Morning Buzz: Cutting ties with Super Bowl XLV
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 and get caught up on everything you need to know.
We’ll start with the very latest, which is that cornerback Sam Shields seemed to indicate early this morning that he has been released by the Packers.
Prior to anything they apparently have done with Shields, the Packers made their first significant move of the offseason on Tuesday with the release of veteran running back James Starks.
If it is the end of his time in Green Bay, Starks leaves a legacy as a sixth-round pick that exceeded expectations out of the University at Buffalo. The Packers might not make their run to Super Bowl XLV as the NFC’s sixth seed without Starks. As a rookie, Starks had 315 yards and a touchdown in the 2010 playoffs, including 123 yards in the wild-card round at Philadelphia.
Starks never settled into the lead tailback spot, mostly playing a complementary role as Eddie Lacy’s backup the past four seasons. In seven years, Starks has 2,506 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. A dual threat, he added 125 catches for 1,017 yards.
I chatted with readers for roughly 40 minutes after the Starks news broke yesterday:
The release of Starks is the first of many moves general manager Ted Thompson will be making to try and construct a championship roster. Ryan writes on how the lack of championships is staining the Packers’ resume.
In an age of NFL parity, the Packers’ consistency is impressive. But they also consistently have fallen short of their ultimate goal. The Packers stand with the Los Angeles Rams (1973-80) as the only teams to reach eight straight postseasons without advancing to multiple Super Bowls.
There's a reason the Rams of that era don’t register like Chuck Noll’s Pittsburgh Steelers, Tom Landry’s Dallas Cowboys, Bill Walsh’s San Francisco 49ers or Bill Belichick’s Patriots. Led by Hall of Fame defensive end Jack Youngblood, the 1970s Rams enjoyed one of the most successful stretches in regular-season league history. But they didn’t maximize their postseason opportunities enough to make their run memorable five decades later.
That’s where the Packers find themselves as Ted Thompson prepares for his 13th season as general manager. Nobody can deny the Packers are in the midst of one of the best extended runs in NFL history. But unless their perennial playoff trips lead to another Super Bowl appearance — at minimum — coach Mike McCarthy’s Packers risk being remembered for doing less with more than almost any team in history.
One big decision Thompson will have to make will be whether or not to re-sign his starting right guard, T.J. Lang. Packer Plus’ Rob Reischel writes on Lang’s uncertain situation.
If you have Packers questions that need answering, be sure to check out Bob McGinn’s chat at noon.
Former agent and salary cap guru Joel Corry has the cap implications of cutting Starks:
ESPN’s Rob Demovsky tallies up all the fines accrued by the Packers this season:
Are the Packers wasting Aaron Rodgers’ prime? The Power Sweep has some thoughts:
FOX Sports tries to predict the Packers 5 biggest moves this offseason:
The Atlanta Falcons, the team that beat the Packers in the NFC championship to advance to the Super Bowl, will most likely have two new coordinators next season:
The Patriots and their fans appeared to have a great time during their championship parade: