Tag:Green Bay Packers
Posted on: August 20, 2010 10:22 pm

Rehashing the Brett Favre-Javon Walker drama

Posted by Andy Benoit

Normally, there is little reason to care when a receiver like Javon Walker works out for a team. Once a star, Walker was an injury-riddled non-factor during his two years in Oakland and is now out of the league. Friday, the 32-year-old worked out for the Minnesota Vikings (so did 49ers castoff Brandon Jones). J. Walker (US Presswire)

So why do we care? Because this gives us a chance to rehash the Walker-Brett Favre drama from around a half-decade ago. You may recall, Walker had a 1,382-yard, 12-touchdown season for the Packers in 2004. He held out of minicamp in 2005, which drew the ire of Favre.

"If Javon wants to know what the quarterback thinks, and I would think he might, I'd tell him he's going about this the wrong way. When his agent tells him not to worry about what his teammates think and all that stuff, I'd tell him I've been around a long time and that stuff will come back to haunt you."

Walker decided to play that year but suffered a career-alerting knee injury in Week 1. Favre’s comments stung, and ultimately Walker forced his way out of town. ESPN’s Mike Sando republished an excerpt from an old story from Michael Smith on the matter:

Favre offended Walker when he spoke out against the receiver in his contract dispute, saying he should come to training camp and not hold out. (Walker heeded the advice.) Walker believes Favre's comments made living and working in Wisconsin difficult; Walker tells of one instance when he was in a hotel and an employee announced his presence on an Internet message board for "anyone who had something to say to Javon Walker." It also angered Walker that the team allowed its iconic quarterback to interfere publicly in a teammate's business with management. He held his tongue all year.

"There's an unwritten rule that players stick together," said Walker, still biting his tongue on Favre for the most part.

Now, Walker needs to play with Favre, as he has nowhere else to play. Will it happen? Probably not (Jones would be a much better signing). And if it does, Walker would likely be the No. 5 or 6 wideout anyway. But hey, at least we got a chance to relive one of the best quarterback-receiver drama stories in recent years, right?

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Posted on: August 20, 2010 10:19 pm
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Posted on: August 19, 2010 11:28 pm

Packers could place Bigby on PUP

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Originally, Packers S Atari Bigby wasn’t supposed to be out this long. He had surgery on his left ankle Aug. 6 to clean out some scar tissue, and at first, he thought he might be out four weeks. That prognosis, though, has been stretched to eight weeks, and now, it’s unclear what Green Bay should do with the five-year veteran.

Wait for his ankle to heal and hold his spot on the 53-man roster? Or put him on the Physically Unable to Perform list, meaning he couldn’t return for the first six weeks of the season?

That's the conundrum, writes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel . From the story:

Bigby is due to have his stitches removed in a few days. If he is cleared to practice in the four-week timeframe, he would be able to work out the week of the season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 12. It's doubtful he would be able to play in that game, but he could contribute soon after.

If Bigby's recovery time is closer to eight weeks, that puts him on pace to be out at least the first four games.

In that case, it would make sense for the Packers to place Bigby on the physically unable to perform list. He wouldn't count against the 53-man roster but would be ineligible for at least the first six weeks of the season.

Bigby said the PUP possibility would be "very disappointing. Extremely."

Bigby’s absence means rookie Morgan Burnett will start in his place. Although he's inexperienced, Burnett got some much-needed reps in the offseason, considering Bigby refused to sign his restricted free agent tender and missed OTAs and mini-camp.

So, why didn’t Bigby get the ankle surgery earlier in the offseason. Like, say in April instead of August?

"I just thought I was beat up after the season," Bigby told the paper. "I went through the whole off-season, I rested on it, and I thought I would be able to come back and be 100 percent. Of course, I wasn't."

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Posted on: August 19, 2010 4:48 pm

Bryan Bulaga has a good reason to want to start

Posted by Andy Benoit

If you’re into the economics of the NFL, and particularly player contracts, you’ll love Bob McGinn’s latest article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. McGinn breaks down the details of first-round rookie Bryan Bulaga’s contract. The most interesting stipulation is how the 23rd overall pick can earn an additional $5.14 million in incentives simply by being a starter in the first four years of his five-year deal.

Here is an excerpt of what else McGinn dug up:

Bulaga's contract was slotted between wide receiver Demaryius Thomas of Denver, the 22nd pick, and wide receiver Dez Bryant of Dallas, the 24th choice.

Thomas' five-year deal contained $9.35 million in guarantees and a maximum value of $15.51 million.

Bryant, who on July 23 became the first first-round selection to sign, got $8.63 million in guarantees.

"It's a little light," one agent said after examining the guaranteed portions of the Bulaga and Bryant contracts. "But that's because Dez Bryant is a wide receiver."

Like most first-round picks, Bulaga's deal contains a one-time bonus that isn't considered guaranteed. But in order to gain that $2.54 million bonus, all Bulaga has to do is play 35% of the snaps in 2010 or 45% of the snaps in any subsequent season.

McGinn goes into much – MUCH – greater detail. If you’re so inclined, click here.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 15, 2010 11:46 am

Hot Routes 8.15.10: Overhyping the preseason

Got a link for Hot Routes? Tweet us or shoot an email to andy [dot] benoit [at] cbs [dot] com.

Jets offensive linemen Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse are both competing for the starting left guard position. Slauson has the edge right now, but he was a sixth-round pick in ’09. Ducasse, a second-rounder in ’10, figures to be the future.

Former USC Trojan took another positive step in his football rebirth last night, impressing Seahawks coaches and fans with his 51-yard touchdown reception and run-blocking against the Titans/

Falcons followers have been paying close attention to rookie linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. The first-rounder started ahead of Mike Peterson at weakside linebacker in Atlanta’s preseason debut.

Josh Freeman was 4/4 passing, including a touchdown strike to Sammie Stroughter, in page/MIA">Dolphins" target="_blank">Tampa Bay’s preseason opener against the Dolphins.

Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic, has a great headline for his column today: “Matt Leinart Blessed by a lack of competition”. Leinart did not look great in Arizona’s preseason opener.

One of the best offensive tackles in the game, Baltimore’s Jared Gaither, continues to battle the injury bug. On Saturday the Baltimore Sun reported that Gaither has been diagnosed with a tear in his back and could miss 2-3 weeks. Gaither had foot problems during the offseason and also suffered serious weight loss early in training camp.

Though he didn’t look particularly great against the Ravens Thursday night, there has been some buzz about Panthers rookie receiver Brandon LaFell. Now, his fellow rookie, Armanti Edwards, is getting some hype.

Packers rookie Morgan Burnett drew passing grades in his preseason debut filling in for injured starting strong safety Atari Bigby. The key for the athletic playmaker is to prove he can be physical.

Former and current Packer tight ends Mark Chmura and Jermichael Finley have been exchanging public barbs like a couple of junior high schoolers (actually, on further thought, given some of their passive-aggressive undertones, the barbs are probably more of an early high school level). We haven’t paid much attention to it, but if you want to read some details, you can click here.

Jack Del Rio still doesn’t seem too high on safety Reggie Nelson.

Jets and Giants open their new stadium tomorrow night. Given that it’s the New York market, does it seem like there is slightly less hype for this $1.6 billion venue than you’d guess?

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Posted on: August 15, 2010 11:39 am
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Posted on: August 14, 2010 9:46 pm

Ryan Grant concussed against Browns?

Posted by Will Brinson

Despite the fact that Ryan Grant is both overrated and average (he is, seriously), and despite the fact that the Packers pass a whole lot (and seemingly even more the red zone, signed disgruntled Grant fantasy owners), Green Bay still needs him in their offensive gameplan.

Which makes it slightly disconcerting that he left the Packers' preseason game with an apparent head injury, which could possibly be considered a concussion.

Grant suffered the injury on a helmet-to-helmet hit from the Browns' Sheldon Brown and walked quite woozily to the sidelines, where he was attended to by trainers.

The Packers obviously haven't classified the injury as anything in particular, but it would be surprising if there wasn't at least a discussion of "concussion-like symptoms," which force Grant to miss some extended preseason action.

At the time he left, it was considered unlikely he would return to Satuday's game.

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Posted on: August 14, 2010 7:00 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2010 7:35 pm

What to Watch For: Saturday Preseason Games

Saturday features a pretty good slate of preseason games, each with some interesting storylines. You can follow all the action on our NFL Scoreboard, but for now, let's take a quick walk through the schedule and let you know what we're looking for; hit us with what you're watching in the comments or on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) .
  • Miami v. Tampa Bay : Easily the biggest story here will be the performance of the Bucs' youngsters. While it's unlikely Tampa Bay will be contending for anything in 2010, how Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, Josh Freeman, Gerald McCoy and Brian Price perform during the season will probably determine the length that Raheem Morris keeps his job. For the Dolphins, seeing how Brandon Marshall and Chad Henne click will be interesting -- their being on the same page is paramount for the Fins success.
  • Pittsburgh v. Detroit : It's all about Ben Roethlisberger. (Will he start? Will he get booed?) At least for Pittsburgh, anyway. For Detroit, I'm focusing on how Jahvid Best runs and what kind of coverage Calvin Johnson sees with additional weapons on the offensive side of the ball, as well as how much disruption Ndamukong Suh can cause.
  • Arizona v. Houston : For the Cardinals, the passing game is going to be crucial -- how will Matt Leinart perform in his first opportunity to make an in-game impression following the Kurt Warner era? The Texans are set as far as the passing game goes, but the running game is a whole different issue: out of Arian Foster, Ben Tate and Steve Slaton, someone has to emerge who can carry the load.
  • Green Bay v. Cleveland : Yikes -- the Packers are fun and all, but this shouldn't be a thriller. I suppose it's worth checking out my man Jake Delhomme to see if he can make Cleveland relevant. Rookie Joe Haden will start too, and he gets quite the test against Aaron Rodgers. Andy and I discussed the man-crushing on Jermichael Finley Friday as well, so it'll be interesting to see if Rodgers looks his way first chance he gets. Bryan Bulaga's probably the only other potentially big surprise for the Pack.
  • St. Louis v. Minnesota : I, for one, am stoked to see how Sam Bradford and A.J. Feeley compare. Also, Mardy Gilyard is stupid good on Madden '11 (I know, I know) but unfortunately, he's not supposed to play. For Minnesota, the focus is going to be on the quarterback position as well -- if Brett Favre doesn't come back, can Tavaris Jackson at least look good against what shouldn't be dangerous defense? (Or, alternately, can the Rams' D manage to make the Favre-less Vikes O look bad?)
  • San Diego v. Chicago : With Shawn Merriman now in camp, the biggest issue facing the Chargers is the absence of Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeil -- can Malcolm Floyd/Buster Davis and a patchwork group of left tackles fill the respective holes on the offense? For the Bears, Julius Peppers' performance will be interesting to watch, but more important will be the offensive line play and Jay Cutler's ability to adapt to Mike Martz' system.
  • Seattle v. Tennessee : I'll be scoping out Golden Tate's action, as I think he could be a difference maker this year. I also happen to love Justin Forsett for some reason -- Charlie Whitehurst will get some action to prove why he's such a highly paid backup. Vince Young's ability to perform at the same level he maintained during the second half is imperative for the Titans to succeed. Tonight we get to see if he can get off on the right foot.
So, what about you -- what are you looking for tonight?

(Ed. Note: Sorry, we published an un-saved version that didn't have the SD/CHI and SEA/TEN games on there. Our bad.)
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com