Could coronavirus disrupt NFL regular season?
Olivia Reiner and Tom Silverstein discuss the Packers free agents, including T Jared Veldheer and CB Tramon Williams, that could return in 2020.
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
We’ll start with the potential impact of the coronavirus on NFL training camps and whether the NFL season can start on time in early September.
Mark Maske of the Washington Post writes:
NFL officials remain guardedly optimistic at this point, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, that they’ll be able to stage a complete or nearly complete 2020 regular season. But they are increasingly pessimistic about salvaging any of teams’ offseason programs for players, and wary about potential disruptions that would accompany the opening of training camps this summer. …
“I’m optimistic we’ll be able to have a season that starts relatively on time,” a person with knowledge of the league’s inner workings said. …
The league has postponed teams’ offseason programs indefinitely. Those programs usually begin in April and conclude in June, including minicamps and practices known as organized team activities (or OTAs). There is strong sentiment that those programs will be canceled entirely.
“I would be shocked if we had any kind of offseason program at team facilities,” one owner said.
That owner said it is “too soon to tell” about the prospects for training camps and the regular season.
“It’s going to get worse before it gets better,” a person familiar with the NFL’s planning said. “It also becomes a competitive issue. It’s up to [the league office] to make sure it’s even competitively. … What happens if you get into training camp and some team has a player test positive and has to shut down?”
You can read the entire story here:
Oddsmaker likes NFL’s chances of starting season on time:
The Packers step up in a major way to provide COVID-19 relief.
Aaron Rodgers should take a lesson on what happened with Tom Brady in New England:
Bill Huber of SI.com looks at young, under-the-radar free agents who could help the Packers at each position on defense:
… and also at each position on offense:
In his latest weekly mock draft, Ryan Wilson of CBSSports.com has the Packers taking Oklahoma defensive lineman Neville Gallimore …. even with Oklahoma inside linebacker Kenneth Murray still on the board (and going to Cincinnati with the first pick of Round 2).
Green Bay: Neville Gallimore DL
Oklahoma • Senior • 6’2″ / 304 LBS
Kenny Clark was the Packers’ best interior defensive linemen last season, but after that the group is in need of some depth. Gallimore’s strong combine came on the heels of a great Senior Bowl and a solid 2019 season for the Sooners.
Wilson has the Packers taking USC wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. in the second round and Washington tight end Hunter Bryant in the third round. You can read the entire mock draft here:
Packers receiver Davante Adams signs on with the Jordan Brand:
New Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy explains his defense:
The Bears are one of the NFL’s free-agency losers according to Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus.
LOSER: THE CHICAGO BEARS
If you had said that the Bears addressed the quarterback position this offseason, my instinct would be to say that they would be a winner. The move that they ultimately made at quarterback, though, was one of the more uninspiring ones on the table.
The Nick Foles deal isn’t terrible for Chicago. It gives them a shot to get better production than what they saw from Mitchell Trubisky, and they only gave up a fourth-round pick to complete the deal. Foles has shown glimpses of high-level play at various points in his career with the Philadelphia Eagles, but he has also shown the other end of the spectrum with some poor performances. He has finished just two seasons with PFF grades of 75.0 or higher (2013 and 2018). There isn’t a whole lot of risk for the Bears, though, as they should be able to get out of the deal without too much dead money following the 2020 season if things go south. But it also seems unlikely that Foles will be the savior that finally becomes a consistent, above-average NFL starter.
It’s the other moves that they have made that put them into the “loser” category. The Bears signed a tight end to a contract that makes him a top-10 paid player at the position despite grading below 60.0 in each of the past two seasons (Jimmy Graham), and they gave a five-year, $70 million deal to an edge rusher who hasn’t produced play warranting that kind of money since 2013 (Robert Quinn).
You can read the entire story (which also rates the Lions’ defense a free-agency winner) here:
Never get tired of watching this throw and catch (and wondering what tight end Jared Cook could still be doing for the Packers’ offense):
The Packers never were going to go this high for Austin Hooper:
This is your (seemingly) daily Taysom Hill analysis:
And finally: Let’s hope we never see this sort of thing in Green Bay:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt