Packers Morning Buzz: Green Bay lands two on 2019 All-Paid Team
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
We'll start with the Packers placing two players on NFL.com's 2019 All-Paid Team, featuring the highest-paid players at each position. As author Anthony Holzman-Escareno notes, "It's essentially an All-Pro team, but the pocketbook supersedes pedigree and production for the day." Average annual value (AAV) is used as the measuring stick.
Aaron Rodgers is, of course, the quarterback. Here's the lowdown on the NFL's highest-paid player:
Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, Packers ($33.5 million AAV)
Full contract: Four-year, $134 million extension | Signed: 2018
Guaranteed at signing: $78.7 million (58.7 percent)
2019 cap hit: $26.5 million (14.1 percent) | 2019 cash: $15 million
The highest-rated passer in NFL history (103.1 career passer rating) is also, fittingly, the highest-paid player in NFL history ... for now. Seahawks star Russell Wilson is entering the final season of his current contract, meaning the baton for QB contracts should be passed along soon. Rodgers received $66.9 million in the first year of an extension that included the largest signing bonus in NFL history ($57.5 million).
Stats since signing: 16 games, 6-9-1 record, 62.3 pct, 4,442 passing yds, 25 TDs, 2 INTs, 97.6 rating.
Jimmy Graham makes the team as the highest-paid tight end despite his disappointing production last season. The lowdown:
Tight end: Jimmy Graham, Packers ($10 million AAV)
Full contract: Three years, $30 million | Signed: 2018
Guaranteed at signing: $11 million (36.7 percent)
2019 cap hit: $12.7 million (6.7 percent) | 2019 cash: $9 million
Graham struggled to establish chemistry with Aaron Rodgers in his first season with the Packers, tying a career low with 2 receiving touchdowns. However, even though he's far removed from his prime, he's still the highest-paid tight end in the NFL. Unless he transforms into a ghost of Jimmy Graham's past, the Packers will likely part ways with the tight end and save $8 million against the cap in 2020.
Stats since signing: 16 games, 55 catches, 636 rec yards, 2 rec TDs, 11.6 ypc.
You can find out who else made the team here:
Adrian Amos impressed the Packers with his accountability and high football IQ, writes Jim Owczarski:
The Packers hosted Giants free-agent safety Curtis Riley but couldn't agree on a deal, writes Tom Silverstein:
Former Packers cornerback Bashaud Breeland is going to Kansas City after signing with the Chiefs, writes Olivia Reiner:
ESPN's NFL Nation notes that the first week of free agency is in the books and looks at the biggest remaining need for each team. Here's what Rob Demovsky has to say about the Packers:
Weapon in the passing game: We're not just going to narrow it down to receiver. It could be a tight end or a running back, or some combination of the three. Outside of Davante Adams and Aaron Jones, the Packers don't have enough playmakers yet for Aaron Rodgers. There's a glaring hole in the middle of the field and a tight end, slot receiver or a pass-catching back would help fill that.
You can check out each NFL team's biggest need here:
As for the first week of free agency, Albert Breer of The MMQB asked some league executives and personnel director who have a background on the pro side of scouting to answer one question: Outside of what your team did, which move did you like the most?
One of the executive who responded cited Green Bay's moves:
“Thought [Adrian] Amos and [Za’Darius] Smith by Packers were very solid. … Solid players that they needed and didn’t super overpay for.”
You can see who else got good reviews midway through this column:
An update on Randall Cobb's visit with the Cowboys (as of Monday afternoon):
And this from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:
The "Good Morning Football" gang has some fun with Brian Gutekunst's free-agent shopping spree:
Jason Wilde writes about Za'Darius and Preston Smith for the Wisconsin State Journal:
And finally: Za'Darius Smith, who wore No. 90 in Baltimore, says he will wear No. 55 in honor of former Ravens teammate Terrell Suggs:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt