Shutdown Corner - NFL

Packers receivers exchange gift cards for every dropped ballDropping a pass in Green Bay is proving to be costly for Packers wide receivers.

Jason Wilde, a reporter for ESPN Wisconsin, learned this week that there's a penalty system in place for Packers wideouts who drop passes during games.

"If you drop a ball in our group, you have to buy the whole group a $100 Best Buy gift card," Jones told Wilde with a chuckle. "I've got Best Buy cards in my locker right now ... "I'm still waiting on Donald's," Jones said of veteran Donald Driver(notes).

Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin says the team has dropped 10 passes in the past two games which, in theory, would mean an exchange of $4,000 in gift cards. Over a 16-game season, that's $32,000. And seeing as how Jones hasn't hit peak dropping form yet (that tends to occur in the playoffs), that number could skyrocket. Excuse me while I call my broker to get some Best Buy stock.

"That's a trend that we honestly as coaches — we're not real smart — but it's safe to say when you have 10 drops in two weeks, that's a concern," Philbin told Wilde. "We have to get back to catching the football better.

"I think a couple of them, it was clear that their intentions were good — they wanted to maybe advance the football and make a guy miss and move the chains forward, and I think they maybe just didn't take care of first things first. That's what it looked like on tape to us."

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Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette writes that Packers receivers are considered to have dropped the ball "if they fail to haul in one that touches both hands." The Packers count is less forgiving than the official tally from STATS, the independent research firm. According to those numbers, Green Bay has only dropped nine passes this season, well below Philbin's count.

The idea of making a swear jar equivalent for dropped passes is a solid technique, though it would seem the wrong people are benefitting from the drops. Why should Jordy Nelson(notes) be rewarded for James Jones'(notes) stone hands? What added incentive is there for Greg Jennings(notes) to hold on to the football because he has to chip in for Donald Driver's iPad2 if he doesn't? When James Harrison(notes) gets fined for a late hit, the money doesn't go to Ray Lewis(notes). If anyone should be getting gift cards, it's Aaron Rodgers(notes).

Thanks, Larry Brown Sports

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