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Cheese Curds, 2/22: Numbers games begin for Packers’ free agents

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Agents and teams are working on ideas for how much they think this year’s free agents are worth, but fans will have trouble evaluating certain players.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

As the calendar keeps clicking forward toward March, free agency gets closer and closer. We’re now less than three weeks away from the opening of the 2018 NFL league year, when free agents will be able to begin signing with new teams.

For many of those free agents, judging their value on the open market will be a challenge before the negotiation period starts up on March 12th. Next week’s Scouting Combine will be an opportunity for the players’ agents to meet with their previous teams’ front offices to talk numbers, but they cannot do so with other teams until the 12th.

One of the players with a huge challenge in that area is Green Bay Packers wide receiver and special teams ace Jeff Janis. While the Packers have opened up the checkbook a bit in the past for players who are primarily (or exclusively) special teams contributors, Janis may find that his best opportunities — both financial and football-related — will come elsewhere. Likewise, the team will be faced with a tough task of evaluating his market value and determining if they want to or can stay competitive in the market for his services.

Those decisions are now just a few short weeks away, so stay tuned.

Packers free agent Morgan Burnett admits it’d be ‘tough’ to leave Green Bay | Packers Wire
Burnett spoke on SiriusXM radio on Wednesday, saying that he wants to end up in a situation where the team is happy to have him and he's happy to be there. It's not necessarily an eloquent way to put it, but his point is valid -- fit can be a big factor for many free agents, sometimes more so than the almighty dollar, and Burnett might be one of those players.

Packers must put price on Jeff Janis’ value as gunner | Packersnews.com
How do you solve a problem like Jeff Janis? Furthermore, will there be another NFL team that drools over Janis’ athleticism and offers him a bigger opportunity to contribute on offense?
One way or another, special teams coordinator Ron Zook would certainly love to have Janis back in the fold for a few more years.

San Francisco 49ers headline desirable free-agent destinations - NFL.com
The Packers come in at number four on this list of top non-playoff team destinations for 2018. And why not? They still have Aaron Rodgers and a relatively stable power structure, even if Mike McCarthy isn't a lock to stick around after 2018.

Emerging playmakers give Mike Pettine options | Packers.com
Personally, I'm most excited to see what Pettine does with Josh Jones in his second season. If the coordinator can find a way to keep the young safety/linebacker hybrid playing closer to the line of scrimmage, he should be more of an impact player in 2018.

Jon Gruden thinks he’s going to ‘fix’ football by recapturing its past - SBNation.com
One universal truth in all of sports is that if you don't evolve and improve, you will lose. Unfortunately for the Raiders, Gruden appears to be a dinosaur who has no interest in keeping up with modern schemes or technology.


On an unrelated note, congratulations to the United States women’s hockey team on their Olympic gold medal victory today in PyeongChang! The team, which featured four former Wisconsin Badgers, defeated bitter rival Canada 3-2 in a shootout after losing to the Canadians in the final at each of the last two Olympic games.