That escalated quickly.
The Green Bay Packers supplied the NFL’s bombshell this week by suspending cornerback Jaire Alexander one week for conduct detrimental to the team. In the team’s ugly 33-30 win over the lowly Carolina Panthers, Alexander elected himself a captain and nearly blew the coin toss by saying the Packers wanted to play defense first… instead of deferring to the second half. Yikes. The Packers were lucky the officials were in the Christmas spirit.
Alexander will now miss what’s essentially an elimination game against the Minnesota Vikings. Both clubs are 7-8. Justin Jefferson just so happens to be lining up at wide receiver. Head coach Matt LaFleur noted during his press conference on the matter that “it’s never for one thing.”
This statement most certainly is the truth.
Here on the “Ty & Bob Pod,” we explore at length.
Bob McGinn offers a ton of insight into Alexander’s 2023 season. It has not been pretty, and the Carolina game exposed a player making $21 million per season, more money than any cornerback in NFL history. Perhaps this is a refreshing organizational step away from the Rodgers Era, when both GM and head coach gave their quarterback carte blanche 24/7. But it’s also true the Packers have a lot of money providing very, very little on the field. From Alexander to David Bakhtiari to De’Vondre Campbell to that dead money Rodgers left behind.
“Mr. Me,” as McGinn calls Alexander, is a major problem.
This episode is nearly two hours long and accessible in full to Go Long subscribers.
We discuss/debate Alexander’s present and future, Jordan Love’s performance in Carolina and why McGinn doesn’t have confidence in LaFleur’s hiring of coaches or Brian Gutekunst’s player evaluation. (I think Gutekunst’s 2020 drafting of Love deserves ample praise.) Also, what are the team’s chances in Minnesota? Kevin O’Connell’s team is dealing with its own issues. The Vikings announced on Thursday afternoon that rookie Jaren Hall would get the nod over Nick Mullens at quarterback.
Finally, there’s a lot of Detroit Lions talk. What a turnaround this has been under Dan Campbell. Detroit has clinched its first division title in 30 years. How far can they go? Is this team talented enough to win in Santa Clara vs. the 49ers? Suffice to say, as McGinn flatly states, the Lions’ staff would have little time for defensive backs loafing the way Alexander did vs. Carolina.
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Our Tuesday column, icymi: