All Quiet on Contract Front

However, there is no incentive to start signing the draft picks until after the minicamp, which is set for June 21-23. Under Ted Thompson, the Packers historically have started signing their selections in the next week or two. When they're ready, the groundwork has been laid for the final few picks.

The Green Bay Packers haven't signed any of their seven draft picks, but history says they should start signing on the dotted line sooner rather than later.

Last year, the Packers announced the signings sixth- and seventh-round picks Jarius Wynn, Brandon Underwood and Brad Jones on June 15. In 2007, the Packers announced the signings of seventh-round picks DeShawn Wynn and Clark Harris on June 20. In 2006, the Packers announced the signing of seventh-round pick Dave Tollefson on June 23. In 2005, the Packers announced the signing of seventh-round pick Will Whitticker on June 20.

During general manager Ted Thompson's tenure, only in 2008 — when the Packers didn't sign their first draft picks until July 23 — have they not gotten a start on their signings by late June. That was the offseason of Brett Favre, so perhaps they were distracted.

At this point, there doesn't seem to be a lot brewing between the Packers and even their late-round picks, according to a source.

Which is no big deal and hardly unusual. While the Bears had all five of their draft picks signed before the calendar turned to June, the Packers are one of 16 teams around the league who haven't signed any of their picks.

There really is no incentive for the team to strike a deal before the final offseason practices, the June 21-23 minicamp. Rosters are limited to 80 signed players. Right now, the Packers are, unofficially, at the limit, since the unsigned draft picks push the total from 87 to 80. (Officially, the Packers are at 77, since the seven draft picks are unsigned and restricted free agents Atari Bigby, Tramon Williams and Johnny Jolly have not signed their tenders.)

So, once the Packers start signing their draft picks, they'll have to start releasing players. What's the sense in releasing a player during the middle of organized team activities or before the mandatory minicamp? That extra week or two of practice might be just what a young player needs to open the coaches' eyes.

Once the team decides it wants to start signing its draft picks, the process should go smoothly at first.

Starting from the bottom, seventh-round pick C.J. Wilson was the 230th overall selection. Picks Nos. 229 (center Erik Cook of Washington), 231 (offensive tackle Selvish Capers of Washington) and 232 (linebacker Jamie Kirlew of Denver) have signed. Based on those contracts, Wilson figures to receive a four-year deal worth $1.84 million with a $51,000 signing bonus.

Sixth-round pick James Starks went at No. 193. The Bills signed pick No. 192, outside linebacker Danny Batten, to a four-year deal worth $1.89 million with a $101,700 signing bonus.

The second of the fifth-round picks, Marshall Newhouse, went at No. 169. San Diego signed pick No. 168, quarterback Jonathan Crompton, and Atlanta signed pick No. 171, safety Shann Schillinger. Newhouse figures to get a four-year deal worth $1.93 million with about a $145,000 bonus.

The first of the fifth-round picks, Andrew Quarless, went at No. 154. Nobody has signed between No. 144 and No. 168.

Third-round pick Morgan Burnett went at No. 71. The earliest third-round pick to have signed is Chicago safety Major Wright at No. 75. His four-year deal is worth $2.638 million with an $848,000 bonus.

Nobody in the first or second round has signed.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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