NFC North weekend mailbag

September, 18, 2010
9/18/10
1:00
PM ET
We touched on the Chicago Bears in our Saturday installment of Have at It. So we'll account for the Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings in a truncated weekend mailbag. I hope you weren't worried. Like Frankie Valli, I was always working my way back to you. (Babe.)

When you were so in love with me
I played around like I was free
Thought I could have my cake and eat it too
Oh how I cried over losing you


For every day I made you cry
I'm paying girl til the day that I die

I'll keep working my way back to you babe
With a burning love inside
I'm working my way back to you babe
With a happiness that died
I let it get away, payin' every day


And I mean EVERY DAY. Please commiserate through the mailbag portal, via Facebook or Twitter. Onward...

Ben of Denver notes my suggestion that Packers general manager Ted Thompson is unlikely to trade for Buffalo Bills tailback Marshawn Lynch and writes: Ted Thompson aggressively pursued both Randy Moss and Antonio Gates and just came up short. When his quarterback has called out for another weapon who would be easily attainable, he will at least try for it. If ANYONE is Ted Thompson's Number One guy, it is Aaron Rodgers. Aaron Rodgers wants him, and we have a need. With Lynch and Brandon Jackson, we would be as good as essentially Grant alone in this offense. They will find someone who will be effective

Kevin Seifert: It's true. As former Packers executive Andrew Brandt wrote this week, Thompson did try to trade for Moss in two consecutive seasons at the behest of quarterback Brett Favre. Ultimately, Moss went to the New England Patriots because they were willing to give him a one-year contract, which Moss considered a better situation than the Packers' two-year offer.

As for the tight end, you're probably referring to Tony Gonzalez when he was with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008. Near the trading deadline that year, the Packers offered a third-round pick but wouldn't meet the Chiefs' asking price of a second-round pick.

In each case, Thompson took measured attempts to secure an elite veteran player. He wasn't willing to break his proverbial bank, but your point is well taken. It's not as if Thompson has ignored the trade market as a rule. That pattern suggests he will at least consider Lynch or another veteran runner, even if it means limiting the resources he's willing to devote to acquire him.




Via Twitter, @brett_conners read my suggestion that NFL locker rooms be closed to the media in order to facilitate professional interaction between players and reporters and writes: So that will eliminate players making inappropriate comments to female reporters?

Kevin Seifert: Fair point. A player could sexually harass a female reporter in an interview room. I didn't mean to suggest that we would eliminate the possibility altogether. As long as there is sexism, racism, homophobia and general insensitivity in society, we will have people hating upon one another.

My point was that the locker room, for better or worse, is hardly a center of professional interaction on any level. Moving to a neutral room would be a big step toward minimizing inappropriate conduct on both sides.




Ned of Berkeley, Calif., writes: While I am admittedly a little biased, I still don't see how you can gauge Jahvid Best's stock to be falling after only one game. Given he's a rookie on a team that isn't exactly a powerhouse shouldn't you cut him a little slack. If he's still not turning it on after three or four games, then I can understand. I think he deserves a break.

Kevin Seifert: The Stock Watch is a weekly analysis. We don't take into account last week or next week. I promise Best will "rise" if he has a strong game Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.




Via Facebook, Derek writes: If the rumors are true about Vincent Jackson, what does this mean for a guy like Bernard Berrian? His play has been uninspiring for the Vikings the past few seasons and it just looks like he's not trying very hard. I am assuming our WR corps by the second and half of the season will be like this: Sidney Rice, Jackson, Percy Harvin, Berrian, Greg Lewis. Am I right? I'm just saying that we'd be spending A LOT of money for a fourth receiver.

Kevin Seifert: Berrian was reported to be limited by a hamstring injury for most of last season, but he didn't help his cause with a pretty quiet game Sept. 9 at New Orleans. I'm not ready to write him off yet, but it's obvious he's not Brett Favre's favorite receiver for whatever reason.

But if the Vikings do acquire Jackson, I still see Berrian as part of the Vikings' three receiver sets. Harvin is best suited to be a slot receiver, which would leave Berrian and Jackson on the outside. (I see Greg Camarillo, not Lewis, as the No. 4 in this situation.)

At this point, I think it's jumping the gun to assume Rice will simply step into his former role the moment he returns from his injury. We're in Week 2 and he's still on crutches and unable to do anything from a football standpoint. The Vikings have placed him on the physically unable to perform list, requiring him to miss the first six games, but there are no guarantees he will be ready after that.

And when he does get back on the field, you have to remember it will be his first football activities since January. The Vikings' biggest motivation here is the uncertainty of Rice's 2010 contribution, not Berrian's Week 1 disappointment.




Dave of Cromwell, Conn., writes: What kind of impact can James Starks have if he is healthy enough to get off the temporary PUP list and return by midseason?

Kevin Seifert: Many people continue to ask about Starks, but he's even further removed from football activities than Rice. Remember, Starks missed his entire senior season at Buffalo because of a shoulder injury before sitting out all of training camp with a strained hamstring. That long of an absence will make it awfully difficult for Starks to jump onto the field for the Packers at midseason and contribute in any sort of meaningful way.

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Thursday, 9/4
Sunday, 9/7
Monday, 9/8