Proof that quarterback Aaron Rodgers is becoming one of the most recognizable figures in the NFL and a marketing force are coming in the form of new endorsement deals. “Rodgers has just signed two endorsement deals with local companies: Associated Bank and Gruber Law Offices,” writes Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Financial terms were not disclosed. Rodgers now has signed all three of endorsement deals overall – the other with ESPN Milwaukee – since winning the Super Bowl. He will appear as a regular weekly guest during the National Football League season and playoffs on WAUK-AM (540).” It was reported that lawyer David Gruber originally met Rodgers at a MACC Fund charity event last year.
It was confirmed that the Donald Driver charity softball game will be held on June 5 at Fox Cities Stadium no matter what happens with the NFL lockout. “This will be the fourth year Driver has organized the long-running event,” writes Lori Nickel. “Offensive players from the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers roster will match up against the defensive players. Tight end Jermichael Finley and receiver James Jones are just two of dozens of Packers players and assistant coaches expected to attend.” Fans can call the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers for tickets.
The Green Bay Packers are the betting favorite to win next year’s Super Bowl. “The defending champs were 7-to-1 favorites along with the New England Patriots before last weekend’s draft, and their odds remained the same following the draft, according to the betting site Bodog.com,” writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Another betting prop involving the Packers are the odds to win the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Award where Randall Cobb is at 20-1.
In an interview with Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin, free agent defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins said he would have taken less money to sign with the Packers before last season. “Yeah. That was the thought then,” said Jenkins. “I knew in going to them, I know Green Bay, I know the market, I know how they handle business, and the thought was if we could get something reasonable worked out, I knew I would take less than what I could’ve gotten in free agency. But they never approached me with anything and never got any type of negotiations going. It’s just how the business is. They had a lot of younger guys and felt they could move forward in that direction.” Included in the article is complete audio of Jenkins’ interview on Wilde’s Green and Gold Today local radio show.
A feature article on Packers third-round draft choice Alex Green was written by Rob Reischel of JSOnline’s Packer Insider section (subscription required). “Green’s stunning rise was capped when the Green Bay Packers selected him with the second-to-last pick in the third round (96th overall),” writes Reischel. “Green joins James Starks, Ryan Grant and possibly Brandon Jackson in what’s suddenly an incredibly crowded backfield.” It will only be crowded if Jackson re-signs with the Packers as a free agent.
An excerpt from Rob Reischel’s book Aaron Rodgers: Leader of the Pack appears at JSOnline.
Wide receiver James Jones recently visited and volunteered at a homeless shelter in his native San Jose, Cal. “In an age where athletes, and often wide receivers, are sometimes perceived as flashy and arrogant, Jones served drumsticks and spaghetti to families, posed for pictures and even tossed the football around with the kids,” writes Mike Rosenberg of the San Jose Mercury News. A photo gallery of Jones’ visit accompanies the article.
Former Packers wide receiver Antonio Freeman made a charity fundraising appearance at a pair of Janesville, Wis. high schools on this week. “Freeman was at Janesville Craig High School on Tuesday as part of ‘Go Pink,’ a statewide campaign to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness that is part of the non-profit Leroy Butler Foundation,” writes John Barry of the Janesville Gazette. “He spoke to Craig student/athletes after school, and later signed autographs at the Janesville Parker vs. Craig girls junior varsity soccer game. Proceeds from the varsity game went directly to the ‘Go Pink’ campaign.”
Former Packers safety Matt Bowen writes an article at the National Football Post about how to get newly drafted wide receiver Randall Cobb involved in the game. “The first thing you do with a talent like Cobb. Get him matched up inside vs. a Nickel CB or even a FS that rolls down from the middle of the field working against Cover 1,” writes Bowen. “Think of how the Packers use their empty formations and align Cobb as the No. 3 WR. Routes you can run? Inside breaking schemes: slant, underneath crosser, dig, skinny post, etc. Plus, don’t forget what he can do vs. 2-Man and Cover 2—where you can get him matched up vs. a Mike Backer (think Brian Urlacher in Chicago). Bottom line: put the rookie in a position to produce. And you have options to do that with Cobb.”
Piggybacking on Bowen’s article is Monty McMahon of Total Packers who writes about the possibility of Randall Cobb running the wildcat in Green Bay. “Certainly, the wildcat is a gadget play and the Packers aren’t known for running such plays,” writes McMahon. “It’s also a play that has become less than effective since it was introduced several years ago, but in Cobb, the Packers have something wildcat-friendly teams like the Miami Dolphins don’t have — someone who can throw the ball.” I could see it happening for maybe a handful of plays the entire season. But something that might increase its use would be if the Packers keep only two quarterbacks on its roster. If there happens to be an injury emergency, Cobb could be running the show.
An interview with Randall Cobb’s positional coach at Kentucky, national championship-winning quarterback Tee Martin, appears at Packer Report (subscription required).
Apparently a date has been set for the Packers to receive their Super Bowl rings. Offensive lineman Josh Sitton wrote in shorthand on Twitter, “We are supposed to be gettin our sb Rings june 16th on my bday.” Whether the NFL lockout will impact those plans remain to be seen.
Information about defensive lineman Ryan Pickett being a spokesman for an anti-abortion organization appears at Total Packers.
All four Super Bowl trophies will be making the trip on the Packers’ Tailgate Tour beginning May 10.
The Packers have donated and president Mark Murphy helped plant trees at a local park last week.
Asking if the Packers will regret not drafting a quarterback is Ryan Cook of Acme Packing Company.
An exhibit called “Return to Titletown” chronicling the Packer’s 2010 season opens today at the Packers Hall of Fame.
Suites at Lambeau Field are available to purchase for individual games.
A column about the Packers’ draft is written by Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
More on the Packers’ draft appears at the team’s official website.
A feature on the two-act play about Vince Lombardi appears at student newspaper of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Former Packers fullback Barty Smith is remembered at Packers.com.
More on undrafted free agency appears at Packer Report.