Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers 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 about the Packers.
Michael Cohen’s piece on undrafted rookie running backs Don Jackson and Brandon Burks starts us off. It’s an excellent look at life on, and off, the fringes of an NFL roster.
A cloud of uncertainty still hovers over the position. Starks has been released and Lacy and Michael will be unrestricted free agents in March.
The only players left are Montgomery, whose switch from receiver to running back seems permanent, and Jackson, who’s likely to return for another look as an exclusive rights free agent.
And it’s the divergent paths of Burks and Jackson that offer a window into life near the fringes of the NFL. Both arrived in Green Bay as undrafted rookies fighting to make the team. Both had a spell on the active roster, though Burks’ stay was brief. Both looked on as injuries left the Packers yearning for a healthy running back in the middle of a playoff push.
But everything else about their debut seasons went in opposite directions.
Here’s one exchange:
Q: Good afternoon Pete - If it's safe to assume that TJ will get more money than Sitton, does it make sense to move Bulaga inside and get Spriggs career started at Right Tackle? Also, do you think Cook gets a franchise tag and a one year deal?
A: I'm not sure what kind of money Lang will get. He's a really good player, but he's also coming off hip surgery and a broken foot. Not sure when he'll be able to start doing football stuff this offseason, very well might not be for several months or more. He's not old (29) but has a lot of miles on him. So I don't know if his contract is going to be any better than Sitton's. Still, it's definitely up in the air whether he'll be back. I wondered the same thing with Bulaga, and that's definitely one possibility. The one argument against that is that Bulaga is playing so well at right tackle, it might be a mistake to move him out of there. That might mean moving Murphy to guard or drafting a guy in the middle rounds to possibility start at guard if they don't re-sign Lang. They'll have either option, I'm sure they want to get Spriggs on the field after trading up in the second round to get him. But they might be reluctant to move Bulaga. I don't see any way Cook gets the franchise tag. I'm not sure of the number, but I'd have to think it's around $8 million. That's too much for him even though he's an important player. I do have to think he's the highest priority re-sign of the offseason (maybe along with Perry).
I also chatted with readers late Thursday afternoon via our Facebook page.
Elsewhere, Packers fans should make sure to find their way to a television later today:
Really no surprise here, but Mike McCarthy has had a few historically pass-happy offenses while he has been in Green Bay:
Pro Football Focus has Packers linebacker Jake Ryan as one of the most improved second-year linebackers in the league:
The Packers' rookie class was a bit above average, according to Bucky Brooks:
LeRoy Butler spoke with the Packers' official website about his Hall of Fame chances:
ESPN’s Rob Demovsky looks at the level of need at the linebacker position: