Packers Morning Buzz: Mixed emotions for Bryan Bulaga about leaving Green Bay
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 former Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga talking about leaving Green Bay to sign a three-year, $30 million deal with the Chargers.
Appearing Tuesday on ESPN's "Wilde and Tausch" radio show, Bulaga said the Packers' lack of interest in retaining him came as no surprise.
“We kind of both knew we’d be going separate ways,” said Bulaga, adding that his agent did communicate with the Packers on the first day of legal tampering. “We knew pretty early that we would be parting different ways.”
That became clear later that day when the Packers signed former Lions right tackle Rick Wagner.
Bulaga, a 2010 first-round draft pick who has spent his entire NFL career with the Packers, said he departs on amicable terms and is excited about being reunited with former Green Bay offensive line coach James Campen..
“No hard feelings at all,” Bulaga said. “I understand the business of it. That’s the way it goes.”
Meanwhile, another Green Bay mainstay – cornerback Tramon Williams – clearly hopes to re-sign with Packers:
The Packers finally landed a free-agent receiver, but there are some issues:
Former Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson gets paid:
NFL general managers are pushing to postpone the draft:
All NFL teams have been ordered to shut down their facilities:
ICYMI, here's the latest Green 19 Packers podcast:
In his revised, post-free agency power rankings, NFL.com's Dan Hanzus keeps the Packers in the No. 5 spot but notes their need for a wide receiver:
Packers fans had to wince when they saw superstar wideout DeAndre Hopkins get moved to the Cardinals for less than a first-round pick. There had long been rumblings about Hopkins and Bill O'Brien being in a not-so-great place prior to the trade. Did Packers GM Brian Gutekunst ever pick up the phone? Consider this yet another example of why we need a GM App that connects all these guys. Just imagine Hopkins and Davante Adams running routes for Aaron Rodgers! It ain't happening, and it looks like the necessary upgrades at the skill positions will have to wait for the draft. Unsolicited advice for Gutie: Call the Bengals and kick the tires on A.J. Green.
Check out the full power rankings here:
Blake Martinez to the Giants. Jimmy Graham to the Bears. Randall Cobb to the Texans. They all make USA TODAY Sports' list of the 10 most questionable free-agency signings.
Regarding Martinez, author Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz writes:
Blake Martinez, LB, Giants
Contract: Three years, $30.75 million
Witness the peril of having an abundance of money and a shortage of players worthy of it. GM Dave Gettleman was insistent on remaking his defense and brought on several new starters, including Martinez, a tackling machine for the Packers. But is the four-year veteran actually a transformative figure? His vulnerability in coverage and speed limitations when forced to operate in space suggest otherwise. The Giants likely would have been better off addressing this spot in the draft.
You can see the entire list here:
The Giants' signing of Martinez gets better reviews from Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, who gives the move high marks.
LB Blake Martinez (three years, $30.75 million, $19 million guaranteed)
Gettleman knows that every defense needs a leader in the middle to pull it all together, and he sees the 26-year-old Martinez as his version of Antonio Pierce.
He's a smart player, a good leader, and an absolute tackling machine (he's averaged 147 tackles over the last three seasons). There was a big hole here after Alec Ogletree was cut, and since young Ryan Connelly is coming back from a torn ACL. There's a fair argument that there were better MLBs available, and maybe the Giants overpaid a little. But the importance of this position was rightfully not overlooked.
Vacchiano also gives a thumbs-up to the Giants' signing of former Packers linebacker Kyler Fackrell:
LB Kyler Fackrell (one-year, $4.6 million)
The Giants didn't have the desire to spend the crazy-big money on the few decent pass rushers that hit the open market. So they took a flier on this 6-foot-5, 245-pounder who had 10.5 sacks in 2018.
Yes, he only had one last year, but that's mostly because he lost his job after the Packers signed two pass-rushers in free agency last offseason. The key here is that new Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham was the Packers' linebackers coach in 2018, so he knows Fackrell's potential.
The Giants are hoping he'll have a bounce-back year like Markus Golden did when he had 10 sacks for the Giants last year.
You can read the entire story here:
But Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com puts the Giants' signings on his list of worst free-agent deals:
Blake Martinez and Kyler Fackrell, New York Giants linebackers: This is a classic case of a team overpaying for mid-level players in free agency because they can't draft or develop at the position. The Giants' linebackers have been a problem for years, so GM Dave Gettleman paid Martinez like a pass rusher: $19 million guaranteed and $22 million over the next two years. He would have been a lot better off just spending a little extra money on new Raider Cory Littleton or signing Joe Schobert, who went to Jacksonville. Fackrell was less of an issue -- he received $4.6 million for one year -- but it was another deal that had the look of an organization just hoping to climb back to the middle.
You can find Rosenthal's list of the 11 worst free-agent signings here:
Marcedes Lewis is officially back in the fold:
Former Packers fullback Danny Vitale's deal with the Patriots:
More action in the receivers market:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt