"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Jerry from Savannah, GA
Vic, what, if anything, did Adam Schefter do wrong?
He wasn't forthright with his readers. He attempted to package old information as being new and then launch it at a time that would result in an avalanche of clicks. It did, but it cost him credibility. If he had made his report in a way that acknowledged it was a thinkpiece, not a hard news report, and the impetus of his report was what he believed was the potential for a draft-day trade, all would've been fine. Obviously, there's a rift between Rodgers and the Packers; Schefter didn't make that up. I think he underestimated the impact of his report. When he saw what it did, I think he felt guilty and, thus, the confession on the Dan Patrick show. Website news outlets don't have the filters the print media always has. I think it's because the Internet's immediacy allows for too much updating and changing of the story. There's too much wiggle room and there's much more tolerance for error.
Andy from Fruit Cove, FL
Vicbow! Can you believe it? The news hit me like a guywire to the chest! All it took was a decade of losing football, underwhelming quarterbacks, a failed baseball career and a position switch. The prodigal son returns!
I can see it now. Tebow lines up as a tight end, shifts to under center and then throws a jump pass to Trevor Lawrence for a touchdown. The fans are going crazy. They're giggling with joy. Every game is sold out. The Jaguars are the hottest franchise in the league.
Steven from Doctors Inlet, FL
OK, Vic, now I'm worried about that. Shad Khan is a brilliant guy and I can only think the Jaguars' new free agent is there to sell tickets and will be one of the last casualties before the final roster. Machiavellianism at its finest.
Cut Tim Tebow? I wouldn't worry about that.
Greg from Minneapolis, MN
How do you keep in contact with the connections you made during your career in the NFL, both scouts and co-workers?
On the telephone.
Tom from Bismarck, ND
Vic, and I'm totally serious here, I propose we trade Rodgers to the Broncos for a boatload of picks and, most importantly, a few defensive players. Denver always seems to put a feisty defense on the field and we could tap into their ability to find these players. Conversely, they have trouble picking QBs, as evidenced by having only three years of Jay Cutler to show for (nearly 40) years of franchise drafting history. In fact, we could turn this into a working agreement with Denver to make our defensive selections for us in the draft as part of the Rodgers compensation. We could do likewise and draft offensive players for them. There we have it. Done deal. Thanks for letting me settle this issue.
Tom, first of all, I have a feeling the boatload-of-picks ship has sailed, and Brian Gutekunst isn't going to trade Rodgers for a bunch of Denver rejects. Be that as it may, I have been uncomfortable with my updated position on this matter because it just doesn't fit with my natural instincts, beliefs and personality. I tried to be nice, but it's just not me. I don't like the idea of a player holding a franchise hostage and it's beginning to chafe me. I think it sends a message of weakness that can disease your roster and damage your image and standing in the league. A couple of days ago, as I was wrestling with my position on the Rodgers issue, I had a thought: What would Dan Rooney do? Instantly, I knew the answer, but I decided to call my friend Ed Bouchette of "The Athletic" and ask him the same question. Ed and I grew up in the newspaper business together and covered the Steelers for a lot of years. What would Dan do, Ed? "Trade him," Ed said without hesitation. Dan cut Franco, let Rod Woodson leave in free agency, fired his brother. He was bold when his franchise demanded action. I am beginning to think the Packers need to end this angst and move on.
Dave from Bellingham, WA
In the 1983 draft, did Pittsburgh consider Rivera more of a BAP pick than Marino? I'm curious what the mood was at that time around picking/not picking the local boy.
Art Rooney Jr. loved Gabe Rivera. I remember Artie describing Rivera to me as being a big, barrel-chested guy on skinny legs. It was a way of saying Rivera was a powerful man who could run. Artie playfully likened Rivera's build to Babe Ruth's. The Steelers were heading into rebuilding and Artie saw Rivera as the next Joe Greene; the Steelers would build their next era the same way they built the era that was ending, with a stud defensive tackle as the cornerstone. I absolutely believe Rivera would've been what Artie envisioned. The car accident was such a tragic event for Rivera and the Steelers. Marino was coming off a so-so senior season at Pitt. There were damaging and unfounded rumors. Some years ago, I visited with Artie and he told the story of his father sending a couple of "detectives" to tell Artie they had checked out Marino and he was clean. "They were right out of central casting," Artie said. The week of the draft, the Steelers brought Marino to Three Rivers Stadium for a workout and Marino threw the ball like a god. Coach Noll was in awe, but Artie stuck with Rivera. At midseason, as Marino's career was beginning, Rivera's career ended. I've always thought fate was nearly as cruel to Artie as it was to Rivera.
Roberto from Yulee, FL
In your time covering the Steelers, Jaguars and Packers, who were the biggest first-round busts?
Huey Richardson, R.J. Soward, Datone Jones.
Marty from Jacksonville Beach, FL
Vic, in the years you covered the Steelers, especially in the dynasty years, what player do you think was really overshadowed but was a huge part of their success?
It's Ernie Holmes. He was the forgotten man on the "Steel Curtain" defensive line. In 1974-76, he was the equal of Joe Greene. What do people remember? The arrow shaved into his head. Fans want the show.
Greg from Worthington, OH
If Rodgers remains a Packer, I will not be a Packer fan. Since 1965, I have been a Packer fan and have seen the good times and bad. He epitomizes what is wrong with the world when athletes are made to be worshipped. Not going to happen from me.
Stan from Batavia, IL
Vic, I have appreciated your strong and honest views on the Packers' situation with Rodgers. As a Packers fan, I'm also trying to make sense of what is affecting both the team and the player. I was curious regarding how much of the team cap is being absorbed by the starting QB. Over the last five years, Wilson 15.78 percent, Rodgers 15.58, Ryan 13.5, Roethlisberger 11.32, Brees 11.0, Brady 9.95. New QBs -- Watson 20.99, Mahomes 18.59, Prescott 17.25. This data seems to suggest Brady has been managing a situation where his compensation effect on the team cap allows for an advantage over Rodgers' effect on the cap.
Wilson 32, Rodgers 37, Ryan 35, Roethlisberger 39, Brees 42, Brady 43. As quarterbacks age, their teams begin to wind down their dead money and prepare to pass the torch. That often involves restructuring that lessens their cap hit. Roethlisberger is the classic example in 2021. Brady's numbers require deeper examination and explanation. He's unique because he's on a new team. He expired his contract with the Patriots and now he's on a new deal with the Bucs that makes him a cheap $10.5 million cap hit this year but includes $50 million in dead money. You can't just look at the cap hit because so much money is pushed out. Also, the contract voids after 2022 and includes three dummy years that are lessening Brady's cap hit. Fifteen million dollars in signing bonus is deferred to 2022 and his contract also includes an additional $1.5 million in roster bonus should a 17th game be added, so now the Bucs have that going for them. Brady is the king of capnastics. It's all legal but so misleading because it hides money in forward years. He left the Patriots with $13.5 million in dead money (6.41 percent of the Pats' cap; did you include that in his average cap hit?) in 2020, despite having played out his contract, and now he's winding up the Bucs' dead money to dangerous levels. In contrast, if Rodgers was to play to the end of his current contract, the Packers would be left with no dead money. There's nothing unreasonable about any of Rodgers' contracts. He's been very accommodating to the Packers. The problem is the Packers will likely have to do another deal with him to pacify him and keep him, and that'll deepen his dead money to a likely harsh amount.
Ray from Houston, TX
As a casual fan who has only recently started following the Packers, I have to ask: Can Green Bay, the city, afford to lose Rodgers? In other words, what kind of economic impact is Green Bay going to suffer if and when they are no longer a perennial playoff contender?
Attending a Packers game is a statewide social event. The hotels will remain packed on home-game weekends, even if Blake Bortles is the quarterback.
Curt from Rice Lake, WI
Realistically, when do you think the Rodgers situation will be resolved, either way?
This is where I think it hurts the Packers to not have an owner. I'm sensing a paralysis, and I think it's natural when you don't have one voice willing or able to demand a particular action. If the Packers had an owner, I think this issue would've been resolved by now. As it stands, this could last into the summer.
Jensen from Houston, TX
The Broncos won a Super Bowl six years ago. You gave us perspective of the all-in approach the Broncos took and the drought they would face as a consequence. As I imagine a potential Packers-Broncos trade for Aaron Rodgers, I wonder if Elway paved an alternative path to repeat Super Bowls. Build a strong roster, buy an expensive and aging quarterback, reset. Curious your thoughts on the approach.
I don't think it's a sustainable model, and I don't think it feels as good when you win. What if you go all in, trade your future for an aging quarterback and then lose?
Conor from Milwaukee, WI
Vic, I was a bit surprised we've only had the salary cap since 1994. If the NFL decided for some reason to axe the cap, have the Packers done enough in that time (Lambeau renovations, Titletown District, re-branding, etc.) to allow our franchise to keep up with the larger markets? Do you like how the cap is currently calculated, or do you think it has to be somehow re-evaluated to possibly increase what the teams can spend?
Yes to the first and I'm fine with the way cap is calculated currently. Why change it?
Paul from Cumming, GA
If nothing else, Stokes and Alexander will give the Packers a lot of speed on the back end of the defense. How important is raw speed for NFL corners?
It allows them to close on the ball. It also allows them to play trail technique. Speed is good.
Greg from Taylorsville, UT
In regards to Aaron Rodgers, whether or not what we're seeing are negotiation tactics or actual grievances is quickly becoming irrelevant. This is wholly undignified and embarrassing. I think it's time to be new. Mind the door on your way out.
I don't like the weakness either. Peace is always the best option, but what price dignity?
"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
J.P. from Florida
How do good football coaches motivate their players when it's obvious the other team is bigger, faster and stronger? I'm facing this situation in my kid's youth league and don't know what to tell the kids other than "play hard."
Be a teacher, not a preacher. Help them achieve individual success. It'll motivate them to reach higher. A good team is the byproduct of talented individuals, not pep talks.
Matt from Chicago, IL
Doesn’t this whole story seem like a case study of 24/7, click-driven, be-first-even-if-you’re-wrong media? It feels poorly handled everywhere. Who do I trust?
That's the question the reader must ultimately answer. If the reader continues to click on sexy headlines to stories written by reporters proven unworthy of the reader's trust, the reader becomes the problem.
Justin from Delavan, WI
Do you think Aaron Rodgers will hold a grudge against you for calling his Derby hat silly?
"Ask Vic Retirement" isn't big enough for Rodgers to care. I love "Ask Vic Retirement." I don't want clicks. They just mean more work and expense, for which I receive no compensation. I just want to entertain myself by expressing what I believe to be true.
Rich from York, PA
Vic, who's going to play left tackle for the Steelers this year? The draft did not provide answers.
One of my favorite and most trusted scout friends believes Okorafor has the athletic ability to play left tackle.
Chevin from Jacksonville, FL
Do you believe the NFL owners were aware of how much power quarterbacks would eventually wield when the league began shifting to a more quarterback-centric approach with rule changes?
Sure they were. They were creating star power, super celebrities that deepen the league's popularity and help drive its media platforms, which include their media partners' platforms. How is that bad for the league? The salary cap guarantees the players get a set percentage of the revenue. If the quarterbacks take more than their fair share, there's less for everybody else. You can only push it out so far. Ultimately, there is a cap to spending.
Ray from Jacksonville, FL
Thanks for your insight and humor. Is there really any way the Rodgers fiasco ends other than a new contract?
I think that's how it'll end. The dead money will be outrageous, but that's the penalty the Packers have to pay for what I consider to be a couple of mistakes. They rushed into the current contract. It should've been the one that would carry Rodgers to the end, which would allow the Packers to unwind his dead money as he played into retirement or decline. Instead, they're going to have to wind it up one more time. The Patriots weren't willing to wind up Brady's dead money again on a new deal. The Steelers are winding down Roethlisberger's. They put a huge roster bonus in his contract to serve as a boundary that would force a decision on his career. He agreed to decrease the terms of his contract instead of retiring. Rushing into the Love pick was an accelerant in igniting the current situation. In my opinion, the Packers need to throw money at this problem and learn from their mistakes. Trading Rodgers or standing firm would likely cause upheaval that could plunge the franchise into chaos.
Ben from Chicago, IL
If the Packers had traded Rodgers after the NFC championship, wouldn't the cap hit have been crippling? Perhaps they wait until June 1?
They wouldn't have paid the $6.8 million roster bonus because it was due on the third day of the league year -- that's how teams protect their trade leverage -- and that would've made the hit shoulderable. At that point, they likely wouldn't have signed Aaron Jones and they could've saved more money with a cut here and a cut there -- Preston Smith would've been a big savings -- moving neatly into a rebuilding phase but still competitive in the NFC North. June 1 is a way of lessening the hurt in one year but extending it to two years. I'm not a big June 1 fan. As Coach Noll might say, "How do you wish to die?"
Shane from Onalaska, WI
How much effort do teams make to understand the potential draft targets of the other teams around them in the draft order, especially beyond the first couple of rounds? I imagine this is an important aspect of draft strategy when considering trading up or down to recoup the full value of a pick.
Teams conduct in-house mock drafts repeatedly leading up to the draft. Each scout will be assigned a few teams to research and learn who those teams might pick. That's always been a key element in the unholy and anonymous relationship scouts and reporters have always had. If you want information, you have to give information.
Cliff from Idaho
What is the State Farm Rodgers rate for the Packers?
Richest contract in NFL history, fully guaranteed, and new khakis and an office for Jake.
Tyler from Green Bay, WI
What drives professional athletes to compete? Could you put percentages to those items? Finally, do those percentages change as years pass for a professional athlete?
Is this a trick question?
Joel from Jacksonville, FL
“I wouldn’t worry about that.” You turned my bad day into a solid one with the vivid memories from your tenure sweeping into my mind. It was the perfect response, then and now. It was your football insight that helped me to truly understand the game. Here’s my question: With hurricane season coming up, how many battries do we need to get?
You buy insurance for the bank. You buy your insurance at the bank. I re-financed. I don't ever want to own this home.
Ben from El Paso, TX
What do you think about Tampa Bay picking Trask?
He could turn out to be the steal of the draft. He could be the player who forces Brady into retirement. Hmmm.
Tim from Fernandina Beach, FL
So many first-round QBs fail to succeed in the NFL. Do you think it's a poor situation they are drafted into, lack of NFL talent, lack of patience by the team or other factors?
For the most part, I think quarterbacks fail because they peak in college. They have no growth left in them. The NFL is a huge step up from college football. Trevor Lawrence played in a half-field-read system at Clemson; now he'll have to see the whole field. Zach Wilson and Trey Lance played against suspect competition; now they'll play against the best. Justin Fields was surrounded by talent at Ohio State; now he'll play for the stinky Bears.
Roger from Cincinnati, OH
Just wanted to say I am very entertained by your column. You have a very refreshing way to look at the Packers; hopeful, yet, realistic and definitely not rah rah. Am I the only one who's having a hard time finding a side to root for in this dispute? I see pettiness and thin skin by Rodgers, but I also fault Gutey for not considering this was a natural result of drafting Love, knowing what Rodgers is like. How do I root for an outcome if I can’t figure out which side I agree with?
Don't root, watch. If you pick a side, you'll be the one left holding the hurt and feeling of betrayal when they're all kissing and hugging at the end, making nice and acting as though this was all a big misunderstanding. Don't let this get to you. It's not your problem, it's theirs. As my father was fond of saying when he thought I was watching too much sports on TV, "That makin' you any money?"
Bret from Hertel, WI
Why not trade away older pieces of your team after a Super Bowl or run at it? You have said getting new keeps you from hearing the train whistle.
I said blow it up, but I would accept all in. Maybe this is a step in the process of going all in. If the Packers do a new deal with Rodgers, I guarantee they will be all in.
Daniel from Johnston, IA
It's always about the cash. If they say it's about the Kumerow, then it's really about the cash.
It's never about the Kumerow.
Blaine from Fennimore, WI
Which draft pick are you most intrigued by for each of the teams you covered?
Packers -- DL Tedarrell Slaton, Florida. Jaguars -- DL Jay Tufele, USC. Steelers -- LB Buddy Johnson, Texas A&M.
Steven from Doctors Inlet, FL
"I wouldn't worry about that" goes back a long way, Vic. Very nice.
I felt young again.
Jimmy from Jacksonville, FL
If the Packers trade Rodgers, should they immediately call the Jags and inquire about a trade for Gardner Minshew?
No, sign Duck Hodges. Save the draft picks for the rebuild the Packers will be facing.
"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Noor from Jarkata, Indonesia
Vic, I hope contact extension does not include an office in the personnel department.
It would be funny if it wasn't so sad. This has become a terrible embarrassment for the Packers. They can't win without him, but they lose their dignity with him.
Samuel from Olathe, KS
Is it harder than ever being in charge of personnel? Teams like GB, Houston, etc. have so many players, especially QBs, who want input or else.
Run the ball. The run fixes everything.
Ryan from DePere, WI
If Rodgers continues to say he won’t return to the Packers unless Gutekunst is fired, new contract or not, does President/CEO Vic ever consider giving in to that demand?
Of course not, but if the Packers don't negotiate a peace agreement with Rodgers, they might all lose their jobs. Rodgers is in control and he knows it. They let him run off McCarthy. Why did they think he wouldn't do it to them.
Tom from Lehi, UT
Vic, the draft got me thinking about scouts and their ability to evaluate talent. Who would be on your Mount Rushmore of scouts?
One of those heads is going into the Hall of Fame this summer: the great Bill Nunn. When Bill was the sports editor of the Pittsburgh Courier and entrusted with the honor of selecting the HBCU All-America team, he was the No. 2 man in black college football. The No. 1 man, Eddie Robinson, rolled out the red carpet whenever Bill arrived on campus. Later, as a scout, Bill helped build one of the great dynasties in NFL history. He opened the door for the Steelers to black college football talent: Mel Blount, John Stallworth, Donnie Shell and L.C. Greenwood, to name a few. I love scouts. They have always been my favorite people in football because they have a love for the game that is both practical and artful. They labor in anonymity, and that's refreshing at a time when the players they discover and help launch into stardom are spending their time wearing silly hats at the Kentucky Derby.
Chad from Kansas City, MO
I agree the Packers filled all their needs. Maybe they will bring back the Oklahoma drill. We addressed the needs, now let's address toughness.
How can you be tough when a man who delights in drawing defenses offside and wears a silly hat at the Kentucky Derby brings one of professional sports' storied franchises to its knees?
Brian from Sugar Land, TX
The game credited with creating the modern NFL through television was played on Dec. 28, 1958. The Lombardi era in Green Bay followed shortly after. Suppose the Lombardi era had run prior to that breakthrough date, that he would have won five championships between say 1946 and 1955. How do you see the likely impact on the legend of Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers mystique?
Much as we view the dynasty that was the Cleveland Browns in those years. Nothing in the NFL seemed to matter until Johnny Unitas made it matter.
Jason from Austin, TX
Vic, I partially agree with your take on giving Rodgers a new contract and think the next couple of months will be really telling with what the coaches believe they have in Love. They must have an idea of Love's potential, even if he hasn't played a game yet. If they give Rodgers a new contract that mortgages their future, that will tell me they don't believe in Love. If they believe in Love, but want one more year with Rodgers, why change anything? I highly doubt Rodgers would really retire.
Retire? No. He'd have to repay a big chunk of signing bonus, but he could make life unbearable. Do you want to keep living like this? Peace is always a better option. If they can't achieve peace, they'll have to divorce. They should've done it after the NFC title game loss. Rodgers' postgame comments were an invitation to trade him. His remarks were a challenge to the Packers' pride and resolve. If LaFleur would've stopped fawning over Rodgers he would've seen he could've had multiple teams bidding for him. He would've seen an opportunity to turn the roster over and make it his team. I said blow it up and my inbox exploded with ridicule. Now, the same people who mocked me want to trade Rodgers for a six pack and it doesn't have to be cold, which is to say a lot less than the Packers could've gotten last winter. I'm an idiot?
Bob from St. Charles, IA
Vic, isn’t the stand firm option the only one with short term consequences for the botched situation with Rodgers and the Packers?
The options are: A) Do nothing (stand firm). B) Trade him. C) Negotiate a peace (new contract). Option A means the angst will intensify. As I said, life could become unbearable and the Packers' embarrassment would deepen. Option B likely means settling for a lot less than Rodgers' worth. The Packers would have to scramble to make room on their cap to take Rodgers' dead money hit. How about the quarterback room? Heading into the draft, Rodgers and Love were the only quarterbacks in that room. Imagine how woeful the Packers would be at quarterback if the position was reduced to Love and a couple of stiffs off the street. Option C is best, but it would leave a huge dead money burden on future caps and there's no guarantee Rodgers wouldn't put on his silly hat again next spring. Ain't my life, ain't my wife. I would've traded him last winter.
Jim from Port Washington, WI
Would drafting Jordan Love have been this big of a mistake had Aaron Rodgers been less petty and insatiable?
The Packers drafted Love to replace Rodgers. Whether it's ego or insecurity, Rodgers couldn't deal with being treated so dismissively. We're talking about a guy who's never been benched. Bradshaw was benched for Gilliam, and then later for Hanratty, in a Super Bowl season. I can't help but wonder if this weakness, as Bradshaw recently termed it, is at the root of the Packers' postseason failures.
Daniel from Richmond, TX
When Jaire Alexander intercepted Tom Brady twice in the fourth quarter of the NFC title game when we were only down by one score, did Brian Gutekunst get credit for drafting help for Aaron Rodgers?
Might the "beautiful mystery" remarks have been an attempt to divert attention from Rodgers' fourth-quarter failures?
Jamie from Seattle, WA
Do you agree with the many pundits the Bears are on the rise?
No, the Packers will beat them twice next season with Duck Hodges at quarterback.
Ricky from Cambridge, MA
What are your top three traits for a good GM?
1) He's an astute evaluator of talent. 2) He understands and manages the salary cap as an investment portfolio, not as a credit card. 3) His draft classes accent value.
Terry from Alpine, CA
The draft seems to me based on need now not best player. To say they fit any other way is hard for me to accept. Most teams' drafts seem that way.
I agree, but it's important not to reach for a player. Teams are desperate to fit themselves to the pick. The Steelers needed a running back; they drafted Najee Harris about where he fit. The Raiders needed a tackle; No. 17 is thought to be a reach for Alex Leatherwood. A reach is a loss of value. In 2013, the Packers wanted a running back. Ted Thompson traded down six spots to take Eddie Lacy. Thompson fit himself to the pick and, in the process, added value. Thompson was vigilant about respecting the value line. I thought it was his No. 1 trait as a GM.
Matt from Chicago, IL
“The Packers have no needs; they are complete.” Ten years ago I probably wouldn’t have read this with the eye roll you intended. With all the drama in Green Bay, at least I feel entertained. I was a lot less angsty than I anticipated. Thanks for the laugh.
Yeah, there was a bit of sarcasm in that remark.
Eric from Baker, FL
Now that Gutekunst has a few drafts and offseasons under his belt, how would you rate him as a talent evaluator?
OK, let's do it again. Gutekunst is an astute evaluator of talent, a good salary cap manager and he's building a good roster of players. As I have said several times, he will be judged ultimately by the success or failure of the Jordan Love pick. That's the way it is for GMs and the quarterbacks they pick.
John from Edisto Island, SC
Please give me your read on the state of the Panthers franchise given the current QB situation and their draft. I believe the failure to properly address the left tackle slot was a mistake. Your thoughts, please.
My favorite scout friend loves the Panthers' draft and so do I. They got their left tackle in round three; great value pick. He was Zach Wilson's blind side blocker and was outstanding in that role, and he's a low-cut guy with the choppy steps of a powerful drive blocker. CB Horn completes the rebuild on defense that began last season, and WR Marshall is outstanding value and big-play potential in round two. Round three TE Tremble could become a home run pick, and there's great depth in an 11-man class, which includes RB Chubba Hubbard. The Panthers think Sam Darnold can be "The Man." If he fails in that pursuit, they'll get "The Man" next year. The crop of QB prospects is deepening every year. Sam Howell would be a popular pick. I think the Panthers are one of the teams of the future in the NFC.
John from Neptune Beach, FL
You’ve often written Chuck Noll saw the future of moving the hash marks in, and the impact of free agency on team development. Who among today’s coaches do you see as a visionary?
It wasn't the hash marks, it was the rules changes of 1978. Coach Noll identified the potential impact and adapted his offense to it immediately, and it resulted in two more Super Bowl wins to complete the Steelers' run. I think Matt Rhule has that kind of feel and vision for the game. I think he's the best young coach in the league.
Tim from Madison, WI
Davante Adams is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2021 season. He will be 29 years old. Should the Packers back up the Brinks truck for him?
If the Packers trade Rodgers, Adams could offer a means for eating up Rodgers' dead money, by either trading Adams or doing a new contract with him. I think everyone knows what I would favor. Dime a dozen.
Blaine from Menomonie, WI
You are in an excellent position to give context to Terry Bradshaw's comments on the Rodgers situation. As someone who was there when the Steelers drafted to replace Bradshaw, how did you perceive Bradshaw's reaction at the time? Is Bradshaw's characterization of that period consistent with your recollection?
Three months after Bradshaw was MVP of the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year, his fourth Super Bowl title, the Steelers selected QB Mark Malone in the first round of the draft. Bradshaw never complained. It must also be noted, however, he invited the pick when he hinted of retirement during an "I'm burned out" post-Super Bowl press conference. I read Bradshaw's remarks on Rodgers. They're credible. They also underscore the difference between players then and players now. The game and the money have become so big and the quarterbacks have become so important, they can do what Rodgers is doing and get away with it. If Bradshaw had tried it, he would've been out the door, just like Franco. Coach Noll would not tolerate distractions.
Jack from Jacksonville, FL
What do you think of all the Tebow jibber jabber?
I wouldn't worry about that.
"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Benjamin from Albuquerque, NM
Does GM Vic trade Rodgers? Or force him to retire?
I spoke my mind in advance of this issue. Everybody knows where I stood, so I'll update my position according to the most recent developments and then try to move on because I don't want it to become the only subject matter in this column. It was easy to see this coming. Aaron Rodgers is not a let-it-go kind of guy. We're talking about a man who's still bitter about falling as low as he did in the 2005 draft. The Love pick, especially trading up to draft him, was the proverbial glove across the face. The Packers had to know how Rodgers would react. I refuse to believe Brian Gutekunst picked Love without the approval of Murphy and LaFleur; it's too big to be a one-man act. Now, the Packers have a mess on their hands and I don't know how they can get out of it without giving Rodgers a new contract, and that's problematic because it would explode his potential dead money and devastate future caps. Trade him and plunge into rebuilding? After giving big contracts to Bakhtiari and Jones, restructuring and pushing money out? Also, I have to believe Rodgers' trade value isn't what it was prior to the draft. A record number of quarterbacks were selected. The supply of teams willing to trade for Rodgers has been greatly reduced, and the Packers' position has been weakened. The whole thing has been botched and I can't think of a way for the Packers to clean up this mess without taking a hit. They rushed into the last contract with Rodgers and now they almost have to rush into another one just to make this problem go away. If they don't calm these waters, the distraction they've created will become the Packers' greatest opponent. My inbox is jammed with angst on this subject. It's difficult to find other subject matter on which to write this column. Picking Love without the commitment to move on was a big mistake and it's going to cost the Packers a lot of money. They need to give Rodgers a new contract.
Tom from Eau Claire, WI
I’ll be curious to see how Stokes turns out compared to the three edge rushers that immediately followed him in the draft. I just can’t understand how the Packers continue to value cover over rush.
This was clearly a needs draft for the Packers. I regard the Stokes pick to be a little bit of a reach, and it suggests to me the Packers agree with their fans who believe the Packers were one player away (a cornerback) last season. The Myers pick directly addresses the issue at center. It's as though the Packers picked Corey Linsley again. Amari Rodgers is the slot receiver the Packers needed. He's Randall Cobb II. Three of the next four picks are big guys, sandwiching another cornerback. Then comes the obligatory inside linebacker, followed by a running back to replace Jamaal Williams. The Packers addressed every need they had. if you want to find a positive in this draft class, there it is: The Packers have no needs; they are complete.
Steve from Lake Stevens, WA
You've mentioned the flipping of the hips, and I read Tony Pauline doesn't think Eric Stokes does this off the line. Is it something that can be corrected?
A cornerback who can't turn his hips is easily remedied by moving him to safety, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Stokes is a press corner. He's a big, strong guy who's known to jam receivers at the line of scrimmage, so you don't see a lot of hips-flipping in his game. The concern for Stokes is he won't get away with his bump-and-run style in the NFL; he'll be penalized out of it. Brian Gutekunst has to believe Stokes' skills can be NFLized or Gutekunst wouldn't have drafted him in the first round.
Lance from Lincoln, NE
Like the leaves changing in the fall, another hilarious pick by the Jags. Nothing like using a first-rounder on a third-down back. No doubting the talent, but Trevor is an adult now. He doesn't need a security blanket.
Travis Etienne is a complete player and he'll evolve into that role in time. Trevor Lawrence is now the face of the franchise. The Jaguars need to get him success ASAP. Etienne will give Lawrence a degree of comfort that'll help ease his transition to the NFL.
Ann from Mountain View, CA
Now that the draft has concluded, what do Green Bay’s picks tell you about what we might see next season on offense and defense as compared to last year?
The Florida defensive tackle is a pure hold-the-point plug. If that type of player had been picked in the first round, it would tell me the Packers were going to play more four-man fronts and Kenny Clark was going to be used as a three-technique tackle, but I can't jump to that conclusion based on a fifth-round pick. On offense, I see no big shift.
Zach from Chicago, IL
At almost every position, players watch their potential replacements get drafted almost every year. Why is there an expectation QBs are treated differently?
They're treated differently because they define eras, and you don't begin the next era until you're ready to end the current one. Shouldn't the Packers have learned that lesson with Favre/Rodgers?
Jared from Rigby, ID
Vic, when should the Packers start responding with "Aaron who?"
Stand firm? It's an option.
Bill from Sheboygan, WI
Please evaluate your three teams' drafts.
I've already weighed in on the Packers. The Jaguars made the pick everyone expected, and then gave him a weapon with which he is familiar. Their next three picks don't excite me. My favorite scout friend told me the Georgia corner is long on measurables but short on production. The Stanford tackle and Syracuse safety are needs reaches. Tufele is outstanding value and he'll give the Jaguars energy and verve on defense. In my opinion, the Jaguars didn't get enough out of the picks they had. The Steelers had a theme draft. The theme is: Run the ball. The lynchpin to that theme is the third-round guard, a drive-blocker who can move the line of scrimmage. I was told the Steelers intend to move him to center. My favorite Steelers pick is the smallish Texas A&M linebacker. He's a classic run-and-hit tough guy. The Steelers held off on selecting a quarterback. They're not ready to end the Roethlisberger era just yet. Rudolph and Haskins will be given a chance to prove they can replace Roethlisberger.
Pat from Sun Prairie, WI
We can't excuse horrible behavior just because the person acting that way is somehow exceptional.
It's professional football. It's about the money. It's the excuse for everything.
Bill from Fort Worth, TX
Rodgers to the Bears. We could probably get eight first-round picks and the mineral rights to Soldier Field, and he’d come to realize things weren’t so bad in Green Bay.
The Bears picked a quarterback. They wouldn't want Rodgers. That's how bad this has gotten.
Richard from Truckee, CA
Did the Vikings get a steal?
I talked about liking Jaylen Twyman and how he could become one of those opt-out mistakes. He's perfectly cast as a penetrate-and-disrupt tackle in Mike Zimmer's defense. I love the Vikings' draft. They got an underrated quarterback, major help for their offensive line, and two playmakers in North Carolina linebacker Chazz Surratt and Pitt pass rusher Patrick Jones.
Dan from Minneapolis, MN
Vic, I am submitting this to ensure you have a clean question to respond to regarding the Rodgers situation. What do you think is the reality of the situation, and what do you think is the likely outcome?
I think the Packers will give Rodgers a new contract, and the next controversy will be what to do with Love.
Hugh from Sioux Falls, SD
Vic, how much of the draft do you actually watch?
I stayed away from the TV this year. I wanted my take on this draft to be original.