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Packers Daily Links 7.28.10

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Packers Daily Links 7.28.10

On the calendar today, the Green Bay Packers Youth Football Camp enters its third day in Green Bay, Elm Grove and Madison. Among the former players helping out is linebacker Bryce Paup ...

Restricted free agent Atari Bigby signed his tender, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. "Packers safety Atari Bigby signed his tender with Green Bay today and will be at training camp on time," writes Schefter on Twitter. As I happened to note on the Cheesehead TV post, it's still unclear whether the Packers reduced his tender. In any case, Bigby is set to begin the fight to defend his starting job against rookie Morgan Burnett, which should be one of the more entertaining battles of training camp.

Continuing the debate, Kevin Seifert writes, "It's expected that Bigby will earn $1.704 million this season, assuming he makes the team." That would be the dollar amount of a reduced offer. Until official word comes down, it's only speculation.

Second-round draft choice Mike Neal's rookie contract details became public yesterday. "Per a league source, Neal received a $1.16 million dollar signing bonus, and will earn minimum base salaries throughout the next four seasons," reports Cheesehead TV's Brian McIntyre. "Those salaries are $320,000 (2010), $405,000 (2011), $490,000 (2012), and $575,000 (2013)." The amount of Neal's signing bonus wasn't unexpected. What would be unexpected is if Neal makes an impact on defense this season.

Sports Illustrated's respected Peter King doesn't think Johnny Jolly will be playing for the Packers ever again. "I think Johnny Jolly would have been one of the 10 most important players on the Packers this year and going into the future, but his yearlong suspension following his arrest in Houston makes it likely he'll never play for Green Bay again or for any other team in football," writes King. What makes King think that way is unknown. Maybe it's the fact that Jolly skipped directly to an indefinite suspension without any intermidiary steps along the way.

The circumstances that have allowed young tight end Jermichael Finley to be successful are examined by Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Finley also is blessed to be in a fully dimensional offense with a head coach willing to play to his unconventional strengths, a top young quarterback, continuity on the offensive coaching staff and a flock of wide receivers talented enough to prevent defenses from doubling him," writes McGinn. Sometimes you don't think of all these things until McGinn puts in such great perspective for you.

A trade in exchange for an offensive lineman could be a possibility acknowledges McGinn. "On paper, the Packers do seem deep," writes McGinn. "Of the 14 players in camp, only one figures to have no chance to stick. Mike McCarthy has kept nine linemen to open his first four seasons, and if things break well, the Packers might tap the surplus by acquiring a future draft choice or two via trade." For my money, the obvious answer is to trade Daryn Colledge, although I'm not adverse to other possibilities as well.

The ramifications of keeping Justin Harrell, even if he stays healthy, are discussed by Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "Even if Harrell gets through camp OK, the Packers will have to consider the risk of him aggravating his back during the season," writes Dougherty. "That’s hardly a long-shot, with the worst possible outcome that he’d wind up on injured reserve early in the season, only after the Packers had cut another player they liked, with the likelihood that the released player was picked up by another team." That's a good point. On top of just staying healthy, Harrell is going to have to really impress in August.

The player-by-player ranking of every Packer on the roster concludes with more questionable decisions from Bill Huber of Packer Report. Cornerback Tramon Williams comes in at No. 6 on the list. Huber attempts to justify his rankings, "Think this is too high for someone who could be the third corner? If the Packers could have stopped the NFL’s high-profile quarterbacks last year, they probably would have finished the regular season 14-2. That would have given them home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Even if the record remained 11-5, they certainly would have won at Arizona in the playoffs. So, cornerback is the key position if the Packers are going to make a run to the Super Bowl, which is why Williams is No. 6, Pat Lee is No. 23 and Brandon Underwood is No. 40." Williams is listed ahead of the likes of Donald Driver, Chad Clifton and Ryan Grant, which just doesn't seem right to me.  In the last installment, Aaron Rodgers predictably comes in at No. 1.

Huber also provides some insight into the rule changes for the 2010 season as highlighted by a video the league sent the Packers and the rest of the other 31 teams. "The NFL is increasing its emphasis on protecting defenseless players, especially quarterbacks in the act of passing, receivers in the act of making a catch, returners in the act of catching a kick, running backs whose forward progress has been stopped and kickers and punters after possession has changed," writes Huber. "Violations will be 15 yards for unnecessary roughness and potential discipline." I'm not sure why it's only running backs who's forward progress has been stopped and not all players, but it's likely that's just a simple omission. The enforcement of these rules makes sense. These players have a right to protect themselves. And as Huber goes onto write, it's basically hits to the head that will really be watched closely, which is sensible.

Outside linebacker Cyril Obiozor was interviewed by John Rehor of Green Bay Packer Nation. Obiozor joined the growing list of players praising safety Morgan Burnett as the rookie who has impressed the most so far. "Would have to be Burnett in my opinion I think he has had the smoothest transition so far," Obiozor is quoted as saying. You have to figure Burnett could be a special player based upon the glowing comments from his teammates thus far.

It's hypothesized that Johnny Jolly skipped multiple drug tests by Donald's Designated Driver over at All Kings of Time. "Jolly may have skipped these tests because the prosecution in his criminal case would have tried to subpoena the records and used the results against him," writes Triple D. "Given that Jolly was ordered not to use drugs or alcohol while out on bail, the NFL test could have been evidence of contempt of court." On the surface, this seems like a plausible explanation. It's possible that commissioner Roger Goodell will shed some insight on Thursday at the Q&A session with fans.

Free agents for the Packers on the horizon for next season are considered by Michael Rodney of Packer Update who thinks the Packers could use a franchise tag on Cullen Jenkins. "It’s very likely that [general manager Ted] Thompson will want to re-sign the veteran defensive lineman; the big question is whether the feeling will be mutual," writes Rodney. "For the most part, Jenkins kept quiet last season and admirably did all the dirty work that’s required of an end in the 3-4. Whether he’d voluntarily sign up for more of the same remains to be seen. We have our doubts. That’s why it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the franchise tag used – if there’s even a franchise tag to use." Makes sense, but of course, there's a long time between now and April of 2011 and a lot could change.

Jason Spitz will win the battle at left guard says Chris Lempesis at Ol' Bag of Donuts. "There are just too many issues with Colledge," writes Lempesis. "Spitz’s back is, for now, healthy, and that – combined with an advantage in talent – gives him the nod. Colledge may be playing somewhere else before the season starts. T.J. Lang would then likely serve double duty as backup left guard/backup right tackle should that happen (he’s going to be the “sixth man” for the o-line this season)." I wouldn't necessarily rule out Bryan Bulaga being a candidate at left guard either.

The possibility that the Packers could keep an undrafted rookie offensive lineman is explored by "Jersey" Al Bracco. "The Packers kept 10 offensive lineman (including snapper Bret Goode) coming out of training camp last season, along with an eleventh, Jamon Meredith, being signed to the practice squad," writes Bracco. "I would look for the Packers to try to hold onto 12 linemen this year, assuming McDonald, Campbell and draft choice Marshall Newhouse, all show evidence of the 'potential' they’ve been tagged with." McDonald, in particular, seems capable of winning a job. McGinn even comments on him in his offensive line preview.

Some of the rookies looking to make the roster are noted by Patrick Teske of Bleacher Report. "As rookies, Neal is advertised as a mountain of strength that played DT in college and now will play end in the 3-4 and C.J. Wilson is a tad lighter and expected to provide more rush perhaps in passing situations to get reps," writes Teske. "Wilson also seems to come complete with a large chip on his shoulder due to his draft position."

From a handicapping perspective, Maddux Sports breaks down the Packers schedule.

The Packer Ranter introduces us to Geoff Largefan.

Our friend to the west says he feels he owes his Vikings teammates ... something. We can only assume it's not a cheeseburger.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (2) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Asshalo's picture

"What would be unexpected is if Neal makes an impact on defense this season."

If that's true that doesn't bode well for the defense.

The Jenkins Franchise tag makes complete sense. It's not likely GB is going to acquire a DE that can contribute immediately next off-season. It's also doubtful Neal and Wilson will improve enough to provide adequate depth at DE. Jenkins may be unsatisfied playing in a 3-4 and want the stats that comes along with playing in a 4-3.

CSS's picture

Provided the definition of 'franchise tag' doesn't change with a new CBA the Packers would be required to be Jenkins no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player's position. That could be anywhere from $7 - $10 million for a guy that turns 30 this season. That's a lot of coin for a guy that's always been on the 'cusp' of dominance but hasn't quite put it all together in a full season.

I think the Packers will be in no-mans land on Jenkins. The market is sure to overpay if they don't sign/tag him and I wouldn't begrudge TT one bit if they didn't match. It's a tough decision once a player's on the sunny side of 30, a competing franchise is likely to overpay and he's probably a better fit for the 4-3 base.

It will be interesting...

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