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Bryan Bulaga

Discussion in 'Green Bay Packers Fan Forum' started by GleefulGary, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. PackAttack12

    PackAttack12 R-E-L-A-X

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    I'd be okay with essentially drafting his replacement, keeping him on board for another year, and then letting the draftee take over in 2021.

    A lot is going to hinge on what he's able to do for (hopefully) 19-20 games.
     
  2. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Even if Bulaga performs at a high level for the rest of this season the Packers should be hesitant about offering him another deal averaging several millions a year.
     
  3. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    There's validity to that opinion, but if the Packers continue to play well, that's going to prove pretty difficult.

    Good UFA tackles rarely hit the market, and when they do they get paid a mint-- e.g. Trent Brown, a mediocre tackle, getting 16.5M/season.

    Very good OT prospects, the kind that can start right away, typically go high in the first round.

    The tackle prospects found towards the end of round one, or in subsequent rounds typically are guys who need time before they're ready to start.

    You could draft an OT and sign a veteran bridge player, but if you're going to do that, why not pony up and pay Bulaga and know that you have a quality option?

    I tend to think that the Packers are playing themselves out of the premium tackle market.
     
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  4. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    It would definitely be difficult to adequately replace Bulaga with a rookie from the beginning but I guess the Packers signed Turner to be a possible stopgap at right tackle before a draft pick is up to the task.
     
  5. GleefulGary

    GleefulGary Cheesehead

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    Why?

    He's been a top 5 RT! Those guys don't grow on trees.

    Re-sign him, and draft a guy in the first few rounds.
     
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  6. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    Maybe I would be surprised, but I think that Turner would be an absolute disaster as a full time RT.

    I think he was signed to play guard while offering OT depth in the case of an injury. But that's just my own speculation.
     
  7. Calvin

    Calvin Cheesehead

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    Just need to find a balance. I think its wrong for someone to make it seem like everyone was saying cut him and just argue against that point only. In the NFL availability is everything. Look at Cobb, productive , got his money, suddenly hurt all the time. No one doubted his talent but you have to be on the field.
     
  8. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    Most of the discussion I see is aimed at the rational posters, not Carolina and his hare brained ideas.
     
  9. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    That approach doesn't make much sense.

    If he stays healthy and productive to justify your enthusiam, he'll command a multi-year deal, probably 3 years. Sitton and Lang got 3 year deals at comparable ages. Sitton was coming off a season struggling with a back issue. Figure on that.

    If you match that 3 year offer, you'd be counting on him starting for two years given what is likely to be the dead cap in year 2. You would not plan to have a first or second round pick sitting on the bench for two years.

    Under this scenario, you have to fish or cut bait--commit to Bulaga for two years and look for that replacement in the 2021 draft or spend that high pick in 2020, commit to playing that guy, and let Bulaga go. Or commit to Turner at OT and draft an OG. If Bulaga is worth keeping, you would not want to do both.

    On the other hand, if Bulaga misses a bunch of games this season or ends up on IR, expect the Packers to turn the page. According to McGinn, the Packers asked Bulaga to take a pay cut going into 2018 after having played only 5 games in 2017. Bulaga declined. If it's an injury repeat, there will be no offer.

    I think they'll turn the page regardless.
     
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  10. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    I think you could easily extend Bulaga for three years with gtd money through two and still spend, say, a 3rd round pick on a third tackle to provide depth and potentially an heir apparent.
     
  11. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Bulaga will be 31 years old by the start of next season and has had his share of injuries over his career. I would definitely not feel comfortable with the Packers offering him a multi-year deal to re-sign him. They should better move on, even if it might end up being a year early.

    The Packers could do that, it wouldn't be smart though.
     
  12. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    It would be a lot smarter than trying to make Billy Turner your full time RT.
     
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  13. gbgary

    gbgary Cheesehead

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    you'd better have someone good to take his place then. in the win-now mode they're in, it would be a significant step backward not to. you've got to keep rodgers age and condition in mind.
     
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  14. Pkrjones

    Pkrjones Cheesehead

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    Bulaga is 30 yrs old, turns 31 in March 2020. Bahktiari is 28 and has some back issues that he's able to play through. Billy Turner is 28 yrs. old next week. Corey Linsley is 28 yrs old. IF Bulaga is old and broken and shouldn't be re-signed, even though he's currently our best OL and a top 5 RT in the NFL... then these other OL's aren't too far away from their "expiration date" either.

    Looks like Gute needs to hit OL pretty hard in the 2020 draft AND find more gems like Jenkins in addition to finding a starting-caliber ILB, #2 WR, starting-caliber TE as well as keep DL, RB, CB & S stocked with youthful talent. Boy, this team is a train-wreck ;).
     
  15. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    I understand the durability argument, which is why I think the Packers need to upgrade the depth regardless, but I don't think the age argument holds much water. It isn't uncommon for great tackles to play at a high level into their thirties.
     
  16. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    When thinking about the pros and cons of a multi-year Bulaga deal, there's something we are overlooking. Bakhtiari is in his contract year in 2020. We can't say he's a lock to still be around in 2021. So I'll rescind my earlier statement. It is conceivable the Packers will re-sign Bulaga and draft high for an OT pegged as both Bulaga injury insurance and Bakhtiari free agency insurance or even a projected replacement. Everybody likes more than one reason behind a decision.

    At the time the 2019 free agent class was signed we discussed how the cap brunt on those backloaded contracts would hit home in 2021. The combined cap hit in that year for Rodgers, Adams, the Smiths, Amos, Turner, and throw in the Lowry extension, the top 7 cap numbers is $111 mil. The dead cap on these contracts in that season is prohibitive, so the assumption at this point is they will be around at those cap numbers.

    In the mean time you have the following players who will be free agents after 2019 or 2020:
    • Bulaga after 2019, the subject of this discussion
    • Clark in 2020 if he's not extended in the mean time. Either way his number in 2021 is potentially substantial.
    • Martinez after 2019; some voices here are saying "pay the man" though I'm not one of them
    • Bakhtiari after 2020
    • Linsley after 2020
    • King after 2020
    • Aaron Jones after 2020
    There are a lot of variables between now and where we are a 1 1/2 seasons down the road--where these guys are at and whether cheap rookie deal players ascend.

    If you break it down to cap allocated by position group, having Bakhtiati on an extension, Bulaga on the second year of a new contract, Linsley on a new contract and Turner's $8 mil cap overhang would create a heavy cap load for the O-Line. Having all these guys may not be affordable.

    I'm going suspend judgment on Bulaga until this offseason. If Bakhtiari is extended before the 2020 free agency period begins. I'd say Bulaga will not be resigned. If Bakhtiari is not extended by the start of the 2020 free agency period with Bulaga entering FA at that time, then I'd look at where everybody is at health- and performance-wise and the depth of the OT draft at that time.

    Further, LaFleur has said the failure of his outside zone scheme may be personnel related. We don't know who is getting a black marks in that regard.

    Then there's the big wild card: the expiration of the CBA after 2020. If the cap is generoulsy expended for 2021, that's more leeway to keep guys. If instead the union sacafices some cap for expanded retiree medical benefits for instance, that's a different picture. That may be clarified by next spring.

    Frankly, I think we're trying to make a call here that the decision makers who have a lot more information would not be willing to make at this time.

    We can say this much: the fact the Packers asked Bulaga to take a pay cut going into 2018 which he declind probably doesn't sit well with either party.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
  17. GreenBaySlacker

    GreenBaySlacker Cheesehead

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    Ehhh. Errr. Ummmm.

    Ditto.:)
     
  18. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Don't get me wrong, there's no doubt that I feel a lot more comfortable with Bulaga lining up at right tackle than anyone else currently on the Packers roster. But with his injury history the team should be hesitant to sign him to another multi-year deal even if he's currently performing at an elite level. Maybe him being able to play in every single game this season would change my mind though.

    The Packers would definitely have to spend an early round pick on Bulaga's replacement if they decide to let him walk away next offseason.

    An offensive lineman being three years younger is an eternity while playing in the NFL.

    I wouldn't be concerned about Bulaga's age if he would have been able to stay more healthy over his career.
     
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  19. greengold

    greengold Cheesehead

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    I very seriously think the heir apparent is on our practice squad in Yosh Nijman. I’m a monster fan of his, and I’m terrified someone will snap him off of it. I’d love it if they moved him onto the 53 to insure he’s secure here with GB.

    He’s about a year away, but a phenomenal pedigree, and outrageous size & athleticism.

    I’ve felt all along here that he could go down as THE #1 steal in 2019 UDFA.
     
  20. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    I get it. But I would feel a lot better about the Packers chances if they had Bulaga for even 12 games while still having Turner and a rookie behind him. That seems way more likely to be a successful strategy to me. But maybe I will feel differently if he ends up missing a bunch of this season or if his play drops off later in the year.
     
  21. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    Could be. But I would hope the Packers prepare as though he isn't and if he turns out to be a player, then that's gravy. He is highly talented to be sure, but OL is a technician's position. He's going to need a lot of refinement.

    If the FO spends a day 2 pick on a tackle and Nijman turns out to be roster worthy, there's nothing wrong with that. Depth at tackle is a rare and valuable thing.
     
  22. greengold

    greengold Cheesehead

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    No doubt dude! The guy is VERY well tested. 6-7 324 34" arms, 10" hands... ran a 4.81 40!!!! 30" vertical. 9-6" broad jump. 4.50 shuttle. 7.3 3-Cone. Rated by one team to have the finest measurable of any OL in the 2019 draft, according to Bob McGinn. Fell just short of "ELITE" level in SPARQ, but ranked "ELITE" in RAS with a 9.8.

    Experience at both LT and RT. 3 year starter at VT. 301 snaps as a Freshman. Hindered technique wise from Frank Beemer's system where their OTs work out of a 2 point stance. Add to that, those were BAD teams he played on at VT. He was super excited about being able to perfect exploding upwards into his opponents out of a 3 point stance with GB. Has phenomenal short area quickness, and the size to bully his opponents. Solid in run blocking. Great protection as a pass blocker as well. He literally OWNED the NFL Draft combine for OL.

    In his 4 seasons playing for VT in the ACC, he allowed ZERO sacks to Clellin Ferrel, Brian Burns, Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence and Josh Allen... Think about that. In 2018 he gave up ONE sack the entire season to Ximenes on a busted play. THAT is some stiff competition he faced. We literally stole him by signing him as a UDFA.

    2018 he had 639 pass sets, allowing just 12 pressures and that 1 sack to Ximenes. Previous 3 years he had 1844 pass blocking snaps with similar results. STONED ALL FOUR of the ACC pass rushers taken in the 1st Round of the 2019 draft during his career, all of them chosen #17 or higher...

    You're correct he needs technique work, but with his time accrued already in the system, maybe it would be smart to lock him onto the roster. Plus, he has every tool you could ask for athletically already in the drawer. I have huge hopes for Yosh here in GB.
     
  23. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    And yet the balance to all of this:

    No team's front office deemed him worthy of a draft pick and our own staff didn't seem him worthy of a roster spot over the enbattled Alex Light.

    He is super talented. But right now that's it. It would be great if he grew into even a swing tackle, but they shouldn't make future plans based on that.
     
  24. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    There's absolutely no doubt that Bulaga presents the best option at right tackle for this season. The Packer have an entire offseason to figure out if he's still the best one entering 2020 though.
     
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  25. Dantés

    Dantés Gute Loot

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    That's right. And what I'm saying is that it's hard for me to envision a way for them to acquire someone as good or better in the off-season.
     
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