Jenkins inks big deal; Favre has surgery

Favre undergoes successful ankle surgery in Green Bay; Jenkins contract worth $15 million; Rams to release Timmerman

Defensive end Cullen Jenkins signed a long-term deal with the Green Bay Packers today, the Packers announced.

Jenkins, who was scheduled to become a restricted free agent on Friday, will be entering his fourth season with the Packers. He took over as the team's starting defensive end in place of Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila late last season. He got 3 1/2 of his career-high 6 1/2 sacks as a regular on base downs and playing inside on passing downs in Green Bay's final four games of the season. That highlighted what has been a steady, quiet climb toward the first-team defense for Jenkins, who was cut by the Packers at the end of training camp in 2003, then made the team as a free agent in 2004.

"It's big," Jenkins said. "It was the number-one priority for me going into the off-season, to hopefully be able to sign some type of long-term deal here. Just able to make it happen. It's a big relief. It's big for me and my family."

One published report indicated that Jenkins received a four-year deal worth $15 million. It includes a signing bonus of around $6 million and will pay Jenkins $6.8 million in 2007.

The Packers were expected to tender Jenkins, 26, a contract which ensures them the right to match any deal he signs in free agency, or receive a high draft pick as compensation, if a long-term deal could not be completed before Friday. Jenkins would have received either $1.3 million or $1.85 million this year had he signed a first-round or second-round tender offer submitted by the Packers, but he is happy with the security of a multi-year deal.

"Every other year it was just a one year contract, so I'm constantly fighting, and having to worry about putting up the stats and numbers for next year's contract, or having to do this for next year," Jenkins said. "Now I feel I can relax a little bit and not worry so much about playing for contracts, just to play for the team."

Jenkins, however, vowed that he's not about to rest on his laurels and let up after receiving his big deal.

"I don't want to be one of those guys that are like ‘He got his contract and he shut it down,'" Jenkins said. "Now you want to be the guy, like (Aaron) Kampman did, he got his contract and showed that he's worth every bit of it. I want people to look at me and say the same thing."

Kampman signed off on a four-year, $21 million contract on March 10, 2006, then went out and piled up a career-high 15.5 sacks (second in the NFL) and 113 tackles (tops among Packers linemen). He also had numerous quarterback pressures, forced three fumbles, recovered one fumble, and broke up a pass. As a result, he was named to his first Pro Bowl.

Favre surgery goes well
The snowstorm that hit Green Bay on Sunday did not delay Brett Favre's scheduled ankle surgery. The Packers' quarterback underwent surgery this morning at a Green Bay hospital and all went well, according to Thompson.

"The procedure went as expected and he is recovering at this time," Thompson said in a statement. "We expect no complications and that he will be cleared to participate in offseason workouts similar to his schedule in 2006."

Favre was expected to have bone chips in his left ankle removed. He had scheduled the surgery for Jan. 1, a day after the regular season ended, but put it off until today.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said on Friday that it will take Favre about 10 weeks to recover from the surgery. Favre is expected to be ready to take part in the team's full-squad minicamp, which begins on May 18.

Rams to release ex-Packers guard
The St. Louis Rams today informed guard Adam Timmerman he will be released. Timmerman was due a $200,000 roster bonus March 4 and his salary this season was set to be $2.2 million.

Timmerman, who played for the Packers from 1995 to '98 and started on Green Bay's Super Bowl teams, had played in 184 consecutive games until injuring his ribs during the 2006 season. His streak was snapped when he was inactive for the Rams' Dec. 17 game at Oakland. Richie Incognito replaced him at right guard, and started the final three games of the season, all Rams victories.

Assuming the Rams do not use a pre-June 2 designation on Timmerman, he will count $2.2 million against the 2007 salary cap (two years of $1.1M prorated bonus). If not released, Timmerman, who completed his 12th NFL season, would count $3.5M against the cap.

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