Marcedes Lewis Won’t Repeat 2018

Once again a close eye will be kept on Green Bay’s tight ends come training camp. Jimmy Graham’s cap hit leads the NFL for the 2019 season at $12.6 million. Coming off the year he just had, the 32-year-old tight end will have to pull off something miraculous to justify a larger cap hit than say a Travis Kelce or Greg Olsen. Graham faced a lot of scrutiny for his play in 2018. Frankly, he didn’t move very well and became quite insufficient when he broke his thumb in week 11. Graham is an easy target, however, the same can’t be said for the eldest Green Bay tight end, Marcedes Lewis. Lewis just recently turned 35 but should honestly feel pretty fresh having seen very little action last season. This begs an important question, does he have another year left in him?

Lewis was always a solid player throughout his first 12 seasons but this last season with the Packers was an anomaly. Three receptions for 39 yards were career-lows by a mile. Actually, you will find it difficult to judge Lewis’ play because he was used so sparingly. He averaged about 16 snaps per game in 2018, including special teams. Honestly, there were times you probably forgot Lewis was even on the team.

Was he old or did he just not fit Mike McCarthy’s offense? If age was the biggest factor then it is questionable how he even made the team in the first place.

Sure, Lewis was never Antonio Gates but he also wasn’t a scrub. There were times throughout his career the former Pro-Bowler was one of the best run-blocking tight ends in football. Yet somehow he took fewer snaps as a run-blocker than Graham who is notorious for not being a polished blocker in any fashion. This indicates he was misused and 2018 was not a fair shake.

The Packers resigned Lewis in March so he will have a good shot to rebound from a head scratching year. Matt LaFleur has likely seen a lot of tape from previous seasons which will paint a better picture of what to expect from the veteran.

Green Bay did draft a tight end in the third-round in Jace Sternberger. If Graham and Sternberger are locks then that would mean Lewis would need to beat out Robert Tonyan for the final tight end spot which is more than feasible. It is also possible they keep as many as four tight ends, increasing his odds.

If Lewis does make the 2019 roster, you can safely expect more productivity. LaFleur’s coaching tree suggests he will utilize tight ends more than what Packers fans are used to. Well, at least more than McCarthy. Honestly, Lewis would probably retire before a repeat of the 2018 season.

There’s no disputing his best years are behind him but he can still be a solid contributor by helping Green Bay get back to the playoffs. 2019 is one final shot at redemption for Lewis.

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Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.

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16 thoughts on “Marcedes Lewis Won’t Repeat 2018

  1. How big is the cap hit if we release Graham? Frankly, I don’t see him being $10 million better than Tonyan.

    Lewis actually didn’t grade out that well when blocking last year, or so I’ve heard in a couple podcasts.

    Here’s a thought: Cut both, go young, and save big money rolled forward to help re-sign players next year.

    1. Graham’s paycheck is ridiculous, I agree, but I also don’t want Sternberger coming in to a position group where Tonyan is the vet. I like the idea of having at least Graham or Lewis there to mentor him. They should probably cut one loose before the start of the season.

    2. Why would you cut both and leave two guys who have not had a lot of experience. The cap hit is for this year, so it would save nothing for next year. If they were to cut Graham at the end of this year, I’m sure there would still be a cap hit for 2020. I think it was a bad signing to begin with.

      Maybe Lewis can teach Tonyan and Sternberger a few things, but I think he will be done after this year IF he makes the team.

      I hope Sternberger will be a contributor this year and learn a lot.

      1. “The cap hit is for this year, so it would save nothing for next year.”

        Completely false. Money saved in one year rolls over to the next.

        In the future, learn the topic before commenting.

        1. It’s not money saved moron. If Graham is cut he still has to get paid and that is what is called a cap hit.

          Learn what a cap hit is before making foolish comments.

          1. Obviously. His guaranteed money accelerates into the current cap. The rest is savings–and that savings would be substantial. We’d save several million this year, and everything next–lots of savings.

            Learn what a cap hit REALLY is before making foolish comments, ‘kay?

            1. Oh now it’s obvious since I corrected you.

              If the Packers cut Graham it’s a 7.3 million cap hit for THIS year. Yeah that’s a lot of savings and the lose of an experienced TE. It was a bad signing to begin with.

              Aren’t you the same tool that said the Packers should cut Allison, there #2 receiver?

              Yeah you’re a book of football knowledge

            2. You didn’t correct me. It’s precisely as I’ve stated all along. We get substantial savings this season and big savings next.

              As for Allison, he’s no longer our #2–MVS is. Keep up.

            3. OK keep back peddling.

              Yes paying someone 7 million and not having them on the team is great savings.

              And wrong again on Allison. MVS may get to number 2 during the season, but Rodgers doesn’t have the confidence in him yet that he has in Allison.

              Isn’t it nap time for you?

            4. I’m not back-peddling. You keep saying I’m doing things that I’m clearly not.

              Look, enough of the insults. You don’t seem able to discuss without incessant attacks and mischaracterizations, and I don’t have time for that.

              You think what you think. Fine. Live long and prosper. But this is going nowhere, and the nastiness will only escalate with someone like you.

            5. Hopefully your done responding. My post have been spot on while yours not so much.

              In the future do not start a conversation with me by telling me to learn the subject, especially when you are not well versed on that subject.

            6. Oh for goodness sakes. I’m very well versed on the subject. You said no money would be saved for next year. That’s false. I was going on your own words.

              There have been no inaccuracies of any kind in my posts. But you’re clearly determined to have the last word, so the floor is yours.

              Write whatever nonsense you want. I won’t even bother reading it, and everyone else has moved to other subjects. Turn the light off when you leave.

            7. You’re delusional, not very bright and definitely have reading comprehension issues.

              Read this slowly so you understand. Then be a man and acknowledge you were wrong.

              Post-June 1 Release
              The post-June First cut option gets slightly tricky, thanks to that roster bonus, but here goes. The move would free up some cap space immediately, some more as of June 2nd, and most (but not all) of his cap hit in 2020.

              The rule states that a post-June 1 cut puts the current year’s guaranteed money (or signing bonus deferral) on the current year’s cap, and all future years’ obligations go on the next year’s cap. Therefore, the Packers take one hit of $3.7M each of the next two years. However, the post-June 1st cut results in the player’s 2019 full cap hit remaining on the books until June 2nd. This means that the Packers would get $9 million of extra cap space — but not until that date. Thus, the schedule looks as follows:

              2019: $3.7M dead cap hit, $9M in cap relief on June 2nd
              2020: $3.7M dead cap hit, $8M in cap relief

    3. Not only did Lewis barely play last season, but McCarthy didn’t/doesn’t know how to use the TE position, not really. Lewis was the #1 ranked run blocking TE the year before he got to GB in 2017. Not only that he had like 5 TD catches on limited receptions in 2017 too. Lewis played just 190 snaps last season which is inexcusable IMO and helps confirm MM doesn’t know what to do with a TE. Even with a RB like Aaron Jones the Packers ran the ball just 333 times. I can recall at least once or twice EVERY game screaming where the hell is Lewis while Kendrick’s was getting blown up yet again.

      1. I agree on McCarthy’s hideous handling of personnel. And certainly, I think Lewis can do much more than we saw last year. No doubt.

        But looking at our final 53, I see several areas that are really deep (WR, DL, EDGE, CB), and will require keeping more bodies simply to populate the roster with better athletes. Tough decisions must be made.

        For instance, Danny Vitale is a FB/TE hybrid who is an elite pass blocker with excellent hands, far greater speed, and much more special teams value–and he’s in his prime. Tonyan is the most explosive TE, and his skills are developing fast.

        Lewis was an elite run blocker 2 years ago, but Father Time stands undefeated. Is he still so much better at one skill that we must tie up a roster spot at the expense of younger, superior athletes?

        Special teams alone would suffer, to say the least of an explosive offense.

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