Ruegamer back in fold

Offensive lineman Grey Ruegamer, released in a salary cap move in late February, re-signed with the Green Bay Packers today.<p>

The Packers also signed safety Todd Franz, who was with the team on and off in 2002. Ruegamer, 28, restructed his contract with the Packers last year to help the team's salary cap. But he started 11 games for the injured Mike Flanagan at center and actually cost the team about $200,000 against the 2005 salary cap because of incentives that were triggered in his contract.

Ruegamer signed a three-year, $2.655 million contract ($275,000 signing bonus) as an unrestricted free agent in 2003. It is believed that he signed a one-year deal for the minimum of $540,000, plus a modest signing bonus.

Ruegamer played in 30 Packers games the last two seasons, as the top backup on the interior of the offensive line. A 6-foot-4, 305-pound veteran out of Arizona State, he enters his seventh season in the NFL.

Franz, 28, returns to Green Bay after three stints with the team in 2002. A 6-foot, 202-pound defensive back out of Tulsa, he first joined the Packers off the waiver wire and spent training camp in Green Bay. All told, Franz spent about five weeks on the Green Bay practice squad and two on the active roster, playing in contests at New England and vs. Washington.

A fourth-year veteran, Franz spent the last two-plus seasons in Washington, where he played in each of the Redskins' last 32 games. During a breakout 2003 campaign, he led the club in special-teams tackles with 21, and added 25 tackles (20 solo) from scrimmage, starting two contests at safety. Last season, he collected another 16 special-teams tackles, recorded five stops on defense (three solo), and intercepted his first NFL pass, Oct. 10 vs. Baltimore (Kyle Boller).

Originally drafted by the Lions in the fifth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, Franz spent time with three clubs during his rookie season, including New Orleans and Cleveland, making his NFL debut with the Saints. Out of football most of 2001, he began 2002 with the Jets, who allocated him to the Scottish Claymores for the 2002 NFL Europe season.


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