No Pro Bowl, but Bakhtiari All-Pro
Green Bay — After he didn’t get selected for the Pro Bowl this season, Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari was asked about the possibility of making another All-Pro team.
That wouldn’t be unusual. Not for Bakhtiari, at l east. The Packers l eft tackle had already been a second-team All-Pro twice in his career. He had just one Pro Bowl selection.
In theory, All-Pro lists are harder to crack. Apparently not for Bakhtiari. What if he made a third All-Pro team, yet only had the one Pro Bowl?
“I think that would be hilarious,” Bakhtiari said. Somewhere, he must be laughing. Bakhtiari was named first-team AllPro by the Associated Press for the first time in his career Friday. New Orleans’ Terron Armstead, whom Bakhtiari is an alternate behind for the Pro Bowl, was selected second-team All-Pro alongside Seattle’s Duane Brown. Bakhtiari was the only left tackle on the first team.
In other words, he’s the best offensive tackle according to the 50-member media panel which annually votes for the NFL’s All-Pro first and second teams.
“I think he has Hall of Fame potential,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said late in the season. “He’s an incredible player. He’s been a rock for us. When he’s over there, you feel really comfortable with him locking down pass rushers throughout the game. He’s played through some injuries, he’s had a fantastic season again, and obviously having him out there has been great.”
Fitzgerald remains at Northwestern: According to agent Bryan Harlan, multiple NFL teams i nquired about Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald for their head-coach opening, but in the end the 44-year-old coach decided to stay with his alma mater, where he has been head coach for the past 13 years and is locked into a 10-year contract extension he signed two years ago.
The Packers had to know it was a long shot that they would be able to lure Fitzgerald from the college ranks.
Fitzgerald grew up in the Chicago area, was a star linebacker for the Wildcats, is a lifelong Bears fan and said after the team’s come -from-behind victory over Utah on New Year’s Eve that he wasn’t going anywhere.
Packers president/CEO Mark Mur- phy hired Fitzgerald when he was athletic director at Northwestern in 2006, and general manager Brian Gutekunst has admired him greatly, according to sources. Both wanted to gauge Fitzgerald’s interest in the position but needed to wait until the Wildcats’ bowl game.
The Packers probably would have doubled Fitzgerald’s $3.62 million salary, but they couldn’t erase his loyalty to a university that has made a major commitment to becoming a big-time Division I football program.
The Wildcats won the Big Ten West Division and played i n the Big Ten Championship for the first time. Capping the season off with a Holiday Bowl victory put Fitzgerald on top of the world.
The construction of a new $280 million football facility and the breakthrough 2018 season should make recruiting top players easier for Fitzgerald. Given he is only 44, it’s likely other NFL opportunities will come his way, and possibly an opportunity to coach the Bears.
Even if Fitzgerald had agreed to interview, Murphy and Gutekunst would have had to make his new contract too good to pass up. The fact Fitzgerald wouldn’t be too far from home would have played in their favor, but their timing just wasn’t right.
Butler again fails to make cut: A trio of safeties were among 15 modernera finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019, but former Packers safety LeRoy Butler was not one of them.
Butler, the first defensive back in NFL history with 20 career interceptions and sacks, was among 25 semifinalists for the second straight year. At a position notoriously lacking representation in Canton, Butler appears to have fallen behind John Lynch and Steve Atwater, both of whom were named finalists. Ed Reed, the safety most likely to be enshrined, also was a finalist.
Butler’s numbers compare favorably to Lynch’s and Atwater’s. He finished with 38 interceptions and 201⁄ sacks in 2 12 seasons, production that would have been even greater had his career not ended at age 33 because of a fractured shoulder. Lynch had 26 interceptions and 13 sacks in his 15 seasons split between Tampa Bay and Denver. Atwater had 24 interceptions and five sacks in his 11 seasons played mostly in Denver.
“(Butler) could match up one -onone and be down in the box. Which was rare,” long time coach Brian Billick told
PackersNews.com last winter.
Billick devised game plans against Butler and the Packers defense as Minnesota’s offensive coordinator and later coached Reed in Baltimore.
Of the three, Lynch has the edge with nine Pro Bowls. Butler’s four Pro Bowl appearances also trail Atwater’s eight.
But Butler was a four-time, firstteam All-Pro, including three straight years from 1996-’98. Lynch and Atwater were selected first-team All-Pros twice apiece.
Clay Matthews Jr., the father of Packers linebacker Clay Matthews III, also failed to make the cut to 15. Matthews Jr. was a linebacker for 19 seasons, most of them in Cleveland.
Montgomery sells one of two houses in Howard: Former Packers running back Ty Montgomery has sold one of the two houses he owns in Howard.
The house at 1252 Beechwood Court sold on Dec. 11, 2018, for $262,500. He bought the house in 2016 for $243,250. The listed price was $274,900.
The 2,498-square-foot house, with three bedrooms and three baths, is near Bay View Middle School. It includes a theater room in the basement and is bordered by wooded lots to the north and east.
Montgomery bought a larger house not far from the Beechwood Court house early last year. He was traded by the Packers to the Baltimore Ravens in October.
In seven games for the Packers last year, Montgomery rushed for 105 yards and one touchdown, and caught 15 passes for 170 yards. In six games with the Ravens, Montgomery rushed 15 times for 83 yards and caught 10 passes for 65 yards. He scored no touchdowns for Baltimore.
Former Packers GM Ted Thompson’s house at 222 Nicolet Place in west De Pere remains on the market. The list price is $424,900, down from $499,900 when the house went on the market in summer 2018. The 2,113square foot house, has three bedrooms, one full and two half bathrooms, two fireplaces and riverfront access.
Thompson, who was named Packers GM in 2005, bought the house at 222 Nicolet Place that year for $317,000, according to records at the Brown County Register of Deeds office.
Thompson was named senior adviser to football operations in January 2018. Brian Gutekunst was named general manager shortly after.
Former Packers receiver Jordy Nelson, who now is with the Oakland Raiders, sold his 3,642-square-foot house in Suamico for $345,000. It was listed for $379,000. Nelson paid $310,000 for it in 2009.
Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy also listed his house in preparation for a move to a nearby condominium. The house was taken off the market during the football season. It has not been re-listed.
Richard Ryman, Green Bay P ressGazette contributed to this report.
Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari made the Associated Press All-Pro team after getting snubbed in the Pro Bowl.
Former Packers running back Ty Montgomery sold this house in Howard for $262,500.