All six draft picks remain unsigned

Mark Hatley was a busy man on his final day. <p> With none of the Packers' six draft picks signed, Hatley offered his services to chief negotiator Andrew Brandt.

"Monday night, he stopped by and checked on how we were doing with the rookies," Brandt said after Wednesday's shareholders meeting. "He asked if he could help, asked if he could call anyone.

"Then, he said, ‘I'm going to play golf.' It was 6 o'clock. And he died hours later."

Meanwhile, Hatley held some trade talks with the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins lost star running back Ricky Williams to a stunning retirement last week. The Packers, meanwhile, are loaded at running back. Second-stringer Najeh Davenport, who played his collegiate ball at Miami, could be just the remedy for the Dolphins. Like Williams, Davenport is a punishing runner, and that's just the style Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt prefers.

"I don't think it was too hot," Brandt said of the talks.

As for signing the draft choices, things are heating up as the clock winds down to the start of training camp Friday.

"I guess I'm cautiously optimistic," Brandt said. "I'm trying to give the coaches and the players their best chance to be successful.

"We're working on them. We feel like a couple are really close (to being finalized)."

Not surprisingly, Brandt said talks are furthest from completion with first-round draft pick Ahmad Carroll. In a positive note, however, the 24th pick in the draft, running back Steven Jackson, has signed with the St. Louis Rams for five years and $7 million, including a $2.05 million signing bonus. Carroll was selected with the 25th pick.

Carroll's agent is Eugene Parker. Parker is the agent for the 26th pick, Cincinnati running back Chris Perry.

"That's obviously the hardest one," Brandt said. "Eugene Parker has four first-round picks, and not one has signed yet. So, we know what we're dealing with.

"Hopefully, something happens here pretty soon. We've had good discussions."

In Brandt's five years with the Packers, about the only substantial rookie holdout was second-rounder Chad Clifton missing the first six days of training camp in 2000. First-rounder Nick Barnett signed after the first practice last year.

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