Category Archives: Seasons

The Calm Before the Free Agent Storm

Randall Cobb

Once again, the NFL’s franchise tag deadline has come and gone for the Green Bay Packers. As a result, they will need to work hard this week to sign their free agents before Friday’s open negotiating period begins at 4:00pm ET. This negotiating period lasts for three days and allows NFL teams to begin talking to all available free agents.

It’s not a huge surprise that Ted Thompson opted not to use the team’s franchise tag again this season. The last couple of times Thompson has used the tag were on defensive tackle Ryan Pickett (2010) and defensive tackle Corey Williams (2008). A long-term deal was reached shortly after tagging Pickett, and Williams was traded to Cleveland soon after being tagged.

Some media outlets are shocked that Randall Cobb didn’t receive the franchise tag – especially after big name receivers Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas were tagged by Dallas and Denver, respectively. While the Packers could easily have absorbed the $12.8 million it would have cost to hold on to Cobb for 2015, it’s not a surprise that Thompson chose not to at that price, especially since the team’s leading receiver, Jordy Nelson, is currently getting $10 million per year. That could very well be the number that the Packers have in mind for Cobb. But Cobb may have a higher number in mind.


Ol’ Bag of Donuts: Donuts Back in Action!

Ol Bag of Donuts Packers Podcast

Ol’ Bag of Donuts are back from a month-long hiatus refreshed and energized to break down the Green Bay Packers list of pending free agents. Chris and Adam go over what will be a new looking front seven for Dom Capers and also provide their belated thoughts on the coaching staff shake up.

Ol’ Bag of Donuts is a part of the Packers Talk Radio Network, serving up enough weekly podcasts to satisfy the most fervent of Packer fans. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe over at iTunes.

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Chris Lempesis and Adam Somers bring their offbeat brand of podcasting to Packers Talk Radio Network, with the latest rumors, news, and prognostications about your Green Bay Packers.

Follow them on Twitter at @olbagofdonuts and @ASomers_time and stay tuned to Packers Talk Radio Network every week for more of Chris and Adam!


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Green Bay Packers Free Agency ILB Options


Last week, I focused on how the draft inside linebackers struggled at the NFL Combine. Since, A.J. Hawk was finally released, which leaves the Packers extremely thin at the position with Sam Barrington being the only one who you could see starting. That assumes of course Clay Matthews moves back to the edge.

After releasing Hawk and Brad Jones, the Packers have over $30 million in salary cap space available. Their primary focus is on retaining Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga. Cobb, 24, is really a must sign and I would still be extremely surprised if he is let go, despite some of the recent panicking going on. The Packers have the cap space, Cobb is really irreplaceable in the slot and he is just entering his prime. Ted Thompson doesn’t let those players get away.

If Thompson dips his toe into the unrestricted free agency pool the only positions I can see it at are tight end and inside linebacker. However, tight ends like Jordan Cameron, Julius Thomas and Charles Clay seem like they will be too expensive if the Packers retain Cobb.

Even though it’s likely Thompson will draft an inside linebacker high in the draft that may not be enough. Barrington looked like a savior compared to the players that he replaced, but it’s still questionable about whether he is a long-term answer. He played well for a guy in his first year starting, but will have to make a jump.


Bet on the Packers to Win the Super Bowl Next Season

Green Bay Packers will win the Super Bowl

There, I said it. Way too soon, of course, as free agency and the draft are still down the road. Frankly, though, other than the Packers retaining Randall Cobb, I don’t think it matters much.

If we go under the assumption that the Packers can sign Cobb before he hits the free agent market, (and I think they will), the team as constituted is good enough to win it all next year.

More important than specific personnel, from my perspective, will be the emotional factors that will drive this team next year. The loss to Seattle has hit this team, the organization, the fans, the city, the media, etc, harder than any loss I can remember (and I’ve been  following since the Lombardi years).

Perhaps the player that best described the feeling was Josh Sitton, who intoned he would have rather not make the playoffs at all then to  go as far as they did and lose the way they did. The NFL season is an incredibly long grind and getting as far as the Packers did with as injury-free a season they had is something that is extremely difficult to do. They were five minutes from the ultimate destination – the Super Bowl, when somehow, they abruptly pulled the rug out from underneath themselves.

The effects have spurred the Packers organization to act in a manner that you could say is out of character for them – swiftly and with no mercy.  The symbols of failure from that Seattle game have been jettisoned. Shawn Slocum, Brandon Bostick, Brad Jones; all sent packing. No need to worry about seeing them around Lambeau Field next year and being reminded every day of that terrible day.


From The Benches: Combine Results

From the Benches Podcast - Packers Talk Radio Network

The boys are back with an all new show after the NFL Combine takes place. The show begins with a discussion on recently released veterans Brad Jones and AJ Hawk. Speculation begins on whether Hawk is a Packers Hall of Famer, and a few parting shots at Jones.

Following that the guys discuss whether they are interested and if it is realistic for the team to sign a couple of veterans that were cap casualties. The guys go Behind the Bench discussing the running back class for this year’s draft, and how badly they think the team needs to draft one. From the class, the guys pick their favorite running back.

The show finishes up with a discussion of who helped and hurt themselves the most at the combine before an announcement takes place about how the show will end from the foreseeable future in the Packers Fake Phone Call of the Week.


From The Benches is a part of the Packers Talk Radio Network, serving up enough weekly podcasts to satisfy the most fervent of Packer fans. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe over at iTunes or BlogTalkRadio.

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From The Benches is one of the family of podcasts from the Packers Talk Radio Network, featuring hosts Jacob Westendorf, Ross Uglem, and Ryan Hillesland. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe over at iTunes.


PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: ILBs Falter at Combine, Opportunity for Pack

Paul Dawson

The tweet of the combine for me came from @RumfordJohnny. “Paul Dawson running like he hates money.” He wasn’t kidding either.  Dawson’s performance was abysmal.  A prototypical off-the-ball linebacker would stand about 6 feet tall, weigh about 240 pounds, run a 40 yard dash in 4.7 seconds or less and a vertical leap of at least 33″.  Dawson ran an uninspiring 4.93 in the 40, had a vertical leap of only 28″.  Not only did this performance make scouts question what they saw from Dawson on tape, it made them question how prepared he was for the event.  For a player like Dawson with “character concerns”, that isn’t good.

Dawson wasn’t alone with his combine-related difficulties.  Everyone expected former safety Shaq Thompson to run a very fast 40 time.  This would have been very helpful for Shaq as he’s a little on the smaller side for an ILB.  He didn’t.  Thompson’s 4.64 40 was just slightly above average.

Bernardrick McKinney is another top option at the position that people assumed would test very well.  He checked in just fine.  He’s a very big prospect at 6’4″ 246 but performed marginally in every combine drill except for the vertical jump.  His dreams of the first round might just be gone.

One player that did help himself and actually forced people to go back and check out his tape was Stephone Anthony out of Clemson.  His performance on the bench press and vertical jump were more than adequate and his 40 yard dash and 20 yard shuttle were downright outstanding.  He’s the type of guy that moved up boards and probably solidified himself as a day 2 prospect.


The Green Bay Packers – Some Of You Should Jump Off The Bandwagon

Brandon Bostick says goodbye.

As everyone knows, Brandon Bostick was released by the Packers. That wasn’t a surprise to me. Nor was what he disclosed in this article for Sports Illustrated’s MMQB

He received death threats.  From Packers fans.  Over a GAME.

In my opinion, Bostick should have been cut.  Not because of that one play, but because he’d had (despite his opinion) a less than stellar year, because he did not show enough progression and because the Packers needed his roster spot for someone who could contribute at a higher level.

Still.  Some of you “real fans” threatened his life?


Football, despite the importance the Green Bay Packers have to me, is a game.  It is not life or death.  To threaten the life of a young man who was very much a”Packer Person”, who owned his mistake with grace and courage, who did someone any of us that has ever played sports or cared passionately about would understand – acted on instinct with a bad outcome- if you did such a thing , you’re lower than a snake’s navel.

I wish Brandon Bostick the best in Minnesota, although not against the Packers.  Anyone who wished he would die…I hope they get what they deserve.

Get off the bandwagon.  You aren’t wanted.

You aren’t a real fan.