Previewing the 2014 Green Bay Packers Schedule Release

Lambeau Field

The Green Bay Packers survived an Aaron Rodgers injury and made a late push to win the division and sneak into the playoffs last year, but this year they may not be so lucky. If they want to make the playoffs yet again, they’ll both need a healthy Rodgers and a better showing from their defense.

It must start at home for the Packers, who were merely average in 2013. It won’t be easy to suddenly spike to an elite level on their home field, though, as they have to worry about Atlanta, Carolina, Philadelphia, New England and the New York Jets coming to town. The Packers actually bear the Falcons in Lambeau in 2013, but will still have a pretty stiff overall slate at home in 2014.

The Green Bay Packers schedule doesn’t hold back on the road in 2014, either, as they visit New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Seattle, Buffalo and Miami. The Seahawks will be a highly anticipated and brutally tough game that should headline their road schedule.

All 2014 Opponents

Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, New York Jets

Away: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins

For a look at all team’s 2014 match-ups, click here.

Packers Sign Julius Peppers, Three-Years $30 Million

peppers

The Green Bay Packers have made a big-name sign in the fifth day of free agency. The Packers signed former Bears’ defensive end Julius Peppers. Peppers signs a three-year, $30 million contract to be in Green Bay.

Peppers was released by the Bears before free agency began and Peppers made visits and talked to several different teams until settling downs with the Packers. Peppers is one of the league’s best pass rushers in the last decade and now joins the company of another, well-developed pass rusher, Clay Matthews.

Peppers put together his least productive season in 2013 since signing with the Bears in 2010 by recording just 45 tackles and seven sacks. However, the two years prior to that, Peppers recorded a total of 22.5 sacks and the Packers are hoping the 34-year-old Peppers can do that again.

The Packers did insure themselves in case Peppers is missing a step. Peppers will make $8.5 million in 2014. However, after this season, his contract is a year-to-year position. The Packers would be able to release him at any point.

Peppers is extremely durable. Since coming into the league in 2002, the All-Pro pass rusher has missed a total of six games. Peppers never missed a game during his time with the Bears.

Brandon Sweeney is Co-Editor of the Gab Network. Follow him on Twitter @NFLNSTUFF, Like him on Facebook , add him to Google+, and Trust him on Sulia.

Sam Shields Gets Pay Day; Four-Year $39 Million

shields

The Green Bay Packers retained one more player before he was able to hit the market on Tuesday. The Packers have signed cornerback Sam Shields to a four-year, $39 million deal on Saturday evening. This comes in when many thought that Shields was going to test the open market when in reality, it looked as if Shields was rewarded by the Packers more than he would have by another team.

The deal includes a $12.5 million signing bonus. Shields will be receiving over $20 million his first two years of the contract and will count as $15 million on the 2014 salary cap. Shields will be the team’s number one cornerback on the depth chart.

General manager Ted Thompson is putting a lot on the line with Shields. Shields started becoming a name on the defense during the Packers’ Super Bowl run a few years ago. Now the Packers hope that Shields will be the man at corner for at least four years.

Brandon Sweeney is Co-Editor of the Gab Network. Follow him on Twitter @NFLNSTUFF, Like him on Facebook , add him to Google+, and Trust him on Sulia.

WR Jones Hoping He’ll Be Back With The Packers

James Jones

Soon to be free-agent wide receiver James Jones doesn’t want to leave the Packers but he might not have a choice in the matter.

“Honestly, I feel that there is a chance that I can be back, and then I honestly feel that there’s a chance that I can’t,” Jones told Dan Hanzus of NFL.com. “This is the time where you just kind of wish that something would happen so you can know where you’re going.”

Jones admits he’s taken a glance around at teams in need of help at wide receiver, with two teams in mind: the Colts and the Chargers.

“I’ve thought about places that I would like to go play, whether it’s in Indy or there’s coming back home, San Diego or somewhere. Teams have popped up in my head. I can’t say I haven’t thought about it, but in a perfect world I’d love to go back (to Green Bay).”

CB Sam Shields To Test The Free Agent Market

Sam Sheilds

The Packers will not be able to come to a contract agreement with cornerback Sam Shields before the March 8th deadline and will let Shields test the free agent market according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

This comes as somewhat of a surprise as all indications were that the Packers were serious about retaining Shields and Shields is on the record as saying he wants to stay in Green Bay.

The two sides reportedly talked at the NFL Scouting Combine but those talks have broken off as the too sides were too far apart. The 26-year-old Shields is coming off the best season of his NFL career, posting four interceptions and 51 tackles in fourteen starts in 2013.

The speedy corner will not lack for suitors and could garner a contract in the $7 million/year range. Shields played the 2013 season on a one-year, $2.023 tender.

The Packers definitely want Shields back but are relatively deep at cornerback and are clearly not offering the kind of money Shields and his agent are seeking.

There are a lot of quality corners on the free agent market this year, however, and Shields could still end up back in Green Bay on a team-friendly contract.

Jones Out; Boykin In?

HC McCarthy has "high" hopes on WR Boykin

The Green Bay Packers are not the same team they were when they won the Super Bowl in 2011. Not at all. The Packers are beginning to re-design the passing attack on the offense. More specifically, the receivers are changing. 2013 was the first time Donald Driver did not lace up with the team in 14 years.

Now, getting into the heat of the 2014 offseason, the Packers are looking at saying bye to a couple more receivers they have had over the last several years. Tight end Jermichael Finley and wide receiver James Jones are both free agents starting March 11.  Finley has expressed his desire to return but no deal has been made as of yet. For Jones, the Packers are prepared to let him walk.

Why let someone like Jones who has recorded 310 catches for 37 touchdowns since 2009 and has played a great job in both the slot and outside? Well, head coach Mike McCarthy is very high on another wide receiver — Jarrett Boykin.

Entering his third season in the league, Boykin has impressed the Packers so far by recording 54-catches for 708 yards and three touchdowns in two years.

“He had a heck of a year, and I still think he has another jump in him. I’ve always liked Jarrett. I’ve always felt he had it,” said McCarthy.

McCarthy added that he sees Boykin evolving into a No. 2 receiver in the offense. Boykin’s performance increased after the injury to Randall Cobb earlier in the season.

Now, the Packers will hopefully have a healthy Cobb, along with the talents of Boykin and Jordy Nelson to help re-vamp the passing attack.

Brandon Sweeney is Co-Editor of the Gab Network. Follow him on Twitter @NFLNSTUFF, Like him on Facebook , add him to Google+, and Trust him on Sulia.

McCarthy Adds Texas Tech’s Raih To Packers Offensive Staff

David Raih

Mike McCarthy has hired David Raih from Texas Tech to the Green Bay Packers’ football staff, Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press Gazette reports.

Raih, 33, most recently was outside receivers coach at Texas Tech, where he also had been director of high school relations. Before that he was a graduate assistant at the University of Iowa for three years, and for two seasons before that he was a coaching intern at UCLA, where he worked with quarterbacks.

Raih was a backup quarterback at Iowa from 1999-2003.

Last week, McCarthy announced he’d set the Packers’ coaching staff for 2014 with four additions and several re-assignments. The report said Raih will be an offensive assistant, but more likely he’s McCarthy’s choice to fill the Packers’ open position at coaching administrator.

Jason Simmons had been in that role but was promoted to defensive/special teams assistant last week. Coaching administrator is not officially an assistant coaching position, but Simmons attended practices and appeared to operate as if a member of the coaching staff.

Who Is On Your Mount Rushmore Of Packers Nation?

Mount Rushmore

Recently a lot has been made about ESPN’s interesting chat about who would be on various Mount Rushmore of professional sports leagues.

You know Mount Rushmore right – that National monument sculpture carved into the granite face of a mountain near Keystone, South Dakota. (Yes we looked it up on Wikipedia).

So today we throw out the question to our fan base – what Packers would make your ‘Mount Rushmore of Packers Nation.’?

Now of course right off the bat you would have to make sure a spot is saved for Vince Lombardi – Packers coach who lead the Packers to NFL titles and two Super Bowl wins in the 1960′s.

While Lombardi is the George Washington, that leaves three spots left, and that’s where our loyal readers and fan base come in to play.

Let’s leave comments about the three spots and come up with our own ‘Mount Rushmore Of Packers Nation.’

So many names, so few spots.

Let’s hear from you Packer fans – four names – one monument.