O'Dwyer officially signs deal

The Green Bay Packers made it official Thursday and signed unrestricted free agent guard Matt O'Dwyer to a one-year contract.<p>

O'Dwyer, 32, received the veteran minimum of $765,000, including a $25,000 signing bonus. He is a 10-year veteran from Northwestern with 105 career starts, but just one in the last two seasons.

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.

O'Dwyer has blocked on lines that produced a 1,000-yard rusher in seven of his 10 NFL seasons (Adrian Murrell 1996-97, Curtis Martin 1998 and Corey Dillon 1999-2002). He also helped Dillon to break Walter Payton's single-game NFL record, a 278-yard performance vs. Denver, Oct. 22, 2000 (since surpassed by Jamal Lewis in 2003).

Originally selected by the Jets in the second round (33rd overall) of the 1995 NFL Draft, O'Dwyer started 64 consecutive games at guard for the Jets (1996-98) and Bengals (1999). In 2002, he was Cincinnati's only player on the field for every snap. Overall, O'Dwyer has played 122 regular-season games (105 starts), as well as two postseason starts, both in 1998 when the Jets nearly advanced to Super Bowl XXXIII.

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