John from Weatherford, TX
I hope all is well with you and your family. I'd be interested in your perspective on the Damarius Randall/DeShone Kizer trade.
Randall didn't fit into the Packers' plans and Kizer didn't fit into the Browns'. That's the easy part to understand. You don't trade a guy you want to keep; you trade a guy you want to replace. In Kizer's case, the Browns intend to use one of their top picks to draft "The Man," and that means committing to that quarterback and giving him the playing time he needs to grow into the role. The Browns had decided Kizer wasn't "The Man," and that made him available in a trade to acquire a player the Browns liked at another position. Apparently, Randall is that player. Following Randall's rookie year, I thought he was going to be a top player for the Packers, but he regressed. It's not a blockbuster trade for either team. It's a trade that fits a need for each team and dovetails with its plans for free agency and the draft.
Eric from Silver Lake, WI
Vic, I've been enjoying this column since I discovered it late last season, and here's my first question: You described the difference between Chubb and Davenport in 4-3 vs. 3-4 terms, but coaches have been saying recently it's all sub-packages now. Is 4-3 versus 3-4 a dead topic?
I also described the difference between the two players in terms of hand on the ground vs. standing up. That's the issue.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, what are your thoughts on the Packers' acquisition of DeShone Kizer?
It tells me the Packers want an upgrade at backup quarterback. It also tells me they think Kizer has more upside than Brett Hundley. Kizer is talented. He's got size, a strong arm and improvisational mobility. The only thing not to like is his wildness. I have a feeling Mike McCarthy believes he can fix Kizer's mechanical problems and make him a more accurate passer.
Jerry from Savannah, GA
Vic, did the Packers just tip their draft plan hand by trading Randall?
Maybe they were tipping what they intend to do in free agency. They're going to have to address the cornerback position in either free agency or the draft, or maybe in both.
Adam from Chicago, IL
Now three years removed, what do you make of the 2015 Packers draft class?
When your first-round pick doesn't make it to year four, it's usually not a good draft class. Randall and Rollins were drafted to be the future at the corners, and it hasn't happened. Montgomery, Ryan and Ripkowski keep the class from being a washout, but if the Packers end up missing on their first two picks, it will have been a disappointing draft. Bear in mind, Randall was a No. 30 pick and Rollins was No. 62. There aren't a lot of players drafted after Randall that jump off the page.
Nick from Barrie, Canada
What's your take on all the trades involving players?
It's a great way to avoid free agency. You trade what you don't want to another team to acquire what they don't want. Each team gets what it thinks it needs. It's free agency without the big cost. Kizer, for example, is a second-round pick whose signing bonus stays on the Browns' cap, so the cost to the Packers for a quarterback with starter experience is minimal. Try getting that guy in free agency.
Doug from Racine, WI
Vic, you are getting a lot of heat on the packers.com site in the comments section for your take on Rodgers' collarbone possibly being a problem. How is your day going? What is the weather like there on the ocean?
Are you asking me if the criticism bothers me? Yeah, I cried all night. For the record, I never said Aaron Rodgers' collarbone injury might be a problem, I'm saying I need to know it's not a problem before I make him the highest-paid player in football history.
Jim from Maple Grove, MN
Given the ways some teams have been using the fanchise tag recently, particularly with Le'Veon Bell, do you think the players association will cry foul and try to change things at the next CBA? In your opinion, has the tag been abused by organizations to retain talent annually until the team no longer sees value in the tagged player, or is perpetually using the tag on a player just a savvy business decision that ultimately has no victim?
It worked for Walter Jones. It's working for Kirk Cousins. I think the franchise tag is good for teams and players.
Chris from Lexington, KY
I'm sure you know a lot of scouts and analysts from all your years writing in the NFL. Why Tony?
Tony was a relative unknown when I made him my guy. I needed someone good and cheap, and he needed exposure. We've been good for each other. In life, nothing is more rewarding than a loyal relationship. Tony's my guy; always has been, always will be.
Nathan from Tiffin, OH
Vic, I'm glad you're enjoying retirement. Thank you for continuing to take a little time to spend with us. A number of years ago somebody asked you if you thought Aaron Rodgers would win another Super Bowl, and if I remember correctly, your answer was a very confident yes. My question is do you still feel that way?
Was that answer prior to the 2014 season? That should've been the season Rodgers won his second Super Bowl. Now? I'm not as confident.
Leif from Jackson, WY
No question, just a heads up about an article you might enjoy. Cliff Christl posted an article on the Packers website about the three things Lombardi saw as a team's keys to success, one of which was getting rid of players. That's a concept I've seen you espouse numerous times: "being new" and "it's a game of replacement."
Get 'em good or get 'em gone.
Jerry from Des Moines, IA
Vic, you left Coach Noll off your Mt. Rushmore. I can't argue with your picks, but knowing how much you respect and admire Coach Noll, is it hard to leave him out of the top four? Can you elaborate on why?
I also left Don Shula and Bill Walsh off my Mt. Rushmore. Noll, Shula and Walsh are off the Paul Brown tree. I decided it would be one of the four, but not more. I went with Brown.
Eric from Colorado Springs, CO
With Martellus Bennett back on the street, do you think the way he left the Packers will give other teams pause when they consider signing him?
I wouldn't sign him to clean the locker room.
Tim from Sun Prairie, WI
Vic, if wide receiver is the easiest position to replace, why is cornerback one of the hardest? They are the same type of athlete.
One runs forward, the other runs backward. One knows where he's going, the other has no idea where he'll be running. Colleges have long put their best athletes on offense. By and large, cornerbacks are wide receivers that aren't good enough to play offense, and I think that contributes to making it more difficult to find cornerbacks that can compete with the top wide receivers. The pool of cornerback talent isn't as deep as the pool of wide receiver talent.
Brad from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, you’ve always said receivers are a dime a dozen. The Jaguars are going to let Allen Robinson test the open market instead of paying a $16 million franchise tag or giving a ton of guaranteed money. He is coming off a down year in '16 and an ACL injury in '17. The fan in me wants to question it, the observer in me thinks the eyes don’t lie and he doesn’t look like $16 million. Do you let him walk and build on the likes of Cole, Westbrook, Lee and Hurns?
Let him walk and find somebody to replace him. Dime a dozen.