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Packers sign 6th-round draft pick Jake Hanson to rookie contractby Evan "Tex" Western on July 10, 2020 at 8:58 pm
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports This signing leaves the team with just one more member of its 2020 rookie class left to go. The Green Bay Packers announced a roster transaction on Friday afternoon, inking their penultimate member of their 2020 NFL Draft class to his rookie contract. That player is sixth-round pick Jake Hanson, the second of the team’s three sixth-round selections on the offensive line. The team used the 208th overall selection on Hanson in April after his successful career for the Oregon Ducks. Hanson started 49 games over four years, all at center, where he earned two second-team All-Pac 12 honors. According to Pro Football Focus, Hanson allowed just two sacks in his entire collegiate career and will look to establish himself as a backup in 2020 with a chance to take over for Corey Linsley in 2021 if the team does not re-sign the veteran to a third contract. Based on the rookie pool estimates from Overthecap.com, Hanson’s rookie deal is likely to come with a total value around $3.45 million, with a signing bonus a big north of $150,000. That would give him a salary cap value of just under $650,000 in his rookie season. With Hanson now under contract, the team has just one more draft pick left to sign. That is third-round pick Josiah Deguara, the tight end from the University of Cincinnati and the 94th overall pick in the 2020 draft.
Friday Cheese Curds: Lambeau Field loses its first game of 2020by Kris Burke on July 10, 2020 at 3:15 pm
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports The Big Ten officially canceled the Wisconsin-Notre Dame game that was set for October 3 Lambeau Field has officially lost its first game of 2020. It’s not a Green Bay Packers game, but the Big Ten announced yesterday that teams will only face other conference teams during its football season this fall. That means the Notre Dame-Wisconsin game set for early September at Lambeau Field is canceled. The two teams will face off at Soldier Field in 2021 and Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said the two schools are working to reschedule this year’s game at Lambeau. It’s a bummer that the game had to get canceled but the Big Ten felt it safer to keep teams relatively close to home for this season (Maryland and Rutgers apparently notwithstanding) thanks to the ongoing pandemic. This of course means even more revenue lost for the Green Bay area and with the NFL season very much in limbo despite the league’s insistence on moving forward, there could be further economic trouble ahead. Football is obviously very important to Green Bay as they count on the Packers as well as other events at Lambeau Field to fuel the local economy. So what happens with a year (or more) of nothing? That’s a question not many likely want to answer but we will sadly soon find out. Wisconsin and Notre Dame won’t play at Lambeau Field in 2020—Packers Wire This would have been an incredibly special and unique moment between two of college football’s most storied schools. Sadly, we’ll have to wait a little longer. Curse you, COVID-19! Packers, Titletown reopening with new procedures—Packers.com On the positive side, activities inside the Lambeau Field Atrium and the Titletown district continue to increase albeit with new safety precautions in place. This should at least help shore up the Packers’ coffers to withstand a prolonged loss of football. Bridge over troubled waters? Panthers pairing new QB with star RB Christian McCaffrey—PackersNews.com Teddy Bridgewater’s comeback from a gruesome knee injury was one of last season’s great stories. Now he finally gets another starting job and much like his time in Minnesota, he will have an all-world running back next to him in Christian McCaffrey. Joe Burrow tops rookie QB ratings in ‘Madden 21,’ Packers fans have a reason to be optimistic too—Yahoo! Sports Rookie ratings are our for Madden 21 and despite Jordan Love likely not seeing the field at all this year, he received a 71 rating, ahead of Justin Herbert who was actually drafted ahead of Love. Here’s A Quick Lesson On Why You Should Never, Ever Approach A Bear—Huffington Post Approaching an actual bear is stupid, but go ahead and approach a Chicago Bear. They’re harmless.
Shopping With The Frenemy, Summer 2020: It’s big, it’s heavy, it’s woodby PaulNoonan on July 10, 2020 at 2:45 pm
It’s not better than bad, though. Every team has a pro shop. Every pro shop carries ridiculous team-branded merchandise. These are their stories. While “Shopping with the Enemy” usually examines the Green Bay Packers’ opponents, today we take a look at the home team. Sometimes, a team releases a product so baffling, so utterly terrifying, so mind-bendingly insane, that it must be commented on. The Packers Pro Shop, which has put forth its fair share of tacky, wacky goodness, has a brand new product. The first person to notice it was Packer film guru Dusty Evely (@DustyEvely) and it quickly spread like...well, let’s not go into what it spread like. Let’s instead cut to the chase. There’s a lot to unpack here. First and foremost, we believe that this is more likely to be either Frank Zombo or perhaps Aaron Kampman. Perhaps it originally said “Aaron Kampman” and they just carved “Kampman” into “Rodgers.” Except, if you read further down the description of this “Carved Stumpy Eekeez” you will notice that it is made of resin, and therefore not carved, or stumpy. I’ll concede on eekeez. The item is described as a conversation piece, and this will certainly have people asking you things like “What is wrong with you,” “How do you have money to spend on this nonsense,” and “so, you really like Frank Zombo?” Why Does It Exist? The greatest license plate in the history of license plates was the 80s-era yellow and black Wisconsin plate. It stood out, it looked like cheese, and it was literally impossible to buy a car without it clashing horribly with any available color. The modern license plate suffers from the neutral-ness infecting all modern design, but if you like the current Wisconsin license plate, you can now buy a drink koozie that looks like it on the Packer Pro Shop website for some reason. On the plus side, it costs less than the actual Packer plate does, so if you want the full experience, or don’t own a car, here you go. Makes No Scents Sometimes the product description does all the work for me. This is such a case. This candle purports to smell like the Lambeau Field turf after a rainstorm. It also purports to smell like Citrus, Hyacinth, Violet Leaf, and “Ylang Ylang.” Ylang Ylang, by the way, is a yellow, star-shaped flower popular in the essential oil pyramid scheme community that makes your daily Facebook experience so unpleasant. It also got a hilarious shout-out from Schmidt in season 1 of “New Girl.” In any case, given the sheer amount of beer, cheese, and sausage consumed within, it seems unlikely that Lambeau smells like any of this. If it does, it may explain why the quality of the turf has declined substantially over the last two seasons. Not sure Violet Leaf holds up to an Aaron Jones cut as well as Kentucky Bluegrass. What is going on? This thing is supposed to be some kind of stress doll for use during tense games, but I’m starting to wonder if anyone over there has ever actually seen Aaron Rodgers? There are pictures of him on the internet. He’s on TV a lot. If you had any questions about what he looks like, or wanted to double check, there are plenty of ways to go about it. My daughter has an Aaron Rodgers plush. It looks like Aaron Rodgers, regardless of how you style his hair. Of note, this is a “Forever Collectibles” item, the same folks who made the log up above. They’re definitely good at labeling people who are clearly not Aaron Rodgers as Aaron Rodgers Useful product of the day The Venn Diagram overlap of “Packers fans” and “people who get irrationally upset about wearing masks to help prevent their friends and loved ones from contracting a dangerous disease” is larger than many might like to admit. Fortunately, you can show off your team spirit while remaining safe and responsible: For your 70-year-old aunt who loves Aaron Rodgers and catches every game, but who has also been dipping her toes into learning about QAnon, perhaps a Packer mask will bring her back from the brink. They’re pretty snappy. Finally... The Jordy Nelson Pillow was extremely popular in my 2018 Father’s Day column, and I would be remiss in not mentioning that there is now a Davante Adams version available: Whether you need another good outside pillow to pair with Jordy, or you’re looking to push Jordy to the couch of a one of your Raider fan friends, this pillow will brighten up any living room. Until next time remember, there is no worse way to support your team!
Packers sign 2020 fifth-round pick Kamal Martinby Jon Meerdink on July 9, 2020 at 8:25 pm
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports The Packers took linebacker Kamal Martin with the 175th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Packers have signed 2020 fifth-round draft choice Kamal Martin, announcing the news themselves Thursday afternoon. Martin, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound linebacker from the University of Minnesota, was the 175th overall pick in this spring’s draft. Over four seasons with the Golden Gophers, Martin appeared in 40 games, recording 106 solo tackles, 3.5 sacks, and four interceptions. Due to a knee injury during his final season at Minnesota, Martin did not test at the NFL Combine and his pro day was canceled due to the ongoing pandemic. But he told Packers media earlier this spring he believes the injury won’t slow him down this season. “I’m gonna be 100% fine. It’s not going to be a big deal at all,” he told reporters on a conference call after he was selected. Even prior to his injury, however, scouts raised questions about his overall athleticism, and his tackling has been described as somewhat suspect at times, but as a former offensive player (several teams recruited him as a quarterback), his ball skills also drew some praise from evaluators. As the 175th pick, Martin’s contract will be worth about $3.5 million over four years, including a signing bonus of a little more than $270,000.
Predicting the Packers’ 2022 starting lineupby Shawn Wagner on July 9, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images Here is one possible way that Green Bay’s key contributors could look over the next three seasons. Summer is here and the Green Bay Packers’ 53-man roster for the 2020 season has hardly been set. However, there is some level of fun and anticipation in looking down the line at the organization’s potential starting lineup in the next few years, particularly with notable internal free agents after this season. After a first-round quarterback was selected this past April, who will be the starting quarterback? Will the Packers’ offensive line stay intact? Which young players have the best chance of emerging over the next two to three seasons? Here is one opinion on how those questions might be sorted out. Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers While Rodgers has a possible out in his contract after the 2021 season and the team just drafted Jordan Love, it is difficult to see the Packers moving on from their franchise quarterback before his deal expires. From a PR standpoint, the Packers cannot afford another Brett Favre, bad-love situation with its legendary quarterback. In this prediction, they opt to give Rodgers some Tom Brady-like freedom at the end of his contract. Running Back: AJ Dillon The Packers’ second-rounder should see the field at times as a rookie and Green Bay probably will not be able to pay Aaron Jones after this season. Dillon becomes the bellcow back in 2021 and carries that status into 2022. Wide Receiver: Davante Adams At age 27, Adams is a candidate to earn a long-term extension before or after his current deal expires in 2021. He is Rodgers’ best weapon and will continue to be an asset. Wide Receiver: Allen Lazard Lazard continued to progress as the 2019 season went along and if he’s able to sustain his targets with Rodgers in 2020, he will remain a Packer with a new deal well into 2022. Wide Receiver: 2021 Second-Round Pick While there will be other receivers on the roster that could begin the 2022 season as a slot receiver, next year’s draft will offer a more than ample opportunity to provide Green Bay with a high-ceiling prospect. Drafting a pass-catcher next year will give the team time to develop that player into a dependable contributor by 2022. Some early names to watch are Ohio State’s Chris Olave, Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle, and perhaps Equanimeous St. Brown’s brother, Amon-Ra. Tight End: Jace Sternberger Sternberger should have every opportunity to win a starting role this upcoming season and his rookie deal lasts through 2022. He’s the true tight end, while Josiah Deguara fills multiple offensive roles. Left Tackle: David Bakhtiari Green Bay should be expected to re-sign Bakhtiari after this season and keep their franchise left tackle in the fold. Left Guard: Elgton Jenkins Last year’s second-round pick excelled as a rookie and should be a long-term cog in the Packers’ offensive line. Center: Jake Hanson While it is difficult to slot Hanson into the starting lineup without having seen him take a snap, there is a likelihood that neither Corey Linsley nor Lucas Patrick will be on the roster in 2022 after their contracts end. Hanson is not a shoe-in by any means, but he’s the best bet from the current roster. Right Guard: Jon Runyan Billy Turner’s contract has an out after this season and the Packers could cut ties and save quite a bit of money to re-sign others. APC touched on Turner’s poor salary cap value from the 2019 season earlier this week. By 2022, Runyan could already have earned a starting guard role or be waiting in the wings for his turn. Right Tackle: 2021 First-Round Pick Green Bay has planned ahead in the past at the tackle position and drafted a lineman high in the year prior to the termination of current starters’ contracts. Rick Wagner could be serviceable for the Packers through the 2021 season, but there should be a replacement expected here by 2022. Washington State’s Abraham Lucas and Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood are some early names to consider. Punter: JK Scott Scott is young enough to be extended after his rookie deal if the team so chooses. As of now, Scott has that chance. Kicker: Mason Crosby Crosby’s deal can last through 2022 and unless he becomes erratic, he could finish that deal. Defensive Line: Kenny Clark It would be a surprise if the Packers did not lock Clark up after the year is over. He remains a building block for the defense and his best football is still ahead of him. Defensive Line: Kingsley Keke Snaps were limited as a rookie for Keke, but there is a lot of potential and versatility there to develop into a meaningful contributor. Defensive Line: Future Draft Pick or Signing The jury is still out on current roster players like Tyler Lancaster and Montravius Adams, who need much more consistency and production to be seen past 2021. Green Bay likes to take chances on young defensive tackles to develop and could do so over the next couple of drafts. While it’s expensive to sign quality defensive linemen and a lot of money figures to be invested in Clark, the possibility of doing so remains. Another person to watch here is Rashan Gary, who could carve out a situational role on the line with his size and collegiate experience. Edge: Za’Darius Smith Year one in Green Bay was impressive for Smith and unless there is a major drop-off, he will finish out his contract. Edge: Preston Smith Ditto for the Preston version of the Smith duo. The Packers should have a stable bookend of pass rushers for a few seasons. Inside Linebacker: Kamal Martin Christian Kirksey’s contract will be up after 2021 and his future with the Packers is way to hard to determine at this stage. As a new draft pick, Martin should have the ability to develop into at least a two-down linebacker in the middle like several Packer MIKEs before him. Vernon Scott could be an interesting passing-down piece to watch for eventually. Cornerback: Jaire Alexander Like Clark, Alexander is another budding star who should be signed to a second contract in Green Bay. Cornerback: Kevin King The Packers are going to have a big decision to make on King, who finally was healthy for most of last season. The optimistic view is King has a strong follow-up season in a contract year in 2020 and earns a longer stay. Cornerback: Stanford Samuels While Chandon Sullivan could be a popular pick here, especially if he lives up to the hype he created in 2019, it is hard to see the Packers being able to afford Alexander, King, and Sullivan in 2022. The bold prediction here for the Packers’ nickel back is one of the Packers’ more high-profile undrafted signings in Florida State’s Samuels. There is high upside with Samuels’ size and ability to be a boundary corner and emergency safety. Safety: Adrian Amos After signing a four-year deal last offseason, Amos is on the books through 2022 and had a solid enough first season in Green Bay to warrant finishing the remaining years. Safety: Darnell Savage Savage was a promising rookie last year as a first-round pick and should continue to patrol the back end for the foreseeable future.