Packers notebook

Davenport, Taylor, Cundiff get minimum wage deals

Najeh Davenport and Ben Taylor each signed one-year deals for the minimum salary of $585,000 earlier this week. Both have been slowed by injuries in recent years.

Davenport drew interest from Miami and Oakland but decided to stay put and compete for the lead role at halfback, which isn't necessarily Ahman Green's.

Both Green (torn thigh tendon) and Davenport (broken ankle) are on the comeback trail after sustaining season-ending injuries in October last year.

Neither player is expected to be ready until the start of training camp in late July, at which time Green, Davenport and last year's rookie surprise, Samkon Gado, will sort out the pecking order heading into the season.

The 6-foot-2, 238-pound Taylor started every game last season as an inside linebacker in the Browns' 3-4 scheme. The four-year veteran, though, sided with the Packers over remaining in his home state of Ohio because he'll have the chance to compete for a starting spot in a 4-3 front that suits him better.

The Packers will try the athletic Taylor on the strong side as they seek a replacement for Na'il Diggs, whom they cut in early March.

Up until last season, however, Taylor's pro career has been sidetracked by a gamut of injuries.

-- The signing of former Dallas kicker Billy Cundiff to a one-year, minimum-wage deal March 27 certainly isn't the answer to replacing all-time leading scorer, Ryan Longwell, who signed a lucrative contract with division rival Minnesota early in free agency.

Cundiff, a four-year veteran, will get an opportunity to make an early first impression on the new coaching staff in off-season activities the next 2 1/2 months. Yet, the Packers figure to create a competitive atmosphere by bringing in another kicker or two.

The big knock on Cundiff is he isn't in Longwell's league as an efficient field-goal kicker. He made just 73.2 percent of his kicks (60-for-82) with the Cowboys, who cut him twice last season.

The Packers claimed Cundiff off waivers from Tampa Bay, who had signed him in February to protect itself against the possible loss of free agent Matt Bryant. However, Bryant re-signed with the Bucs, making Cundiff expendable.

-- Coach Mike McCarthy indicated at the league meetings that the team is in discussions with Kansas City to hold a joint workout during training camp this year. Both teams train in Wisconsin, though it's unclear whether the Packers will remain in Green Bay or travel to the Chiefs' site in River Falls.

The Packers held a joint workout with Buffalo in Green Bay last year, and the Bills participated in Green Bay's early-preseason scrimmage at Lambeau Field. A similar arrangement could be made with the Chiefs.

"Knowing (new Chiefs coach) Herman (Edwards) and those guys, I think it would be excellent work for both teams," said McCarthy, a onetime Kansas City assistant.

-- Right guard Will Whitticker received a windfall of $212,307 in the league's Performance Based Pay system, ranking 12th among player distributions.

Whitticker, a seventh-round draft pick last year, started 14 games as Rivera's replacement.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I feel like it's Groundhog Day. I've been answering the question the same way for two months. The ($3 million roster) bonus, that's pretty much the goal we're trying to set (for a decision). Obviously, you keep moving back the date, (but) there's a reason behind the date. So, we would definitely like to know as soon as possible." -- Head coach Mike McCarthy on waiting out quarterback Brett Favre to finally make a decision about his playing future.


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