Packers Rumors

Packers Down Another Left Tackle

  • The Packers are likely to be severely shorthanded on their O-line in San Francisco. Elgton Jenkins, who has filled in for PUP list-stationed David Bakhtiari at left tackle, is doubtful to face the 49ers because of an ankle issue. Green Bay will likely be forced to use its third left tackle option against the 49ers, who feature Nick Bosa as their primary blindside rusher. The Packers signed Dennis Kelly this offseason, giving them a potential option at right tackle in the event they slide right-side starter Billy Turner to left tackle.

49ers HC Confirms Team’s Past Interest In QB Aaron Rodgers

The 49ers were consistently connected to Aaron Rodgers during the early parts of the quarterback’s standoff with the Packers. Today, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan acknowledged that his team had reached out to the Packers about a potential trade.

“I thought it’d be a quick no,” Shanahan told (via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk). “Which was exactly what I thought it would be. But you hear enough stuff and I think everyone knew what was going on at that time that it didn’t seem like it [wasn’t] worth the call, but I know how we would’ve felt if it was going to happen and we didn’t call. So, you call, you get a quick answer which what was what you’re expecting and then you move on.”

We previously heard that the 49ers were on Rodgers’ wish list, and the Packers even accused the 49ers of tampering after the team reached out directly to the QB. In other words, it’s not a huge surprise that the 49ers had approached the Packers about a trade, but Shanahan’s confirmation is a nice touch.

Ultimately, the 49ers decided to go in a different direction, as they went all in on a trade for third-overall pick Trey Lance. Jimmy Garoppolo remains the starter in San Francisco, but the team will eventually hand over the reigns to the North Dakota State product.

Shanahan will get a front row seat to ‘what could have been’ this weekend, as the 49ers take on Rodgers and the Packers on Sunday evening.

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Jets LB B.J. Goodson To Retire

B.J. Goodson‘s Jets stay will end up being brief. The team announced Wednesday the veteran linebacker intends to retire. Goodson signed with the Jets last week.

The former Giants, Packers and Browns starter made his debut for the Jets in Week 2, seeing action on seven special teams plays in the team’s loss to the Patriots. But Goodson no longer intends to continue his sixth NFL season. The Jets placed the 28-year-old off-ball linebacker on their reserve/retired list.

A fourth-round pick out of Clemson in 2016, Goodson became a starter for the Giants in his second season. He made 20 starts with the team but was traded to the Packers before the 2019 season. Green Bay used Goodson as a first-stringer frequently during his lone season with the team, deploying him as a nine-game starter during a 13-3 campaign.

The Browns signed Goodson last year and plugged him into their starting lineup immediately. He made a career-high 91 tackles and intercepted two passes, helping Cleveland snap its lengthy playoff drought. Goodson did miss two games after contracting COVID-19 late last season, however. He returned to start in both Browns playoff games, making 16 tackles.

Pro Football Focus graded Goodson as an upper-echelon coverage linebacker in 2020, and the Jets signed him to a deal worth up to $2.1MM. Goodson made 251 tackles and intercepted four passes in his five-plus-year career.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/21/21

Today’s taxi squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Released: K Matt McCrane

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Packers To Cut Jace Sternberger

The Packers are cutting tight end Jace Sternberger (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). Since he is not yet a vested veteran, he’ll be available on the waiver wire for the next 24 hours. If he goes unclaimed, he’ll be free to sign with any team.

Sternberger had some hype a couple of years ago as a third-round pick. However, he’s yet to show much at the pro level. In six games as a rookie, he failed to record a single catch. He was a bit more involved last year, securing 12 grabs for 114 yards and a touchdown. Still, Sternberger has yet to meet expectations, and his two-game ban to open the year didn’t do him any favors.

The Packers saw little reason to keep Sternberger with Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis as their top tight ends. They also have Dominique Dafney and Josiah Deguara on hand to round out the group.

Sternberger could hold appeal for other GMs who still remember his impressive finale at Texas A&M. Still, given his lack of a pro resume, he may be better suited for a practice squad deal.

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NFL Workouts: Giants, WFT, Foreman

Here’s a look at some of today’s more notable auditions, courtesy of NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (Twitter link):

  • The Giants worked out punters J.K. Scott, Kaare Vedvik, and Brandon Wright. For now, that job is held by Riley Dixon, though the Giants could just be keeping their emergency list up to date. Dixon, a former draft pick of Denver, is under contract through 2022 thanks to his three-year, $8.7MM deal.
  • The Washington Football Team auditioned running backs D’Onta Foreman and Ryquell Armstead. Foreman, recently released from Atlanta’s practice squad, also showed his stuff for the Raiders earlier this month. Foreman is best known for his rookie year with the Texans but hasn’t been the same since tearing his Achilles midway through that season.
  • The Packers are meeting with defensive ends Taco Charlton and R.J. McIntosh. Charlton, once a highly-touted first-round pick of the Cowboys, flamed out quickly in Dallas. His best work to date came with the Dolphins when he notched five sacks in ten games. Still, he had a decent 2020 with the Chiefs, up until his November leg fracture. In that shortened KC run, Charlton recorded two sacks, four quarterback hits, and a forced fumble.

Packers Place Za’Darius Smith On IR

The Packers have placed edge rusher Za’Darius Smith on injured reserve, according to head coach Matt LaFleur (Twitter link via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com). The Packers initially hoped to have him ready for Week 2, but his back hasn’t healed as quickly as expected.

We’re going to have to shut him down for a while,” LaFleur said. “[It’s a matter of,] do you keep him in a limited or do you shut him down for a while and try to get him up to the snap count we’d like him to be.”

Smith came off Green Bay’s active/NFI list August 9 but suffered setbacks shortly after. The Packers plan to exercise caution here, shelving Smith for at least another three games.

Smith, 28, also took issue with how the Packers restructured his contract earlier year. However, club officials have made it clear that Smith’s absence is strictly injury-related.

In theory, the two-time reigning NFC North champs are well equipped to handle Smith’s absence, given the presence of Preston Smith and former first-round pick Rashan Gary. Still, they didn’t look great in any facet last week as the Packers were crushed 38-3 by the Saints.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers Rework CB Chandon Sullivan’s Contract

The Packers opened a chunk of cap space today by reworking Chandon Sullivan‘s contract. Per ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter), Green Bay converted $1.213MM of the cornerback’s salary into a signing bonus.

The move added four void years to Sullivan’s deal while opening about $970K against the cap. The Packers are now operating with around $8MM in cap space (h/t to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky on Twitter).

Sullivan went undrafted out of Georgia State in 2018, and following a quiet rookie season with the Eagles, the defensive back found a home in Green Bay before the 2019 campaign. The cornerback has spent the past two years with the Packers, seeing time in all 32 regular season contests. This includes a 2020 campaign where Sullivan started 10 of his 16 games en route to 41 tackles, six passes defended, and one interception. He also started two playoff games for Green Bay, collecting 13 tackles.

While the Packers are doing some work to open cap space, that extra financial flexibility won’t be used to re-sign Davante Adams. The wideout said there’s “no chance” he signs an extension before the season opener, and with Green Bay’s game only about 24 hours away, it’s looking like Adams was probably right.

Davante Adams: ‘No Chance’ For Packers Extension Before Season

Things have changed since Davante Adams‘ contract last came up. Aaron Rodgers ended his holdout and reported to training camp on time. But the reigning MVP’s future is fuzzy beyond 2021. So is his top wide receiver’s.

The Packers and Adams still appear to be at a stalemate. The sides broke off talks in July, but Adams was open to restarting them. However, he and the Packers remain far apart on an extension. Adams said Wednesday there is “no chance” of a deal coming to pass before the start of the season, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com tweets.

This situation compares to the Steelers’ T.J. Watt talks, with an old-school franchise not giving in on guarantees. The Packers are not willing to give Adams any guaranteed money beyond his signing bonus, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein (on Twitter). While Green Bay was able to keep Aaron Jones this spring, with the running back’s $13MM signing bonus doubling as the deal’s only fully guaranteed money, Adams plays a more valuable position that has a longer shelf life. The Packers are dug in here, per Silverstein, leading to an impasse.

Adams wants a deal that makes him the NFL’s highest-paid wideout. With DeAndre Hopkins‘ outlier $27MM-per-year deal currently occupying that space, it is difficult to imagine Green Bay going there. The Packers could have Jordan Love‘s rookie contract to build around, but some Rodgers dead money would remain on Green Bay’s cap in 2022 — in the event of a trade — going into the third year of Love’s team-friendly deal.

A four-time Pro Bowler going into his age-28 season, Adams would make sense on a Hopkins-type medium-length extension. But the sides are not there yet. Green Bay’s top target will go forward with a contract year.

No deal being finalized before the season would not kill an arrangement to keep Adams in Wisconsin long-term. The Packers signed him to his current deal late in the 2017 season and have the franchise tag to deploy should this situation head to that point of the calendar. While the Packers have not used their tag since 2010, Adams could be worthy of a short-term fix — especially if Rodgers remains in the picture for 2022.

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