Paup wants to retire as a Packer

Former linebacker Bryce Paup, a four-time Pro Bowl selection who led the league in sacks in 1995, wants to come home again.<P>

Paup, 34, has contacted the Packers and requested to formally retire as a member of the Green Bay Packers.

"I want to let people know that I didn't want to go. I loved playing here," said Paup, who lives on a 7-acre farm outside DePere. "The Packers gave me the chance to play in the NFL. The treated me well. I always thought I was going to be a Packer."

The team intends to make him a Packer in retirement, according to director of pro personnel Reggie McKenzie.

"(Mike Sherman) won't have any problem with that but he doesn't want to do anything like that unless it's in the off-season," McKenzie told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "We'd sign him and cut him the next day. Coach wants to have the right time."

Paul was the Packers' sixth-round draft choice out of Northern Iowa in 1990. He played five seasons here, including his outstanding 1994 season when he started 18 games and tallied 9.5 sacks, four interceptions, 100 tackles, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. That season concluded with his first Pro Bowl berth.

Those impressive numbers came at the right time for Paup, but not for the Packers. Green Bay lost the linebacker to free agency when Buffalo offered Paup a three-year, $7.6 million deal.

"One thing I really didn't like is I wanted to be here when they won it again," Paup said. "I had a feeling that staff was going to win it."

Paup played three seasons in Buffalo where he led the league in sacks (17.5) in 1995 and was named AP Player of the Year. He departed for Jacksonville and a $22 million deal in 1998. Jacksonville cut Paup in 2000 and the linebacker signed with Minnesota. Paup was out of football in 2001.

Paup is in the Green Bay area to stay, he said. He lives on his Wisconsin farm with his wife Denise and their four children. He and his brother-in-law recently started a construction company here.

"I don't need a big fanfare. I'm living in town and would like to retire as a Packer.

"Green Bay's not too big. I have a nice church and found a nice school for my kids. It's just a nice place to live."

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