Green Bay Packers: Corey Linsley

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A look at the hot topics from Friday's reporting day at the Green Bay Packers' training camp:
  • Matthews cleared: Although coach Mike McCarthy said he did not have any injury information during his Friday morning news conference, the daily NFL transaction wire revealed some details about the Packers' injury situation. While several players were listed in various injury categories, there was no mention of outside linebacker Clay Matthews, who missed the offseason program while recovering from a second surgery to repair his twice-broken thumb. That would indicate Matthews was cleared for the start of training camp. How much he will practice right away remains unclear. However, two others at his position, Nick Perry and Mike Neal, were placed on the physically unable to perform list, meaning they failed their physicals. Perry missed the entire offseason program with an undisclosed injury, but Neal had been a full participant. Defensive tackle Letroy Guion and defensive end Jerel Worthy were placed on the non-football injury list, and rookie receiver Jeff Janis was placed on the non-football illness list. All count toward the 90-man roster limit.
  • Top line: Given that the Packers will have a starting center who has never played in an NFL game, it was a bit surprising to hear McCarthy say this has a chance to be the best offensive line the Packers have had during his nine-year tenure as head coach. JC Tretter is the favorite to win the starting center job even though he has never played the position before (he was a tackle in college at Cornell) and did not play in any games (preseason or regular season) last season as a rookie. McCarthy also said he was impressed with rookie center Corey Linsley, a fifth-round pick from Ohio State. The Packers return starting guards T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton. At tackle, they will have Bryan Bulaga back at right tackle after he missed all of last season because of a knee injury, and second-year starter David Bakhtiari at left tackle. "I don't do comparables, but I think you have to feel good about the depth that we have in the O-line compared to prior years," McCarthy said.
  • Counting quarterbacks: One of the biggest issues facing McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson is whether they will keep three quarterbacks on their opening-day roster. The past five years, they have opened the season with just two quarterbacks, but this year they appear to have two capable backups for Aaron Rodgers -- Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien. "I know I said in the spring I'm not opposed [and] Ted’s not opposed to keeping three quarterbacks," McCarthy said. "It really depends on the competition at the other positions."
  • Talking to the team: The unofficial opening of training camp is Friday at 5:30 p.m., when McCarthy addresses the team for the first time. McCarthy said he spends plenty of time -- "probably too much time on it, frankly," he said. -- working on his speech. "You know when you have this much time to give a talk, my history has been to, I have to cut, I probably cut 60 percent of the stuff I have," McCarthy said. "You have to tighten it down and get it where you want it. Video is always a little better because [video director] Chris [Kirby] has more time to work on it. So the video will be awesome, and I hope the guy delivering the talk can deliver."
  • New hire: Despite a rash of injuries in recent years, McCarthy holds the team's medical, training, strength and conditioning staffs in high regard. Many of them predate McCarthy's time with the organization. But he also said on Friday that there will be a new addition in that area, although he did not get into specifics. When discussing injury prevention techniques, McCarthy said: "We have a young man coming aboard that we'll announce here in another day or so that will impact our team."
  • What's next: The first practice of camp begins at 8:20 a.m. local time on Saturday.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Between now and the Green Bay Packers' first training camp practice on July 26, we will break down each position group.

Next up is the offensive line.

Returning players: David Bakhtiari, Bryan Bulaga, JC Tretter, T.J. Lang, Josh Sitton, Don Barclay, Derek Sherrod, Lane Taylor, Aaron Adams, Andrew Tiller, Garth Gerhart.

Gone from last season: Evan Dietrich-Smith, Marshall Newhouse, Greg Van Roten.

New this season: Corey Linsley (fifth-round pick), Jeremy Vujnovich (street free agent), Jordan McCray (undrafted rookie), John Fullington (undrafted rookie).

Bakhtiari
Bakhtiari
Sitton
Position coach: James Campen (eighth season, previously was assistant offensive line coach from 2004-06).

Biggest issue: For the fourth straight season, there will be a new starting center. Tretter is the favorite for the job, but the fact remains that he has never played in an NFL game – not even a preseason game. And he's never played center. Other than that, what's to worry about? Nevertheless, the Packers are high on the second-year player who spent the entire offseason working with the No. 1 offensive line. Tretter did not play at all last season after he broke his ankle during his first OTA practice as a rookie.

Player to watch: Bakhtiari had what Campen described as "a very good season for a rookie" last year when he stepped in as the starting left tackle after Bulaga blew out his knee during the Family Night scrimmage and was lost for the season. Now, as Campen said, "we expect him to make that next step and have a very good season." The former fourth-round pick played well enough as a rookie, despite allowing 10 sacks (including playoffs), according to ProFootballFocus.com, that Campen and coach Mike McCarthy decided to leave him at left tackle and move Bulaga back to the right side. Bakhtiari added about 10 pounds this offseason in an effort to improve his run blocking and better handle pass-rusher's bull-rush moves.

Medical report: Bulaga was cleared to return to practice at the start of the offseason program and made it through the OTAs and minicamp wearing a large brace on his reconstructed left knee. Meanwhile, Sherrod went through the complete offseason program for the first time in his four-year NFL career after breaking his leg late in his rookie season of 2011. Sherrod worked exclusively as Bakhtiari's backup at left tackle this offseason.

Help wanted: If Tretter does not play well enough to win the starting job, the Packers could go with rookie fifth-round pick Corey Linsley. Unlike Tretter, who played tackle in college at Cornell, Linsley is a center by trade. He started 26 straight games at center in his last two seasons at Ohio State.

Quotable: "I think I've had five centers now," Sitton said. "So it's tough because you learn one guy and you get used to doing drills next to one guy and you just jell and you know exactly where their foot's going to be and you've going to be right next to each other. Dietrich was a hell of a player, there was no doubt about it. I really enjoyed playing next to him. But that's what we do. I've played next to, I don't know, 12 tackles since I've been here, so I'm definitely used to playing next to different players. It gives T.J. and I a little bit of a challenge to get him up to speed. It makes it interesting. It's fun teaching him and bringing him along."

Previous installments

Monday: Quarterbacks

Tuesday: Running backs

Wednesday: Receivers

Thursday: Tight ends
Examining the Green Bay Packers' roster:

Quarterbacks (3)
The Packers have not kept three quarterbacks on their opening-day roster since 2008, but they might be inclined to do so this season in order to avoid a situation like last year, when Rodgers broke his collarbone. Coach Mike McCarthy is high on Tolzien, who made two starts last season, but Flynn has proved he can win as a backup in Green Bay.

Running backs (4)

The return of Harris, who missed all of last season because of a knee injury, gives the Packers insurance behind Lacy and Starks. Kuhn is valuable both as a fullback and on special teams. It's possible they'll keep a fourth halfback, but the loss of Johnathan Franklin to a career-ending neck injury has left them without a strong in-house candidate for that spot.

Receivers (6)

The Packers often keep only five receivers, but given that they drafted three -- Adams (second round), Abbrederis (fifth round) and Janis (seventh round) -- there's a good chance they will keep six. Abbrederis and Janis will not only have to show they're better prospects than second-year pros Myles White and Chris Harper, but they also could help themselves if they can return kicks.

Tight ends (4)

McCarthy likes tight ends (he has kept five before), and the wild card is undrafted rookie Colt Lyerla.

Offensive linemen (8)

The Packers typically only activate seven offensive linemen on game day, so they can get away with keeping just eight on the roster. Barclay's ability to play all five positions also allows them some freedom. Lane Taylor could be the ninth lineman if they go that route.

Defensive line (7)

Worthy and Guion have work to do to make the roster, but there's room for them if you count Julius Peppers and Mike Neal among the outside linebackers, which is where they lined up more often in the offseason.

Linebackers (8)

There will be some tough cuts here. Second-year pros Nate Palmer and Andy Mulumba both played last year as rookie outside linebackers. It also may be tough for highly touted undrafted rookie Adrian Hubbard to make it.

Cornerbacks (6)

Hayward's return from last season's hamstring injury means he likely will return as the slot cornerback in the nickel package, a role played last year by Micah Hyde (who may primarily play safety this year).

Safeties (4)

The major question here is whether Hyde or Clinton-Dix will be the starter alongside Burnett. Chris Banjo, who played primarily on special teams last season, might be the odd man out.

Specialists (3)

There's no competition at any of these spots.

Time to step up: JC Tretter

July, 11, 2014
Jul 11
2:00
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson say it every offseason: It is not the rookies who will make the difference for the Green Bay Packers but rather the returning players.

With that in mind, we continue our look at some returning players who need to take their game to another level in 2014.

Tretter
We wrap up this series with center JC Tretter.

Why he needs to step up: When the Packers decided not to get into a bidding war with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the services of center Evan Dietrich-Smith, who signed a four-year, $14.25 million contract, it ensured the Packers would have their fourth starting center in as many seasons. This time around, the Packers are looking for some stability in the position after going from Scott Wells (2011) to Jeff Saturday (2012) to Dietrich-Smith (2013).

What he has to do: Not only has Tretter never played center, he has never even played in an NFL game – not even a preseason game. Last year as a rookie, the fourth-round draft pick from Cornell broke his ankle during OTAs and missed the rest of the offseason, all of training camp and began the season on the physically unable to perform list. Although he returned to practice on Nov. 19 and was added to the 53-man roster on Dec. 10, he was not active for any games. He showed enough in offseason practices this year to convince the Packers that he can be their next starting center, but until he does it in live action, they won't know for sure.

Outlook: Tretter took every snap with the starting offensive line during the offseason and enters training camp as the favorite to win the job. The only other true centers the Packers have on the roster are former practice-squad player Garth Gerhart and rookie fifth-round pick Corey Linsley of Ohio State. The Packers would rather not move guard T.J. Lang, who filled in at center during two games last season when Dietrich-Smith was injured. Utility linemen Don Barclay also could play center if necessary.

Quotable: "I think it's JC's [job] to lose right now," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said.

Previous installments

Part one: Morgan Burnett

Part two: Nick Perry

Part three: Datone Jones

Part four: Jerel Worthy

Part five: Brad Jones

Part six: Davon House

Part seven: B.J. Raji

Part eight: Andrew Quarless

Part nine: Derek Sherrod
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Between now and when the Green Bay Packers report to training camp on July 25, we will spend considerable time looking at the roster from a variety of angles.

In the days leading up to camp, we will break things down by position group. And before that, we will look at several players who need to give the Packers more than they did last year.

But before we do any of that, let's reset the depth chart as it likely stands heading into training camp. This is an unofficial assessment, but it is based on observations during organized team activities and minicamp practices combined with interviews with assistant coaches and scouts.

First up is the offense:

Quarterbacks: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Scott Tolzien, Chase Rettig.

Notes: Expect a legitimate battle for the No. 2 job between Flynn and Tolzien in the preseason. Coach Mike McCarthy noted several times how much Tolzien improved thanks to a full offseason with the Packers. The biggest question here is whether the Packers will keep three quarterbacks rather than only two. Rettig looks like a camp arm, at best.

Running backs: Eddie Lacy, James Starks, DuJuan Harris, Michael Hill, Rajion Neal, LaDarius Perkins.

Notes: The loss of Johnathan Franklin to a career-ending neck injury struck a blow to what appeared to be a deep position. But it also sorted out things somewhat, although Harris still needs to show that he can be productive like he was late in the 2012 season. The knee injury that cost him all of last season does not appear to be an issue. Neal and Perkins, a pair of undrafted rookies, both are slashing backs similar to Harris with Perkins (5-foot-7, 195 pounds) also being similar in stature.

Fullbacks: John Kuhn, Ina Liaina.

Notes: There's no reason to think the veteran Kuhn won't be around for another season.

Receivers: Outside -- Jordy Nelson, Jarrett Boykin, Davante Adams, Jeff Janis, Kevin Dorsey, Chris Harper. Slot -- Randall Cobb, Jared Abbrederis, Myles White, Alex Gillett.

Notes: Adams, the rookie from Fresno State, may eventually supplant Boykin, but he will have to catch the ball more cleanly than he did in the offseason. He battled drop issues at times during the OTAs and minicamp. Fellow rookie Janis showed up regularly during team periods. Harper was off to a strong start until a hamstring injury knocked him out. In the slot, Abbrederis looks like a natural fit. White bulked up after contributing some as a rookie last season and should not be ignored.

Tight ends: Richard Rodgers, Andrew Quarless, Brandon Bostick, Ryan Taylor, Jake Stoneburner, Colt Lyerla, Justin Perillo.

Notes: Even if Quarless is healthy for the start of camp, Rodgers might still have the edge for the starting job after a strong offseason. He's more dynamic as a receiver than Quarless, who missed the entire offseason because of an undisclosed injury. Bostick came back late in the offseason from foot surgery. While there are high expectations for Lyerla, the undrafted rookie did not flash often enough during offseason practices.

Tackles: Right side -- Bryan Bulaga, Don Barclay, Aaron Adams, John Fullington. Left side -- David Bakhtiari, Derek Sherrod, Jeremy Vujnovich.

Notes: Bulaga practiced with a large brace on his surgically repaired left knee and has something to prove after missing all of last season, but the fact that he's back at right tackle shows how much the Packers believe in Bakhtiari on the left side. Sherrod made it through the full offseason program for the first time, which is something of an accomplishment considering his injury history. But he's running out of time to show he can play like the first-round pick that he was in 2011. Barclay, who started 18 regular-season games the last two seasons, has split his time between right tackle and guard and looks like the No. 6 offensive lineman.

Guard: Right side -- T.J. Lang, Barclay, Lane Taylor. Left side -- Josh Sitton, Barclay, Andrew Tiller, Jordan McCray.

Notes: Barclay likely would be the top back up at both guard spots, although Taylor worked at right guard with the No. 2 offensive line while Barclay played right tackle or left guard.

Center: JC Tretter, Garth Gerhart, Corey Linsley.

Notes: Tretter took all the snaps with the number one offensive line this offseason. It is his job to lose, but his lack of experience makes him something short of a sure thing. Gerhart worked ahead of Linsley, a fifth-round pick, but if anyone is going to challenge Tretter it might be Linsley.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It must have been an odd sight if any of his neighbors in Green Bay got a glimpse of what was happening in JC Tretter's garage this spring.

There was the 6-foot-4, 307-pound Packers offensive lineman bent over in a three-point stance snapping a football – to his sister.

But in many ways, it made sense that Tretter would be snapping a ball to whomever, whenever and wherever he could. After all, he was being touted as the leading candidate to become the starter at a position he has never before played.

"It was tough because it's tough to get a ball in your hand with all the rules in the CBA," Tretter said. "Whenever you can get the opportunity, you've got to take advantage of it. You've got to go find a park somewhere or something, and that's frustrating."

[+] EnlargeJC Tretter
Mike McGinnis/Getty ImagesJC Tretter has his sights set on being the Packers' starting center.
A college tackle at Cornell, the fourth-round draft pick in 2013 did not even begin practicing at center until Nov. 19 of last year, when he took part in his first-ever NFL regular-season practice. And now, here he was as the leading candidate to replace Evan Dietrich-Smith, the Packers' starting center from last season who left in free agency to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tretter broke his ankle last May on the first day of his first OTA practice as a pro. He missed the rest of the offseason program, all of training camp and began the season on the physically unable to perform list. It was not until late November that he was even allowed to practice. Although he never was active for a game, it was during those late fall practice sessions that the idea of him transitioning to center was born.

That led to an offseason in which Tretter was determined to spend as much time as possible – and as much time as the collective bargaining agreement allowed – at Lambeau Field.

"When I was leaving the facility after our loss in the playoffs, it was, 'I'm going to come back and train like I'm going to be the starter,'" Tretter said. "No matter who they bring in or who they bring back, my goal was to come back ready to be a starting center in this league."

The Packers feel like he has done that. Even after drafting a potential starting center, Ohio State's Corey Linsley in the fifth round, the Packers opened OTAs last week with Tretter in front of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

"JC's doing a really good job," Packers coach Mike McCarty said. "I think he's been here every single day since the season ended. I don't think there's been a day that I've walked through the locker room from February all the way through that he hasn't been here. I think that is really shown as far as the way he's jumped in there. So far, so good. I've been impressed with what I've seen."

Because the rules of the CBA prevent players from working directly with coaches – or even having a football in their hands at the team facility – before May, Tretter had to get creative. While he spent hours with the team's strength/conditioning and nutrition staff, he had to go elsewhere to get in his snapping work. Shortly after the season, he went back East to work out with former Cornell quarterback Jeff Mathews, who was training for the combine and would eventually sign with the Atlanta Falcons.

"So I got to snap with him, and that was the main goal of going to New Jersey to train with him, was to get a quarterback there to work with," Tretter said. "Then I came out here a couple of months before everybody else came back."

Said offensive line coach James Campen: "The thing with him is he's very smart. He's got good leadership ability, a hustler, works extremely hard. He's got very good balance and he's a big, strong guy. He's a bigger man and his work ethic is outstanding."

The final point, Campen's praise of Tretter's work ethic, takes us back to Tretter's garage, where he was firing shotgun snaps to his sister, Katherine.

"She's good; she has a great cadence," Tretter said. "She was giving me protection adjustments. She was on top of her stuff."
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Remember the days when first-round draft picks would sometimes miss the start of training camp because of contract disputes?

Clinton-Dix
It wasn't all that long ago that B.J. Raji missed nearly three weeks of his rookie training camp while his agent negotiated with the Green Bay Packers.

There's no such angst anymore.

The Packers signed first-round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix on Friday, less than a month after they drafted him 21st overall and nearly two months before training camp opens.

Clinton-Dix's four-year contract is expected to be worth $8,338,496 (including a $4,384,364 signing bonus).

The only remaining unsigned rookies are second-round receiver Davante Adams and third-round tight end Richard Rodgers.

Here's a look at the contract status for the Packers' entire draft class:

First round: S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, signed Friday.

Second round: WR Davante Adams, unsigned.

Third round: DT Khyri Thornton, signed a four-year, $2,833,252 contract (including a $563,252 signing bonus) May 19; TE Richard Rodgers, unsigned.

Fourth round: OLB Carl Bradford signed a four-year, $2,649,300 contract ($429,300 signing bonus) on May 16.

Fifth round: C Corey Linsley, signed a four-year, $2,405,000 contract ($185,000 signing bonus) May 15; WR Jared Abbrederis, signed a four-year, $2,364,560 contract ($144,560 signing bonus) May 14.

Sixth round: CB Demetri Goodson, signed a four-year, $2,323,152 ($103,152 signing bonus) May 16.

Seventh round: WR Jeff Janis, signed a four-year, $2,271,392 contract ($51,392 signing bonus) May 14.
Each week, I will ask for questions via Twitter with the hashtag #PackersMail and then will deliver the answers over the weekend.

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Third-round draft pick Khyri Thornton was the latest Green Bay Packers' rookie to sign his contract, meaning all but three of the team's nine draft picks are under contract.

Thornton is the highest of their selections to sign. The defensive tackle from Southern Miss was the 85th overall player selected and was the first of the Packers' two third-round picks.

It leaves only first-round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, second-round pick Davante Adams and third-round pick Richard Rodgers unsigned.

Thornton's deal was expected to be worth $2,833,252 for four years and will include a signing bonus of $563,252.

Here's a look at the contract status for the Packers' entire draft class:
  • First round: S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, unsigned.
  • Second round: WR Davante Adams, unsigned.
  • Third round: DT Khyri Thornton, signed a four-year, $2,833,252 contract (including a $563,252 signing bonus) on May 19; TE Richard Rodgers, unsigned.
  • Fourth round: OLB Carl Bradford signed a four-year, $2,649,300 contract ($429,300 signing bonus) on May 16.
  • Fifth round: C Corey Linsley, signed a four-year, $2,405,000 contract ($185,000 signing bonus) on May 15; WR Jared Abbrederis, signed a four-year, $2,364,560 contract ($144,560 signing bonus) on May 14.
  • Sixth round: CB Demetri Goodson, signed a four-year, $2,323,152 ($103,152 signing bonus) on May 16.
  • Seventh round: WR Jeff Janis, signed a four-year, $2,271,392 contract ($51,392 signing bonus) on May 14.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Only the Green Bay Packers' first-four draft picks remain unsigned.

Considering the speed at which vice president of player finance Russ Ball is getting the team's rookie deals done, that, too, should change soon.

Two more draft picks -- fourth-round outside linebacker Carl Bradford and sixth-round cornerback Demetri Goodson -- signed their rookie deals on Friday, when the team opened its rookie orientation camp. That means five of the nine draft picks are under contract.

The unsigned players also participated in the rookie camp, so not having a deal done by Friday was not a big deal.

Here is an update on the draft class’ signings:
  • First round: S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, unsigned.
  • Second round: WR Davante Adams, unsigned.
  • Third round: DT Khyri Thornton, unsigned; TE Richard Rodgers, unsigned.
  • Fourth round: OLB Carl Bradford signed a four-year, $2,649,300 contract (including a $429,300 signing bonus) on May 16.
  • Fifth round: C Corey Linsley, signed a four-year, $2,405,000 contract ($185,000 signing bonus) on May 15; WR Jared Abbrederis, signed a four-year, $2,364,560 contract ($144,560 signing bonus) on May 14.
  • Sixth round: CB Demetri Goodson, signed a four-year, $2,323,152 ($103,152 signing bonus) on May 16.
  • Seventh round: WR Jeff Janis, signed a four-year, $2,271,392 contract ($51,392 signing bonus) on May 14.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers' last starting center was a left tackle in college. So was one of the leading contenders to replace him.

That's what makes rookie Corey Linsley so unusual – and so refreshing – at least for the Packers.

The fifth-round pick from Ohio State is a center prospect who actually played center.

[+] EnlargeCorey Linsley
AP Photo/Jeff HaynesSafe to say that Packers offensive live coach James Campen is eager to work with rookie Corey Linsley. "I love his toughness, what he brings," Campen said.
"It's good to finally draft one that's played the position before," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said after last weekend's draft. "We're all excited about that. I know [offensive line coach] James Campen's real excited."

Before general manager Ted Thompson picked Linsley at No. 161 overall in the draft, the Packers' leading candidate to replace Evan Dietrich-Smith, who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency, was JC Tretter. A fourth-round pick last season, Tretter started at tackle for two years at Cornell after converting from tight end.

With Linsley, center is just about all he has known.

"I've felt at home at center since I got to Ohio State," Linsley said. "I always knew that was one of my better positions. Obviously, it took a little work for me to excel at the position. I've felt at home at center for a while."

After dabbling at guard and tackle early in his college career, the 6-foot-2, 296-pound native of Youngstown, Ohio, started 26 straight games at center for the Buckeyes over his final two seasons.

"He's a true center," said Linsley's agent, Bill Conaty.

Conaty should know. He spent nine seasons in the NFL as a center with the Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals before getting his law degree and becoming an agent.

"He's an extremely smart player, and extremely strong," Conaty said of his client. "He's got great hands. That's one of the biggest things is his hands. He's got good, quick hands."

Linsley was the sixth of 10 centers selected in last weekend's draft, but only one of them – North Carolina's Russell Bodine (a fourth-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals) – put up more reps on the 225-pound bench press at the scouting combine than Linsley. Bodine did 42 reps, six more than Linsley.

"I love his toughness, what he brings," said Campen, a former NFL center. "He really is what you're looking for from a mental standpoint. He's very physical. He goes after people, is a tempo-setter. He plays a physical brand of football."

Meanwhile, Tretter remains a bit of an unknown. He broke his ankle last May during an OTA practice and never took a single practice rep in training camp. He finally came off the physically unable to perform list on Dec. 10, although he did not play in any games.

In practice, he spent part of his time working at center for the first time in his playing career.

"When he came off of the PUP and was practicing, the majority of it obviously with the [scout] teams," Campen said. "He progressed every single week. That kid is a very headstrong kid, knows all the assignments and he's ready to go and compete. He wants to be the starting center also, just like everyone else does."

Campen and McCarthy will get their first extended look at their new center prospect on Friday morning, when the Packers begin their rookie orientation camp.

"It will be good just to have a natural center come in and play that position, and I view him as a center," McCarthy said. "I know we historically move our guys around, but I think it's important for him to come in and play center."
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It's not imperative that the Green Bay Packers have all their draft picks signed by the time rookie orientation camp starts Friday, but they now have three of the nine under contract and likely will have a few more done before they hit the field for the first time.

The latest to put his name on a contract was fifth-round pick Corey Linsley. The center from Ohio State is expected to compete with JC Tretter for a starting job.

Here's a look at the contract status of the Packers' nine draft picks:
Draft picks who have not signed will still participate in workouts with the assurance that they will be fully compensated in the event they sustain an injury.
GREEN BAY, Wis. – On Tuesday afternoon, we received word from an agent for one of the Green Bay Packers' draft picks that the team will start doing its rookie deals shortly.

A day later, that has come to fruition.

The first one to sign was former University of Wisconsin receiver Jared Abbrederis, a fifth-round pick (No. 176 overall).

ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates reported that the deal was signed on Wednesday.

Abbrederis’ agent, Rick Smith, confirmed that his client signed.

The next one to sign could be center Corey Linsley, another fifth-round pick, who as of late Tuesday evening was close to getting his deal done.

It's possible most of the Packers' nine draft picks could be under contract before the rookie orientation camp begins on Friday. The draft picks plus the 14 undrafted free agents who signed this week reported to Lambeau Field on Monday to begin workouts.
GREEN BAY, Wis. – At least one NFL team, the Chicago Bears, has already started signing its draft picks. And according to an agent for one of the Green Bay Packers' selections, the team will start doing its rookie deals shortly.

So what kind of money can the nine Packers’ draft picks expect?

Here is a look at the deals signed by the players taken at their spots in the draft last season based on ESPN Stats & Information salary data. Contracts should be similar, because the rookie salary pool is not expected to increase this year despite an increase in the salary cap.

First round
Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (No. 21 overall)
Last year's 21st overall pick: TE Tyler Eifert, Bengals
Eifert's contract: Four years, $8,256,000 with $7,490,592 guaranteed (including a $4,384,364 signing bonus)

Second round

Receiver Davante Adams (No. 53)
Last year's 53rd pick: DE Margus Hunt, Bengals
Hunt's contract: Four years, $3,671,1000 with $1,621,760 guaranteed (including a $1,049,082 signing bonus)

Third round

Defensive tackle Khyri Thornton (No. 85)
Last year's 85th pick: TE Jordan Reed, Redskins
Reed's contract: Four years, $2,760,000 with $549,112 guaranteed (all in the form of a signing bonus)

Tight end Richard Rodgers (No. 98)
Last year's 98th pick: QB Matt Barkley, Eagles
Barkley's contract: Four years, $2,739,528 with $497,028 guaranteed (all in the form of a signing bonus)

Fourth round

Outside linebacker Carl Bradford (No. 121 overall)
Last year's 121st pick: C Khaled Holmes, Colts
Holmes' contract: Four years, $2,580,108 with $420,108 guaranteed (all in the form of a signing bonus)

Fifth round

Center Corey Linsley (No. 161 overall)
Last year's 161st pick: WR Tavarres King, Broncos
King's contract: Four years, $2,331,480 with $171,480 guaranteed (all in the form of a signing bonus)*
*Waived by the Broncos and claimed by the Panthers on Oct. 21, 2013.

Receiver Jared Abbrederis (No. 176 overall)
Last year's 176th pick: T David Quessenberry, Texans
Quessenberry's contract: Four years, $2,273,452 with $113,425 guaranteed (all in the form of a signing bonus).

Sixth round

Cornerback Demetri Goodson (No. 197 overall)
Last year's 197th pick: WR Cobi Hamilton, Bengals
Hamilton's contract: Four years, $2,254,052 with $94,052 guaranteed (all in the form of a signing bonus)*
*Waived by the Bengals on Aug. 31, 2013 and re-signed to the practice squad

Seventh round

Receiver Jeff Janis (No. 236 overall)
Last year's 236th pick: WR Marquess Wilson, Bears
Wilson's contract: Four years, $2,207,148 with $47,148 guaranteed (all in the form of a signing bonus)
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers have assigned uniform numbers to their rookies, who are reporting to Lambeau Field for the first time Monday.

Here's a look at them and their numbers:

S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (first-round pick)
  • Uniform number: 21
  • Last player to wear 21: Charles Woodson (2006-12)
  • Other notable players to wear 21: Craig Newsome (1995-98), Bob Jeter (1963-70), Verne Lewellen (1927)*
WR Davante Adams (second round)
  • Uniform number: 17
  • Last player to wear 17: Craig Hentrich (1994-97)
  • Other notable players to wear 17: David Whitehurst (1977-83), Jerry Tagge (1972-74), Travis Williams (1967)*, Cecil Isbell (1938-42)
DT Khyri Thornton (third round)
TE Richard Rodgers (third round)
  • Uniform number: 89
  • Last player to wear 89: James Jones (2007-2012)
  • Other notable players to wear 89: Mark Chmura (1993-99), Dave Robinson (1963-72)
OLB Carl Bradford (fourth round)
C Corey Linsley (fifth round)
  • Uniform number: 63
  • Last player to wear 63: Jeff Saturday (2012)
  • Other notable players to wear 63: Scott Wells (2004-11), Adam Timmerman (1995-98), James Campen (1989-93), Fuzzy Thurston (1959-67)
WR Jared Abbrederis (fifth round)
  • Uniform number: 84
  • Last player to wear 84: D.J. Williams (2011-12)
  • Other notable players to wear 84: Bill Schroder (1997-2001), Andre Rison (1996), Sterling Sharpe (1988-94), Carroll Dale (1965-72), Gary Knafelc (1954-62)
CB Demetri Goodson (sixth round)
  • Uniform number: 39
  • Last player to wear 39: Trevor Ford (2009)
  • Other notable players to wear 39: Mike Prior (1994-98)*, Darrell Thompson (1990-93), Clarke Hinkle (1933)*, Cal Hubbard (1930)*
WR Jeff Janis
*Wore multiple numbers with the Packers

Note: Based on a picture Janis took of his locker and posted on his Instagram account, it appears the Packers have issued the No. 80. It likely has been given to one of the undrafted rookies, although those players have not yet been added to the official roster.

That number has not been worn since Donald Driver, the team’s career receiving leader, retired following the 2012 season. While it has been suggested that number be retired to honor Driver, it should be noted it was also worn by Pro Football Hall of Fame member James Lofton with the Packers from 1978-86.

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