"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.