John Kuhn, one of he most popular of all Green Bay Packers players, is headed to free agency in the next few days, not because he necessarily wants to, but because the Packers have not offered him a contract extension.
I can’t disagree with the Packers on this one – clearly they are not viewing the landscape with fullback colored glasses on.
They’ve got to know that there will not be multiple teams knocking on his free agency door with trucks backing into the driveway filled with cash, right?
Not for him.
Clearly, Ted Thompson knows that Kuhn plays FULLBACK. Last I looked, there were about a half dozen teams in the entire league who even still employ guys at the
position. TT understands that this has become a PASSING league. A league filled with teams that employ a single-back formation. The days of the I-formation with Kuhn leading the charge have seemingly passed us by.
If the Packers were ready to offer Kuhn an extension and he turned it down to test the free agency market, that would have been a huge mistake on the part of the organization. I’m glad they didn’t go that route.
Let’s take a look at Kuhn’s prospects in free agency. How does the guy sell himself? He can talk about the ONE block he made last season. Yes, it was the one that knocked Julius Peppers down while Aaron Rodgers escaped and threw the game-winning touchdown to send the Packers – unbelievably – to the NFL Playoffs. That was a sweet play and an important block, no doubt, but not one that should reward him millions in the bank.
He picked up a couple of big first downs on third and fourth down short yardage situations last year; he gained 31 yards all season on 10 attempts, scored one touchdown, caught 13 passes for 81 yards and heard a few rounds of KUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHNNNNN.
In an eight-year career, Kuhn has 506 yards in 165 attempts – a 3.1-yard average. He’s caught 72 passes for 493 yards (6.8-yard average) and eight touchdowns – the longest being 32 yards.
Yes, Kuhn is the top-rated of all free agent fullbacks by profootballfocus.com (subscription required) – but there are a grand total of 12 fullbacks who will be on the market. That’s not exactly a seller’s market.
Don’t get me wrong. Packers fans idolize him because he’s viewed as the quintessential working man’s player. The blue collar slogger who has had a fine career at a position that is quickly going the way of the dinosaur.
We can’t blame the Packers for the direction they are taking in this situation. It’s clearly the right decision.
In the end, I would question the Packers even bringing Kuhn back. They already have one fullback on the roster, Ina Liaina. Do the Packers need to take up another roster spot for Kuhn?
OK, they might, but let’s hope it isn’t out of sentimentality. The Packers can’t afford that in this day and age. … and Kuhn shouldn’t expect to see trucks filled with cash in his driveway.