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Packers Daily Links 7.29.10

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Packers Daily Links 7.29.10

On the calendar today, the annual shareholders meeting gets underway at 11 a.m., the fan Q&A with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell happens at 3 p.m., which will be available for all fans to see on the NFL Network at 7 p.m. (all times Lambeau) ...

First-round draft choice Bryan Bulaga appears close to signing with the Green Bay Packers. "A source with knowledge of the negotiations said on Wednesday that there wasn’t any reason to think the deal won’t be done on time [for training camp]," writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "The source said the two sides were 'pretty close,' although the source wouldn’t say whether that meant a deal would be done today, when players can begin moving into their training camp home at St. Norbert College. Players aren’t required to report to team headquarters until Friday, when they are scheduled to undergo physicals and take the conditioning test." Practice begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The Packers have roughly $1.2 million of available money in their rookie salary pool to sign Bulaga says Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "The Packers have signed all six of their other draft picks at a cost of about $2.6 million in rookie salary cap space, leaving them about $1.2 million to get the Bulaga deal done, according to a source with access to NFL salary information," writes Silverstein. "Bryant's five-year contract is worth $11.8 million and includes about $8.4 in guaranteed money. Bulaga can expect a slight increase from that deal." The $1.2 million reflects how much Bulaga will be paid this season.

Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com is trying to figure out why the secondary struggled at times last season. "Therein lies the problem with diagnosing exactly what ailed the Packers’ pass defense – which for the season ranked fifth in the NFL, as part of a defense that ranked No. 2 overall – in those games," writes Wilde. "Was it a scheme issue? Or was it simply that the secondary was without a key player in three of those four losses?" I think it was primarily a personnel issue last year, a team that was forced to play backups that just weren't up to par.

One statistic about running back Ryan Grant really surprised me. "Last year, Grant's playing time was 57.5%, almost exactly what it was in 2008. That ranked 14th among backs in the National Football League, a far cry from Chris Johnson (86.1%), Matt Forte (82.4%), Maurice Jones-Drew (81.4%), Steven Jackson (80.6%), Ray Rice (75.1%), Frank Gore (73.8%) and Fred Jackson (70.9%)," writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Considering Grant has gotten a very large majority of the carries among the running backs, I would have thought his playing time would have been more. This tells me one thing. When Grant is on the field, the Packers run quite often.

Some interesting information on outside linebacker Robert Francois is provided by Pete Dougherty of the Press-Gazette. "The Packers are looking for one of four unheralded players to show something in training camp: street free-agent Robert Francois, who at about 250 pounds looked much better this offseason than while playing almost 20 pounds heavier last year on the Packers’ practice squad; second-year pro Cyril Obiozor, who as an undrafted rookie was bumped up from the practice squad to the 53-man roster two weeks after Kampman’s injury; and undrafted rookies Frank Zombo (6-3, 254) and John Russell (6-3, 260)," writes Dougherty. I never knew Francois was so heavy last season. It's possible that he could be one of the more pleasant surprises of training camp.

Mike Spofford of the Packers official website generally acknowledges that the Packers will probably either keep four tight ends or three fullbacks. "Back in Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s first season of 2006, the Packers made the unusual move of keeping four tight ends on the 53-man roster coming out of training camp," writes Spofford on Packers.com. "Then last year, they made the equally unusual move of keeping three fullbacks." Of course, most people agree that keeping three fullbacks is highly unlikely once again, but it will be interesting to see if the Packers keep four tight ends.

The format of the annual Family Night scrimmage is laid out by Paige Pearson of WLUK-TV in Green Bay. "Typically, the Packers run about 65 plays throughout the scrimmage," writes Pearson. "Recently, the first two minute drill has featured the number offense versus the number one defense. Then, the number two’s hash it out. The field goal unit is next. Then, it’s the number three’s turn. Mason Crosby and company trot out for more field goal work. And, then the victory play is run through."

Both the defensive line and the linebackers are previewed by Rob Reischel of the Journal Sentinel's Insider content (subscription required).

Ol' Bag of Donuts looks at the training camp battles at some of the skill positions.

The Top 15 celebrity Packers fans are listed by Total Packers.

NFL.com is offering the opportunity to watch every NFL preseason football game streaming live online for about $40.

Pocket Doppler gives some reason for optimism.

That's all for today. I'm headed out to the shareholders meeting and the commish's Q&A.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (16) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Damn these daily links are great. I'm close to deleting about half of my favorites... no need to go there.

GBP 4 LAZNIBBLE

CSS's picture

I realize J. Finley is under contract through 2011, but it looks like the bar has been set by the new Gates deal provided Finley continues to ascend:

Antonio Gates: "..... a reported $36.175 million—with over $20 million in guarantees.."

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Gates-deal-shows-true-value-of-the-T...

Just food-for-thought, I'm expecting that negotiation to be difficult if his career path projection continues.

FITZCORE1252's picture

LOL. That's the first thing I thought of when I saw Gates got his new deal...

#88's gonna want some serious $$$ in the not-so-distant-future. If his play is where we expect it to be, it will be warranted. But will Ted pay a TE that kind of $$$ (the Gates deal is the richest in history for a TE. A TE who's end is closer to his beginning I might add, unlike J-Fin)? We know he covets his draft picks and building from within... it should be interesting to see how this shakes out.

GBP 4 LIFE

FITZCORE1252's picture

"A TE who’s end is closer to his beginning"

"'Than' his beginning". Miss the edit button!

PackersRS's picture

I have to say, the money issue with Finley immediately came to mind when we drafted Quarless... Just saying

Tarynfor12's picture

Another reason Lee is gone and Havner is the #2 low cost guy.Finley gets his,Quarless is signed and Havner is forced to perform for two years before he even asks for another brat and beer.Just read between the lines guys.We'll get what can for Lee before the season starts.

CSS's picture

If Lee is, as you believe, the #4 TE on the roster than he has '0' trade value.

Biggest problem for your theory, this offense requires a TE that can block. Finley is learning, but not there yet. Hayvner can't, and Quarless isn't even close and won't be until at least his 2nd year. Lee is the only proven blocking TE on the roster. Unless he totally whiffs in camp he's on the roster.

Tarynfor12's picture

C'mon,he is recognized by teams as the # 2 TE on GB,but that never stops the leaking of a trade thought.No one is standing on a corner twirling a trade sign with his name on it,but the word gets out that offers(legitimate)will be addressed.
Besides,I never said he WAS the #4 TE,just he is better trade value at this time and would benefit the Pack to get it now.

cole's picture

The only player I could see us trading away is Flynn. If he wows in preseason and someone's QB goes down, but even that is a stretch.

Tarynfor12's picture

Trading Flynn is a stretch,no moronic.Why would we trade the only back-up we have that has any idea of our offense.
Let's keep a TE and a RB that can only block,Lee and Jackson.
There comes a time when....you have to let go.

CSS's picture

Al Davis and the Raiders, for the 2nd year in a row, have signed their #9 pick (Rolando McClain) to a higher premium/increase over the prior year and outside of the slotting system. Last year, they did the same with Heyward-Bey and screwed the teams to follow.

Not saying Bulaga's agent will do it, but if I were an agent this could mean incrementally more money for each proceeding pick, all the way up to #23. I hope the agent isn't a greedy bastard, but it created lengthy hold-outs whent he Raiders did this last year.

I bet the other owners are pissed....

PackersRS's picture

Al Davis does things just to piss people off. He's a douchebag.

Tarynfor12's picture

I couldn't care less what the "douchebag in Oak" does,we need Bulaga period and please nobody say we don't because of money.

CSS's picture

Where did anybody state/imply we don't need Bulaga? Everybody wants every pick in camp on time. Al Davis may have made it a bit more difficult by severly overpaying for the #9 overall pick. Agents try to maximize their clients rookie contract and a good agent for any pick proceeding #9 (all the way up to #23) may think there's more guaranteed money to be had.

Tarynfor12's picture

The inference was to not quivel,but to get him in camp.Hence by allowing his agent to hold him out is detrimental.The Packers were holding their breath at draft hoping for the OL help we needed,and now he is ours and knew we would have to pay.

cole's picture

The raiders would have been to the playoffs by now if it weren't for Davis. Just die already.

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