Cory's Corner: Now Is The Time

With the financial future up in the air for the Packers, the time to strike is now. 

Names are out there. 

The Lions released linebacker Jarrad Davis. The Cardinals released linebacker Devon Kennard. Raiders tight end Darren Waller has fired his agent and according to salary cap hit, he’s the 11th highest-paid tight end, behind the Rams’ Tyler Higbee. 

Now the question is, what is Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst going to do about it? 

We are in a weird vortex right now when it comes to Aaron Rodgers. His cap hit rises to $31.6 million next year and then swells to $40.7 million in 2024 and then $59.3 million in 2025. The Packers can swallow next year’s number, but after that, it’s going to get dicey. 

That’s why Gutekunst should do whatever it takes. Whether that means adding depth at outside linebacker, bringing in another pass catching tight end or adding a versatile and dynamic weapon on special teams. 

Now is the time. 

There are too many unanswered questions when it comes to the future of the Packers. I have no idea what this team will look like in two years and for that matter, this team could look very different next year. 

Aaron Jones has a cap hit of $20 million next season. With the Packers having a lot of money tied up in a quarterback, defensive tackle, cornerback and left tackle, I don’t see Green Bay paying that much for a running back. I have been a fan of Mason Crosby, but I would be surprised if he was still wearing green and gold in 2023. 

This team is at a crossroads right now. The guys in the locker room know this. The guys upstairs obviously know this as well. 

So what’s the answer? Acquire as much talent and don’t leave any stone unturned. Don’t allow the “What if” question to even creep into anyone’s mind. If there’s a better player out there that would make a good fit on this roster, Gutekunst needs to pick up the phone. 

Now is not the time to start worrying about money. The Packers have kicked the financial can down the road to the point where they know that things will be very tough to maneuver in a few years. 

This team is really good right now. They are currently in the mix to get to the Super Bowl from a lesser-than NFC. Bolstering the talent now would go a long way in competing against the likes of Buffalo, Kansas City and Baltimore and bringing home their fifth Super Bowl title. 

Which is why it’s time to just win the whole damn thing.  
 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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4 points

Comments (43)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Johnblood27's picture

August 30, 2022 at 06:33 am

Oh what the hell, let's just do it later...

I'm kinda tired from all the training camp rigors so let's just hold off on any of the roster move stuff.

No need to keep an eye on any player availability around the league either, that sort of thing almost never works out and simply cannot be worth the time it takes to keep up with the other 31 teams machinations.

Straight outta the MIke Sherman GM manual...

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lou's picture

August 30, 2022 at 09:01 am

Of ALL the draft picks Sherman made only 2 became starters, a #1, Nick Barnett and a #7 Scott Wells, that has to be the ultimate record for futility in NFL history. Worse yet when Harlan took his GM job away he pouted and his coaching ability went south, then the door hit him in his backside.

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DoubleJ's picture

August 30, 2022 at 09:50 am

Sherman was GM from 2001-2004. I believe he didn't do the picks in 2001 though. However, he had more than 2 starters picked. In 2002 he picked Javon Walker and Aaron Kampman who started for GB. He also got Marquese Anderson who started for other teams. 2003 there was Barnett. 2004 was rough but had Ahmad, I cannot keep my hands to myself, Carroll and Scott Wells.

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jannes bjornson's picture

August 30, 2022 at 02:46 pm

The guy was an imposter.

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Lphill's picture

August 30, 2022 at 06:44 am

not one good report on Jarrad Davis even Dan Campbell gave up on him.

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DoubleJ's picture

August 30, 2022 at 09:38 am

Exactly this. When someone cannot even crack the Lions' roster, why would they be any better than what we have in GB? There isn't much sense in adding a "name" when that "name" is over the hill and rapidly declining. Anyone remember Jeff Saturday when he was with GB?

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NickPerry's picture

August 30, 2022 at 07:00 am

Hmmm...How awesome would it be to have a game-breaking returner for the first time since Rossum or Howard? I didn't realize it until just now when I looked it up. Rossum's last season in Green Bay was 2001! Maybe I'm forgetting a returner who made me get up off the sofa every time the Packers were to receive a KO or punt, I just know it's been a LONG, long time since they've had one.

Waller... If it didn't happen at the time of the Adams trade it's not happening IMO. Besides, I don't think the Raiders are going to get much to trade Waller at this time. Hmmm, let's see... Do I want to trade for a TE who will be turning 30 in 2 weeks AND wants a shit ton of money and is represented by Drew Rosenhaus? I think that time came and went sometime this past April... I'll pass...

Gute has done an excellent job finding players who FIT the Packers system perfectly without paying an arm and leg which is exactly what Waller would cost...And probably more. Who knows, he may pull something out of his hat yet.

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egbertsouse's picture

August 30, 2022 at 07:09 am

Yeah, we don’t need any stinking good TEs. We have Methuselah Lewis, Peg-leg Tonyan, and Josiah”What play are we running “ Deguara.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

August 30, 2022 at 09:08 am

On a related note, OJ Howard was just released by the Bills. Not sure if his contract had an offset clause or not, but if he did, he'd basically be free as Bills are still on the hook for his $3MM guaranteed this year.

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Coldworld's picture

August 30, 2022 at 09:41 am

He was apparently slow to pick up the scheme and even slower on the field. Basically outplayed all summer.

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PeteK's picture

August 30, 2022 at 09:39 am

Hahahaha

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Coldworld's picture

August 30, 2022 at 07:03 am

We already mortgaged the future with dead money. Any more would need to be a serious upgrade. At this point teams do not release players that they believe remain game changers unless there are strong non football reasons.

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PackyCheese500's picture

August 30, 2022 at 07:32 am

The Packers don’t need a game changer at OLB; just reliable veteran depth, something we don’t have right now. We couldn’t pressure the QB in the final 2 preseason games, and that was against a backup Oline. These same players will be our 3rd and 4th OLBs in the game. The Packers need to sign someone.

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PackyCheese500's picture

August 30, 2022 at 07:32 am

The Packers don’t need a game changer at OLB; just reliable veteran depth, something we don’t have right now. We couldn’t pressure the QB in the final 2 preseason games, and that was against a backup Oline. These same players will be our 3rd and 4th OLBs in the game. The Packers need to sign someone.

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DoubleJ's picture

August 30, 2022 at 09:40 am

Who would that reliable veteran be? Do we think Pierre-Paul really has much left in the tank and would be able to switch to OLB at this stage in his career?

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PackyCheese500's picture

August 31, 2022 at 08:04 am

He was an OLB for the Bucs. He was also a starter for them. As a backup, he’d have a smaller workload, which would fit him at this stage of his career better. He could be more productive in a backup role and provide more consistent pressure because he’d be fresher.

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PackyCheese500's picture

August 30, 2022 at 07:29 am

In my opinion, it all depends on whether this is Aaron Rodgers’ final season or not. If it is, then yes, go all in and trade for Waller. If not, then we should keep the future more in mind (Gute does an excellent job of building SB contending teams that are friendly to the future).

Regardless, the Packers NEED to sign a veteran OLB for depth at that position, which I think is their biggest roster hole right now. Whether it’s Kinnard, Davis, or my preferred target, Jason Pierre-Paul, the Packers need SOMEONE. Having a veteran OLB on the field (see Whitney Mercilus last year) actually improved the overall play and performance of the defense. If the Packers can do that, it will put the final piece of the puzzle in place to make this truly an excellent defense.

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LambeauPlain's picture

August 30, 2022 at 07:53 am

The D should have a very different pass rush dynamic this year. The pass rush and QB pressure from the DL should be as good as it has been in many years.

Unlike past years, additional pressure will come from the ILB. Last year Campbell was needed for his coverage skill over the middle. Barnes made a few rushes on the passer but he's not that good at it.

Walker successfully rushed the QB at GA...and Campbell should be able to. Pack will be bringing pressure from the middle this year, both DL and ILB spots. And from the slot & CB position too because the ILBs will literally have their back in coverage.

Enagbare will take some time, and a waiver wire vet OLB pick is possible...but it is not a glaring need, IMO.

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PackyCheese500's picture

August 30, 2022 at 07:59 am

When Gary and Smith weren’t on the field and for the last 2 preseason games, the Packers COULD NOT pressure the QB. We still have those same guys plus Enagbare, who has upside but is a project. When Mercilus was active for a game last year, the defense played better overall. If you want a good defense, you HAVE TO BE ABLE TO PRESSURE THE QB. OLB is one of the most-rotated-out positions in football, and the Packers need someone who can provide consistent pressure. Besides, they have the cap space to do it, and they wouldn’t be out anything from doing so.

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murf7777's picture

August 30, 2022 at 08:29 am

Lambeau, you make some good points about ILB and safeties providing some pass rush. And I agree the DL should be really good so maybe the OLB isn’t as big as the past.

That said, what if one of them get injured or when they need rest during the game? A higher level aging vet that can provide a year or two would be very helpful.

Also, I believe this team will be at their best if they can rush 4 at a very high level and not depend on blitzing or rushing/stunting an ILB while the OLB who carries 30-40lbs additional weight into coverage. Think of NYG and Philly teams who rotated front 4 with high quality players and didn’t have to blitz or stunt to win the SB. IMO, those are the best defenses.

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murf7777's picture

August 30, 2022 at 08:11 am

Your correct we do need better depth at OLB and I fully expect a move in that direction similar to adding last year as you suggested. On defense especially, Belichick was a master at picking up aging veterans and getting a couple of really good years out of them. He schemed to their strengths. That is what this team needs to do at OLB & Safety. There will be some good ones available soon.

THE time is now……At this stage, how much you spend of the SC doesn’t matter, starting in 2024 and somewhat next year we are already in SC hell and will have to wholesale some of our good players down the road. That’s the reality of going all-in as the Packers have for Rodgers last couple of years.

They have done a lot of extension of contracts and traded Adams to provide SC relieve for this year and somewhat next, after that there’s not enough magic to keep all of the team together. They will have to sign Stokes, Jenkins, Savage and Gary to name a few over the next two years as well. Bak’s contract will hamstring us over the next few years as well. Also, Rodgers contract will have a lot of dead money unless he plays for over a few years and they can extend it to the future years.

You’re correct Cory….The TIME is now.

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PackyCheese500's picture

August 31, 2022 at 08:07 am

Jason Pierre-Paul and Devon Kinnard are the top 2 OLB options, in my opinion

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PackyCheese500's picture

August 30, 2022 at 07:32 am

In my opinion, it all depends on whether this is Aaron Rodgers’ final season or not. If it is, then yes, go all in and trade for Waller. If not, then we should keep the future more in mind (Gute does an excellent job of building SB contending teams that are friendly to the future).

Regardless, the Packers NEED to sign a veteran OLB for depth at that position, which I think is their biggest roster hole right now. Whether it’s Kinnard, Davis, or my preferred target, Jason Pierre-Paul, the Packers need SOMEONE. Having a veteran OLB on the field (see Whitney Mercilus last year) actually improved the overall play and performance of the defense. If the Packers can do that, it will put the final piece of the puzzle in place to make this truly an excellent defense.

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PackyCheese500's picture

August 30, 2022 at 07:33 am

In my opinion, it all depends on whether this is Aaron Rodgers’ final season or not. If it is, then yes, go all in and trade for Waller. If not, then we should keep the future more in mind (Gute does an excellent job of building SB contending teams that are friendly to the future).

Regardless, the Packers NEED to sign a veteran OLB for depth at that position, which I think is their biggest roster hole right now. Whether it’s Kinnard, Davis, or my preferred target, Jason Pierre-Paul, the Packers need SOMEONE. Having a veteran OLB on the field (see Whitney Mercilus last year) actually improved the overall play and performance of the defense. If the Packers can do that, it will put the final piece of the puzzle in place to make this truly an excellent defense.

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RCPackerFan's picture

August 30, 2022 at 07:35 am

I would not be surprised to see them going after some players that were cut. I would not be surprised to see them looking at OLB. I think they have 3 locks. Gary, Smith and Enagbare. Maybe Enagbare isn't a lock, but he has shown enough that I don't see them cutting him.
Beyond those 3, none of the other guys have truly stood out or separated themselves from the other guys. I could see them looking to add another more proven type of OLB.

Another position they may look add someone at is CB.

Today will be interesting to see what they do.

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PackyCheese500's picture

August 31, 2022 at 08:08 am

Yes, Jason Pierre-Paul or Devon Kinnard are the top 2 for OLB in my opinion. For DB, we could sign Anthony Harris, Jaquiski Tartt, or Logan Ryan.

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stockholder's picture

August 30, 2022 at 07:50 am

The Rock- It doesn't matter What Your name is!!!. It's just that simple. They don't need to spend money. The team with the most talent, doesn’t always win. So Gutey doesn't need to do anything with whats out there.
Bringing in what you need is just a PS away. The youth is the only way through the weird vortex. And hanging on because of draft status, will put this team in the crossroads. More than how they maneuver the cap.

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PackyCheese500's picture

August 30, 2022 at 07:54 am

Rudy Ford, a Special Teams standout, was just released by the Jaguars. Maybe the Packers get him? Jaquiski Tartt was released by the Eagles too. If the Packers are looking for safety depth maybe they call him?

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Fubared's picture

August 30, 2022 at 08:20 am

To make matters worse, yove got an iffy QB at back up. If he cant pan out, you have zero money to get talent so the team like many teams out there suffers with a so so QB.
The good news is the fans enjoyed great QBing for many many years and had some good runs and a couple of super bowls, albeit could have been a few more, but this team is heading to the average range and because of the small market money will be there a long time.
Hopefully not as long as the Lions but they have deep pockets in the Fords.
Throw in any real talent you draft will not stay here with low pay and a lousy team so your looking big time turnover every few years and its the talent going out the door.

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13TimeChamps's picture

August 30, 2022 at 09:21 am

"but this team is heading to the average range and because of the small market money will be there a long time."

It doesn't matter how rich the owner is. The salary cap ensures no team can outspend other teams, like the Yankees or Dodgers in baseball. The salary cap is set each year at x amount. It applies equally whether you're in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas.....or Green Bay.

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Since'61's picture

August 30, 2022 at 08:44 am

At this point if the Packers are going to pick up a castoff player it should be a solid KR/PR. Given the status of our STs we need to at least try to win the field position battle.

Our punter looks capable of helping our defense with good punts assuming that we can figure out how to prevent long returns. A good kickoff/punt returner could help our offense play with a shorter field.

Too often we fair catch punts inside our own 20. Teams will deliberately kickoff short and make us try to return to our 25 which we rarely achieve.

This team is close. It will be ridiculous if we allow our STs to fail us again. Thanks, Since ‘61

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TarynsEyes's picture

August 30, 2022 at 11:24 am

Which part of the SPT unit is more in need of help, the Return Unit or the Coverage Unit?

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mnbadger's picture

August 30, 2022 at 12:22 pm

it really doesn't matter so I say both sides. It's the same handful of players short the specialists. GPG!

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TarynsEyes's picture

August 30, 2022 at 01:52 pm

Which side needs the Specialists to be upgraded, and since our SPT's are again looking mediocre at best, who are these Specialists? Don't say the McDonnell or Crosby, so, are we in need of an unstoppable gunner on coverage or a dynamic returner?

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Since'61's picture

August 30, 2022 at 07:27 pm

Taryn - that is a tough call. I'll go with the return unit. They give our opponents offense short fields far too often.
Thanks, Since '61

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Johnblood27's picture

August 30, 2022 at 04:50 pm

Yo Leatherhead - you want some of this?

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TXCHEESE's picture

August 30, 2022 at 01:31 pm

Good Lord! Another sign everybody else's players article. Granted there are going to be some out there that GB may bring in, but I'm not going to pretend to know who they would be. Let's let the pro's run the show.

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LeotisHarris's picture

August 30, 2022 at 03:33 pm

Why, Cory? Jebus Cripes!

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Johnblood27's picture

August 30, 2022 at 04:51 pm

This comment I just don't get...

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LeotisHarris's picture

August 30, 2022 at 03:34 pm

Deleted

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Johnblood27's picture

August 30, 2022 at 04:51 pm

This one I understand completely...

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ricky's picture

August 30, 2022 at 04:04 pm

The last three seasons, the Packers have won 13 games; twice, they've had home field advantage throughout the playoffs. And so far, they haven't found a way to break through and win it all. Quite simply, as Kevin Greene said to CMIII the last time they won it all: "It is time!" Excellent regular season records are nice; Super Bowl trophies are what separates the winners from the wannabes. Time for number five; time for the Lombardi to come back where it belongs. It is time.

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Johnblood27's picture

August 30, 2022 at 04:53 pm

I am soooo glad that you have settled it for me.

I can now just R-E-L-A-X and enjoy the regular season and not stress during the playoffs!

Thanks!!!!

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