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Packers 2020 Schedule Released, Team to Open Season in Minnesota

The date that Packers fans had been waiting for came on Thursday night, as the 2020 NFL Schedule was released, with all 16 Packers games included.

The team will start the year at Minnesota against the Vikings, and then will host the Lions in week two at home. The club will have four prime time games.

Week 1: at Minnesota, noon Sunday, Sept. 13. (Fox)

Week 2: Detroit, noon Sunday, Sept. 20 (Fox)

Week 3: at New Orleans, 7:20 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27 (NBC)

Week 4: Atlanta, 7:15 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5 (Gold Pkg.) (ESPN)

Week 5: Bye

Week 6: at Tampa Bay, 3:25 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18 (Fox)

Week 7: at Houston, noon Sunday, Oct. 25 (Fox)

Week 8: Minnesota, noon Sunday, Nov. 1 (Fox)

Week 9: at San Francisco, 7:20 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5 (Fox/NFL Network/Amazon)

Week 10: Jacksonville, noon Sunday, Nov. 15 (Fox)

Week 11: at Indianapolis, noon Sunday, Nov. 22 (Fox)

Week 12: Chicago, 7:20 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29 (Gold Pkg.) (NBC)

Week 13: Philadelphia, 3:25 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6 (CBS)

Week 14: at Detroit, noon Sunday, Dec. 13 (Fox)

Week 15: Carolina, TBA either Dec. 19 or Dec. 20 (TBA)

Week 16: Tennessee, 7:20 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 27 (NBC)

Week 17: at Chicago, noon Sunday, Jan. 3. (Fox)

The Packers Really Wanted QB Jordan Love; Will It Upset the Apple Cart?

The Packers now have their current franchise quarterback and a potential future one, too.

Most would consider such an updated state worthy of positive marks following a draft, even if Packers fans focused on winning now are displeased, Nick Shook of NFL.com reports.

Those irritated supporters might not have had a choice anyway. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Packers were “adamant” about trading up for Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, arranging for multiple deals to trade up, including one deal in which the Packers would have moved up to No. 27 in a trade with Seattle.

The Packers didn’t end up doing so because they swung a swap with Miami to move up to No. 26, where they selected Love and surprised much of the football world. After all, Green Bay has 36-year-old signal-caller Aaron Rodgers, who is undoubtedly still in his prime.

In a draft in which the Packers could have added a weapon for Rodgers, they instead moved up to spend their highest pick on Rodgers’ eventual successor.

No other team was all that interested in moving up to take Love, according to Rapoport. With Rodgers still very capable of winning but also not exactly 25 years old, it would make sense if the quarterback became disgruntled by such a forward-looking decision. Then again, Rodgers came into the league in a similar fashion as the 24th pick in the 2005 draft and the heir apparent to Brett Favre.

It’s been widely publicized how Favre wasn’t exactly keen on helping Rodgers take his job. Some have expected Rodgers to react similarly, but according to Rapoport, Rodgers and Love have connected since the draft. And this won’t be a succession plan that is set into motion in 2020 or 2021; Packers coach Matt LaFleur told NFL Network’s Michael Silver the organization still has “incredible confidence” in Rodgers, who they expect to remain in Green Bay long term.

Packers Lose Tackle Jason Spriggs to the Chicago Bears

Jason Spriggs, who failed to live up to the expectations of former Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson, reportedly is signing a one-year deal with NFC North rival Chicago, Jim Owczarski of Packers News reports.

ESPN reported Friday that Spriggs will follow in the free-agency footsteps of former Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and tight end Jimmy Graham in joining the Bears.

Thompson traded up nine spots in the 2016 draft to select Spriggs, a tackle out of Indiana, in the second round with the 48th overall pick. Thompson traded the Packers’ original No. 57 overall pick in the second round, along with a fourth-rounder (No. 125) and seventh-rounder (248), to the Indianapolis Colts.

Spriggs, 25, appeared in 36 games in three years with nine starts for the Packers and did not solidify himself as a potential replacement for Bryan Bulaga, who also departed Green Bay as a free agent this offseason. Spriggs spent the entire 2019 season on the Packers’ injured reserve list with back and elbow issues.

Packers Have Virtual Meeting with Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts

The Packers and Chargers continue to do due diligence on quarterback draft prospects, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Packers and Chargers have both had virtual meetings with Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, per sources informed of the situation.

Hurts is not expected to be in the top tier of quarterbacks taken during next week’s draft, but his dual-threat ability makes him an intriguing prospect in today’s NFL.

In three seasons at Alabama and one at OU, Hurts threw for 9,477 yards, completed 65.1 percent of his passes, tossed 80 TDs to 20 INTs and added 3,274 rushing yards and 43 more scores.

The Packers have been kicking around the idea of drafting a quarterback who can sit a few years behind Aaron Rodgers before taking over. Hurts has an enticing skill set but could use seasoning in his anticipation and reading defenses. Learning from Rodgers could be an ideal landing spot.

The Chargers seem destined to pluck a quarterback early in the draft, but if the top signal-callers are all off the board when they pick at No. 6, L.A. could wait until later in the draft to secure a future QB while riding Tyrod Taylor for a year or more.

Packers Bring Back Return Specialist Tyler Ervin

The Packers agreed to re-sign Tyler Ervin, their return specialist and a burgeoning threat on offense as a running back, to a one-year deal worth $1.047 million, a source confirmed to Ryan Wood of PackersNews.

The contract includes a $137,500 signing bonus. ESPN was first to report Ervin would re-sign with the Packers.

Ervin didn’t join the Packers until early December. At the time, the Packers had minus-8 punt-return yards on the season. They were in serious jeopardy of becoming the first team in NFL history with negative yards returning punts for an entire season.

In four games, Ervin gained 106 punt-return yards.

Ervin started the 2019 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he played six games. With a full offseason to learn LaFleur’s system, it’s possible his role on offense can increase. But the Packers certainly appreciated the injection of production Ervin gave as a return specialist, a role he’ll retain in 2020.

Packers to Release Tight End Jimmy Graham

The Packers are going in another direction at the tight end spot, as Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted out that the team is releasing Jimmy Graham.

Last season Graham had 38 grabs for 447 yards with three touchdowns. The 33-year-old played two seasons with the Packers, starting 22 of 32 games with the Pack.

In those two seasons he had 93 catches for 1083 yards with five scores. He was due to make $8 million this upcoming season.

What’s the Status of the Packers Receiving Core as Free Agency Closes In?

NFL.com has a new article out discussing how things look to be shaping up with free agency ready to start very soon, and how teams wide receiver cores are looking going into the process.

The Packers have a chance to improve their wide out situation in free agency, the question is if they will do it.

You can read the entire article HERE – for now here’s what the piece says about the Packers receiver situation.

Top three WRs in 2019: Davante Adams (83-997-5), Allen Lazard (35-477-3 — exclusive rights free agent), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (26-452-2).

Last season, the Packers’ offense threw passes behind the line of scrimmage at the third-highest rate in the NFL (26.2%), which is why their second- and third-ranked pass-catchers in terms of total catches were both running backs (Aaron Jones caught 49 passes for 474 yards and three scores; Jamaal Williams had 39 catches for 253 yards and five scores). Adams led the team with 83 receptions in just 12 games, but no other Green Bay receiver had more than 35 receptions in 2019. Since last year’s offseason was heavily focused on defense, it’s probable that this offseason will be spent reinforcing the offense, especially with regard to finding a complement for Adams.

Should the Packers Go After a High Profile Free Agent WR This Offseason?

There are several high profile wide receivers scheduled to be free agents this coming March. Should the Packers dip their toe in the free agent market or wait for the draft?