Report: Packers sign guard O'Dwyer

Hold the fort on that projected starting guard duo of Adrian Klemm and Grey Ruegamer.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Packers have signed unrestricted free agent guard Matt O'Dwyer. The 10-year veteran from Northwestern with 105 career starts — but just one in the last two seasons — agreed to a contract worth the veteran's minimum of $765,000. Under league rules meant to encourage teams to sign older players, O'Dwyer will count only $455,000 against the cap.

While the Packers have not confirmed the signing, O'Dwyer almost certainly compete with Ruegamer for the starting job. Like Ruegamer and the player they will try to replace, Marco Rivera, O'Dwyer is known as a hard-nosed player who gets by more on grit and power than athleticism.

If Klemm's injury history resurfaces, O'Dwyer would give the Packers a veteran candidate to play left guard.

Up until a couple of injury-plagued seasons, O'Dwyer had been a fixture in the starting lineups in Cincinnati and the New York Jets.

Last season, during his first year in Tampa Bay, O'Dwyer tore a pectoral muscle while weight lifting and missed the first 12 games of the season. In 2003 with Cincinnati, he again missed 12 games, starting just one game due to plantar fasciitis, a painful heel injury.

He started all 16 games in 2002 with Cincinnati, and started all 16 games in each season from 1996-99.


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