Money's on the line

Packers make sizeable commitment to offensive lineman

Judging by the two-year contract that the Packers gave offensive lineman Kevin Barry this week, he will get every chance to start at guard this season.

Barry re-signed with the Packers on Tuesday and received a $600,000 signing bonus and $600,000 roster bonus, according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The total amount of the deal is $2.785 million.

Offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski and head coach Mike McCarthy indicated this week that they will give the fifth-year pro will get an opportunity that he didn't have under Mike Sherman. In Sherman's offense, Barry played mainly as a tight end in the team's "U-71" package.

"I want him to compete and see what the guy can do," Jagodzinski told the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "Get him in the offseason program and put him through the paces and see what the guy can do."

Barry is scheduled to receive base salaries of $625,000 in 2006 and $910,000 in '07. In addition, Barry can receive $25,000 each year of the deal if he attends 85% of the team's off-season workouts that run from March through June.

The contract Barry received is far above any deal that he was given in previous seasons, meaning the Packers are serious about him challenging Will Whitticker and Scott Wells for a starting spot at guard. It is unlikely that he'll compete for a tackle position against mainstays Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher.

Last year, the Packers gave free agent Adrian Klemm an $800,000 bonus as part of a two-year, $2.6 million deal. Klemm was inserted into the starting lineup in place of the departed Mike Wahle, but never met expectations and lost his job to Wells.

Barry's experience playing guard while at the University of Arizona will help his chances to start for the Packers.


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