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Will Nick Barnett be wearing a Packers uniform in 2011?

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the NFL is hoping to have an agreement with the NFL Players Association in place to be ratified at the July 21 league meetings in Atlanta. If that is truly the case, the Green Bay Packers (and the rest of the league) will quickly begin making up for last time by re-structuring rosters, signing rookies and addressing free agency.

One player whose future will be up in the air once the league officially begins its 2011-2012 season is inside linebacker Nick Barnett. After playing in just four games in 2010 and being owed over $6 million in 2011, many wonder whether the eight-year veteran will be searching for a new home.’s Bill Williamson suggests Barnett is likely to move, potentially to San Diego.

While that could be an option, Barnett is still a member of the Packers under contract for the 2011 season, so let’s take a look at his options.

Just one day after being released in March, the Packers re-signed inside linebacker A.J. Hawk to a five-year deal. Hawk was scheduled to make $10 million in 2011, a number neither the Packers nor Hawk knew was realistic if he was to stay in Green Bay. His deal is worth $33.75 million and will keep him in Green Bay through 2016.

Two months earlier, while the Packers were in the middle of their playoff run, the Packers also signed inside linebacker Desmond Bishop to a four-year, $19 million extension.

Both moves meant just one thing for Barnett: his days as a starter in Green Bay were over.

Due over $6 million in both 2011 and 2012, there’s no way the Packers keep Barnett with his current salary. Brandon Chillar is due a total of $7.7 million over the next three seasons, and the difference between the two is not enough to keep Barnett around if the Packers were to release Chillar.

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July 11, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,

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