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Ted Thompson’s last acts as Green Bay Packers general manager — if he was actually still acting as GM and not just as a figure head — were to sign Davante Adams and Corey Linsley to contract extensions on the final weekend of the 2017 regular season.

It leaves new GM Brian Gutekunst without a must-sign player on his list of upcoming free agents.

Adams would have been one of the top receivers had he hit the open market. Instead, the Packers were able to retain him on a five-year, $58.9 million contract that made him the fourth-highest-paid receiver in the league.

In Linsley, the Packers made sure they retained their starting center — and the only player on the team who played in every snap on his side of the ball last season. He signed a three-year, $25.5 million extension.

Here’s a look at the rest of the Packers’ players who are headed for free agency when the new league year opens on March 14:

Offense

Unrestricted (Players with four or more accrued seasons)

  • Richard Rodgers: Tight end is a major need with or without Rodgers, who never quite took off after his Hail Mary catch against the Lions in 2015. That remains the only 100-yard receiving game of his career. He slipped behind Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks to start the season and even when Bennett was released, Rodgers’ productivity barely spiked. He had only two games this past season with more than one catch and missed the finale with a shoulder injury. The market could be light for the former third-round pick, so perhaps the Packers could get him back cheap for some depth. His salary last season was $1,797,000.
  • Jahri Evans: The 12th-year veteran was perhaps the surprise of last year’s free-agent class for the Packers. He played the first 912 snaps of the season before a knee injury kept him out of the final two games. Evans said late in the season that he wasn’t sure if he would play a 13th season. He will turn 35 in August. The Packers could slide Justin McCray or Lucas Patrick into the right guard spot if Evans isn’t back. He signed a one-year, $2.25 million deal with the Packers last offseason.
  • Jeff Janis: His chance to contribute as a receiver is probably gone; he played just 50 snaps on offense last season and didn’t catch a pass until the second-to-last game of the year. But he’s become a valuable special-teams player.

Restricted (Players with three accrued seasons but not four; can be tendered by March 14 for the Packers to retain the right to match any offer from another team):

  • Ulrick John: The tackle was signed off Arizona’s practice squad on Sept. 26 after injuries to backups Jason Spriggs and Kyle Murphy and played just 40 snaps.

Exclusive rights (Players with fewer than three accrued seasons; must be offered minimum salary tenders by March 14 or they become street free agents): WR Geronimo Allison, QB Joe Callahan, WR Michael Clark, OL Adam Pankey

Defense

Unrestricted

  • Morgan Burnett: The veteran safety was No. 3 on the priority list behind Adams and Linsley, but he was a distant third. Yes, he’s versatile — having played everywhere from safety to slot cornerback to inside linebacker. But he’s also never been one to make a ton of splash plays. He has nine career interceptions in eight NFL seasons. He just turned 29 and hasn’t played a full season since 2012. He missed four games this past season because of two separate injuries (hamstring and groin). The Packers also have potential replacements in Josh Jones and Kentrell Brice. Burnett is at the end of a four-year, $24.75 million deal. There will be a market for Burnett, but it may not be at that same price. Given that new coordinator Mike Pettine’s defense can be complicated, Burnett might have more value to the Packers than to another team.
  • Ahmad Brooks: Essentially signed as a replacement for Julius Peppers, who left months earlier in free agency, but the former 49ers linebacker didn’t come close to replicating what Peppers did during his three years with the Packers and certainly couldn’t match the production Peppers had back in Carolina. For the same money — $3.5 million — the Packers got 1.5 sacks from Brooks and the Panthers got 11.0 from Peppers.
  • Quinton Dial: Like Brooks, Dial was a last-minute pickup right before the regular season started. He gave the Packers quality snaps along the defensive line to complement Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels and Dean Lowry. At just $775,001, he was a value signing who probably earned a little bit more in his next contract.
  • Davon House: After two seasons with the Jaguars, House returned to the Packers on a one-year, $2.8 million deal and played with the kind of toughness the Packers expected. He also served as a mentor to top draft pick Kevin King. A similar type of deal would make it worthwhile to bring him back. Like Burnett, House could be valuable in a scheme that favors veterans because of its complexity.
  • Demetri Goodson: Although he made it back to the active roster more than a year after a serious knee injury, he did not play a single snap in 2017, so it’s unknown what the fourth-year cornerback can do. He would be a minimum-salary-type signing.

Restricted

  • Joe Thomas: A year after he led the inside linebackers in snaps, he fell behind Blake Martinez and Jake Ryan on the depth chart. Injuries and the increased use of the “nitro” defensive package with a safety at inside linebacker also played a role.

Exclusive rights: CB Herb Waters, S Jermaine Whitehead

Specialists

Unrestricted

  • Brett Goode: The veteran long-snapper played in 10 games during two separate stints on the roster last season. His snaps have been on point for 10 seasons, but the Packers have seemed intent on trying to replace him in recent years, even though he’s on a minimum salary. The Packers signed another snapper, Zach Triner, to a futures deal and also could bring back Taybor Pepper, who finished the season on IR.

Restricted

  • Jake Schum: The punter in 2016 spent all of 2017 on injured reserve because of a back injury and probably won’t get a shot at the job after the solid year rookie Justin Vogel had.

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At this point, it might be easier to list who’s still on the Green Bay Packers coaching staff rather than who isn’t.

After major changes on both sides of the ball, here’s how things look now under coach Mike McCarthy, who is under contract through the 2019 season after he signed a one-year extension late last year:

OFFENSE

Coordinator: Position open.

Edgar Bennett was removed on Wednesday. It’s possible Bennett could return in a lesser capacity, but his three-year run as a non-playcalling coordinator is over. Top candidates include former Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, former Giants coach Ben McAdoo and current offensive line coach James Campen.

Quarterbacks: Open.

Alex Van Pelt’s contract expired after this season, and he was not retained. Van Pelt spoke late in the season about his desire to once again serve as an offensive coordinator, which he did for the Bills in 2009. Van Pelt and Aaron Rodgers worked well together, but fill-in quarterback Brett Hundley was not consistent enough after Rodgers broke his collarbone. Offensive perimeter coach David Raih worked closely with the quarterbacks this season, but Rodgers might rather have someone with NFL playing experience like Van Pelt did.

Receivers: Open

Luke Getsy, known as the coach who introduced juggling and other tricks to the receivers in his two seasons on the job, left to become the offensive coordinator at Mississippi State. If Bennett stays on staff, he could go back to coaching receivers like he did from 2011-14.

Offensive line: Position filled

Campen is a top-five offensive line coach in the NFL. He also is essentially the run-game coordinator. He developed middle-round draft picks like David Bakhtiari and Corey Linsley into players at the top of their position, and is extremely popular among his players. He’s the Packers’ longest-tenured assistant coach, dating to 2004, but this job could open if Campen becomes coordinator either in Green Bay or elsewhere.

Assistant offensive line: Filled

Jeff Blasko, considered a rising star, finished his first season as Campen’s assistant.

Running backs: Filled

Ben Sirmans completed his second season with the Packers, and helped develop rookies Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones into the top two backs on the roster. Sirmans’ teaching background served him well, and he’s well-liked among players and staff.

Tight ends: Filled

Brian Angelichio has held this job for two seasons after coaching tight ends in Tampa Bay and Cleveland. Whoever becomes the new general manager needs to address the talent level here this offseason after the Martellus Bennett signing failed.

Offensive perimeter: Filled

McCarthy created this position for Raih last offseason but never really defined his role. He appeared to spend more time with the quarterbacks than the receivers.

DEFENSE

Coordinator: Open

Dom Capers survived Colin Kaepernick running for 181 yards against his defense in 2012, the NFC title game meltdown in 2014, Larry Fitzgerald carving it up in overtime in the 2015 playoff loss and a No. 31 ranking in passing defense in 2016. But his nine-year run came to an end this week, when McCarthy fired him. Cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt and safeties coach Darren Perry likely are the top two internal candidates, but expect McCarthy to interview Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and other experienced coordinators.

Defensive line: Open

Despite developing Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark into bona fide three-down players, Mike Trgovac was out after nine seasons. Some thought he could be a candidate for defensive coordinator, a job he held with the Panthers from 2003-08. Assistant D-line coach Jerry Montgomery could be in line to replace Trgovac.

Inside linebackers: Open

This was one of the more surprising moves given that under Scott McCurley, second-year linebacker Blake Martinez led the league in tackles. McCurley had only two other players at his position group – Jake Ryan and Joe Thomas. McCurley had been with the Packers since 2007.

Outside linebackers: Filled (for now)

This job, held by associate head coach/defense Winston Moss, also could open soon. Indications are the Packers might move on from Moss even if he doesn’t get another job. He reportedly is on the Lions’ list of head-coaching candidates. Moss has been with the Packers since 2006, McCarthy’s first season as coach.

Safeties: Filled

Perry has deep ties to Capers; he played for the Steelers and Capers was his defensive coordinator. He came to Green Bay with Capers in 2009. He’s one of the internal candidates to replace Capers. Unlike Moss, there’s a good chance Perry remains with the team no matter what.

Cornerbacks: Filled

The young and energetic Whitt might be just what the Packers need in a coordinator. He’s tough on players, but they respect him. Whitt joined the Packers in 2008, one year before Capers arrived. He’s viewed as the leading internal candidate to replace his former boss.

Defensive front assistant: Filled

Jerry Montgomery was a highly successful college coach and recruiter before he took his first NFL job in 2015 with the Packers. He’s the likely replacement for Trgovac.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Coordinator: Filled

Ron Zook, the former college head coach at Florida and Illinois, completed his third season in charge of the Packers’ special teams. He replaced Shawn Slocum, who was fired after the 2014 season (a year in which Zook served as his assistant).

Assistant: Filled

Jason Simmons has been with the Packers since 2011 and in this spot since 2015. Zook relies heavily on Simmons.

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By signing Davante Adams and Corey Linsley to contract extensions before the regular-season ended, the Green Bay Packers were able to use $5.6 million in 2017 salary-cap space, therefore lessening the burden on future caps over the life of those contracts.

Davante Adams four-year, $58.9 million extension contained an $18 million signing bonus which will be prorated over five years, meaning $3.6 million was charged to this past season’s cap. In all, over the five years it’s worth $58,961,963.

Based on average per year, Adams ($14.5 million) is the fourth-highest paid receiver in the NFL behind Antonio Brown ($17 million), DeAndre Hopkins ($16.2 million) and A.J. Green ($15 million), according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Linsley’s three-year, $25.5 million extension contained an $8 million signing bonus which will be prorated over four years, meaning $2 million was charged to this past season’s cap. In all, over the four years, it’s worth $27,303,450

Before the two deals were completed last week, the Packers still had nearly $10 million in available 2017 cap space. They will be able to carry over a little more than $4 million unused cap space to next season.

Here’s a breakdown of the contracts:

Davante Adams

2017

  • Cash value: $18,961,963
  • Salary-cap charge: $4,857,127
  • Signing bonus: $18 million
  • Existing base salary: $956,373
  • Workout bonus: $5,590

2018

  • Cash value: $7 million
  • Salary-cap charge: $10.6 million
  • Roster bonus: $5 million (due the third day of the league year)
  • Per-game roster bonuses: Up to $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
  • Base salary: $1 million
  • Workout bonuses: $500,000

2019

  • Cash value: $7 million
  • Salary-cap charge: $10.6 million
  • Roster bonus: $3.5 million (due the third day of the league year)
  • Per-game roster bonuses: Up to $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
  • Base salary: $2.5 million
  • Workout bonuses: $500,000
  • Incentives: $250,000 for the Pro Bowl

2020

  • Cash value: $13 million
  • Salary-cap charge: $16.6 million
  • Per-game roster bonuses: Up to $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
  • Base salary: $12 million
  • Workout bonuses: $500,000
  • Incentives: $250,000 for the Pro Bowl

2021

  • Cash value: $13 million
  • Salary-cap charge: $16.6 million
  • Per-game roster bonuses: Up to $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
  • Base salary: $12 million
  • Workout bonuses: $500,000
  • Incentives: $250,000 for the Pro Bowl

Corey Linsley

2017

  • Cash value: $9,803,450
  • Salary-cap charge: $3,849,700
  • Signing bonus: $8 million
  • Existing base salary: $1.797 million
  • Workout bonus: $6,450

2018

  • Cash value: $2.85 million
      • Salary-cap charge: $4.85 million
    • Roster bonus: $1 million (due the third day of the league year)
    • Per-game roster bonuses: Up to $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
    • Base salary: $1 million
    • Workout bonuses: $350,000

    2019

    • Cash value: $6.185 million
    • Salary-cap charge: $8.185 million
    • Roster bonus: $1 million (due the third day of the league year)
    • Per-game roster bonuses: Up to $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
    • Base salary: $4.3 million
    • Workout bonuses: $350,000
    • Incentives: $250,000 for the Pro Bowl

    2020

    • Cash value: $8.5 million
    • Salary-cap charge: $10.5 million
    • Per-game roster bonuses: Up to $500,000 ($31,250 per game active)
    • Base salary: $7.65 million
    • Workout bonuses: $350,000
    • Incentives: $250,000 for the Pro Bowl

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The words that came from the visitors locker room at Heinz Field late Sunday night sounded much like what the Green Bay Packers have been saying for the last month and a half.

They trust Brett Hundley. They believe in Brett Hundley. They can win with Brett Hundley.

There might finally be reason to think it’s not a bunch of bunk.

“I’ve said this — I don’t know that anybody’s taken notes of what I’m saying — but he’s been the same person since day one,” Packers center Corey Linsley said. “He’s building. He’s getting better. He’s growing. And to take this and grow off of it, if we can build off of this win and get better from where we were tonight, it’s going to be a good deal.”

Hundley’s performance — 17-of-26 passing for 245 yards and three touchdowns (one more than he had in his previous six games combined this season) for a passer rating of 134.3 — was perhaps the best thing the Packers could take away from the last-second 31-28 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Although Hundley’s record dropped to 1-6 in games he’s finished since Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone in Week 6, there was more to like in this game than even in his lone victory over the hapless Chicago Bears.

Hundley went throw for throw with Ben Roethlisberger, whose passer rating was nearly 30 points lower than that of the Packers’ neophyte quarterback. That it came after Hundley’s worst showing — the four-turnover disaster in last week’s shutout loss to the Baltimore Ravens — made it even more convincing.

“Offense scored 28 points against an 8-2 team,” Packers defensive tackle Mike Daniels said. “Brett Hundley had himself a phenomenal day. The O-line blocked. They ran the ball well. They caught everything. We just have to make sure we’re where we’re supposed to be every play on our side of the ball.

“He played lights out. He played lights out.”

It might be the first time Daniels or anyone else could say that with a straight face.

“I didn’t like my performance last week and tried to make sure to the best of my ability it will never happen again,” Hundley said. “I just want to give this team an opportunity to win, and I feel like we’re close. We are really close. But we’ve just got to keep putting on points and try to score every time we get the ball.”

For the first time since he took over, Hundley threw a touchdown pass to someone other than Davante Adams. Hundley found a wide-open Randall Cobb for a 39-yard touchdown in the first quarter, then set up a screen to Jamaal Williams for a 54-yard catch-and-run score later in the first. And, of course, he went back to his favorite target on Adams’ 55-yard stutter-and-go touchdown in the third quarter.

But perhaps Hundley’s most impressive showing came after the Steelers took a 28-21 lead in the fourth quarter. He led a 12-play, 77-yard game-tying drive during which he completed passes to four different receivers, including a fourth-and-6 conversation to Jordy Nelson and a short throw to Nelson on third-and-1 that saw the receiver reach for a much-needed first down.

“He played great,” Nelson said of Hundley. “He made plays. The game doesn’t get too big for him. He’s doing a great job, especially handling everything he’s handling.”

Still, Hundley needs to prove he can win on a consistent basis. A once-promising season is on the brink of collapse with the Packers at 5-6 with five games to play — and at least two before Rodgers could possibly return.

“He doesn’t need to prove anything to me, but he’s been working,” Nelson said. “We know he can make the throws. It’s us on the outside trying to make the plays for him, giving him protection and just playing football, doing our jobs. Nothing too crazy. It’s just playing simple football and making plays.”

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Bryan Bulaga sustained a season-ending knee injury in Monday night’s loss to the Detroit Lions, ensuring the Green Bay Packers’ preferred offensive line will have played together for less than a full game all year.

Bulaga suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament, ESPN confirmed on Tuesday. NFL Network was first to report that the 28-year-old, eighth-year veteran tore his ACL. That’s what the Packers feared immediately after the game, when coach Mike McCarthy said the team’s medical staff “seemed very concerned about it.”

Speaking Tuesday, McCarthy called it “tough” to hear about the injury.

“Bad news on Bryan Bulaga,” the coach said. “It’s very unfortunate. He will be lost for the season with his knee injury. He’s had a stretch of bad luck this year. It started with the ankle injury there in training camp. I feel bad for him. I thought he had clearly come off his best season last year.”

Monday’s game was just the second time all season that the Packers had all five of their top offensive linemen together. The first time was in Week 6 at Minnesota, but it lasted for only 15 plays before left guard Lane Taylor sustained an ankle injury. The group played together for 42 snaps against the Lions before Bulaga had to be helped off the field and carted to the locker room.

The Packers (4-4) have started seven different offensive line combinations in eight games this season.

Bulaga missed the entire 2013 season with a torn ACL in his left knee. This injury is believed to be to his right knee.

Earlier this year, Bulaga suffered a sprained right ankle in training camp and missed the first two games of the regular season. He returned for Week 3 but couldn’t make it through that game, either. He returned for Week 5.

Left tackle David Bakhtiari missed four games because of a hamstring injury. Only center Corey Linsley and right guard Jahri Evans have played in every game.

Even Bulaga’s replacement on Monday night, first-year pro Justin McCray, got hurt against the Lions. He rolled an ankle on the final play of the game — a 1-yard touchdown run by Jamaal Williams on an untimed down after a defensive penalty with no time on the clock extended the game.

Last week, the Packers used one of their two injured reserve/designated to return spots on backup tackle Jason Spriggs, who injured his hamstring on a special teams play in Week 1. They’re saving the other for quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who could return from his broken collarbone no earlier than Week 15. Spriggs, however, is not eligible to play until after Sunday’s game at Chicago. Another tackle, Kyle Murphy, is on injured reserve after undergoing foot surgery and will not play again this season.

Also Tuesday, safety Morgan Burnett was ruled out of Sunday’s game at Chicago because of the groin injury he suffered last night against the Lions.

“I don’t have a timeline for you,” McCarthy said. “But he will not be available this week against Chicago.”

 

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The Green Bay Packers might have to be willing to pay Davante Adams like one of the NFL’s top receivers in order to keep him after this season.

We’re talking Dez Bryant money.

Adams, a second-round pick in 2014, is in the final year of his rookie contract, and he will have to be one of general manager Ted Thompson’s top priorities (along with center Corey Linsley and perhaps safety Morgan Burnett) before the free-agent market opens in March.

Adams won’t be cheap, not after what he’s done in his past 21 games. Among all NFL players, he’s second in touchdown catches with 16 since the start of the 2016 season. Among receivers only, he’s tied for 18th in catches and 20th in yards. Taking those three categories into account and comparing him to the highest-paid receivers in the league, Adams belongs among the top five.

That’s where Bryant sits with the contract he signed in 2015. He’s No. 5 on the NFL receiver pay scale with an average of $14 million per season. His deal included a $20 million signing bonus and $45 million guaranteed.

A look at the top-paid receivers in the league shows Adams’ production since the start of last season compares favorably. Combining Adams’ ranking among receivers in the three major categories (catches, yards and touchdowns) has an average rank of 13.3 (the average of tied for 18th in catches, 20th in yards and second in touchdowns). Antonio Brown, the NFL’s highest paid receiver, has the highest average ranking in those three categories at 2.33.

Adams’ mark of 13.3 would rank fifth among the top 12 highest paid receivers in the league over the same stretch, which is where the Bryant comparison comes in. Bryant’s average rank in those three categories is 28.7, although he’s played in three fewer games than Adams since the start of 2016.

They shared the field on Sunday at AT&T Stadium, and Adams had the upper hand. He caught seven passes for 66 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with 11 seconds left. Bryant caught five for 55 yards and a touchdown.

The Packers already have two receivers on their roster making about $10 million per season. Randall Cobb, who signed a four-year, $40 million deal in 2015, has the 13th-highest average receiver salary per season. Jordy Nelson, at $9.7 million, is 14th. Both Cobb and Nelson have one more year left on their contracts.