Notebook: Packers working on deal for Grant

Also from Monday morning: Injury updates for the linemen, Ruvell Martin makes two great catches, Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks in Buffalo about the Brett Favre dispute.

The Green Bay Packers got down to the 80-player roster limit by placing receiver Shaun Bodiford on season-ending injured reserve with a back injury on Monday.

The Packers will need to make one more roster move once running back Ryan Grant signs. Grant, an exclusive-rights free agent who was a savior for the Packers' running game last season, remains unsigned in what appears to be a testy contract squabble. Grant wants a big payday now because, even though he's 25, he's a few years away from being an unrestricted free agent.

"The Ryan Grant thing ... he is in a remarkably unique position year-wise," general manager Ted Thompson said before hinting at some displeasure about how Grant's agent, Alan Herman, is handling matters. "It's a negotiation. It's ongoing. We do not negotiate in the press. We don't think that serves a purpose. We don't necessarily (get) offended by the fact that some agents like to do that. But we're working through it.

"Ryan's a good man and a good player, and we're going to try to get him back in here."

Thompson said there is no timetable for a contract to be reached — "the cake's cooked when it's cooked," he said — but coach Mike McCarthy is ready for his standout halfback to be in camp.

"It's important that Ryan (be here)," McCarthy said. "These practices are important. I think everybody realizes that. My understanding is both sides are working diligently to make this work. I appreciate the way Ryan went about the offseason and kept on top of everything we did here."

Along the lines

The offseason workouts ended with several defensive linemen on the shelf. On Monday morning, defensive tackle Johnny Jolly — who spent the end of last season on injured reserve with an injured rotator cuff — lined up with the starting defense.

"I'm feeling great. I'm going full strength this evening," said Jolly, adding that he's not distracted by the drug charges looming in Houston.

The other tackle was Colin Cole, who started in place of Ryan Pickett. Pickett has a "slight hamstring strain," McCarthy said, and the team is "being smart" with it.

This was Cole's first appearance since breaking a forearm last season.

While McCarthy characterized Pickett as "day to day," he said fellow defensive tackle Justin Harrell was "week to week" as he recovers from back surgery. Harrell suffered a setback last week and hopes he won't need more surgery.

Defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila did not practice after offseason knee surgery but will practice tonight.

Tony Moll was the starting left tackle in place of Chad Clifton and, as reported here on Sunday, Daryn Colledge was the No. 1 left guard in his battle with Allen Barbre.

"They're not the youngest guys anymore," McCarthy said of Clifton and Gbaja-Biamila.

Catch of the day

Ruvell Martin was the star on offense. He caught two deep balls from Rodgers. The first came after his feet got intertwined with cornerback Jarrett Bush's. Martin caught the ball while falling to the turf. Later, he hauled in another deep ball with a leaping grab.

Sloppy

On the other sign of the coin, it was a rough morning for tight end Tory Humphrey. He dropped one pass, then followed it up with a false start. On the next play, the right side of the offensive line moved early.

Brett Swain had a drop and cost Rodgers his only interception of the day. Earlier, with receivers running routes against error, four lower-rung receivers — including Swain — had drops on consecutive passes.

Call him Al

Al Harris had the interception of Rodgers.

"You know what I look forward to is my timing and my footwork, that's where I get it down," Harris said. "I don't look forward to the two-a-days, the meetings and that part of it, but I do look forward to going out and mastering my technique.

One-on-one pass-rushing

With the players not wearing pads, the drills weren't as spirited as they will be later. Unofficially, it looks like the offensive and defensive lines battled to stalemate.

Center Scott Wells had an impressive win over defensive tackle Daniel Muir, while defensive tackle Johnny Jolly whipped Barbre. Brothers Jeremy and Orrin Thompson split their two battles.

No story complete without Favre

Commissioner Roger Goodell, visiting Buffalo Bills camp, spoke about his participation in the stalemate between Brett Favre and the Packers.

"I was asked to get involved. We had a charge as it relates to tampering , which is a very important rule from our standpoint. And then I was asked to be involved with some various discussions between the parties, which is an issue that is important for the Green Bay Packers. They have rights here. It's important for Brett Favre. He has rights also. And I'm glad to see that they're all productive discussions and they're talking directly to one another. They're both important to the league going forward and hopefully they'll reach a proper resolution."

Goodell said he'd welcome Favre back once he files for reinstatement. That's not a shocker, given Favre is a cash cow for and a face of the league.

Brett Favre's a great player, a great competitor, and I think it's been a great reflection on the Packers and the NFL. So if Brett Favre wants to return and play, I think that would be a great thing for the fans and for the league."

Goodell said the NFL is in the "middle" of its tampering investigation against the Vikings and hopes it will be completed quickly.

Bill Huber writes for Packer Report. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com


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