The Packers gave Kampman the minimum tender of $656,000 in February. Kampman, who has started since early in the 2003 season for the Packers, was free to pursue offers from other teams and received a lot of interest, according to his agent Neil Cornrich. It is believed that the Vikings offered Kampman more than $1 million to play for them next season. The Packers have until Wednesday morning to decide to match Minnesota's offer. If Green Bay doesn't match the offer, it will receive Minnesota's fifth round selection in this year's NFL Draft. Kampman was drafted by the Packers in 2002.
The Packers reportedly have money under their salary cap to re-sign Kampman, about $6 million, but will need more than half of that to sign their draft picks. The Vikings entered free agency about $30 million under the NFL mandated salary cap of $85.5 million, the most of any NFL team. Though the Vikings have used most of their cap space on free agents, they obviously still have enough to sign Kampman. But even if the Packers match Minnesota's offer, the Vikings will have successfully put another chink into Green Bay's delicate cap space.
Green Bay coach Mike Sherman and defensive coordinator Jim Bates like Kampman. They like his work ethic, experience and character. The Packers cannot afford to let him go. Green Bay's defense needs all the help it can get. Losing Kampman to the Vikings would no doubt come back to haunt the Packers.
The Packers will keep Kampman, but at a higher price than expected, and the Vikings will be giddy.
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