The shopping list for the Green Bay Packers this spring is pretty clear (in what order is up for debate).
Where the Packers shop for these ingredients will depend on a couple looming decisions for GM Brian Gutekunst with two players in particular still under contract next season.
Those two players are tight end Jimmy Graham and guard Lane Taylor.
Graham seems like an obvious cut candidate if Green Bay wants to make any legitimate noise in free agency. Releasing the tight end would give Green Bay $8 million in cap savings and given his limited effectiveness the past two seasons, the loss wouldn’t be felt on the field aside from the fact Graham still draws attention from opposing defenses.
Signing Graham was arguably the biggest mistake of Gutekunst’s tenure as the veteran tight end never returned to his New Orleans form and has just been a guy getting paid like a superstar.
Cutting Graham would mean Jace Sternberger becomes the starting tight end and though his action was very limited this season, he still showed flashes for Green Bay to be excited about.
As for Taylor, the cap savings are not as large as Graham’s ($4.55 million) but again that could come in handy in free agency. There’s also the depth argument to consider as Taylor would be a very solid backup in case anything happens to either Billy Turner or Elgton Jenkins.
With a new league year roughly a month away, decision time looms for Gutekunst. Cutting both players would be a popular move with fans, even if both are well liked and respected in the locker room.
The NFL is a results business and while Taylor losing snaps wasn’t performance related, Graham hasn’t delivered the results his contract should demand.
It’s time to cut bait and move on.
Now for the rest of today’s curds.
The Packers are in decent financial shape according to Gutekunst but if the Packers want to add multiple veterans in free agency again, they’re going to need more flexibility in terms of cap space.
Spoiler alert: it isn’t inside linebacker.
Davon House was sometimes the forgotten man in a room with Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams and Sam Shields but he provided quality depth and two standout performances in 2014 showed the quality of player he was.
The game of “what if?” is a fun way to get through the February doldrums before free agency begins and here’s a look at what signing pending free agent Robby Anderson would mean for the Packers in terms of financials, the draft and the roster.
Bold strategy, Cotton. One could almost say it’s off the rails.