Sunday, March 14, 2010
Packers bring back tackle Tauscher
MILWAUKEE -- Veteran Green Bay Packers right tackle Mark Tauscher has agreed to terms on a multiyear contract that will bring him back to the team, his agent said Sunday.
Agent Neil Cornrich said the deal will allow Tauscher, who went to the University of Wisconsin, to play his entire football career in his home state. Tauscher was an unrestricted free agent.
Milwaukee's ESPN 540 AM radio reported Tauscher's return on its Web site Saturday night. The team has yet to announce the move.
Cornrich said Tauscher was thankful the team's front office -- including general manager Ted Thompson, vice president of football administration/player finance Russ Ball and coach Mike McCarthy -- gave him the chance to finish his career with the Packers.
"He's ecstatic," Cornrich said. "Mark's very grateful that Ted Thompson, Russ Ball and Coach McCarthy have worked so diligently to provide him an opportunity to return to the Green Bay Packers."
Speaking at the team's Fan Fest on Friday, McCarthy said he was optimistic about Tauscher's return.
"I feel Mark Tauscher is definitely not too far away, and hopefully we'll have some news for you there shortly," McCarthy said.
The new deal for Tauscher completed a flurry of activity this weekend for the Packers, who also completed long-term deals with two cornerstones of what was a much-improved defense last season: nose tackle Ryan Pickett and safety Nick Collins.
The Packers also recently re-signed veteran left tackle Chad Clifton, who also was an unrestricted free agent.
"We're focused on bringing our own free agents back, getting better as a football team, starting internally, and then we'll add another draft class to this group," McCarthy said Friday. "We like where we are today, but the importance of the offseason program and keeping your own players has been our focus, and that time is upon us now."
Promising young lineman T.J. Lang could be in line to eventually replace Tauscher at right tackle. The team also is expected to look closely at offensive line prospects in the NFL draft.
Tauscher, Green Bay's starting right tackle for most of his first nine seasons in the league, began the 2009 season out of football after a torn left anterior cruciate ligament ended his 2008 season.
The Packers brought Tauscher back in midseason after his replacement, Allen Barbre, struggled on the field.
After working his way back into football shape, Tauscher returned to his starting spot, bringing stability to the NFL's worst pass protection unit and earning praise from quarterback Aaron Rodgers.