"I can confirm the fact that Mark has been in negotiations," attorney Gerald Boyle told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Tuesday. "He has been talking offers."
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Chmura was a standout tight end for the Green Bay Packers from 1993-99. He caught 188 passes for 2,253 yards and 17 touchdowns in his career. His best season was 1995, when he caught 54 balls for 679 yards and seven touchdowns. During the Super Bowl run, he added four catches in three games.
His final game was Sept. 19, 1999, when he suffered a season-ending neck injury in a loss at Detroit.
If Boyle's name sounds familiar, it should. He was Chmura's defense attorney in the trial. Chmura was accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in the bathroom at a Waukesha prom party involving minors and alcohol. Chmura was acquitted of the third-degree sexual-assault charge on Feb. 4, 2001.
"The problem wasn't being there; the problem was not leaving," Chmura told Court TV two days after the verdict was rendered. "I should've went home, but I didn't."
The Packers cut Chmura in June 2000, citing salary-cap reasons, not the trial. After his acquittal, he spoke of his desire to resume his career.
"I can't wait," said Chmura, who participated in one minicamp following the injury but before the trial. "I cannot wait because the last full season I completed, I was the starting tight end in the NFC in the Pro Bowl. I have all the confidence in the world that I can regain that.
"My big thing is I'm not going to go out on some accusations and I'm not going to let that dictate what the rest of my life is going to be like. I don't want to call it a vengeance, but I have a fire under my you-know-what to get back and show people what I can do."
Chmura, however, retired on June 4, 2001, after the Packers showed no interest in re-signing him. The announcement came on the day he paid a $500 fine for contributing to underage drinking at the party.
Packers general manager Ron Wolf at the time said the club simply couldn't afford Chmura, especially after drafting Bubba Franks in the first round in 2000.
"We don't have room for him economically right now," Wolf said of Chmura, who had been playing under a five-year, $15 million contract. "That's basically the reason we had to let him go. He has been out for two years. It will be tough for him to make that up at his age. I wouldn't count against him, though. He has kept himself in good physical condition. If anyone could do it, he could do it."
Boyle, however, blamed the Packers' decision on the negative publicity surrounding his client.
"It seems to me in our society, if you're acquitted of something, then you're acquitted and it can never be used against you," Boyle said.
Still, Boyle said Chmura was not bitter toward the Packers. Just the opposite, in fact. His love for the Packers ran so deep that Chmura did not want to play for another team.
"He's retiring from football because I think he just doesn't want to play for anybody but the Packers," Boyle said at the time. "On balance, it was a very tough decision because he had a love of football, but he had a greater love for the Green Bay Packers. He just did not want to play for another football team, regardless."