Ask the ex­pert

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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.

PA­TRICK GORSKI-USA TO­DAY SPORTS

A healthy Ty Mont­gomery gives the Pack­ers ver­sa­til­ity on of­fense be­cause he can play both run­ning back and wide re­ceiver.

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