"Ask Vic" is published M-W-F through the football season.
Bill from Marysville (state unknown)
OK, I'm disappointed with the loss. There is plenty of blame to go around the Packers for lost opportunities. I am saddened by the media that wants to twist words, read between the lines and post click bait. When did we need to demand players talk to us in their most devastating moments and then analyze and interpret what they said versus what they meant? Within hours, there was a posting of six teams that are landing spots for Rodgers. How did you stay clear of such nonsense?
I remember interviewing Rod Woodson following a playoff loss in which he sustained a concussion. Reporters have always interviewed players following a game. I don't like the click bait sites, either, but I think you're taking your hurt out on the media. Put the blame where it belongs: On the players and coaches.
Jim from Appleton, WI
Why does this loss hurt more than the 2014 NFC Championship?
Find a way to remove yourself emotionally from these games or suffer the consequences.
John from Topeka, KS
Vic, we've been over what the Packers should or shouldn't do with Rodgers. What happens if Rodgers is the one who decides he's done with the Packers instead?
Demand a trade? I don't see that happening.
Tyler from Dixon, CA
Vic, true or false, if the Packers don’t do anything with Aaron’s contract this offseason, then that will tell us all we need to know about the Packers' future plans, assuming the Jordan Love pick didn’t already.
Rodgers' salary jumps to $25 million in 2022. That's the boundary year in his contract. If his skills are then showing signs of eroding, you move on without him and his dead money is a very doable $17 million. If he's still at the top of his game, he'd return value in a trade, or you could retain him through '23, at which time he'd be 40 years old and his contract would expire. Doing nothing is an option. It's a sensible but passive approach to his future.
Eric from Lansing, MI
So, Vic, Aaron Rodgers' future is no longer a "beautiful mystery," is it?
It's been a beautiful misery this week. It's causing Packers fans a lot of angst, and that bothers me.
Morgan from Little Chute, WI
Could Adams be a trade candidate with one year left on his deal?
I think the bigger question is: Do the Packers want to throw big money at a wide receiver? They could sign Adams to a new deal and lower his cap number for 2021 by structuring the contract to push money out, but do they want to do it? If this was the Steelers, I'd probably say no. They have traditionally allowed receivers to walk: Burress, Randle El, Sanders, Wallace and more, and I expect them to do the same with Smith-Schuster. The Packers have been more willing to retain receivers and I suspect they'll do the same with Adams, but will they? What they do with Adams could give us an indication of the direction the franchise is going to take: Will they stay the course or will there be a shift in philosophy?
Greg from Columbia City, OR
"I saw all three men play there on multiple occasions, as day turned to night and the lights made summer last a little longer." I know I should just enjoy and relish the imagery this sentence evokes in silence, but thank you.
Sports needs to be about more than excitement.
Ron from Dakota, IL
Hey, man, do you know of any non-violent crime that’ll get ya locked up in solitary for seven months without TV or internet? Asking for a friend.
They do that in Illinois prisons during the football season, so prisoners don't have to watch the Bears and see them get blown out by the Packers. It's a form of riot control.
Andy from Appleton, WI
Aaron Rodgers' cap number for 2021 is $37 million. Is it time for the Packers to be new again?
That figure can be reduced by a simple salary-to-signing-bonus conversion in a restructured deal. It would be a move most would expect and nobody would criticize, but I would ask: Why do it if you're not going to go all in and get Rodgers the players he needs to win it all? He doesn't have those players right now -- Sunday's loss proved as much -- and he's going to lose a major chunk of his supporting cast unless the Packers restructure contracts, push money out and go all in for 2021. All in or blow it up? I'm still thinking on it. What's the rush, right?
Tim from Ocala, FL
The real story of the NFC title game isn't officiating, but that Tom Brady turned over the ball three times in a half and the Packers only came away with six points from it.
Brady was subpar: three interceptions and a 73.8 passer rating. As I wrote, he can throw short over the middle and lob the ball deep down the sideline, but he doesn't have the arm to drive the ball or hit the honey hole. He missed an open receiver deep over the middle by sailing the ball and having it intercepted, and a weak honey hole throw was also intercepted. Rodgers' stats were good, but he didn't get it done at crunch time. That's the reason the Packers lost.
Erney from Hoover, AL
Vic, I’m curious about the authority of a quarterback to change the play at the line of scrimmage. Assuming a called play has a run or pass option, what keeps a quarterback who would be inclined to pass the ball from mostly choosing the pass option?
The coach. Abandoning the run couldn't possibly have been the game plan.
Geoff from Janesville, WI
Profootballtalk is reporting Rodgers wants a new contract. You have gone over how it is structured hamstrings the Packers. Is there a way to structure a new contract that would benefit both sides?
I can think of a way to help Rodgers get a new contract and save $6 million on the Packers' cap next season.
Ben from Crozet, VA
How could you justify trading the league MVP, when the QB in the wings couldn't beat out Tim Boyle (no disrespect to Boyle, I really like him) and was inactive every game?
If Jordan Love can't be "The Man," then the Packers need to find "The Man" as soon as possible because age and the salary cap are going to make change inevitable and it's going to happen sooner than later.
Matthew from Oshkosh, WI
What’s the benefit of keeping Rodgers for the 2021 season? I think we all know the chances of another Super Bowl run are gone with him at the helm. They had their chance two years in a row and couldn’t bring it home. We drafted Love for a reason. I’m excited to see a new era. How much longer do we have to wait? What’s the trade look like for a three-time MVP and playoff choke artist? Do we even get a first-rounder for him anymore?
Two ones -- and some throw-in picks -- guaranteed.
Scott from Bozeman, MT
Vic, are the Patriots regretting their decision of moving on from Brady? Also, can the Packers learn anything from that situation?
The Patriots did the right thing, and it's why I respect Coach Belichick so much. His genius is his bold and courageous management of personnel. He knew it was over. He had ridden the Brady train for as long as he could and it was time to get off and begin rebuilding. Where was he going with Brady in the AFC with Mahomes, Jackson, Allen and all of the young quarterbacks and teams on the rise? He knew the sooner he committed to rebuilding, the sooner he'd be able to compete for a title, again. When do you quit on Rodgers? It is the No. 1 question confronting the Packers this offseason. If you quit too early, you might lose the chance at another Super Bowl title. If you quit too late, the rebuilding process lengthens. GMs and head coaches get paid a lot of money to get this right.
Dan from Rapid City, SD
Huh, you were right. It feels like the appropriate time to move Rodgers and get some picks. They're not going to be better than they were this year nor have a more ideal situation to make a Super Bowl.
I'm still thinking on it. These are the options: all in, all out or something in between. I'll choose one of the three options in Friday's column.