Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Colledge signs & other Packers news

Playing a bit of catch up here, folks. Basically, other than the rookie orientation weekend and tryouts, not much happening since the conclusion of the NFL Draft as far as the Pack goes.

Yes, guard Daryn Colledge signed his tender offer with the team yesterday, which means he will finally re-join his teammates in offseason workouts. As a restricted free agent, the deal keeps Colledge around for one more year. After that, it's possible some of the new kids picked up in this year's draft may make Colledge expendable unless he ramps up his performance.

Colledge was arguably considered the weakest link on the starting O-line, at least after Clifton and Tauscher resumed their play at left and right tackles respectively. It is possible that Colledge will also be in a battle to keep his current starting role this season as reports are that the Pack want to try Jason Spitz at left guard. You'll recall that last season Spitz beat out then-starter Scott Wells for the center spot before sustaining an injury that took him out of the line up. If Wells is back at center, Spitz could definitely challenge Colledge for the starting slot at left guard. And with the depth of current and new players across the line, Colledge's days may be numbered unless his play lives up to his talk. It's also possible that a team in need of a serviceable guard might be willing to make a trade for Colledge at some point, probably for a lower round draft pick. If GM Ted Thompson feels there is sufficient depth on the line if and when such a possibility arises don't be surprised to see Ted add to his future draft pick war chest...we all know how much he likes those.

After Colledge's signing, the only remaining restricted free agents left unsigned are safety Atari Bigby, defensive end Johnny Jolly and cornerback Tramon Williams. Because the April 15 deadline for them to sign offer sheets with other teams came and went, they are bound to the Packers unless the team releases them. That won't happen, obviously.

Post-Draft Tidbits
Following the rookie weekend and free agent tryouts, a couple stories for you to check out.

One has to do with the import from north of the border...Canadian border, that is: Shawn Gore. The rookie receiver came in for a tryout with the Packers, despite the fact that he was at the same time being drafted in the second round of the Canadian Football League draft. He would have been a sure fire first-rounder except for the fact that all the CFL teams knew he was trying out with the Pack and didn't want to waste a first round pick on someone that might be playing in the NFL instead.

Gore's bet paid off: he was one of only three players offered a contract by the Packers following the tryout weekend. And based upon his size, speed and ability, Gore has a good chance of sticking with the team, even in a highly competitive receiving corps. Read more about him here.

Shields a returner?
Seemingly since...who can remember?...the Packers have been searching for a reliable and effective punt and/or kickoff returner. They may have found one in undrafted rookie free agent CB Sam Shields out of Miami. Very fast. Check out the story here.

OTAs begin May 17
The Packers' first organized team activities (OTAs) of the 2010 season begin next week. While optional, expect most all players to attend. We'll update you on anything of importance that happens during that week.

Packers Tailgate Tour underway
The four-stop 2010 Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour hits the road tonight (May 11) in Rhinelander and ends Friday May 14 in Milwaukee (at the Harley-Davidson Museum, no less) with stops in Chippewa Falls and Reedsburg in between. The tour gets players and execs out to the fans "with evening tailgate parties held in each city to support a local non-profit organization," as the press release goes.

You can learn more -- and still get tickets at least in one or two instances -- here.