Packer Plus - - News - Pete Dougherty Colum­nist USA TO­DAY NET­WORK – WIS.

Green Bay P ress-Gazette colum­nist Pete Dougherty an­swered ques­tions from read­ers dur­ing a re­cent chat. For the com­plete tran­script visit pack­er­

Q: Hey Pete, de­spite ur­gent and semi ur­gent needs at pass rush-end and cor­ner, doesn’t Gutekunst need to re­sist draft­ing for need? Bot­tom line, we rarely draft this high so land­ing a blue chip starter ir­re­spec­tive of po­si­tion is crit­i­cal.

A: Yes, he does need to avoid over-em­pha­siz­ing need, the great­est need is for play­mak­ers at any po­si­tion, es­pe­cially on de­fense but re­ally any­where. So if there’s some­one on the board at No. 14 that he thinks is go­ing to be spe­cial, he should take the guy.

Q: What’s your take on No. 12 right now? Sounds like he’s tak- ing pas­sive ag­gres­sive shots at the or­ga­ni­za­tion again. What lever­age does he have to get a Cousins-type con­tract? If I am look­ing at this cor­rectly, he needs to play out his con­tract and be tagged for 2 years be­fore he’s at that $30M per year fig­ure so it would seem the Pack­ers have the lever­age.

A: The Pack­ers def­i­nitely have some lever­age be­cause of the two years left on his deal, no ques­tion there. But they also have a lot of in­cen­tive to not let him ever get to free agency, be­cause those fran­chise tags are re­ally, re­ally ex­pen­sive the sec­ond and third years — the raise the sec­ond year is 20 per­cent, and the third year is 44 per­cent. And let’s face it, his im­por­tance is so out­sized that they want to keep re­la­tions good — they want him fully in­vested and feel­ing good that he’s in this or­ga­ni­za­tion. So there are a lot more reasons to get an ex­ten­sion done than to not. He’s got more than enough lever­age to get a con­tract bet­ter than Cousins’. He should get a con­tract bet­ter than Cousins’. Now, at a cer­tain point it gets coun­ter­pro­duc­tive and costs so much that it makes it tougher to build a team around him. So he needs to keep that in mind too. The Pack­ers have to walk a line be­tween let­ting him know that his in­put mat­ters greatly, but that he’s a player and not the GM. So on (Jordy) Nel­son, for in­stance, that’s just a move they have to be free to make that move. These things hap­pen all the time in the NFL, play­ers get cut — the Pa­tri­ots make moves like this ev­ery year. So while Rodgers might be un­happy about Nel­son get­ting cut, this is the kind of thing he just has to live with.


New Pack­ers gen­eral man­ager Brian Gutekunst shouldn’t worry about a spe­cific po­si­tion with the 14th pick in the draft.

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