Hunt slapped with transition tag

With the real possibility looming of losing defensive tackle Cletidus Hunt to free agency in the coming months, the Packers decided to put a transition tag on him Feb. 20, the last day to declare such a designation to any scheduled free agent.<p>

With such a tag, Hunt will be guaranteed to make a salary with the Packers next season of the average of the top 10 players in the league at his position. That is believed to be around $4.7 million.

Hunt is still free to negotiate with other teams once the free agency period begins Feb. 28, but the Packers have the option to match any offer that he receives from any other team because he has been "tagged." The Packers will not receive draft choice compensation if he signs with another team, and the Packers do not match that offer.

Under a franchise tag designation, the Packers would have received compensation if they lost Hunt, but Hunt would have received a salary for next season based on the average of the top five players in the league at his position.

The Packers have been negotiating with Hunt on a long-term offer and would like to keep him in Green Bay. They are thin along the defensive line with five other potential free agents, including defensive end Vonnie Holliday, who is unlikely to come back.

Hunt's value rose this season with consistent play from his starting defensive tackle spot. He totaled 48 tackles and 5.5 sacks and was arguably the Packers best all-around defensive lineman.

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