Free agent profile

As the start of free agency nears, Packer Report will profile each player that is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 1. Here is a look at offensive tackle Earl Dotson:<p>

Position: Offensive tackle
Status: Unrestricted free agent (March 1)
2002 salary: $750,000

2002 season summary: Dotson had a remarkable season after entering the opener as a backup to right tackle Mark Tauscher. When Tauscher went down with a season-ending knee injury in Week 2, Dotson stepped in and held up well, even with a painful and well-documented injury history that easily could have ended his career on a number of occasions. He played in 14 games, starting 11, missing just two games in December when his back stiffened up. The 11 starts he made were the most he had in a season since 1999.

2003 outlook: Dotson has spent his entire 10-year career in Green Bay, re-signing with the Packers in 2001 and 2002. If he chooses to extend his career, that trend will continue. Dotson showed the Packers that he is still capable of being a top backup and can be called upon in emergency situations. With the uncertainly of tackle Chad Clifton's return after a devastating hip injury, and Tauscher's recovery from knee surgery, Dotson should be back with the Packers as valuable insurance and experience at a low cost.

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