Today is shaping up to be a whale of a day for Packers general manager Ted Thompson and his personnel staff, not to mention coaches and trainers.
First will come the business of finalizing and making official all the undrafted free agent signings that were reported throughout Monday evening. The Packers have reportedly agreed to terms with at least six rookie free agents, and the number is sure to increase as the day goes on.
Along with finalizing these deals, Thompson and contract negotiator Russ Ball will begin the task of getting their drafted rookies under contract. (In fact, negotiation of those deals may have started last night.) While the new rookie salary guidelines will certainly help, each deal will need to be negotiated and finalized starting sometime tomorrow morning. What will be interesting is the fact that, because of the compressed timeline due to the labor situation, many rookies will be heading into team facilities without a contract. You can bet the teams medical people will be anxious to get a look at these guys and it will be interesting to see if anything comes up that affects negotiations. While all this is going on, several veterans may be reporting to Lambeau as well and you can be sure the coaches and trainers will be anxious to get a look at them and see what kind of shape they’re in.
During all of this, the personnel people will begin making and fielding calls about potential trades. While we will hear very little about this, you can bet its going on – in fact, its probably been going on for some time. Word has it the Packers are going to actively shop Nick Barnett and they were open to taking calls on Matt Flynn prior to the lockout. Something or nothing could come from either one of those potential deals – but you can be sure Reggie McKenzie and company will be busy working the phone lines tomorrow.
The other area where personnel folks will be busy is the beginning of unrestricted free agency. While the Packers are not expected to be big players, they can begin talking to guys like Brandon Jackson, Daryn Colledge, James Jones, etc. about a possible return. No deals can be finalized until Friday, but talks can and will commence tomorrow morning – again, if they have not already.
To that end – word may start leaking out tomorrow about who the Packers plan on releasing. While the official transactions aren’t allowed until Thursday, word has already started leaking out around the league about guys teams like the Cowboys or the Ravens plan on releasing. If and when the Packers inform the agents of anyone they plan on releasing, you can be sure it will be reported shortly thereafter.
After months of no football news to talk about, Packer fans should buckle up and enjoy drinking from the fire-hose because it promises to be fast paced, crazy football news all day and all night for the next week or so.