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Author Topic: 4 Members of the Green Bay Packers Who Won't Be Back in 2015 - Bob Fox  (Read 2098 times)

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Offline LMG

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    • Where are we?

 Morry Gash/Associated Press Photo


The Green Bay Packers were a little more than five minutes away from heading to Super Bowl XLIX, when they had the ball and held a 19-7 lead over the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game in Seattle.

In fact, the Packers had a 98.2 percent chance of winning the game at that point, according to Joe Posnanski of NBC Sports.

But we all know what happened. The Packers had a monumental collapse late in the game and ended up losing 28-22 in overtime. That painful loss will linger for awhile, as I wrote in my most recent story.

Somehow, the Packers must get over that Twilight Zone ending they suffered in Seattle and move on to the business of the 2015 NFL season.

That was being done earlier this week as the players emptied out their lockers and had exit interviews with the coaches.

Head coach Mike McCarthy was supposed to give his season-ending press conference late Wednesday morning, but that was canceled after McCarthy learned his brother Joe has passed away earlier that morning in the Pittsburgh area.

Joe McCarthy was playing playing racquetball at a local gym when he collapsed. He was just 47 years old.

That unfortunate and sad situation certainly adds some perspective about what is really important in the daily events which occur in our lives.

But McCarthy will get back to work soon enough. He and general manager Ted Thompson will discuss a number of topics, including which players will and will not be on the roster in 2015. There will also be a discussion about possible coaching staff changes.

The Packers look to be in excellent shape from a salary cap perspective. The Packers began the 2014 season almost $8 million below the cap number of $133 million.

The cap is supposed to go up between $5.6 million and $8.8 million in 2015, based on a tweet by Jason La Canfora. This is what the NFL Management Council told teams back less than two months ago.

That is good news for the Packers. The amount may even be higher. Bottom line, I expect the Packers to be able to re-sign their most important unrestricted free agent, wide receiver Randall Cobb.

Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com certainly believes that will happen as well. I also expect the Packers to be able to re-sign right tackle Bryan Bulaga as well.

Here is the list of potential free agents for the Packers in 2015. I expect the Packers will be able to re-sign a number of them, which will include Cobb and Bulaga.

However, I do see at least one unrestricted free agent on that list I don't believe the team will bring back. I'm sure there will be some others as well. I also see the Packers not bringing back three players who will have their contracts expire in 2016.



A.J. Hawk


Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press Photo


A.J. Hawk was selected fifth overall in the 2006 NFL draft by the Packers. Although Hawk had a solid career in Green Bay in nine seasons, he didn't play up to the status of being a top-five pick.

Hawk went to just one Pro Bowl in his career, but he also led the team in tackles five times. The problem with those tackles is that most of them were well past the line of scrimmage. Hawk did not create a lot of turnovers either.

No. 50 had nine interceptions in his career (basically one each season) and only forced three fumbles in his career, although he did have five fumble recoveries.

The biggest problem Hawk had in the 2014 season was he wasn't very effective stopping the run at inside linebacker. In fact, the Packers were dead-last in the NFL in run defense going into their Week 10 matchup vs. the Chicago Bears.

That was when Hawk saw his playing time decreased, as the Packers started moving outside linebacker Clay Matthews inside on running downs and also increased the playing time of second-year inside linebacker Sam Barrington.

If you look at the salary cap breakdown for the Packers in 2015, as provided by spotrack.com, the Packers can save $3.5 million by releasing Hawk.

Hawk's current contract with the Packers expires in 2016.

Again, Hawk had a nice career in Green Bay, but he won't be getting the playing time he once had, plus it's obvious Barrington has overtaken him on the depth chart.

I also expect the Packers to select an inside linebacker early in the 2015 NFL draft. Plus, the Packers also really like rookie linebacker Joe Thomas who was on their practice squad.


Brad Jones



 Cliff McBride/Getty Images


Brad Jones is a very enigmatic linebacker. On the one hand, Jones has some real talent, and he sometimes shows it, but more times than not he will make a boneheaded play or commit a stupid penalty.

Jones was drafted in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL draft by the Packers. He played outside linebacker for his first three years in Green Bay and then switched to inside linebacker the last three seasons.

Jones only had 258 total tackles in his career as a Packer, which includes just 18 total tackles in 2014. No. 59 did have 10 sacks in his time in Green Bay, forced forced two fumbles and recovered one.

But every once in awhile, Jones would flash his athletic ability. That is why he was used as the cover linebacker when the Packers went into the nickel and dime schemes on defense.

Jones also has a knack of committing a penalty at the most inopportune time, mostly with holding penalties but also for personal fouls, like when he slapped the helmet off quarterback Matthew Stafford of the Lions like in Week 17.

Again, looking at the cap numbers for the Packers in 2015 as provided by spotrac.com, Green Bay would pick up $3.75 million in cap savings by cutting Jones.

Like Hawk, the current contract of Jones expires in 2016.

The Packers would need to find a cover linebacker for the 2015 season, plus someone else who can contribute on special teams, but that shouldn't be that difficult.

In terms of being an enigma, Jones showed why he is considered one in the NFC Championship Game this past Sunday.

On a kickoff return by the Seahawks in the first quarter, Jones forced a fumble which the Packers recovered. That's good.

On a fake field-goal attempt in the game as the Seahawks trailed 19-0 late in the third quarter, both Jones and cornerback Davon House rushed in to block the kick initially, which allowed offensive tackle Garry Gilliam to go downfield for a pass. Gilliam had been announced as an eligible receiver before the play as well.

Jones allowed Gilliam to head towards the end zone untouched as he crashed in to try and block the kick, while House gave up his outside contain duties as holder Jon Ryan rolled outside to the left on the fake kick.

The result? A 19-yard touchdown pass from Ryan to Gilliam, and the Seahawks were back in the game 19-7. That's bad.


Brandon Bostick



 David J. Phillip/Associated Press Photo


If you are somewhat familiar with the history of the Packers in the 1990s, you cringe when you hear the name T.J. Rubley. Why? Rubley was the third-string quarterback for the Packers in 1995 and was instrumental in a play that will live in infamy.

When the Packers played the Minnesota Vikings on the road that year, both Brett Favre and Ty Detmer were injured in the game and Rubly had to come in to play.

The score was 24-24 late in the fourth quarter. The Packers were at the Vikings' 38-yard line. It was 3rd-and-1 and coach Mike Holmgren instructed Rubley to use a quarterback sneak to get closer for a field-goal attempt.

The game was indoors at the old Metrodome and the Packers had the strong-legged Chris Jacke as their kicker.

Instead of following orders, Rubley instead threw a pass which was picked off. The Vikings got into field-goal position after the pick and Fuad Reveiz kicked the game-winner from 39 yards out.

The same can now be said about tight end Brandon Bostick. Even worse. Yes, I'm talking about the onside kick late in the NFC Championship Game. The situation was this: There was just 2:09 left in the game and the Packers had a 19-14 lead.

Bostick was instructed to block any player from the Seahawks who was approaching his direction. That would allow teammate Jordy Nelson to jump up and snare the football and just about seal the game.

Instead, Bostick disregarded his orders and tried to haul in the kick himself. But he failed. And the man he was supposed to block, Chris Matthews, recovered the kick.

To add even more to that infamous occasion, Bostick has never been able to really blossom as a tight end either, even though he has been compared to former Packer Jermichael Finley with his ability.

Most thought he would be the starting tight end for the Packers this year before training camp, but he suffered a leg injury in the second preseason game against the Rams which set him back.

After that, Bostick was never able to get meaningful playing time at tight end over either rookie Richard Rodgers or Andrew Quarless. No. 86 only had two receptions (one for a touchdown) in 2014, while Rodgers and Quarless combined for 49 catches and five touchdowns.

Like Hawk and Jones, Bostick's contract runs until 2016. Even though the Packers would only save $585,000 by releasing him, it certainly looks like it's a probability after that infamous onside kick.

Bottom line, I can't see Bostick ever playing for the Packers again.


Tramon Williams



 USA TODAY Sports Photo


Cornerback Tramon Williams, who will be an unrestricted free agent in March, is currently the sixth-highest-paid player on the team.

The average salary of Williams is $8.25 million. There is no way the Packers will bring back No. 38 at that cost. Maybe at half of that.

Williams has had a fine career in Green Bay, which started in 2006 when he was picked up as a "street" free agent. In his nine seasons with the Packers, Williams has had 390 tackles, 28 interceptions (one for a touchdown), five forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries.

Williams had a career year in 2010, when he was named to the Pro Bowl. He picked off six passes in the regular season, plus picked off three more in the postseason (including one for a touchdown).

A strained shoulder limited his performance and production in 2011 and 2012, but Williams has bounced back to have two straight nice seasons the past two years.

The free-agency situation with Williams is also clouded by the impending unrestricted free agency of fellow cornerback Davon House.

Tyler Dunne wrote about that predicament in a story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Packers may decide to bring back the soon-to-be 32-year-old Williams (at a reduced salary) and not bring back House.

Or they could bring back House, who is just 25, and not bring back Williams.

The Packers could also decide to not bring back either Williams or House.

I don't believe that will happen. Either Williams or House will be back in a Green Bay uniform in my opinion.

It depends on the cost involved as to who that might be.

I'm sure Williams wants to come back, as he certainly doesn't want his Green Bay career to end on the last play of the 2014 NFC Championship Game. A play in which Williams had no safety help, as Jermaine Kearse of the Seahawks caught a 35-yard, game-winning touchdown pass despite tight coverage by Williams.

That being said, sometimes careers in Green Bay end that way. Just ask Brett Favre.

 
Salary cap information courtesy of Spotrac.


*****************************************************************************************************

Bob Fox always had the itch to return to the media, and he became a writer at a Packer website called ThaPack for a couple of years, before he joined Packer Report, where he was for several years, before joining Wisconsin Sports Online (PackerChatters) writing about the Packers, Badgers and Brewers.  Bob also occasionally writes for JoeBucsFan.com which covers the Tampa Bay Bucs, and also used to write for JoeBoltsFan.com which covers the Tampa Bay Lightning when the site was operational.


Bob also has an article in the 2012 Green Bay Packers Yearbook that profiles the 2012 draft class for the Packers.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2015, 01:08:43 PM by LMGAdmin »
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Online ricky

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Re: 4 Members of the Green Bay Packers Who Won't Be Back in 2015 - Bob Fox
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2015, 05:59:47 AM »
Interesting analysis. However, the opening was a bit much. Can we please, please let go of the Seattle game? Or are we going to preface everything with how badly the Packers failed for even longer? Whats the point? The game was lost, it was heartbreaking. Time to move on.

Now, as to FA, sure, the salary cap is going to go up- for all teams. Will the Packers re-sign Cobb and Bulaga? Probably. Its just for how much and for how long. Because both are key, core players. But, if they decide to test the market, whether they love playing in GB or not, a lot of money can assuage feelings of loss. Would they be likely to go to a winning team, with a better QB? Nope. But if they were paid a lot more to be less happy, that money will go a long way in making them feel better. Football is a business for the players, and they know they only have a certain amount of time to maximize their income. So, there could be a surprise coming, like the loss of Marco Rivera many years ago.

Now, Hawk and B. Jones being gone are very probably correct. Hawk has regressed as a player, and simply is not effective anymore. Too bad. A great guy, never misses a game, but its time to cut ties with him. Its a business- he'll understand. Jones was a "flash in the pan" player- did well one season, then became a liability every time he was on the field.

As far as House and Williams, I think its likely that both are retained. Williams at a reduced salary, and House at a reasonable amount. Though the loss of Williams wouldn't shock me- TT is well known for getting rid of a player a year or two too soo, rather than keeping them around too long.
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Re: 4 Members of the Green Bay Packers Who Won't Be Back in 2015 - Bob Fox
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2015, 06:45:57 AM »
Read an article yesterday wherein a SEA DB (Lane) was giving props to Cobb....and the unimaginable thought came to me that those SEA #$%^*&@ - the "Percy-Harvinless" SEA's - might take a shot at RC. Statiscally, he'd be a #1 on their current "WR challenged" squad. 

Had a feel good thought that the pending RW contract bonanza would (hopefully) preclude/prevent any such interest coming to fruition - but we've already got RW's salary bonanza covered (and more) and we're looking to resign him.

Hopefully he cant stand the rain.