Russ Ball doin work

The Packers executive vice president/director of football operations is one of the best at what he does. 

Joel Corry, a former agent who is now an analyst for CBS Sports, has a new post up looking at what he consideres the five best teams in the league when it comes to handling player contracts and the salary cap and wouldn't you know it, the Packers make the cut. 

From Corry:

Executive vice president/director of football operations Russ Ball is responsible for Green Bay's vanilla contract structure with veteran players. The only guaranteed money in Packers contracts is a signing bonus. The lone exception is quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whose deals have conventional contract guarantees. The bigger deals contain a third or fifth day of the league year roster bonus in the second and third years. The roster bonuses are supposed to be substitutes for additional contract guarantees. The overall guarantees in Green Bay contracts are usually less than comparable deals on other teams.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

Russ Ball has come in for some criticism lately, mostly from anonymous sources in various articles that have appeared throughout the offseason.

I've been asked my opinion on Ball at various times and my standard answer is that he's very good at his job and I'm not really concerened with the fact that he seems to rub some people the wrong way. 

It's nice to see him get some recognition for the job he's doing for the Green Bay Packers. 

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Comments (15)

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

May 30, 2019 at 11:56 am

He has never rubbed me the wrong way and I think Russ is really on the Ball.

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Turophile's picture

May 30, 2019 at 12:04 pm

I probably have more doubts about Russ Ball now than I did two years ago.........but that is only part of the story.

My take is somewhat unusual, compared to most fans, because I started from a very high regard-level. Originally I thought he could be fine as a GM as long as he had a strong scouting department to lean on. I still think he manages the innumerable executive stuff only tangentially related to football on the field, at a high level .

He has made some cap errors (though it might be more accurate to blame TT who was in overall control). I guess most guys make mistakes, so what is really important is the body of work.

I don't want to see him a a GM, but I'm perfectly happy to see him carry on doing what he is doing.

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stockholder's picture

May 30, 2019 at 12:27 pm

My pick was Elliot Wolf. Ball could replace Murphy. I have that much faith in Ball.

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Coldworld's picture

May 30, 2019 at 01:00 pm

Ball had an easy cap to manage under TT, who liked to roll over cap every year and to avoid splash free agents. We all know where that got us.

Ball’s job was made easier by the decision not to retain Hyde and others. There have been suggestions that those calls might have been delegated to him.

As the article admits, the Packers utilize vanilla contracts. There is no great skill in cap manipulation there. There may be some in negotiation, but that’s always easier if you have dollars under the cap to play with.

Ball gets a lot of praise for the above. Perhaps there is a reason for that. Perhaps now, with a more aggressive GM we will see some more concrete evidence of his brilliance.

But if Ball was getting criticism, it was not for his cap management but his involvement and or influence beyond that. So nothing in this article or in any contractual evidence I see changes anything or sheds light on anything except that TT refused to take risks on expensive free agents. We all know that, and look where it got us!

If there is praise here, it’s for TT’s approach. That inherently ensured healthy cap management should have been achieved. There is a difference between a thriving cap and a thriving football team. Ball didn’t screw the cap up. That’s as much as one can infer and the article doesn’t represent anything more than that either.

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flackcatcher's picture

May 30, 2019 at 02:32 pm

I think that's a fair and balance view Coldword. I always thought Ball was getting the short end of the stick due, to the on going fight between Murphy and McCarthy over the power vacuum in the front office. That's on the Murphy and later the executive committee for not moving sooner to clean up the front office mess. Who actually handle the Rodgers contract is a open question. No one at 1265 is talking, and like TT, who is very loyal, Ball will keep quiet on this one too.

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Hawg Hanner's picture

May 30, 2019 at 08:06 pm

With reference to the remark about the "ongoing fight" where do you get that? My surmise is it's just like all the innuendo targeting Murphy et al. Its all BS

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flackcatcher's picture

May 31, 2019 at 12:40 am

Don't play dumb here. GM GUTE deep and aggressive drafts and the signing of street FA happened after the executive committee confirmed his control over player personal and had his contract rewritten to reflect that fact. That's on the record confirmed by GUTE himself on ESPN Milwaukee. If you want to pretend everything was sunshine, then go right ahead. But the gap in talent and Murphy's sudden involvement in player personal decisions is not an accident. Nor is the the sudden upgrade in talent under the new Packers GM. Why GUTE was not hired sooner is as 'they' say, a story for a another day.

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jannes bjornson's picture

May 30, 2019 at 11:08 pm

Ball should move along when Murphy signs off. Get the operation under the GM's control. Find a new direction.

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Lare's picture

May 30, 2019 at 01:26 pm

Ball apparently has been pretty good at contract & cap management but then again NFL teams don't win any awards or trophies for that.

The goal is to get the players necessary to win Super Bowls and to do so while staying fiscally responsible. That takes good talent evaluation, coaching and salary cap management.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

May 30, 2019 at 01:41 pm

How does this article have the Vikings salary cap management at #4?!

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flackcatcher's picture

May 30, 2019 at 02:21 pm

heh heh heh heh heh.............

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 02, 2019 at 03:04 am

The story is written by an agent. I didn't agree much with Corry, but I try to read everything he writes. The only thing I see about MN is that the Vikings do structure their contracts in ways that allow them to cut a player after two years without much pain, and sometimes after just a year. GB doesn't do that.

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bigGuy's picture

May 30, 2019 at 04:11 pm

I’m of the belief that the current administrative structure is because of Ball. I think promises were made to him. He was the GM in waiting. Once all the flack about having a non football guy as the GM started, the current structure was a compromise to make everyone happy.

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Coldworld's picture

May 30, 2019 at 04:15 pm

You may be right. It won’t though.

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IceBowl's picture

May 30, 2019 at 07:06 pm

Come on, this is a big deal. Apparently he is a big deal. We have one of the best cap masters in football? Great news for the Pack.

Why?? The pack has stretched is cap usage more than in a long time. WHEN we lose one of our "dynamic" players, a guy as talented as Ball can find a way to free up $$ for the best replacement.

Nice ace in the hole.

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