Packers show interest in Canty

As we were the first to report, agent Brad Blank has told Packer Report that Green Bay has asked about his sought-after client. How real is the Packers' interest?

Armed with $30 million in salary cap space, the Packers have called agent Brad Blank about defensive end Chris Canty, Blank told Packer Report on Friday.

Blank said he and Canty like the Packers' situation, with the team transforming to a 3-4 defense and in need of a bedrock to build their defensive line.

The Packers, however, seem to be sticking to their typically measured approach to free agency, so it remains to be seen if they will be major players in the Canty sweepstakes. With Albert Haynesworth landing in Washington, Canty is arguably the top free agent defensive lineman. Sources have told us he wants about $8 million per season, with upwards of $20 million of that guaranteed.

Canty has a few visits set up, according to Blank, and it's possible Canty will sign with a team like Tennessee, which must replace Haynesworth, before the Packers even get a chance to enter substantive talks. But, if Canty doesn't have a new team after this weekend, the Packers' interest will increase dramatically.

According to reports, Canty has meetings set with Tennessee, Seattle and San Francisco. Later on Friday, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported that the Packers want to talk to Canty after he meets with Seattle.

While Blank likes the situation in Green Bay, he said he's not going to wait for the Packers, either. The Packers, on the other hand, are interested, but only at their price, since they have a lot of potential free agents of their own to deal with over the next 12 months. But even this much preliminary interest bucks the trend established by Thompson of waiting for the first wave of free agents to sign and then scouring the leftovers.

Canty is only 26 and just completed his fourth NFL season. At 6-foot-7 and 304 pounds, he's practically a template of what a 3-4 defensive end should look like. He's strong against the run and had three sacks in 2008 and 3.5 in 2007 while lining up in front of NFL sacks leader DeMarcus Ware.

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