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Departed Packers: Where did they wind up and what does it mean?

The Packers added valuable prospects in the 2011 NFL Draft and re-signed wide receiver James Jones and fullback John Kuhn, but there were a handful of players the team lost last week. Here’s a look at where those players wound up, what it means for those teams and how it will affect the Packers in 2011.

Daryn Colledge: Arizona Cardinals — 5 years, $27.5 million

Why he left the Packers: A common theme with all the Packers who left via free agency is that the Packers simply could not afford them. This is certainly the case with Colledge, who leaves Green Bay after five successful seasons. The money was not there, as seen by the contract Arizona gave him, and the Packers had viable (and cheaper) replacements in Derek Sherrod, T.J. Lang, Nick McDonald and Marshall Newhouse.

Why he joined the Cardinals: Colledge received a big payday as an injury-free starting left guard on a Super Bowl team, replacing long-time veteran Alan Faneca, who retired at season’s end. He will start from day one, protecting new quarterback Kevin Kolb and blocking for Beanie Wells. The Cardinals are starting fresh, in a sense, with Kolb and Colledge is now a piece of that.

What it means for the Packers: Ted Thompson clearly believes in the candidates at left guard, as the money was there for the Packers to bring back Colledge. The rookie Sherrod has seen first team reps during the first week of practice, and Lang, McDonald and Newhouse should make for healthy competition.

Brandon Jackson: Cleveland Browns — 2 years, $4.5 million

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August 3, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Agency Updates: Colledge, Spitz, Jackson sign elsewhere

Many NFL teams were busy agreeing to free agent deals and dealing players, but (surprise, surprise) it was the Packers who stayed put on the second day of free agency. While teams are not allowed to officially sign free agents until Friday, left guard Daryn Colledge, offensive lineman Jason Spitz and running back Brandon Jackson all agreed to deals that will end their tenures in Green Bay. Here’s how it will affect the team in 2011:

Colledge signs with Cardinals

There will be a new starting left guard for the Packers when they take the field for the first time in August after Daryn Colledge agreed to terms with the Arizona Cardinals. The deal is worth a reported $29.5 million over five years, with $10 million of the that money guaranteed. A five year veteran in Green Bay, Colledge started 76 of 80 games after being drafted in the second round out of Boise State in 2006. It would have been virtually impossible for the Packers to match that contract, so instead they will look elsewhere at left guard.

Early candidates for the starting gig, assuming the Packers do not address it in free agency, are T.J. Lang and Nick McDonald. Lang, a fourth round pick in 2009, has been on the cusp of making the jump to a starter’s role and will now get his first real chance. McDonald hung on as an undrafted rookie in 2010, and it should make for a healthy competition in August. Marshall Newhouse, a fourth round draft pick a year ago, is a darkhorse candidate.

Spitz signs with Jacksonville

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July 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

ESPN Wisconsin’s Jason Wilde answers questions on Twitter

ESPN Wisconsin’s senior Packers writer Jason Wilde took time Saturday afternoon to answer fan’s question regarding the Packers. To see all of Wilde’s tweets, follow him at @jasonjwilde.

Q: Is the starting outside linebacker opposite Clay Matthews currently on the roster?

Wilde: Yes, and his name is…Frank Zombo. (That’s my prediction.)

Q: If the Packers decide to re-sign their offensive line, which one do you likely see staying?

Wilde: If they re-sign any offensive linemen, I think it’s Spitz. Cheap as backup. I think Daryn Colledge gets paid elsewhere.

Q: Projected season stats for James Starks?

Wilde: I’d purely be guessing. How about 110 carries, 440 yards four touchdowns rushing?

Q: Will the Packers seek another wide receiver if Jones doesn’t return? I think Cobb is built in a different mold.

Wilde: Nope, I think it’s Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Donald Driver, Randall Cobb and Brett Swain.

Q: Everybody seems to be counting me out again. Well, where am I going guys? (Question asked by free agent left guard Daryn Colledge)

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July 16, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free agency: Who will be back in 2011 and who won’t?

With rumors that the NFL Players Association and owners are nearing an agreement that would begin the 2011-2012 NFL season, it is time to look ahead at the Packers’ free agency situation. Since teams are not allowed to talk or negotiate with free agents, there has not been much buzz on which Packers will be back in Green Bay when the season begins. However, here is a look at each free agent and what his odds of staying in Green Bay are.

1. Cullen Jenkins, Defensive End: After a spectacular 2010 campaign in which he racked up seven sacks, Jenkins could be in line for a massive payday when he hits the open market. While excelling in the Packers’ 3-4 defense, Jenkins has also proved himself as a defensive end in 4-3 schemes during his first five seasons in Green Bay (2004-2008). A year ago, Jenkins freed up rushing linebackers with his size and also used his speed to get to the quarterback, all while playing the majority of the season with a broken hand. The Packers drafted defensive ends Mike Neal and C.J. Wilson a year ago and still have Ryan Pickett, Justin Harrell, Howard Green and Jarius Wynn on the roster. Seventh round pick, Arizona State rookie Lawrence Guy, could also break the rotation and the Packers could look at a cheaper defensive end in free agency. Those players, combined with the massive contract Jenkins should receive from another team, makes it likely that Jenkins’ tenure in Green Bay is over.

2. James Jones, Wide Receiver: While the casual fan probably remembers Jones more for his costly drops, his value to the Packers’ offense in 2010 was immense. After tight end Jermichael Finley was lost to a knee injury, Jones improved his play and finished with career highs in receptions (50), yards (679) and touchdowns (5). Unfortunately for the Packers, those numbers for the third, sometimes fourth, option in an offense show that Jones is a starting wide receiver in the NFL. With Greg Jennings signed long-term, Jordy Nelson blossoming and the second round selection of Randall Cobb, Jones should get a chance to start…it just won’t be in Green Bay. If Jones decides winning is more important than money, there is a chance he comes back. But the smart money is on Jones taking the money elsewhere.

3. Brandon Jackson, Running Back:

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July 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Bay Packers’ End of the Year Grades: Offensive line and special teams

The Green Bay Packers are World Champs! It still sounds as amazing as it did when Ben Roethlisberger threw an incomplete pass on fourth down with under a minute to go. With the season over, it’s time to give out grades to the 53-man roster. Injured players will get their own section later, but for now it’s about the 53 players who suited up in Dallas (OK, only 45 suited up but you know what I mean). Here’s the Packers’ offensive line and special teams in review.

LT- Chad Clifton: There were plenty of reasons the Packers won the Super Bowl, but right up there at the top of the list was Clifton’s play. Aaron Rodgers was surgical in the playoffs but only because he was able to stand upright. Clifton officially allowed 8.5 sacks but played his best football toward the end of the season, also helping out in the run game. He had four false starts but was not called for holding all year long. Grade: B+

LG- Daryn Colledge: For as much heat as Colledge takes, he wasn’t all that bad in 2010. The run game seemed to pick up steam later in the year, with the Packers running to Colledge’s side quite a bit. There’s a chance he is replaced in 2011 but him staying healthy and playing solid was big for the Packers. He allowed three sacks, had four false starts, and was called for holding once. Grade: C+

C- Scott Wells:

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February 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Packers Preseason Schedule Out, Colledge Signs Tender

The Green Bay Packers’ 2010 preseason schedule was announced today. The Packers will open at home against the Cleveland Browns for the second consecutive year on Aug. 14 and will also host the Colts on ESPN. They will travel to Seattle in between home games and will close out the preseason in Kansas City. Last year the Packers went 3-1 in the preseason.

Here is the complete preseason schedule with date and central times:

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May 10, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Packers’ Colledge Will Be Back, Lang Will Move to Right Tackle

Mike McCarthy announced Tuesday that Daryn Colledge, currently a restricted free-agent, would get a shot at redemption in 2010 at the left guard position. Colledge regressed mightily in 2009 and many questioned whether or not his future was in Green Bay. However, McCarthy’s announcement means the Packers will be putting a tender on Colledge that will allow him to compete for the starting job at left guard next year.

McCarthy made the right decision by promising nothing to Colledge, like he did with new starting tight end Jermichael Finley, instead saying he would have the chance to compete with Jason Spitz for the spot next year.

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March 3, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment