If the Green Bay Packers are looking for a veteran to bolster their offensive line, Levi Jones is available.
As had been rumored for weeks, the Cincinnati Bengals released the left tackle on Wednesday. The move was basically a foregone conclusion once they selected tackle Andre Smith at No. 6 overall in April's draft.
The 6-foot-5, 307-pound Jones is entering his eighth NFL season. He spent his first seven years with the Bengals, starting in 89 games since being a first-round choice in the 2002 draft. He started 10 games last year, missing the final six due to a leg injury. The injury leaves his ability to play left tackle in question, so he might wind up on the right side.
The Packers have a void at right tackle, with longtime starter Mark Tauscher a free agent and coming off of a torn ACL. The team has a number of in-house candidates, including fourth-year player Tony Moll, third-year player Allen Barbre, second-year player Breno Giacomini and rookie draft picks T.J. Lang (fourth round) and Jamon Meredith (fifth). Fourth-year left guard Daryn Colledge could be a candidate, too.
With that many potential replacements for Tauscher — and the door not officially closed on Tauscher — the Packers probably have little initial interest in Jones. But Jones could face a lengthy wait in free agency as teams digest their line situations following the draft, which could put him in play for the Packers later.
Jones, who signed a six-year, $40 million extension in 2006, was set to make $3 million in base salary this season. He has missed 17 games over the last three seasons.
Tailgate Tour starts Monday
Culminating each day's trip is a tailgate part in each of the four cities, running from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $25, with 100 percent of proceeds benefitting the host organization.
Tickets for the evening tailgate parties in Marshfield (May 11), Platteville (May 13) and Beaver Dam (May 14) are available and cost $25. Tickets are sold out for Hudson (May 12), but fans are encouraged to go to Lakefront Park as other activities will be taking place.
— Marshfield: Norwood Industrial Park. To benefit the Personal Development Center. Tickets at Marshfield Festival Foods, Century 21 Reality and the Personal Development Center. Details: Treva Tisdell, 715-384-2971.
— Hudson: Lakefront Park. To benefit Hudson Boosters Inc. Tickets are sold out. Details: Jim Londo, 715-441-3462.
— Platteville: The Barn, next to Instant Shade Nursery. To benefit Wisconsin Badger Camp. Tickets at Culver's locations in Platteville, Prairie du Chien, Dodgeville, Mount Horeb, Cross Plains, Verona, Dubuque, Iowa, and Galena, Ill. Details: Brent Bowers, 608-348-9689.
— Beaver Dam: Beaver Dam High School. To benefit the Beaver Dam Scholarship Foundation. Tickets at Rechek Food Pride and Beaver Dam Piggly Wiggly. Details: Mark Killingsworth, 920-887-8766.
Packers Hall of Fame
Rob Davis, the Packers' former long snapper and curent director of player programs, will present Antonio Freeman and friend Bill Harper will present Dorsey Levens during July's Packers Hall of Fame Induction Banquet.
Freeman played eight seasons for the Packers and ranks sixth in team history in receptions (431) and yards (6,651) and third in touchdown receptions (57). Levens also played eight seasons for the Packers. He ranks fifth in team hitsory with 3,937 rushing yards, and his 1,435 rushing yards in 1997 ranks third.
The ceremony will be held on July 18 and tickets are $125 apiece or a table of 10 for $1,150. Doors open at 4:30 p.m., with dinner and program to follow at 7 p.m. For more information, e-mail Gwen Borga at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 920-965-6984.
Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum
Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Bill also is giving Facebook and Twitter a try. Find him on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook.