Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to you all...
As a result of the San Francisco 49ers qualifying for the Super Bowl, the Green Bay Packers will have another representative in the Pro Bowl. "Packers G Josh Sitton has been added to the NFC Pro Bowl roster," writes Mike Spofford of Packers.com. "Sitton was a first alternate at guard, and he was named to the team on Sunday when the 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl. San Francisco G Mike Iupati — a Pro Bowl starter for the NFC — will not be participating in the all-star game." Sitton will join Jeff Saturday as the only Packers players in the game. Over the weekend, Clay Matthews pulled out of the Pro Bowl citing injury, joining Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers' restricted free agents are looked at by Bill Huber of Packer Report, and cornerback Sam Shields is identified as a top priority. "Let’s say the Packers give Shields the first-round tender," writes Huber. "If Shields isn’t offered a contract by another team, he’d play next season for $2.879 million. If Shields were to receive a contract offer from another team, the Packers could match that contract and Shields would play for Green Bay under the terms of that deal. If the Packers were to decide not to match that deal, they’d receive a first-round draft pick as compensation." The Packers' other restricted free agents are center Evan Dietrich-Smith, tight end Tom Crabtree and linebackers Rob Francois and Frank Zombo.
In his season-ending analysis of the Green Bay Packers, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel made some waves by calling the Packers a "soft" team. "The Packers showed their consistency in another area. They're a soft football team, and in a sport that forever favors the tough, soft is a very, very bad thing to be," writes McGinn. Also getting some attention was McGinn's comments on a fan base that has perhaps become "spoiled" and Lambeau Field not being an intimidating venue.
The year in review comes from Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
The Packers are represented at the Senior Bowl this week, and the Scott Wright at DraftCountdown.com caught the following amusing exchange between general manager Ted Thompson and a player prospect on Sunday. "Massive Georgia NT John Jenkins is an easy guy to spot and I’ll be interested to see what he weighs in at tomorrow after being listed at 358 pounds on the official roster," writes Wright. "At one point Jenkins was joking around with Packers GM Ted Thompson and an unidentified Bears employee and the table of Krispy Kreme doughnuts were mentioned followed by a round of laughs." Whether the Packers are interested in adding another nose tackle-type body is a question worthy of debate. They could definitely use help on the defensive line, but might they need more of a pass rusher instead?
The outside linebacker position is reviewed at Packer Report.
The future of running back Cedric Benson is discussed at Lombardi Ave.
Brian Carriveau is the author of "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and an editor at Cheesehead TV. To contact Brian, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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