Hawk's deal could upset Harris even more

You think Al Harris is ticked off about his pay now? Wait till rookie linebacker A.J. Hawk signs his new deal, says PackerReport.com's Doug Ritchay. Hawk has yet to sign, but when he does, Harris will be bumped further down the ladder among the team's highest-paid defenders.

We all know Packers cornerback Al Harris is whining this off-season about a contract which over the life of it pays him almost $19 million over five seasons.

Poor boy, how can he put food on the table?

His anger likely stems from Charles Woodson signing a seven-year, $39 million deal with the Packers. Many would argue Harris is better than Woodson, who has had a problem staying healthy.

Still, isn't that Harris' signature on the deal? I always get frustrated by pro athletes when they want to renegotiate a contract after playing a good season or two. What happens when they stink up the joint for a season or two? Is Ahmad Carroll going into GM Ted Thompson's office and asking for a pay cut? No, he's going to continue to "steal." But have a breakthrough season and these guys come running through the door like William Henderson bulls through a linebacker. There's no stopping them.

This leads me to Packers first-round pick A.J. Hawk. The fifth player selected in the draft is expected to make an impact from Day 1, be a stud for years and help the Packers get back to respectability. Nonetheless, Hawk has done nothing in the NFL, yet. However, when he signs his contract, he's likely going to make Harris' hair stand, and that's saying something. Last year's fifth pick, Tampa Bay's Carnell Williams, signed a five-year, $30 million deal, which included a $13 million signing bonus.

Hawk's deal will be similar, meaning another defensive player will be making more money than Harris, who throughout his Packers career has been a quality player.

Harris may be underpaid in regards to others in his profession, but nobody forged his signature.

Doug Ritchay

Editor's note: Doug Ritchay is a longtime sportswriter and former Packers beat writer for the Green Bay News-Chronicle. E-mail at dritchay@sbcglobal.net.

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