UPDATE: Packers sign DT Williams

And then there was one. <p> The Packers drew a step closer to having all their draft picks signed in time for Monday's first full practice as they agreed to terms with defensive lineman Corey Williams on Saturday.

To say Williams was excited is an understatement. Williams arrived at practice Saturday morning but hadn't signed his contract. So he had to go back to the team's Lambeau Field headquarters to sign on the dotted line before participating in drills.

"I'm excited about his enthusiasm, running out on the field prior to signing," Packers coach Mike Sherman said. "We wish they all would do that. You love that enthusiasm."

"I was up early this morning just thinking about coming to practice. It's a big relief," Williams said.

The Packers took Williams with their sixth-round selection (179th overall) out of Arkansas State. Green Bay acquired the pick from San Francisco in a draft-day trade.

Williams, 6-4, 310-pounds, is wearing No. 99, Jamal Reynolds' old number.

The defensive end/tackle was started his final three-and-a-half seasons on the defensive line at Arkansas State after seeing action at linebacker in his first two collegiate contests. A two-time all-Sun Belt Conference selection, Williams holds a school record with four sacks in a 2002 contest vs. Tulsa.

In Green Bay, he will start camp lining up at the elephant end position manned by Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila.

Williams signed a four-year deal worth $1.5 million, including a $96,500 signing bonus. With incentives, Williams could pocket $1.8 million.

Williams missed Friday's practice as negotiations continued. A sticking point was the Packers' wish for Williams to sign for four years. In the past, the Packers signed their middle- and late-round draft picks to three-year contracts, but after watching Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and Na'il Diggs almost bolt after flourishing, the Packers have elected to lengthen the rookie contracts.

To entice a signature on the longer contracts, the Packers upped the ante in regard to signing-bonus money.

Joining Williams with four-year contracts are third-round picks Joey Thomas, Donnell Washington and B.J. Sander. Seventh-round pick Scott Wells was given just a three-year contract.

Thomas, a cornerback, signed Friday morning for four years and $2.1 million, including a $720,000 signing bonus. Washington, a defensive tackle, signed late Thursday night for four years and $2.09 million, including a $710,000 bonus. Sander, a punter, signed Thursday evening for four years and almost $2 million, including a $585,000 bonus. Wells signed Thursday afternoon for three years and $942,000, including a $22,500 bonus.

With Williams and the others in the fold, the Packers have inked five of their six draft choices. Only top pick cornerback Ahmad Carroll remains unsigned. Negotiations between the Packers and Carroll's agent were delayed because Sherman and chief negotiator Andrew Brandt were among the contingent in Oklahoma for Mark Hatley's funeral. Hatley, the team's vice president of football operations, died of a heart attack at age 54 on Tuesday.

Asked if Carroll would be signed in time for the true start of training camp Monday, Sherman said: "Because of this past week, it's been difficult for us to get to that point," Sherman said. "We've gotten the other ones done, and, now, we're solely working on that one. Hopefully, we'll get it worked out."


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