UPDATE: Make it a six pack: Carroll signs

When sixth-round draft choice Corey Williams agreed on his contract with the Green Bay Packers on Saturday, he rushed to the practice field before signing the dotted line.

For first-round pick Ahmad Carroll, there was no need to rush to practice. That's because Packers coach/general manager Mike Sherman elected to held the just-signed cornerback out of defensive drills during Monday morning's training camp opener.

Carroll, a cornerback from Arkansas taken 25th overall, flew to Green Bay on Sunday night and signed with the team Monday morning. According to various reports, Carroll signed a six-year contract, but that sixth year is easily voidable should he play a certain percentage of downs. The de facto five-year deal is worth a little more than $7 million, most of which was paid up front with a $3.95 million signing bonus and a $300,000 roster bonus.

With Carroll in camp, the Packers have signed all six draft picks.

With the exception of about 15 minutes of kick-blocking drills, Carroll watched Monday morning's practice from the sideline but received his first taste of training camp in the afternoon session. Carroll completed a mandatory conditioning test before the morning practice, and Sherman didn't want Carroll to exert himself any more than that.

"I was just concerned with the late-night flight and the anxiousness of trying to come out here and prove to everybody what he's capable of doing ... that he might stiffen up after the test," Sherman explained. "I didn't want to give him anything that would jeopardize an injury."

Carroll obviously was happy that negotiations were wrapped up, and was looking forward to the afternoon practice.

"(It was) kind of fun but I didn't get an opportunity to get out there and practice. It kind of felt good just being here but I was a little anxious to get out there and play," Carroll said.

He got his chance in the afternoon and held up well, including breaking up a Brett Favre-to-Javon Walker aerial.

The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Carroll was a three-time all-Southeastern Conference performer. In his three seasons, he tallied 140 tackles, broke up 25 passes and made four interceptions. Sherman is gambling Carroll's speed will make up for his less-than-desired height.

Talks dragged on in part because of the death of vice president of football operations Mark Hatley. Sherman and chief negotiator Andrew Brandt flew to Tulsa, Okla., for Friday's funeral. Sherman credited Carroll's agent, Eugene Parker, for getting things done as quickly as possible under the circumstances.

"I wasn't overly concerned. Obviously anxious to get it done," Sherman said. "Eugene Parker, his agent, did a great job making sure it did get done. Because of the events of last week and how things transpired, things were put off on our end. They did a nice job of working with us and I complement Eugene for getting it done the way he did. He's a classy guy."

With Mike McKenzie a continued no-show, an opportunity to grab a starting job as a rookie lies in front of Carroll. Asked if being a starter this season is his goal, Carroll said: "Of course, but I just want to help my team. My main focus is being a piece to the puzzle, fitting right in and doing what I'm supposed to do."

Carroll said he'd rather have McKenzie in camp as a mentor, but he says he'll learn from watching the other veterans.

"I would love for him to be here," Carroll said. "He's a great player and he had a real good year last year, but with Al Harris here and Darren Sharper and the rest of my secondary here, and Mark Roman, and just having coach Schottenheimer and those guys, (they) are doing a great job of helping me become a good athlete."

Speaking of McKenzie, Sherman won't be speaking about McKenzie until something newsworthy happens.

"In regard to Mike, I've talked about Mike and talked about Mike, and until something happens with Mike one way or another, I'm just going to talk about the players that are here," Sherman said. "... I really don't have a whole lot to say about it, and when I do I'll give it to you. I'd rather talk about the guys who are here, practicing, and helping us win a championship."

As expected, Sherman placed cornerback Chris Johnson and defensive end Eric Powell on the physically-unable-to-perform list. Johnson is coming back from an injury to his right knee suffered during last year's training camp. While rehabilitating, Johnson suffered a stress fracture in the same knee. Powell also has a knee injury.


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