The National Football League announced Tuesday afternoon that NFL free agents can now negotiate with all 32 clubs.
Players are either “restricted” or “unrestricted” free agents.
The time period for free agency signings in 2014:
Restricted Free Agents – March 11 to May 2.
Unrestricted Free Agents – March 11 to July 22 (or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later).
Franchise Players – March 11 to November 11, the Tuesday following the 10th week of the regular season.
Transition Players – March 11 to July 22.
Here’s a breakdown of Packers free agents:
Restricted Free Agents who received qualifying offers from their prior clubs and are subject to the First Refusal/Compensation system of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement:
- LB Jamari Lattimore (Right of First Refusal)
Players with fewer than four accrued seasons who received no Qualifying Offer or minimum tender from their prior clubs:
- S M.D. Jennings (signed with Chicago Bears, March 12)
Unrestricted Free Agents with four or more accrued seasons:
- RB Kahlil Bell
- C/G Evan Dietrich-Smith (signed with Tampa Bay Buccaneers, March 14)
- TE Jermichael Finley
- QB Matt Flynn
- LB Robert Francois
- DT Johnny Jolly
- WR James Jones
- FB John Kuhn
- DE/LB Mike Neal (re-signed, March 13)
- T Marshall Newhouse
- DT Ryan Pickett
- TE Andrew Quarless (re-signed, March 13)
- DT B.J. Raji (re-signed, March 14)
- RB James Starks
- QB Seneca Wallace
- DE C.J. Wilson
Click here to view the Packers roster
Tags: free agency
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Each week during the month of March, the NFL Network will focus its programming on one of five NFL dynasties. This week, it’s the Green Bay Packers.
In addition to studio appearances by WR James Jones and former WR Antonio Freeman on NFL Total Access, the network will have a long slate of Packers-related programming and specials throughout the week.
For a look at the complete schedule, click here.
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The Packers’ Bryan “Flea” Engel was named the NFC’s winner of the Tim Davey Assistant Athletic Trainer of the Year award at last week’s scouting combine in Indianapolis.
The award began in 2010 in honor of Davey, a former assistant trainer for the Jets, who passed away that year. An employee of the Jets and the NFL for 33 years, Davey worked on the athletic training staff for the Jets (1969-77), moved into team operations (1977-91) and then joined the league office in game operations.
One assistant athletic trainer from the NFC and one from the AFC is recognized each year by the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society. Packers head athletic trainer Pepper Burruss, who worked with Davey while with the Jets, presented Engel with the award at the PFATS annual business meeting last week at the combine.
“It’s humbling to get an award like that amongst your peers,” Engel said. “Knowing who the award is named after, it has a special meaning from the stories I’ve heard about Tim Davey from ‘Pep’ and the special relationship he had with him.”
Engel just completed his 17th season as an athletic trainer for the Packers. He began his time in Green Bay as an intern in 1997 following two internships with the New England Patriots. He initially met the Packers’ training staff at Super Bowl XXXI while working for the opposing Patriots and came to Green Bay for an interview just a few weeks after that game.
After two seasons as an intern for the Packers, Engel became a full-time assistant in 1999 and has remained with the Packers since, though he never necessarily envisioned staying with one team this long.
“Each year, I just wanted another opportunity, and I figured I’d just keep doing it until somebody told me no,” the humble and soft-spoken Engel said. “Fortunately, nobody’s told me no yet. The door still opens when I put my (ID) card up to it. That’s pretty cool.”
Engel is the third member of the Packers’ medical staff to be honored in recent years. Dr. Patrick McKenzie received the Jerry “Hawk” Rhea award as the NFL’s outstanding team physician in 2011, while Burruss received the Fain Cain Memorial Award as the league’s top athletic trainer last year.
“An award like this speaks to who we are as a staff,” said Engel, adding the names of team physician Dr. John Gray, assistant athletic trainers Kurt Fielding and Nate Weir, plus multiple interns. “We all work together to try to take care of the team, take care of the players and do right by them. If one of us gets an award, we’re all thankful for the support from each other. We’re a group effort, and to me you have to have that.”
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INDIANAPOLIS—The success of the Seattle Seahawks secondary, specifically that of its safeties, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, might spike interest in Louisville safety Calvin Pryor.
Pryor is a physical player who models his game after Chancellor’s. If the NFL is a copycat league, and it always has been, Pryor’s draft stock will likely be on the rise should he turn in an impressive workout on Tuesday.
“I love the game of football. I was brought up with toughness. My father instilled it in me at a young age,” Pryor said on Sunday when reporters questioned him about his reputation for being a lights-out hitter.
Pryor says he believes he’s the top safety in this draft class. Alabama’s Ha’Sean “Ha Ha” Clinton-Dix is widely regarded to be Pryor’s competition for the distinction.
“I can play strong, free, I can hit and I can cover,” said Pryor, who confirmed that the Packers have shown interest in him.
The rap on Pryor is that he’s not a form tackler, and that he too often goes for the knockout blow. He doesn’t agree.
“In today’s game, you have to make sure you don’t have any head-to-head collisions. I make sure I use my shoulders and wrap up,” Pryor said.
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INDIANAPOLIS–His name is Rodgers and he’s from Cal.
No, not that Rodgers. This is Richard Rodgers and he’s a tight end with an interesting story. Rodgers is one of the few prospects that’s been asked to lose weight and become a pass catcher, instead of gain weight and become a blocker.
Rodgers is 6-4, 257. He was up to 275 pounds when he was asked to make the move from a blocking tight end in a two-TE set to a receiving tight end in a motion-type offense.
Packers.com draft contributor Tony Pauline believes Rodgers possesses the talent to be a draft steal for a team with a plan and the patience to execute it.
“Rodgers was never able to develop at one position during his time at Cal but possesses the underlying athleticism to be the type of tight end the NFL yearns for these days, a big-bodied pass catcher that gets down the seam and creates mismatches in the secondary,” Pauline said.
“They came to me and told me that if I didn’t get my weight down I wouldn’t play. So I had to do that and that’s what I did,” Rodgers said of losing weight and becoming a pass catcher.
It’s a request that could result in a professional football career.
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INDIANAPOLIS–Talk isn’t cheap for Aaron Colvin. It’s his only reason for attending the scouting combine.
The Oklahoma cornerback sustained a torn ACL at the Senior Bowl that canceled Colvin’s plans for proving he was worthy of a first-round draft pick.
“It was simple one-on-ones. The receiver was running a dig route. I heard a pop,” Colvin said of the injury.
“I felt like I was a first-round corner. I still feel like I’m a first-round corner,” he said.
Colvin is absolutely not a first-round corner now. The injury guarantees as much. The issue now is how far will Colvin fall? Will he be drafted at all?
“I do feel I’m worth the wait. I feel like I’m going to come back faster than anybody expects,” Colvin said.
The team that picks Colvin will be picking him as a futures player. Three weeks out of knee surgery, Colvin can’t do anything more this weekend than interview with interested teams. Colvin said he has an interview scheduled with the Chargers.
“I wanted to go (to the Senior Bowl) to prove I’m a first-round corner. I felt like I was doing that,” he said.
Now Colvin wants to convince someone he’s worth the wait.
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INDIANAPOLIS–When we last left UCLA linebacker Jordan Zumwalt, he was leaving the field following a practice at the Senior Bowl, and blood was trickling from his forehead. This was one day after coaches had instructed Zumwalt to dial back his contact.
You want a hitter? Zumwalt is your guy.
Zumwalt will work out on Monday at the scouting combine, and should his athletic measurables equal his gusto for the game, Zumwalt might begin a sharp rise up draft boards.
“Coach Mora really helped change the program a lot. UCLA used to have the reputation of being soft. A lot of our guys hated that. We weren’t about that at all. That’s when Coach Mora showed up and he just made it OK for us to be ourselves,” Zumwalt said.
The new directive culminated with Zumwalt delivering the hit of the bowl season, a knockout blow to Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas.
“That probably is the best hit of my career, and I’m really grateful for that opportunity I had,” Zumwalt said. “You know, everybody wants to take the quarterback out of the game. It’s nice when you don’t have to play against the starting quarterback.”
On the surface, Zumwalt doesn’t appear to fit the new NFL culture, but Seattle just won a Super Bowl with an against-the-grain approach, and a Packers team in need of help on defense, especially at linebacker, might have interest in Zumwalt.
“It was against Oregon,” Zumwalt said when asked on Saturday about the personal foul penalty that earned him notoriety for being a borderline dirty player. ”I’d hit De’Anthony Thomas. I hit him across the middle and I gave him a ‘good night’ (hands together, up against the side of the face as if he were sleeping). I was just all emotion. Thinking back to it, I was an idiot for doing that. You should never do that. It looks bad. I was really caught up in the emotion and that’s what I did. It felt right at the time. That’s the way I was feeling toward him, so that’s what I did. It turned out that it wasn’t a penalty because I didn’t hit him with just my helmet. It wasn’t targeting, so there was no reason to throw the flag.”
Want some muscle? Can you live with a player that doesn’t fit the culture? Here’s your guy.
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INDIANAPOLIS–South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney faced an inquisition of sorts in his press conference at the scouting combine on Saturday.
Why the dip in stats in 2013, he was asked?
“Going into last season, I had a lot of high expectations of myself. Things don’t always happen like you plan on. I was really trying to break the (career) sack record for us for the next guys coming in. There were a lot of ups and downs but we won 11 games, were 11-2, won our bowl game, finished No. 4 in the country for the first time in South Carolina history, so I was pretty excited about the season. I wasn’t worried about my stats, really. A lot of game changing went on when we played teams. Quick passes, two-on-one, opposite-side runs, but that happens. I wasn’t really worried about my stats, I just wanted to win,” Clowney answered.
It was thought Clowney would’ve been the first overall pick of the 2013 draft, had he been eligible. Eligibility rules, however, forced him to wait another season. Some have accused him of playing not to get hurt in 2013, but it doesn’t appear to have hurt his draft stock. It’s believed he’ll be the first overall pick of the 2014 draft.
Will you try to convince the Texans to take you No. 1?
“Of course. That’s one of my goals here, to go No. 1. I came out of high school as the No. 1 player so I want to come out of here as the No. 1 guy,” Clowney said.
Were you protecting your draft stock this past season?
“It wasn’t about that. I was out there trying to help my team win games. I wasn’t worried about draft stock or nothing. That will take care of itself. I was out there trying to make plays for my team, no matter what it took,” he answered.
Clowney claimed he gave no consideration to sitting out the 2013 season.
“The coaches knew I was coming back. They were like, ‘Don’t worry about it, the media is going to talk.’ I said, ‘I am going to be ready to play and help the team win.’ I said, ‘Coach, I am going to try to break the sack record this year.’ He already knew I was going for that tackle-for-loss record, also. I was close on all of them going into my junior year. Things didn’t go as good as possible, but I had a lot of high expectations on myself. I was looking forward to the season. I think I played hard and physical every game,” he said.
Would he have entered the draft in 2013 had he been eligible?
“I came off a great season. If there was a chance, I probably would have, but right now that’s over with. I had to stay a third year, and I did what I had to do, took care of my business with my team, helped them win games. I was excited that we won,” he said.
Clowney said his greatest asset is his speed and hopes to run a 4.4 40 on Monday.
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INDIANAPOLIS–San Francisco 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke shares Ted Thompson’s belief in the less said, the better.
“I don’t know what advantage there would be in giving out information, so we try to keep as much information to ourselves as we can. It’s a unique process. Obviously, there’s a lot of information coming and going out, so there are certain times there are smokescreens being made, but the No. 1 thing I’ve learned is the less you say, the better off you are,” Baalke said at the scouting combine.
How do you go about making sure there are not leaks?
“We’re constantly evaluating what’s in the papers, and we have our PR department looking for those types of things and find out if it’s a team source that’s made a decision to let something out of the building. We address it. Our coaching staff, our personnel staff do a very good job of keeping things close to the vest and we’re hopeful we’ll continue to do that,” Baalke said.
Do you monitor social media of draft-eligible players?
“We’re in that age of social media. We pay great deal of attention to it. When we narrow the board down over the next several weeks, we’ll start identifying the players we want to run social media with and take a look at their accounts and how active they are and what they’re saying and what they’re doing, so we do address it,” he added.
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INDIANAPOLIS–Aaron Donald followed his eye-popping performance at the Senior Bowl with a focused interview with media at the scouting combine on Saturday.
“I want to continue to open their eyes,” he said of scouts who will be evaluating Donald’s workout at Lucas Oil Stadium on Monday.
The undersized defensive tackle was the most dominant player at the Senior Bowl in January, but he continues to battle size prejudice that projects him to be a late first-round pick. It’s a prejudice Donald has had to battle since being lightly recruited out of high school.
“It never got to me. It is what it is. Thinking about it ain’t gonna make me any taller. All I can do is go out and play hard-nosed,” Donald said in a short, to-the-point interview. He spoke of wanting to be an immediate impact player, though his favorite player, Geno Atkins, didn’t become a star for the Bengals until his second season. Donald has been compared to Atkins, largely because they are the same size.
“It’s an honor for people to even compare me to a player like that,” Donald said.
Donald played nose tackle, defensive tackle and defensive end at Pitt, but says he believes his role in the NFL will be as a three-technique defensive tackle in a 4-3.
His workout on Monday will go a long way toward determining whether Donald can maintain his Senior Bowl momentum, or make some team happy to have gotten a player of such talent in the second round.
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