Packers Morning Buzz: 'Interest is mutual' in bringing Everson Griffen to 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 a report of mutual free-agency interest between the Packers and longtime Vikings pass rusher Everson Griffen, according to NFL Network:
Griffen, 32, has 74.5 sacks in his 10 seasons, which ranks fourth on Minnesota's all-time list.
Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari has had some memorable matchups with Griffen over the years, and the two combatants talked in glowing terms about their rivalry before the Packers' 21-16 win over the visiting Vikings last September:
“He holds pretty good,” Griffen told reporters in Minnesota, laughing. “He still holds. He finds a way. He’s a good holder, but he gets it done. But he’s a good player, too. David Bakhtiari, I rank him on the top. Each and every year, we have a battle. He is one of the top. He’s my top-three tackles in the game, for sure.”
For Bakhtiari, the feeling is mutual.
“We've built an interesting relationship over the past years,” Bakhtiari said. “I've got an immense amount of respect for him. I'm excited for the time he eventually gets out of our division, if that'll ever happen. It's always fun going against him because the one thing with our relationship, we both know that we both bring it, four quarters, 60 minutes, and it's just a heavyweight battle. It's fun.
“There are times we always lock eyes at certain points. We get in the game, give each other a little head nod. It's like, 'OK.' When boxers get in the ring, it's mano-a-mano. Let's go. Let's have some fun.”
The Vikings might not be the NFL's most attractive destination at the moment:
More Minnesota concerns:
Tuesday normally would have featured the first practice of Packers' training camp:
Packers edge rusher Preston Smith clearly pleased with first-time honor:
Davante Adams made the list for the third straight year, but seemed less than pleased with his spot in the rankings:
Our Packers position previews roll on:
Aaron Rodgers still lands a top-10 spot in the 2020 Pro Football Focus quarterback rankings.
Steve Palazzolo writes:
One of the biggest offseason questions centered around Rodgers playing in a new system, and though he led his team to a 13-3 record and a first-round bye, Rodgers didn’t exactly answer those questions with flying colors. He finished with a solid grade but also had multiple poor games, and he even produced the lowest-graded outing of his career in Week 12. There’s no denying Rodgers’ talent — and he’s still one of the league’s best at hitting big-time throws and avoiding turnover-worthy plays — but the thing that has made Rodgers one of the best quarterbacks of all time is his ability to hit the “easy” throws and avoid negative plays. Those elements of his game have taken a step back in recent years, and that trend has now stretched across multiple systems. Perhaps Rodgers can get back to his top-three self, but he’ll have to improve his short and intermediate accuracy while cutting down on the pressure that he’s invited in recent years.
We have a new question for Rodgers this offseason: Will a more run-heavy approach get the most out of him in his later years? That appears to be the Packers' plan given their draft strategy of adding run-game weapons instead of upgrading the wide receiver room, and perhaps that will play to Rodgers’ strengths of getting the ball down the field. He’s still shown to be capable of making the special throws and avoiding the disastrous ones — an excellent starting point for any quarterback — but Rodgers ranks just 26th in accuracy percentage on 1-19-yard throws over the last two years, so perhaps the Packers see this as an opportunity to take some of those plays off his plate. Even with Rodgers trending in the wrong direction the second half of the decade, he remains one of the best quarterbacks in the league and more than capable of creating chunk plays in a hurry.
You can read the entire rankings here:
Cheesehead TV's Paul Bretl on why the Packers would be fine carrying just five receivers:
And finally: He should give a percentage to the Packers' run defense:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt