Sunday, July 8, 2012

2012 Cap Space & future extensions

Team-by-team cap space as of June 22

Packers:  $11.25 million.

That's a nice chunk of $$ Ted can use to reinvest in players.  Greg Jennings & TJ Lang are the key pending 2013 UFAs.  I would focus on resigning Lang first because he'll be cheaper and they have better depth at WR than OL.  Worst case with Jennings is they use the franchise tag on him.  The rest of the pending 2013 UFA/RFAs are not high priority guys in my book. ..the exception is Sam Shields.  Next focus group would be guys like CM3, Aaron Rodgers or some other core guys with contracts expiring after 2013-14 seasons.  

How much does Ted want to spend on Greg Jennings?...Some people speculate in the $55m range over five-years.  That speculation is plausible but affects James Jones and possibly JMike's future $$.

TJ Lang will likely be paid less that what Josh Sitton got but it'll be a nice financial package.  Lang is the Packers most versatile OL and IMO could also play center if need be.  

CM3,  BJ Raji & JMike contracts end after 2013 & Aaron Rodgers is 2014.  Aaron Rodgers will be paid big $$, no doubt about it.  CM3 is the next key player!...and will be paid.  I would extend CM3 before Greg Jennings & Raji.  Raji should be cheaper to keep than Jennings.  I would choose Raji over Greg Jennings, if necessary.

My bottom line:  Extend CM3 target cap # for him is ~$6m in 2013 that includes a $12.5m SB over 5-yrs + other bonus $$ each year.  I'd target TJ Lang @ ~$3m cap in 2013 and a SB of ~$4m.  Those two extensions in 2012 would take ~$5.75m of the $11.25m.  The remaining ~$5.5m could remain untouched until needed (used in 2012 or carried forward into 2013).  In this scenario, I think they'll wait until 2013 to extend Aaron Rodgers...and Greg Jennings.    

Pre-training camp positional predictions

Brian Cariveau compiled his thoughts WRT a 2-deep depth chart.

I'm not going to do a two-deep prediction and will focus on positional numbers.

My BL for offense is they keep 26 players + the K, P & LS = 29

QB keep three.
RB/FB (4):  They will only keep FOUR RBs to include John Kuhn.  Starks, Green, & Saine sounds good to me...key is health & I have a gut feeling Starks will be healthy this year as will Green.  These two could provide some excitement at RB if provided opportunities BUT their #1 responsibility is being able to pass protect 1st then become a check-down option.  Saine is the only one they could replace with one of the UDFAs.

WR/TE (10):  Greg Jennings & Jordy Nelson are the studs; Cobb could turn into an offensive stud but they still need him to remain the return guy stud.  I've seen at least one trade rumor WRT James Jones...he's my 4th WR ahead of DD @ #5 and #6 (and final) is Tori Gurley.  Four TEs (Quarless PUP) are the same as 2011 but JMike is obviously unique...a WR/TE hybrid.  DJ Williams will be interesting to watch...especially if his blocking improves.  Crabtree is arguably their best in-line blocker (I think Quarless is) and Ryan Taylor should improve too.  I keep Gurley over Borel because of size...if I need PR/KR I have to keep Borel.

OL (9): It's possible Ted only keeps eight if he needs/wants to split the roster numbers evenly between offense/defense.  Sherrod & Datko fill-out the OTs, Ray Dominguez is my #8 & swing-guard.  Unless Ted accepts taking risk @ back-up center, #9 has to be able to play center (Detrich-Smith, Genus & Tommie Draheim)...

24 for defense

DL (5): After Raji, Pickett & Worthy, it's a total crap-shoot in my book so I commend Brian for giving it a shot.  I concur they start season with only five.  I think they're seriously considering holding Mike Daniels out of practice starting TC...he needs to be 100% healthy to contribute so maybe PUP is an option...if not, he's one of the 5 DL.  I've always liked CJ Wilson but maybe Lawrence Guy (6'4) or Phillip Merling (6'5) stay as the 5th...  Ted has kept six DL since Dom's arrival.  Mike Neal will be the 6th DL when he returns from they'll have to drop a LB, DB, or OL for that roster spot.

LB (9): Obviously CM3, Perry, & Des Bishop are the 3 main LBs...AJ is 4th but won't be an every down LB. DJ  Smith is the top back-up IILB...6-9 in no particular order: So'oto, T. Manning, Dezman Moses, and I hope Jamari Lattimore.

NICKLE defense (5-DB) is IMO their main defense and WRT 3-DL being on-field is ~<20% maybe even as low as 10%...DIME (6-DB) defense could be 30-40% of the time with 7 maybe 8 DBs interchangeable for the DIME.  The Packers have ten NFL quality starters/back-up DBs on their pre-season roster.  ...and my #10 is Charlie Peprah...and I know he can play in the NFL!  
DB (10): Who are the six best DBs?...obviously it starts with CW, then TW, Burnett, and then it's debatable for you go with a safety type of guy or a CB type or a hybrid guy like J.Bush?...mainly on 1st downs?  I'm a big believer in Sam Shields as a boundry man-to-man defender.  Worst case Shields is #5 DB...but I think he's the 4th best DB because of his coverage ability and his speed is such an asset...I just feel he's just too physically talented for him not to be on-field 80% of the time...TW will obviously play #1 CB on the boundry.  CW will obviously be playing the DB in the box during NICKLE and DIME.  Top 5 DBs: CW, TW, Burnett, Shields, Casey Hampton,..J.Bush and House.  If it's a pure safety they want then probably MD Jennings.  Draft pick Jerron McMillian will make the final 53,  I think his biggest contribution will be via ST...otherwise he'll be inactive. Overall, I'm very optimistic about the Packers young DBs teaming with CW, TW & Barnett.  ...and I won't forget about J.Bush either...dude can tackle and has made at least one key take-away in his career...he's definitely a keeper and a guy that can play multiple DB positions...but I'm sold on Shields.  Peprah makes 10.

It's too bad the NFL did not increase the roster size from 53...