NFC Notes: Packers, Panthers, Seahawks



  • Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said of impending free agents like Bryan Bulaga, Blake Martinez and Mason Crosby: “I’ve got a lot of Ted Thompson in me. I’d like to keep them all.” However, he did acknowledge it’s a challenge for every team to keep all their free agents. (Ryan Wood)
  • Regarding their ability to compete in free agency, Gutekunst said: “There will be a few more restrictions (than last year). But we’re pretty sound financially to do what we want.” (Tom Silverstein)
  • As for the team’s inability to find a consistent No. 2 receiver, Gutekunst said: “We didn’t have anybody step into that role consistently. I think there will be opportunities for guys next year, and that will be a position where we look to add.(Ryan Wood)
  • Gutekunst mentioned that QB Aaron Rodgers is still playing at an elite level: “I thought Aaron had a really, really good year, especially adapting to a new system … He’s still playing at an elite level.” (Matt Schneidman)
  • However, Gutekunst said he would not rule out drafting a quarterback: If there’s a quarterback we think can play, who’s a starter in this league, we’ll never pass that up.” (Ryan Wood)
  • Gutekunst did say that it’s important to get a long-term deal done with DT Kenny Clark this offseason. “I’m optimistic we will come to an agreement at some point.” (Wed Hodkiewicz)
  • Gutekunst disagreed with the notion first-round OLB Rashan Gary didn’t contribute much: “I thought he contributed quite a bit. He was behind two really good players. When he was in there, I thought he affected the game. I’m excited to see what he can do.” (Tom Silverstein)
  • Gutekunst expects to take a “long look” at the inside linebacker position: “Obviously, Blake Martinez is up. We’re going to have to take a long look at inside linebacker and make sure we’re squared away there.” (Ryan Wood)
  • According to Gutekunst, they looked at acquiring an offensive skill player before last year’s traded deadline, but they determined there wasn’t “sound value.” (Ryan Wood)


  • Darin Gantt of PFT, citing a league source, reports that the Panthers are interested in Packers secondary coach Jason Simmons for a job on Matt Rhule’s new staff.
  • Field Yates confirms that Simmons is expected to join the Panthers and adds that they’re also expected to hire Chargers OL/run game coordinator Pat Meyer


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