It’s been a few days since we last checked in. Okay, five days.
With the week winding down, here are my thoughts on some of the major Green Bay Packers-related stories of the past, well, five days.
- Williams joins Jolly in signing tender; Bigby appears to be digging in
Well, it appears as though cornerback Tramon Williams took me up on my advice – at least, in part. Williams signed his one-year RFA tender (worth $3.168 million) laaaaate Tuesday night. Actually, he didn’t sign it by the 11:01 p.m. Lambeau time deadline, but rather (reportedly) verbally agreed to sign it, which counts just the same under league rules.
By getting Williams to sign, the Packers can now breathe a sigh of relief as it appears there will be no ugly, prolonged holdout between the rising corner and the team. In my last post on the topic – again, click on the link above – I said that Williams needed to play ball with the team and ink his tender as a sign of good faith (similar to what Nick Collins did earlier this offseason).
He’s done his part, and now the Packers should do theirs by opening discussions on a long-term extension. Williams is still fairly young, 27, and has shown the ability to make plays in two different schemes (again, similar to Collins). He’s got the potential to become a Pro Bowl-type talent, but even if he falls a bit short of that, he’s no worse than a No. 2 corner for the foreseeable future. As much as we love Charles Woodson and Al Harris, it’s likely those two won’t be around more than a few more years – even less in Harris’ case – and the team has nothing but question marks behind those three. Williams provides some stability and the team must ensure it has someone to count on.
Johnny Jolly, like Williams, also signed his tender (worth $2.5). He has been excused for the next week to deal with his personal situation (i.e., “the drug trial that will never end”). We’ll have more on Jolly on Monday.
Finally, Atari Bigby appears to be digging in for a prolonged holdout. He didn’t even come close to signing his one-year tender (worth $1.759). Oddly, it still has not been made public as to whether or not the Packers made good on their threat to cut his salary to 110 percent of what he made last year ($1.704 million). He’s reportedly told teammates he’s willing to take his battle into training camp.
Just to reiterate what I wrote a few days ago: Have fun sitting at home, Atari. Morgan Burnett will take over your spot and the defense will be just fine without you.
- Commish hints at an 18-game schedule
Earlier this week, Commisioner Roger Goodell said the NFL no longer needs four preseason games, a clear sign that he is in favor of upgrading from the current 16-game regular season format.
It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the NFL season will become an 18-game slate. It’s just a matter of deciding when that happens. Packers president Mark Murphy seems to be on-board with the move.
Ultimately, I’m on board, as well. I’m in favor of anything that shortens the preseason from its current four-game death march. Too many injuries that have a long-lasting impact on the regular season occur there. Fans suffer in other ways, as well, like having to pay full-price for tickets to a game that, essentially, means nothing.
Some changes will have to be made to the current structure, of course, like increasing roster size (I’d bump it up to a 60-man roster, but that’s just me). The season really can’t go any longer than early February, in my mind, so that means things will have to start at least two weeks earlier than now. That puts us at the last Sunday in August – the second-to-last if you throw in an extra bye week for each team, something that will have to be strongly considered in order to avoid having a Super Bowl decided by second-and-third string players.
The players don’t seem to be in love with this idea, at the moment, and I can sort of see why. Two extra games means more of them will suffer injuries, with some of them being season-enders. They will come around, though, once they find out that two extra games will likely mean an increase in salary.
Frankly, I don’t see who loses in an 18-game world.
- We’re working on something…and we need your help
We’ve rolled out one special series so far this summer: Our all-time 53-man roster. We’re in the process of doing one more before the start of training camp (just 41 days ’til the first practice!!)
We can’t tip our hands too much about the focus of the next series – we’re all about being secretive here at OBOD – but we can say we’d like to ask you, our dear readers, for some help.
When you go to Green Bay (or the Fox Cities, in general) on a game weekend, where are some of your favorite spots? You can take that to mean anything you’d like – restaurants, bars, malls, hotels or “other.”
We simply want to know what spots you hit in order to put your Lambeau weekend over the top. Again, anything applies – just tell us, either via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), comment on this post or at our Twitter or Facebook pages.
We hope to reveal just what this all means to you guys and gals soon enough. If we can do it right, it’s going to be pretty sweet.