Ask the expert
Green Bay PressGazette columnist Pete Dougherty answered questions from readers during a recent chat. For the complete transcript visit packersnews.com.
Q: Hi Pete. With the difficult decisions at the WR position looming, where does Ty Montgomery fit into plans moving forward? Seems to me like it makes sense to move him back to WR to much needed depth. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams appear to have bright futures at RB, leaving Ty without much playing time at RB.
A: Yeah, I’m not really sure it matters what you call him because his value is his ability to play both spots and defenses not knowing where he’s going to line up when he’s in the huddle. The more you saw him at running back, the more clear it is he’s not a real running back. Basically, if you want to categorize him at a position, I’d agree with you, WR is it. But it’s his flexibility that gives him value. He could play a lot at slot receiver, depend- ing on Cobb’s return. But his greater value probably is a special-package guy.
Q: Given a choice between Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, which way would you lean?
A: At midseason I’d have leaned keeping Nelson and parting with Cobb if it came down to one or the other. Now I lean the other way. Nelson has clearly slowed down a lot, though he does have that tremendous chemistry with Rodgers.
Q: Hey Pete, lots of changes with the Packers organization in the last couple of weeks. In your opinion were they all necessary or is this a bit of an overreaction?
A: I thought they were necessary. Things had gotten stagnant, and now we’re finding out a little more after the fact that Thompson’s energy and engagement in keeping everyone in the football side of the organization connected was waning and had become a real problem. So that was probably a year or two late. I’d still say the defensive issues were more personnel than anything but McCarthy was justified in trying something new. I still question the front-office restructure. I can see why Murphy did it and it makes sense in theory, I just don’t think it’s a long-term solution. Maybe he doesn’t mean it to be. We’ll have to see what he does a couple years down the road on that.
Q: Pete, I know there have been talks of Cobb, Nelson, & possibly Clay Matthews either taking a pay cut or being cut. Since all 3
will be on the final year of their contracts, wouldn’t it be easier for them to simply play out the last year of their contracts? Or are the Packers really going to have cap issues in 2018 that would prevent them from completing the roster they want for 2018?
A: I haven’t looked it up but I think they have a decent amount of room, like a projected $20 million or a little more. They’re going to do a new deal with Rodgers, but depending on how they want to structure it they could create more cap room this year (or use a lot this year and make more room for future years). So they have some flexibility. But you don’t want to overpay guys if you don’t have to, and every little bit of cap room can be valuable, either for use this year or, if you don’t use it, it rolls over to the next year.
A healthy Ty Montgomery gives the Packers versatility on offense because he can play both running back and wide receiver.