Hawk, Packers agree to terms

First-round draft pick A.J. Hawk was not at practice as the Packers opened their 2006 training camp on Friday evening, but the linebacker has agreed to a multi-year deal with the team. Hawk is expected to begin practicing on Saturday.

"We hope to have him here tomorrow," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.

Hawk, the fifth pick of the draft, reportedly agreed to a six-year, $37.5 million contract. The Associated Press reported that Hawk's deal could be worth up to $40 million under a contract clause that could boost his sixth-year salary if the league's franchise tag hits a pre-determined threshold. When Hawk signs his name on the deal, all 12 of Green Bay's draft picks will be under contract. Just two hours before the early evening practice, linebacker Abdul Hodge, the first of two third-round selections, signed.

Hawk is expected to start at weak-side linebacker this season as part of a revamped linebacker corp. Hodge will start out at middle linebacker behind Nick Barnett, but likely will challenge veteran Ben Taylor as camp progresses for the strong-side linebacker position.

Free-agent guard signs
Also on Friday, the Packers signed free agent guard Siitupe Peko.

Peko is a fourth-year player who previously has spent time with four organizations. Originally selected by the New York Jets in the seventh round of the 2001 NFL Draft, Peko made his NFL debut in 2003 with the Indianapolis Colts, where he played all 27 of his NFL games, including nine starts.

Peko started eight of the first nine games for Peyton Manning and the Colts at right guard in 2004. One year earlier, he played in all 16 Indianapolis games, primarily in a reserve and special-teams role. In addition to the Colts and Jets, Peko also has appeared on preseason rosters of the Seattle Seahawks (2002) and Carolina Panthers (2005).

Peko, whose name is pronounced TOO-pay PECK-oh, has been assigned No. 64.


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