When the Packers selected Hawaii running back Alex Green in the third round of the NFL Draft, an underlying factor might have been a reluctancy to deal with super agent Drew Rosenhaus, who represents free agent running back Brandon Jackson.
The conventional thinking on Friday was that Green would be able to fill the third-down back role previously held by Jackson.
Jackson changed agents shortly after the Super Bowl when his previous one, Gary Wichard, was suspended by the NFL Players Association for having impermissable contact with a college player. Wichard passed away in March.
Rosenhaus is known for being a hardline negotiator able to get lucrative contracts for his clients, sometimes to a fault.
The Packers became familiar with the tactics of Rosenhaus last season when one of his other clients, safety Atari Bigby, declined to sign his restricted free agent tender and missed the entire offseason program including OTAs and minicamp.
His refusal to sign the tender was tantamount to a holdout, even though he was technically a free agent and under no obligation to sign with the Packers. But at the same team, he couldn't sign with any other team unless he was prepared to sit out the entire season.
By sitting out the offseason program, Bigby lost ground to rookie safety Morgan Burnett and also perhaps prevented the Packers from diagnosing an issue with his ankle that later required arthroscopic surgery once he reported to training camp.
Bigby sat on the Physically Unable to Perform list for several weeks of the regular season and contributed sparingly for the rest of the season.
It was an unfortunate fall from grace for Bigby who played a large part in the Packers' run to the NFC Championship game in 2007, without a doubt his best season in professional football.
There is perhaps a fear that Jackson will follow a similar path to his teammate on the defensive side of the football.
Jackson didn't stand out as a feature back with the Packers when Ryan Grant went down to injury last season, though he did provide value as a third-down back as a pass protector and his ability to catch the ball coming out of the backfield.
Green now comes to the Packers with a reputation as a good receiver coming from Hawaii's spread offense. He'll need to work on his pass protection, but his sheer size (6-0, 225 pounds) should make him a good candidate to stand up to the pass rushers he'll be asked to block at the next level.
The Packers reportedly offered Jackson a one-year restricted free agent tender this offseason without knowing how the league's labor negotiations will play out.
Under 2010 rules, Jackson would a restricted free agent and wouldn't be eligible to sign with any other teams.
If there's a new CBA in place, however, it's possible that Jackson will become eligible for unrestricted free agency after four seasons in the NFL and free to sign with any team he chooses.
With Green now in the fold, the Packers have protected themselves on two fronts.
If Jackson refuses to sign his tender immediately like Bigby, he'll be losing ground to the newly drafted rookie getting reps in the offseason program.
And if Jackson happens to leave via free agency, Green will more than likely assume his role.
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