Aaron Rodgers turned 33 in December. He has to be so peeved over the Packers’ behavior in this free-agency period that he might call up his family to discuss feelings on the issue.
If I was a Packers follower, I would be seriously worried about the mental stability of Ted Thompson, a general manager who seems dedicated to wasting the remainder of the career of an all-time great quarterback.
This has to be clinical for Thompson. He has the glitch in the thought process that you find occasionally with sports decisionmakers (and U.S. presidents):
The more that key employees, media members and the public tell him what he should do, the more Ted will make certain to do the opposite.
Would it come as a shock if we started hearing reports from anonymous sources that Rodgers had told Packers President Mark Murphy that it’s “him or me’’ when it comes to Thompson?
Offensive line issues have plagued the Packers more often than not during this unfulfilled decade — frequent injuries and questionable depth. In response, Thompson allowed T.J. Lang, the Pro Bowl guard, to leave for Detroit, and also lost center J.C. Tretter.
Right now, Don Barclay — the poor man’s Everett Lindsay — is a starting guard for the Packers.
Also gone are Micah Hyde (big loss), Datone Jones and Julius Peppers from the defense, and fat running back Eddie Lacy and tight end Jared Cook from the offense.
Thompson signed Martellus Bennett as a tight end and picked up another tight end, the released Lance Kendricks. That’s it.
Rodgers has lost Lang, and as important, that pathetic defense on display in the Atlanta playoff loss has gone backwards.
Meantime, there was much misplaced angst about free-agent losses here in Minnesota. Rick Spielman did what needed to be done in getting durable tackles in Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers, and a running back in Latavius Murray, both a pass catcher and willing to throw a block if someone is about to mutilate his quarterback.
Yes, Spielman is flawed, but he’s not pathologically opposed to paying for the necessary as is his counterpart to the East.
Most important players in the Gophers hoops turnaround (in order):
1. Reggie Lynch: Foul trouble aside, he transformed the Gophers defense from an afterthought to a team strength.
2. Amir Coffey: The freshman played up to his four stars and changed the whole perception of the program’s talent level.
3A and 3B. Nate Mason and Jordan Murphy: Big comeback season for the point guard, and a terrific stretch run for the power forward.
Read Patrick Reusse’s blog at startribune.com/patrick. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.