The Green Bay Packers have been busy this offseason — but their work is far from over as they still have some difficult decisions to make. One such decision is whether or not to re-sign fullback/fan favorite John Kuhn.
It appears Packers fans will not have to wait much longer a decision to be made. According to a report by PackersNews.com, the team is still negotiating with Kuhn regarding a new contract and that a decision could be made as early as this week.
The Packers have been in contact with Kuhn throughout free agency but it’s no secret that he has engaged in discussions with other teams as well, so at this point, a return is far from a given.
Kuhn, who joined the Packers back in 2007, has been a valuable contributor on both offense and special teams during his time in Green Bay, scoring 20 touchdowns over the course of his career, helping the Packers win a Super Bowl in 2010 and even earning a berth to the Pro Bowl in 2011.
Yet, Kuhn turns 32 this August and saw his role diminish on offense last season as he only played 20 percent of the snaps.
Of course Packer fans will always remember the great chip block he had on Julius Peppers (then a Chicago Bear) to allow Aaron Rodgers time to hit Randall Cobb for the game-winning touchdown in the NFC North title game in Week 17.
That block on Peppers shows what Kuhn is all about. He’s not an overly talented player, he just has that intangible ability to make a big play when needed.
Both head coach Mike McCarthy and Rodgers have stated that they want to see Kuhn return and in truth, even though he is just a fullback, the Packers would miss him if he was gone. They would miss his pass protection skills, his ability in the screen game, his blocking and also his skills as a short-yardage runner.
Kuhn may not touch the ball much, in fact just 23 times last season. He ran it 10 times for 38 yards and also caught 13 passes for 81 yards. Yet, of those 23 touches, 11 of them resulted in either a first down or a touchdown.
Kuhn’s new position coach, Sam Gash, a long-time fullback in the NFL also sees value in Kuhn and explained why at his introductory news conference:
“He’s a heady veteran, intelligent guy, and you know he’s very productive when he plays,” said Gash at his introductory news conference in February. “Look in the playoffs, look at the teams that made the playoffs. They usually had (a fullback) because there comes a point in time in a game that you need a yard and generally you put a fullback in the game. He knows that and he’s going to make sure that happens whether he has the ball or there’s a guy behind him. … I’m not saying you go get a guy who’s playing 50 plays a game, not in today’s game.”
The fullback position is not what is once was in the NFL but McCarthy has stuck with it and as long as the Packers are planning to employ the fullback position again this season, there is no one better to fill the position the Kuhn.