Aaron's Answers: Right time to let Lang walk?

Aaron Nagler
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Throughout the offseason, I’ll be answering reader questions in a weekly mailbag here at If you’d like to submit a question in the future, just email me at

One round of the NFL draft has come and gone and the Packers have yet to make a selection. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have questions and I’m here to answer them for you. Let’s get to it.

From Adam Lavoie:

What's up Aaron!

I bet you  can't wait for the draft to be over so can take a break from all the 'what if this guy..?' questions. Don't worry, me too!

Haason Reddick is THE guy I'm looking for in the first round. He can play inside on 1st & 2nd down and rush from the outside on 3rd, is CB who transitioned to DE, and an athletic freak.  You can't ask for a more complete resume!

Him in the 1st, a CB in the 2nd round and on the 3rd day, a big RB in the 3rd or 4th round like James Conner, and some wr & linemen here and there like always, that'd be a dream come true!

Aaron’s Answer:

Well Adam, obviously this dream won’t be coming true as Reddick went 13th overall to the Cardinals on Thursday night.

However, the rest of your scenario is still very much intact after Ted Thompson traded out of the first round. The Packers now have control of the first pick both on Friday and Saturday, which are pretty valuable assets for a team that has several needs and is looking to the draft to fill them.

I do think we’ll see Thompson swing another trade down early in the second round to acquire another pick or two, and then we’ll most likely see him start to address the positions you mention here.

From Robin Haworth:

Ok, so this isn't technically a question, but I'd love your opinion...

How many hundreds of times have you heard Packer fans use the quote "better to let a guy go a year too early than a year too late"?  Yet when that actually plays out in real life, people go bonkers.  Packers fans *love* to quote Lombardi like he's a deity, and they also regularly wish that we had Belichick as our coach/GM.  But there's no way in hell that either of those guys would have paid Lions money to keep Lang.  Both of those guys were/are ruthless when it comes to personnel.  Sucks to lose Lang, but people need to get over it.  There's a decent chance that it wasn't even a year too early.

Aaron’s Answer:

Very good observation, Robin.

I obviously can’t speak for Packers fans, but I can understand their frustration when they see talented players walk out the door, especially when they are continually sold on the idea of “draft and development” as the main driver of their team’s program.

I tend to think Lang has at least three more good years in him, though you never know when Father Time is going to start knocking on that door. As I’ve said many times, I would have paid to keep one of the best offensive lines in the league together, but that’s probably why I’d be a bad general manager.

But your point is a good one. And as you suggest, I believe that by the time the season rolls around and the Packers' offense is scoring touchdowns, many will have mostly forgotten they were even mad about it. Look at the release of Josh Sitton. Fans were howling for days after that happened, but by the middle of the season it was pretty much an afterthought.

Fans are often prisoners of the moment and are lamenting the loss of a Pro Bowl player. It’s understandable.

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