgers $500,000
Clay Matthews $500,000
Sam Shields $500,000
Tramon Williams $300,000
Josh Sitton $300,000
Morgan Burnett $300,000
Jordy Nelson $250,000
A.J. Hawk $250,000
T.J. Lang $200,000
Brad Jones $200,000
Mike Neal $200,000
Mason Crosby $150,000
Bryan Bulaga $100,000
Jarrett Bush $100,000
Tim Masthay $100,000
B.J. Raji $100,000
James Starks $75,000
Andrew Quarless $75,000
Letroy Guion $50,000
John Kuhn $25,000
Brett Goode $25,000
John Rehor is a writer at PackersTalk.com.
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio. ---------------------
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio.You can follow John on twitter at jrehor or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.