Packers will match offer for Diggs

The Green Bay Packers are expected to match the Detroit Lions' offer sheet for linebacker Na'il Diggs, according to recent reports. Diggs, a restricted free agent, signed a four-year deal with the Lions last Sunday.<p>

The Packers, according to ESPN.com, plan to keep Diggs by matching the $10.5 million contract, which includes a signing bonus of $2.8 million. The Packers have until Sunday to match the offer.

"To tell the truth, we're thrilled with the offer sheet, because basically all the Lions did was negotiate the contract for us," one club official told ESPN.com. "It's not a (budget)-breaker, not by any means, and we're definitely matching it."

Earlier this month, restricted free agent safety Matt Bowen signed accepted a four-year, $6 million offer from the Washington Redskins that the Packers did not match.

If Green Bay decides not to match, it will receive Detroit's fourth-round draft pick as compensation because Green Bay gave Diggs the minimum tender prior to the start of free agency.

The Packers also are trying to sign defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila to a long-term contract. Gbaja-Biamila also is a restricted free agent who was tendered the second highest of three tender levels by the Packers. Both sides are reportedly negotiated at length during the NFL owners' meetings this week in Phoenix.

Diggs has started as Green Bay's strongside linebacker since his rookie season in 2000. He started all 16 regular season games and each post-season game for the second straight season, finishing with a career-high 111 tackles. He also had three interceptions, three sacks and two forced fumbles in arguably his best season. Diggs was second on the team for most plays (offense, defense and special teams) in 2002 with 1,038. Guard Mike Wahle led the Packers with 1,130 total plays.


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