Mike McCarthy signed a one-year contract extension, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reported. If the deal, which was apparently signed during the season, was not done, McCarthy would have entered 2018 as a lame duck.
In November, I wrote that McCarthy and Ted Thompson should be on the hot seat. With Thompson reassigned within the organization and defensive coordinator Dom Capers finally gone, one could argue that it would have been a good time for a clean break but I think that McCarthy merits a return next year.
At the time I wrote the coach and GM should be on the hot seat, the Packers had gone 0-2 in games started by Brett Hundley and looked completely listless on offense. However, they went 3-2 in their next five games after that, and were in a position where they had a plausible shot at the playoffs with a returning Aaron Rodgers. If Geronimo Allison doesn’t fumble in Carolina with the Packers driving for a tie late in regulation, who knows what would’ve happened the rest of the way.
Yes, the Packers got lucky that the Bears, Bucs, and Browns happened to land on their schedule during this period, but you can only beat who you play and McCarthy presided over a team that adjusted by finding a running game and had a shot to compete.
While McCarthy was flippant in saying that the organization would not look to the outside for a backup quarterback when three years were “invested” in Hundley, the fact that the Packers were even able to win three games against the league’s bottom feeders with him was actually impressive. The first order of business for the team’s new general manager, whomever that may be, is to find a pass rusher. The second is to replace Hundley with a better backup.
Given this extension, it is hard to believe that a new GM will move on from McCarthy immediately. But, if the Packers don’t return to the top of the heap with Rodgers back next season, being signed an extra year would not prevent the franchise from moving on.