QB Brett Favre reported to Packers minicamp and insists he did not request a trade -- contrary to some reports -- following the Packers' failure to trade for WR Randy Moss. "I do want to clear up this trade issue, non-issue as I call it," Favre started. "Never was a trade ever mentioned, requested. I just don't know where it came from. That's not true." Moss wound up being dealt from Oakland to New England on Day 2 of the draft.
Favre, who received some heat for considering skipping the mandatory minicamp in order to plan his daughter's high school graduation party, conceded before stepping out on the indoor practice field May 18 and picking up a football for the first time since the end of last season that he had no other choice but to show his face. Otherwise, "it becomes even a bigger issue. To be totally honest with you, 17 years (of playing in the league), I just really didn't want to come. ... They're kind of boring," Favre said of minicamps. "What has been said and done is over. I think the best way to do that is to move forward. There's no hard feelings. I want to win, regardless of who's on this team or not on this team. Hopefully, we're all in this together.
Rookie RB Brandon Jackson wasn't with the team for the mandatory full-squad minicamp May 18-20. Jackson was all but required to be in Los Angeles for EA Sports' 2007 Reebok NFL Rookie Premier. The annual promotional function included 30 skill players on offense who were taken on the first day of the NFL Draft last month.
Jackson earned $12,000 for the weekend appearance, but he wanted no part of it. The second-round draft pick wanted to be in Green Bay for the minicamp. However, the NFL Management Council ruled that Jackson either had to be at the Rookie Premier, as mandated in the collective-bargaining agreement, or sit out the minicamp. "They literally locked him out of camp," Jackson's agent, Gary Wichard, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "The team is not allowed to have him. I think it's ridiculous." Jackson's absence could set him back as a prime contender for the starting halfback spot. Jackson participated in the team's rookie orientation camp two weeks earlier. Team personnel, though, were eager to get a better gauge of the former part-time starter at Nebraska with the veterans on the field.
LB Lance Briggs didn't attend the Bears' most recent minicamp. Briggs is dissatisfied with his status as the Bears' franchise player and the $7.2 million salary that comes with the designation, and is threatening to stay away as long as it takes to get a multi-year deal or a trade.
TE Greg Olsen was fortunate to have his older brother Christian with him during the recent rookie minicamp, and not just because it provided the tight end with a familiar quarterback throwing him the ball. It was also beneficial off the field.
"I was lucky I was able to work with my brother (because) this was actually his offense in college, so he knew a lot of it," Greg said. "So before we came in, I had a playbook, and he was able to teach me a lot of stuff because this terminology to me was like Chinese. They could've been speaking a different language. "But to him it made a lot of sense. Any time you study with someone who knows it already and they can kind of teach you in layman's terms rather than just reading it out of a book, it always makes it easier. He's a quarterback, and they know a lot more than the rest of us. They're supposed to know a lot more than me." Christian Olsen, who played sparingly at Virginia, was one of about two dozen players who received tryout invitations for the weekend.
Rookie RB Garrett Wolfe signed a four-year, $2.29 million deal with the Bears. Wolfe, a third-round pick, was the first member of the 2007 NFL Draft class to sign with a team. Wolfe received a $623,000 signing bonus.
RB Adrian Peterson will not need surgery on his collarbone this season, barring further injury. Peterson, the standout running back from Oklahoma, slipped to the Vikings with the seventh-overall pick in last month's draft in part because teams were concerned he might need a surgical procedure on his left collarbone that would have kept him out for six months. However, a series of tests performed by the Vikings doctors showed the injury has been healing on its own. That means Peterson will be able to participate in the Vikings' Organized Team Activities, which begin May 22.
"At this point we are not overly concerned that it's not going to heal in a normal way," said Dr. Joel Boyd, the Vikings' new orthopedic physician. "I'm not anticipating that he's going to require surgery for it. At this point in time, it looks like it will progress to heal on its own completely."
DE Erasmus James had made "great progress," in his recovery and rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, according to trainer Eric Sugarman.
"He's showing every indication that he'll be out there for training camp when we go to Mankato," Sugarman said. James was injured early last season.
NT Pat Williams, who was placed on the physically unable to perform list last summer after arriving at training camp weighing 337 pounds, said he is currently at 327 and needs to lose only two more pounds to get to the weight the Vikings want him at for the start of training camp.
OL Damien Woody said he weighed 338 pounds. That means he has lost 40 pounds this off-season but still has 23 to go to reach his goal of 315. He says he's eating a lot of fruit and vegetables.
"I think the most important thing is, I feel good," Woody said. "I feel good about where I'm at and the direction I'm going. I'm just going to continue to work." He'd better. He is competing not just for a starting job, but for a spot on the roster.
WR Calvin Johnson, the second overall pick in this year's draft, made the most impressive play of minicamp -- a one-handed grab during one-on-one drills with defensive backs.
"I'm sure that he'll continue to surprise us all the time with what he can do," offensive coordinator Mike Martz said. Quarterback Jon Kitna praised Johnson after just one practice. "He doesn't have a quizzical look on his face," Kitna said. "Coming out of the huddle, bam, he's out there. You see guys who've been in it for a year and they still have that kind of 'I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to do' look, but he doesn't have that. So he's either fooling us or he knows what he's doing."