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Silverstein on contract situation

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by JBlood, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. BorderRivals.com

    BorderRivals.com Cheesehead

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    What's your definition of elite then? One of the top 5 players at his position would be elite in my book. Regardless, even if he isn't elite, but near-elite as a top 5 player, then you have pay him to retain him.
     
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  2. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I agree with shawnsta in the general slant of his Raji comments; I would disagree on the 2011 defense being better than 2012, despite what happened in SF. On his best days, Raji is a top 5 NT, which is close to elite, but not quite. To me, elite is a guy you'd give serious All Pro consideration from time to time, and a solid Pro Bowl candidate every year barring injury. Raji hasn't passed the bar since 2010. But the "elite" term is splitting hairs.

    There are games, too frequent in my mind, where he doesn't fight double teams. His motor comes and goes.

    On balance, Pickett's a better run stopper, and Raji hasn't given much in the pocket collapsing department on a regular basis the last 2 seasons (pressure, not sacks, is the issue). That really doesn't look like elite, however you measure it.

    That said, you cannot have Pro Bowlers at every position. But every player is a value proposition...what is he paid relative to his contribution to winning, and perhaps equally important, what alternatives do you have. As to the value proposition, the kind of money some people talk about for Raji is not a good value based on these past 2 years.

    Alternatives? There's two drafts coming up in the interim. The best argument for Raji is replacing both him and Pickett will not be easy.

    Another problem is we tend to look at each player in isolation...sound arguments can be made in each case where a potential release, FA loss or retirement is bandied about...Jennings, Finley, Woodson, T. Williams, Hawk, Raji in this case, Pickett next season. The problem arises when you consider all of them together...I think it is fair to say we cannot replace all of them at once and have a better team...there just are not enough draft picks and no slam dunk upgrades on the bench.

    Sometimes guys get overpaid because of other worries that need to be addressed in the draft, and Raji could be one of them. Maybe he gets tagged in 2014 if alternatives are not available. In any case, I see no rush to re-sign him with a year left on his deal.
     
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  3. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    Good post, HardRightEdge. Raji is certainly above average but he hasn’t matched his 2010 play as a NT who can consistently get pressure. It’s not easy finding 325+ pound guys who can take on double teams and play the run, let alone guys that size that can do that and get after the passer. But the Packers have to find at least one of at least the former in the next couple of drafts to replace Pickett and to take over NT if Raji’s contract demands are too high or they can’t afford the tag cap-wise.

    As usual, IMO McGinn’s grades are instructive. He says Raji got off to a slow start (although he doesn’t mention he injured his ankle in the last pre season game) and improved his pass rush in the second half of the season. He also makes the point Raji played too many snaps in the previous two seasons but “only” played about 47 per game this season. Most telling I think was the difference in his pressure numbers from ’10 to ’12: 33.5 vs. 19. Raji was also better disrupting the running game in 2010. McGinn concludes Raji:
    We’ll see about the last sentence, particularly if the Packers staff agree with the scouts' comments.
    I don’t remember having heard/seen that justification for Hawk. IMO the consensus of both his supporters and detractors is he has been a disappointment with respect to his draft position and most recent contract. I think it’s mostly the degree of disappointment that’s in question. Beyond that, in the base 3-4 scheme it is the job of the DL to take up blockers so the LBs, including the ILBs, can make plays. Hawk’s “defense” is he calls the plays, knows the scheme, doesn’t make mental mistakes and is trusted by the coaching staff because of that. The problem is obviously more is expected of a player taken at #5.
     
  4. adambr2

    adambr2 Cheesehead

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    My thoughts on Raji:

    - He can be dominant at times, and invisible at others. So I think there are SOME times when he's a top NT, and other times when he's not even in that discussion. The elite DT's are guys like Wilfork and Ngata. Raji isn't in their league. Just because he might be in the next tier doesn't mean it's a wise decision to pay him top dollar. If I'm paying for top dollar for a DT, I'm paying for a dominant one. Not one that you can't distinguish from another block filler like Howard Green 90% of the time.

    - We can't pay everyone. We absolutely have to pay Rodgers and Matthews. Shields and Jones will be entering their last years under contract with Nelson and Cobb and others to follow the year after. If you want to pay Raji, where are you going to make the sacrifice?
     
  5. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    I just made a bit of a pitch for John Jenkins (NT, Georgia, 6'3" 360 lbs.) as a possible 1st. round pick, with some reservations, in one of the Draft threads. He should be on the radar. I mentioned this guy a couple of weeks ago, and he's getting some traction in the mocks attached to the Pack. Unfortunately, he's the kind of guy who will rise out of reach if he has a good Combine.

    At a certain point, all of us analysts and prognosticators need to lay out (1) needs in priority, (2) what we think the Packers are likely to do with certain question mark cuts and re-signings, and (3) what we think they should do to improve the team for a 2013 run vs. longer term considerations like NT come 2014. And it will be a moving target. Releasing vs. keeping Finley, for example, will shuffle priorities.

    I'm not ready to say NT is the biggest need to be filled with a 1st. round draft pick, but it's a strong possibility. But what if the field is picked over by the time we choose..see OLB and 3-4 DE the last two drafts? Then Raji's case looks stronger, for good or ill. There is a strong argument for best player available at several positions of need. This does not imply we should offer him top-5 money now. He's still under contract for a year to make the case he deserves it.

    We've agreed recently on the need to improve at the safety position opposite Burnett as one of the higher priorities. We must get stronger up the middle of the field. There are a couple of decent candidates in the draft who should be around in the lower first round. Earlier, I spit balled the idea of cutting Woodson and signing Goldson with that money, with a little left over, if SF doesn't find the cap space for him. Or Byrd for that matter, who may be heading to the free market. Either would fill the Collins void; otherwise an impact-potential player in a high round should be considered. Then we use the Jennings savings to extend Matthews, and work Rodgers into a cap friendly deal (a la Brees) where the consequences are met a couple of years down the line.

    In reality, my sense is the Pack will stand pat at safety against my wishes, hoping Woodson's un-impactful play at safety turns around with a another year in the role and time for his shoulder to fully heal. This presumes a renegotiation down. Sometimes wishful thinking can enter into these decisions because of intangibles...leadership, former DOPY, future HOF, personal attachments, sense of obligation, PR consequences...I think those things will factor in here. This takes me back to paragraph 2, where I'm still in the weighing and considering process.
     
  6. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    You know, I recall hearing this in 2011, not so much 2012. It would have been easy to forget, except it's lack of credibility somehow made it stick in my mind. My recollection of 2011 is Hawk laying back in QB position, surveying the terrain, backing and filling, while letting Bishop handle the line-crashing and dirty work.

    I have to say, that stuff just pissed me off. I hope Hawk at least bought Bishop a Rolex, or whatever fine timepiece is currently in fashion in the locker room.

    Without Bishop around this year, and the rotation next door running deep into the depth chart, he had no choice but to stick his nose in it more. Better season, to be sure. But should it come to this?
     
  7. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    As McGinn said, the Packers need Raji and will resign him. I don't like the alternatives to not signing him.
     
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  8. adambr2

    adambr2 Cheesehead

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    He said they will TRY to re-sign him, he didn't say they will. People said the same thing about Cullen Jenkins, that we needed him and would re-sign him. If his demands are unreasonable for his production level, he won't be back. TT is smart enough not to hand Raji and his agent a blank check.

    This draft is loaded with big fat D-linemen. We still have Raji for one year, so drafting one and grooming him as the eventual replacement isn't a bad alternative at all.
     
  9. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    They should. I'd rather see the highest draft pick used on a LB, OT or DT in no particular order. I think Raji is better than any big fat NT we will be able to draft given our position. Keep in mind that NT is one of the toughest positions to fill.
     
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  10. adambr2

    adambr2 Cheesehead

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    Still depends on what the market is for him IMO. Regardless of how hard it might be to fill, if he's looking for 6 years $60M, I wouldn't even bother negotiating.

    You can always drop the franchise tag on him at this time next year as a backup plan if you need to keep him around and aren't in the same ballpark on negotiations. That gives them 2 years from now to find replacements on the D-line.
     
  11. Shawnsta3

    Shawnsta3 Cheesehead

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    There are only 14 starting nose tackles in the league. He's top 5/14.
     
  12. Shawnsta3

    Shawnsta3 Cheesehead

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    So A.J.’s been a steady guy who’s been accountable, and accountability is really big in terms of taking care of your job. We’re going to ask different guys to do things. Many times, for the average person watching the game, they might not be totally clear on what we’re asking a guy to do. So if you’re pressuring the quarterback, many times there are guys who set things up and guys you try to design to get freed up one-on-one. Those set-up guys are just as important as those guys who are free. -Dom Capers 2012

    http://espnmilwaukee.com/common/page.php?feed=2&id=861&is_corp=1
     
  13. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    That’s a nice quote from Dom but with all due respect to Dom, Ted, and Mike, there is no disguising Hawk’s lack of impact plays and his failure to live up to his draft status and current contract.

    Hawk just completed his 7th NFL season. According to nfl.com: He’s played in 110 regular season games and started all but 3 of ‘em. (He’s only completely missed 2 games in 2011.) He has 500 tackles and assisted on 214 tackles. He has 13.5 sacks, 8 INTs, 26 passes defensed and 2 forced fumbles. That is not the stat line you’re hoping for when you pick a player #5 overall to play LB, or for a player who cashed an $8M bonus check two years ago and is averaging $6.75M over 5 years.

    McGinn notes he played lighter this year and improved in coverage. He had a career high 5.5 tackles for loss but that stat contains criticism of his previous seasons. McGinn writes:
    He’s steady. He’s smart. He’s dependable. He’s durable. But those are not the adjectives you’re hoping for when you spend that much capital on a player. That’s what you’re hoping for from a middle-round pick making a couple million per year. I don’t expect Hawk to be approached about taking a pay cut, but I hope he is.
     
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  14. adambr2

    adambr2 Cheesehead

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    The problem with Hawk is that he's too good to be bench fodder, but not good enough to be effective in areas we really need him to, like against elite running QB's like Kaepernick.

    So he's very "upgradeable", but not a guy who would be happy being a bench guy. I'd be fine with cutting him if we got his heir apparent in the draft and we could get some cap savings for him, but his contract doesn't really even help us right now if he's cut.
     
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  15. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    So, if Hawk's lack of intensity and physicality in 2011 is a function of the scheme, then I guess we should have fired Capers last year. :eek: . Uh, oh...I feel a merge coming!

    Seriously, Capers is talking about Hawk in the pass rush in that comment. I'm not one of those guys who gets down on Hawk for failing to make impact plays...sacks, ints, forced fumbles...though it would be nice to see one more often than once in a blue moon.

    Doesn't it seem that when a guy takes as many snaps as Hawk he'd make an impact play more often just by accident? Seriously. I just want him to lead by example and hit some guys...very poor in 2011; better in 2012.

    And if your ILB is not going to hit guys, he better be a good blitz and coverage guy...Hawk cannot lay claim to that. Capers thought Hawk was better in coverage in 2012? Sounds like damning with faint praise...that would have been a low bar to hurdle.

    It's not like he's a terrible player; he's just not what I would call a good player. That said, I expect him to be around another year while crossing my fingers Bishop will be back healthy so that somebody is out there to compliment the "finesse" players.
     
  16. DevilDon

    DevilDon Inclement Weather Fan

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    Yes, Really! If someone says Hawk is eating up blockers they don't know how the 3-4 is supposed to work. It's not the ILB job to eat up blockers.
    As for "he takes up blockers" that IS what Raji and the other DL are supposed to do. That's the design of this defense. I don't care if you "buy" it or not. Go Google the 3-4 defense.
    And let me ask you this: Who's making excuses for Hawk or Raji? I'm not. I'm merely saying Raji is doing exactly what he's supposed to do. My question to you is what do you want from him? More sacks? Pick 6's?
    What part of not being double teamed in the SF is pitiful? Nobody doubles the nose or even any DE in the 3-4 every play. That's the game. That's football Shawnsta. He's likely only doubled if the play is coming his way.
    OK, I'll take your rating. He's top 10 DE and top 5 NT. That's pretty darned good.
    I've never said he is a blue chipper, he's a red. But he's substantially better than many others at the position and until you can find another you can't just take him for granted.
    The NFL draft is a crap shoot. It would be nice if the Packers can get a nice stud NT or DE in the draft but until they come in and surpass Raji doesn't it make sense to keep the best you have? He's good Shawnsta, real good. As I said, pay the man!
     
  17. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    As I posted I hope he is offered and accepts a pay cut but that's unlikely to happen. But according to the contract details on rotoworld.com if he were waived or traded before his roster bonus is paid it would save the Packers $5.2M in cash this season and it woud save $2M in cap dollars.

    (According to the website: Hawk received an $8M signing bonus - that's a $1.6M cap hit each of the five years. He's due $4.9M in salary and 300K in roster bonus in 2013. If he's not on the roster, three years of $1.6M accelerate for a $4.8M cap hit. If he is on the roster $4.9M + $1.6M + 0.3M = $6.8M cap hit.)
     
  18. adambr2

    adambr2 Cheesehead

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    I can't overemphasize how awful Raji was in the playoff game against San Francisco. He was a big part of why the 49ers just blew our defense up. He was atrocious. I can't just forget that.

    If he was generally dominant 16 other games out of the year, I could chalk it up to a bad game and give him a pass. But he's not.

    The Packers don't NEED Raji. They NEED Rodgers, and to a lesser extent, Matthews. It would make a substantial difference if they did not have either. Raji is not on that level. He helps, but the D would go on without him.

    And again, if you are paying Raji, who are sacrificing to pay him? I assume you think we need to pay all out of Rodgers, Matthews, and Raji. Are you okay with letting Shields and J. Jones walk after 2013 to make that happen? Because that's probably the consequence.
     
  19. DevilDon

    DevilDon Inclement Weather Fan

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    Well that's your take on it. I bet TT and the Packers organization sees it much different.
    No team will double Raji every play, that's kind of obvious, then Pickett will be one on one. It shouldn't surprise you that nobody gets a double every snap. What's your point?
    No, not any big fat nose tackle can occupy blockers. Else every team wouldn't be scrambling to find them in the draft. Fat guys with speed is what you need and those dudes are rare. Raji is one of them.
    Funny how you think it's bad business to give Raji money, are you saying it was a wasted pick to draft him that high as well? I wonder how many people are considering him a bust like Hawk, he was drafted about the same area right?
    Not to belabor a point adambr2, but if it was as simple as plugging in a 350 lb. guy every team in the league would have their tackle situation handled, there are millions of those guys. Think about it....
     
  20. adambr2

    adambr2 Cheesehead

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    I don't consider Raji a bust, just not someone special, or deserving of money for his position.

    You still haven't answered my question of whether losing Shields and Jones is worth it to you to sign Raji, assuming you think we need to sign Rodgers and Matthews.
     
  21. adambr2

    adambr2 Cheesehead

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    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/word-muth/2013/word-muth-san-francisco-clinic

    Football outsiders breaks down just how bad Raji was in our last game.

    http://www.totalpackers.com/2012/03/11/b-j-raji-is-the-worst/

    Pro Football Focus ranked Raji 46th out of 46 defensive tackles against the run in 2011.

    Raji is not as bad as these links suggest. But I think they do give some strong evidence that he is simply not a gamebreaking, dominant player at his position. We have a limited salary cap, and we tough choices to make in the near future. If I'm paying top dollar for a DT, I expect to get a dominant, elite DT. You don't pay Camaro money to get an Impala just because the Impala is a nice car and you have no other cars.
     
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  22. DevilDon

    DevilDon Inclement Weather Fan

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    I'm trying to visualize why you think Raji lost the 9ers game. How was he atrocious?
    I think you miss what he's supposed to do and what your opinion on one player confuses me. Did you expect him to run down Kaepernick? What about the LBs on those plays? I am just lost how you think he was that poor.
    I am wondering how you can say all that without knowing what his assignments were and the fact that nobody, I mean nobody among the press mentioned that he had a poor game. I can only surmise that you expect something he didn't deliver. Please advise.
    You're wrong about not needing Raji. It's common knowledge that his contract is considered 3rd most important behind Rodgers and Matthews. What is everybody else in the NFL fanbase missing that you see?
    No, I don't think Shields and or Jones will have to go. I think they'll get 'em all done if they want them all.
    It's called a salary cap and you can't keep everyone champ. Sometimes you have to let a few go and if you think that Raji isn't necessary let's watch and see what the Packers do. I'd bet a hundred bucks they pay the man.
    I get it's your opinion but it's a somewhat scarce opinion. Most fans recognize that Raji is a key component of this defense.
     
  23. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Do people still buy Camaros and Impalas? Seriously, I like where you've gone in this thread with Raji.

    He did not play well in 2011. Pickett outplayed him in the run game with regularity in the both of the past 2 years. And I think we can say we'd not call our run D "good" these past 2 seasons. And when a guy is taken this high in the draft, and folks talk about top 5 money in contract #2, you're not just looking for a guy who occupies blockers in the run game. That's what you expect from a competent 2-down base D starter (Pickett), not a player purported to be a core/star 3-down player.

    He has to get some consistent pressure up the middle and get QBs off their spot so they're not shooting fish in a barrel post-2.5 seconds. And you want the guy to be running his motor high enough to work off a double team from time to time and blow up a runner. Raji does all that in about 1 out of 3 - 4 games...that's not a top 5 player.

    If we offer Raji an extension, it should be for an amount he likely won't accept. He can wait until 2014.
     
  24. DevilDon

    DevilDon Inclement Weather Fan

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    Yea, but you can always get Impalas. You can't always get Camaros.
    THe problem is that you seem to think you can just pluck another B.J. Raji out of free agency or the draft. That is just patently not true. The Packers selected Raji as high as they did because those guys are rare. I'm okay with you undervaluing him but you're the exception. Most understand that he is a rare talent.
    You may not like what he does, you may not appreciate his job but the fact remains that he is a superior talent at a position that is difficult to find superior talent. That's what you're missing - fat guys are abundant, B.J. Raji fat guys are rare. Pay the man.
     
  25. DevilDon

    DevilDon Inclement Weather Fan

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    Again, you think his job is to rush the passer? It's not his job. It's nice to get the pressure and it happened when he had Jenkins along side of him. I'm a bit surprised that people don't get the idea that he gets plenty of push in the pass game and he gets his in the run game.
    My opinion is that you and Shawnsta and others really undervalue that position. The Packers do not.
    The guy has game - pay the man. He's not a cast away, he's good, very good.
     
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