January 21, 2017
Riding high off an instant classic in Dallas, the Green Bay Packers are boarding their flight to Atlanta to face the Falcons in the NFC Championship game the following day. The conditions are foggy. 90 minutes later, the conditions are deemed too foggy to fly out of Green Bay. The Packers bus two hours south to Milwaukee and board a charter flight to Atlanta. Though the Packers were late to the hotel in Atlanta, they didn’t even bother to show up to the Georgia Dome the following day. Needless to say, the flight back to Green Bay faced no delays, much like the end of their season that day.
Ted Thompson’s relationship with his girlfriend is on the rocks. He cannot stand his job. One morning, him and his two closest colleagues skip out of work to grab coffee at a nearby restaurant. Thompson shares his true feelings about his job and his life. That evening, he attends a therapy session with his girlfriend, led by a hypnotist. Shortly after Thompson is brought under, the hypnotist suffers an instant heart attack, leaving Thompson in a perpetual hypnotic state.
Free agency begins shortly after. Fed up with the direction of his organization, Ted throws caution to the wayside and actually signs free agents on both sides of the ball–free agents that are actually known outside of their immediate families. On the day of the Martellus Bennett signing, he even parks in the spot at Lambeau normally reserved for Mark Murphy. With his spot taken, Murphy is forced to park in the handicap stall, and his vehicle is towed shortly thereafter.
Fresh off a gritty, defensive battle over arguably the most physical team in the NFL, the Packers cut two veterans on defense. One of the cuts, LaDarius Gunter, was atop the cornerback depth chart no more than eight months ago. The other cut, Ricky Jean-Francois, had a notable pedigree for his time in the league. The bottom line: hypnotized Ted is uber-confident to do the following:
- Cut two veterans from a unit that was dismal last season
- Engage in roster changes during the regular season
The season is only one week old, so it’s premature to say the Packers are riding high. Although they have cut a couple of veterans, it was done so to make room for other players that aren’t completely green behind the ears. Geronimo Allison has the opportunity to make the case for cutting Randall Cobb after the season (more on this at a later time). Depth at the defensive line with Montravius Adams on the mend and Quinton Dial on board made the decision easier to cut the more expensive, albeit experienced option in Jean-Francois.
Green Bay has the opportunity to spoil Atlanta’s maiden voyage in their new stadium that has been coined “Megatron’s Butthole” by the sometimes humorous but obscene and intellectually lazy staff at Deadspin. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Put it on ice, Packers.
________________John Piotrowski is a UW-Eau Claire alum, spending most of his life in western WI. He makes the trek east to Lambeau whenever possible. Follow him on twitter at @piosGBP.