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Cheese Curds, 1/30: AFC wins Pro Bowl, 49ers & Colts pick GMs, and McGinn berates Thompson again

What the heck is going on out in San Francisco?

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Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

As far as weekends without real NFL football go, that one was pretty eventful around the league. In addition to a lower-than-usual final score in the league's All-Star Game, we had a bombshell of a news drop on Sunday night, as the San Francisco 49ers announced the hiring of their new general manager a few hours after the Colts had done the same.

It's an understatement to say that these are two very different hires. The Colts hired Chris Ballard, a Chiefs executive under John Dorsey and a highly respected individual in front offices around the NFL. Then the 49ers' turn came to announce their pick: John Lynch. In a move that sparks comparisons to the Lions' hiring of Matt Millen over a decade ago, Lynch moves from the broadcast booth to the front office, without a single personnel job in between.

Eliot Wolf had interviewed for both openings and Brian Gutekunst was seen as a leading candidate for the San Francisco job, but both are staying in Green Bay.

Here are today's curds, breaking down the news of the weekend.

Packers' Corey Linsley, Richard Rodgers get $1 million raises for 2017 - ESPN
The CBA's escalator provision is a great one for mid-round picks, and two fourth-year Packers players are getting big bumps in their base pay for 2017.

Packers sign LS Pepper |
I'm a Pepper, he's a Pepper, she's a Pepper, we're a Pepper, wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too?

Why Cameron Wake is PFF’s Comeback Player of the Year | PFF
My first instinct was "Why not Jordy Nelson?" Then I remembered that Wake tore his Achilles tendon last year and saw that he was among the top five players in the NFL in several pass-rushing metrics.

Pro Bowl 2017 final score: AFC defeats NFC 20-13 in a wild finish -
Cam Atkinson and Wayne Simmonds scored the tying and game-winning goals for the Metro division...wait, was I watching the wrong All-Star game yesterday?

San Francisco 49ers name John Lynch general manager -
That's former Buccaneers and Broncos safety and FOX color analyst John Lynch, who has never worked in an NFL front office before in his life. Good luck with that.

Ted Thompson's formula for success fizzles |
Bob McGinn's work is basically taking up the entire home page at, and he goes after Thompson's unwillingness to sign free agents with reckless abandon. The value in this piece, however, comes from comments by other GMs or former GMs around the league. Here are a couple of them: "Hats off to the coaching staff for keeping it together playing with that crap (at cornerback) for the last seven or eight weeks." The other on Thompson's approach: "That's their philosophy, and it's worked for them because they've had 25 fricking years of great quarterbacks. Of course it works. Try it without a special quarterback."