Packers can get by without Jackson

Count Grady Jackson as the latest fool attempting to use the threat of a holdout as leverage against the Green Bay Packers. The big, oft-injured nose tackle wants more money and is using super agent Drew Rosenhaus to do his dirty work. Good luck, Grady.

Jackson has a year remaining on the two-year, $2.31 million contract extension that he signed with the Packers near the end of the 2003 season. But Rosenhaus says that his new client is "very dissatisfied" with his current deal and might not report to training camp unless the Packers rework it.

Jackson, 32, may have been able to get away with his stunt earlier in his career, but not now. He is entering his ninth season, which is about three times as many seasons as most defensive linemen last in the NFL because of the position. Ask Gilbert Brown. Nose tackles are hit from all angles on every play. Before they know it, they are on the operating table and often more than once. Jackson missed six games last season after he sustained a knee cap injury in the season opener that required off-season surgery.

Jackson has value. He can be a force in the middle, when healthy, and can help the Packers win. If he plays well this season, he would be in line for a better deal. Heck, even if he gets off to a good start, the Packers likely will try to extend his contract.

However, Jackson is coming off surgery and is on the downside of his career. He didn't participate in any of the off-season minicamp practices because of his sore knees. Listed at 345 pounds but likely much heavier, weight has always been an issue with Jackson.

If Jackson holds out, the Packers have at least three younger players – James Lee, Corey Williams and Donnell Washington – who are chomping at the bit to start. If Cletidus Hunt wakes up and decides to report to camp and play, he also will be in the mix.

The Packers cannot cave in to Jackson's demands. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Jackson, who was represented by James "Bus" Cook until June 23, is seeking a deal similar to a few other veteran defensive lineman. According to the Journal Sentinel, Pat Williams, 32, was a free agent who signed a three-year, $13 million deal with Minnesota that includes $6 million in bonuses. Ted Washington, 37, was a free agent last year when he signed a four-year deal with Oakland for $14 million, including $4 million in bonuses.

Rosenhaus also was hired by wide receiver Javon Walker and running back Najeh Davenport this off-season. Walker, who has two seasons remaining on his contract, failed to report to any of the team's off-season minicamps and is threatening to hold out of training camp. Davenport, who signed a restricted free agent tender in April, attended both minicamps and says he will not hold out.

Walker is another fool who is allowing greed to impede his progress as a football player and relationship with the team and fans who support him.

Jackson has to prove that he is recovered from his knee surgery before he can stick his hand out for more money. So far, he hasn't neither shown new defensive coordinator Jim Bates nor the Packers a thing this off-season. So, don't expect the Packers to show him the money until he's earned it.


Todd Korth

Note: Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.


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