Aaron Nagler talks to Michael Cohen about his two-part feature on Packers vice president of football administration/player finance Russ Ball.
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers and the NFL from around the web and here at PackersNews.com. Grab a strong cup of coffee, or brew some English breakfast tea if that’s your thing, or maybe you’re just not into caffeine. In that case, may I suggest a glass of orange juice? In any case, sit back and get caught up on everything you need to know about the Packers.
We’ll start with the second part of Michael Cohen’s excellent look at Russ Ball. This time, Michael takes the reader behind the scenes of how the Packers negotiate with agents around the league.
Just as teams around the league are identified by offensive and defensive philosophies, agents with enough experience can recognize organizational tendencies from one negotiation to the next. Each front office has its own contractual footprint, so to speak, and it behooves the deal seekers to understand their quirks.
“You only get that feel from being around the league long enough to know the negotiator at each team,” said one agent who has worked with Ball for decades.
When it comes to the Packers, who have had the same pairing of general manager and contract negotiator since 2008, agents identified several tendencies that have become synonymous with the organization. They are the non-negotiables of every negotiation, and those who are most successful will have anticipated them from the start.
It begins with weathering the low-ball storm.
I spoke with Michael about his piece and asked him about Ball’s chances at becoming the Packers’ next general manager:
Elsewhere, the guys over at Setting the Edge published their NFC North team previews. Justis Mosqueda’s write-up on the Packers is very much worth your time.
The Green Bay Packers’ passing offense should be efficient in 2017 even if they can’t push the ball further downfield, but the addition of tight end Michael Bennett and the potential for a more voluminous running game with three new added backs in the backfield could help in that aspect, even if the young Packers pass-catchers don’t catch on. The swap of guard T.J. Lang for Jahri Evans is a drop in talent, but Evans, a six-time Pro Bowler, playing between one of the best young centers in the league and one of the best right tackles in the league should make that transition easier.
On the defensive side of the ball their ability to get after the quarterback will almost surely diminish, unless hybrid linebacker Clay Matthews returns to his prime, but there are more quality run defenders on the 2017 team than the 2016 team, and the 2016 was above average in that aspect. The secondary brought in three significant players in cornerbacks Davon House and Kevin King and safety Josh Jones, which should help to replace Micah Hyde in what was a banged up secondary in 2016.
Getting after the quarterback could be an issue in 2017, but this squad should be neck-and-neck with the Minnesota Vikings in both the wildcard and NFC North title races late in the season. I think that race is going to be tighter than some would assume at this point.
The NFL put together a video of every 40+ yard Aaron Rodgers touchdown throw:
The Packers Wire gives us five players to watch during the second week of OTAs:
Zach over at Cheesehead TV writes on Davon House and the leadership he brings to the secondary:
Don’t miss Mike Tanier’s All-Time Underrated team over at Bleacher Report, which includes current Packers lineman Jahri Evans and former Packers safety LeRoy Butler:
Butler was the NFL's most dangerous all-purpose safety for much of the 1990s. He covered receivers (38 career interceptions). He blitzed (20.5 sacks). He played the run with authority (721 career solo tackles). He helped the Packers win a Super Bowl. But outside of Wisconsin, his accomplishments were mostly forgotten shortly after his career ended in 2001.
Butler has never even been a Hall of Fame semifinalist, and it's not going to happen for him soon. An ever-growing backlog of outstanding safeties is queuing up outside Canton, as Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed will soon join John Lynch and Brian Dawkins. Butler is all but guaranteed to get lost in the shuffle.
Tramon Williams was in a reminiscing mood Tuesday:
Martellus Bennett told Inc. about team building in training camp:
Ty Montgomery visited the ESPN campus on Tuesday:
Rob Demovsky looks at the signing bonuses given out to the Packers' undrafted free agents: