The Packers’ 2018 roster is set (well…until waiver claims and any final trades get done) and there were some things I loved and some I hated. Here is a “Love it or Leave it” roster cuts edition, I will start with “Leave it”:
Keeping three quarterbacks…hate it. I think Tim Boyle did a great job too, but roster over practice squad was a bad move. There is no scenario that plays out this season where having Tim Boyle on our team becomes the salvation of the season. He is a number 3 quarterback…let him ride on the PS. If he had athleticism of a guy like Taysom Hill, he could be used (as the Saints so aptly observed) on special teams and at least have value in the present. Boyle does not and I hate this move as I can almost guarantee there will be a position where we need another player on this team, especially with the number of WR’s we kept.
Keeping Crawford over Martini and Thomas who both contributed on special teams in a big way. Just last week Mike Pettine spoke very highly and at length about Thomas in particular. Crawford had better contribute and may be the odd man out when Aaron Jones is added back if it weren’t for the fact that we are so thin at ILB.
Cutting 5 of Ted Thompson’s draft choices. This is not because I had a problem with the cuts for the most part but where Trevor Davis gets multiple years to do absolutely nothing except finally contribute on special teams…Vince Biegel gets basically one full off-season and then is gone. Also, DeAngelo Yancey…well…he can catch and as high as the coaches are on J’Mon Moore, he cannot. With his physicals, I can see the team keeping him but this looks like a draft status choice rather than a performance choice. J’Mon is the boom or bust candidate of Gute’s first draft. I don’t have any problem with his physicals, I like the guy so I hope it works out but I wonder if we can rely on him when the chips are down and the contested ball is in the air.
Aaron Ripkowski is gone. While Tonyan may still get the ax as the roster is finalized, the team (and McCarthy) finally figured out that a TE in our offense is more valuable than a FB. This team has short yardage covered with Jamaal Williams, has a blocking TE in Marcedes Lewis and since tight ends are also big guys who can catch, keeping an extra one makes all the sense in the world. I predicted Rip to stay, and I love the guy as much as anyone else, but we can still run an inverted bone without Rip. The fullback is basically a big slow guy who can block. I would rather have a big fast one like Tonyan (relatively speaking) and teach him to block. Jamaal Williams can fill in the bone with Ty (and soon Aaron Jones) behind if none of our TE’s are good enough opposite Lewis. Rip was going to play less than 20% of the snaps anyway. While I thought that with Philbin back in, we might return to using the fullback, this is the right football choice. *Nb: I expect another RB could be added today.
Shopping Trevor Davis. As I mentioned above, I think Biegel might have deserved a little more time. This guy has had too much of it. Vince Biegel was at a violent position that suffers a lot of injuries and at a position that is anything but deep. Further, our starting outside linebackers seem to be good for multiple missed games a season. Davis never even gets on the field at wide receiver, and while last year he did an overall good job as a punt returner, he had multiple head-scratching mistakes early and a punt returner is far less valuable than a pass-rusher. But I have to give credit to the Packers for trying to get something out of him…unfortunately the rest of the league knows the difference.
Seeing Reggie Gilbert’s name on the roster. I know it is no surprise, but I can’t wait to see this guy finally trot out on the field as an active roster member. Reggie has done everything the right way and everything the hard way it seems and I couldn’t be happier for him. I would add Jake Kumerow to this list but I don’t think the Packers will end up with all 8 receivers when all is said and done and I hope Jake is healthy…I don’t want to jinx him. Kumerow would be another one that could really contribute if the work he put down on film in the pre-season is any indicator.
Well, there are a million things we could say about the roster this year and it is still in flux as today is Sunday. We will continue to discuss moves and additions/subtractions as they happen. In the meantime the Packers can sit down with their 2018 roster and begin to prepare for the Bears.