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Barnett talks moving slowly

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Heatherthepackgirl, Apr 7, 2007.

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  1. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    But linebacker expects to get a deal
    By TOM SILVERSTEIN
    tsilverstein@journalsentinel.com
    Posted: April 5, 2007

    Anyone who knows linebacker Nick Barnett knows he's not a patient guy.


    Nick Barnett could command a signing bonus of around $10 million to $20 million.







    He wants the season to start right away, he wants this to be the year the Green Bay Packers rank No. 1 in defense and he'd like to win a Super Bowl.

    And, oh yeah, one other thing: He'd like a big, fat contract.

    On the former, Barnett finds it hard to wait. On the latter, he is letting things work themselves out.

    Barnett has been a regular at the Packers' off-season conditioning program, choosing to take a different route than cornerback Mike McKenzie and wide receiver Javon Walker did when money became an issue with the Packers. He figures not preparing for the upcoming season will hurt him regardless if he has a new contract when the season begins.

    "I want it to get done; it's on my mind, but not that much," Barnett said after a workout at the Packers' facility. "I don't really have a problem waiting a year and then going to free agency. There's the benefit of that vs. what I would get right now."

    Barnett and his agent, Chuck Price, both think the linebacker has outperformed his rookie contract, which was essentially worth $6 million over five years, and calls for him to be paid $1.95 million in 2007. The former first-round pick has led the team in tackles three of his four seasons, finishing second behind rookie A.J. Hawk last season.

    He has been both durable and consistent, starting all but two games in four seasons, and compiling more than 600 tackles during that time. The only thing lacking from his game has been game-changing plays, which separate great players from good ones.

    In 62 games, he has seven interceptions, eight sacks, one forced fumble and one touchdown.

    Still, the Packers have high regard for what Barnett does in their defense and are sincerely interested in locking him up through a long-term deal. The two sides have been talking off and on, but discussions have heated up recently with the draft serving as an artificial deadline to get something done.

    "We're having conversations," Price said. "It's too early to tell whether he'll have a new deal or he'll be a free agent next year. We'll see where it goes."

    Barnett, 25, would like to go where some other free-agent linebackers have gone this off-season, which is a signing bonus of around $10 million to $20 million. New England's Adalius Thomas, who received $20 million in guaranteed money from the Patriots, stands at the high end and Kansas City's Napoleon Harris, who received $7.5 million to sign, lies at the low end.

    In the middle are Miami's Joey Porter (around $13 million guaranteed) and Washington's London Fletcher ($10.5 million in bonuses). Also factored in are deals signed a year ago by St. Louis' Will Witherspoon and Washington's Andre Carter ($9 million in bonuses) and Seattle's Julian Peterson ($13.5 million in bonuses).

    The Packers probably want to know if they'll have Barnett on board before they go into the draft so they can cross linebacker off their wish list. In turn, Barnett would like to get a deal done before the draft so he can be sure he's in the team's plans beyond this year.

    "I believe there has been positive progress," Barnett said. "But until we get closer to the ballpark for both of us, then I'll start getting happy. But I'm happy with the progress. I'm not trying to force their hand and they're not trying to force mine. It's been a good process; it's just I would like it to be done."

    As Barnett waits, he has attempted to put all his energy into getting ready for the 2007 season. The Packers have all 11 defensive starters back from last year and are hoping to see young players such as defensive tackle Johnny Jolly, cornerback Will Blackmon, safety Charlie Peprah and linebacker Abdul Hodge take big steps this off-season.

    All but two veterans on defense - cornerbacks Al Harris and Charles Woodson - are attending the off-season program, which Barnett considers a good sign. He has tried to take on a leadership role, figuring that if others see him at work they'll know he's serious about this season.

    "A lot of guys come up to me and say, 'Man, they haven't done nothing for you yet?' and I just say, 'Don't worry about that, just worry about being the No. 1 defense and that stuff will come.'"

    Barnett said he hadn't dwelled on general manager Ted Thompson's unwillingness to utilize the free-agent market beyond nickel back Frank Walker because he doesn't think the defense needs any help. He said he was trusting Thompson to find someone to replace departed running back Ahman Green and fill various other needs on offense.

    "It's hard to throw money at players you don't know," Barnett said of free agency. "I'm sure Ted's going to work it out. (Vernand) Morency is a great back, and I can see them doing something in the draft. We'll see what happens."
     
  2. PackerLegend

    PackerLegend Cheesehead

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    Give the man his damn money !
     
  3. Mortfini

    Mortfini Cheesehead

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    U DAM RIGHT PACKERLEGEND!!!!
     
  4. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    I really believe it will get done in plenty of time before the season starts. Both sides are posturing, neither wants to give up too much. It will get done, and Barnett will be happy in the end.
     
  5. Packnic

    Packnic Cheesehead

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    i like his attitude. anyone else excited about this defense??

    think we can be the number one D in the land?

    PAY THE MAN
     
  6. Krazygangsta

    Krazygangsta Cheesehead

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    Thas the attitude we need from some players ... an attitude that wants to win
     
  7. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    I agree.......the attitude is there, now just go out and do it! I think they can, if they can stay healthy.
     
  8. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    Well said krazygangsta.

    Barnett surely has to be the epitome of "Packer People". He is a great guy who is a great role model on and off the field, has performed despite 4 DC in each of his first 4 seasons, and never once have we heard a peep about him being unhappy.

    Plus, he stepped up and took responsibility for the 4th and 26 play, saying it was his fault and he was playing too deep. That is what leaders do, and I respect that a great deal.

    Overpay the man if you have to Ted, please don't let Barnett get away.
     
  9. Mortfini

    Mortfini Cheesehead

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    if we keep barnett in 2-3 years time he will be 1 of the best MLB around and with hawk they can only both get better
     
  10. flapackfan

    flapackfan Cheesehead

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    I think Barnett is very good but not "great". I hope we keep him because he is our best linebacker but nobody on our team is worth a 20 mil signing bonus, thats just nuts. Maybe 10 mil bonus and 5 mil per year max. There are comparable guys that could be had for less but i dont mind overpaying Barnett a little since he has paid his dues and played for us at a bargain price. hes earned some favor from the Packers.
     
  11. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    I agree with you on the 20 million signing bonus part.

    Barnett seems to have all the tools, sometimes I wonder if it is the fact that our scheme isn't suited for him, and that keeps him from becoming a great player.

    I'd say around 10 million guaranteed money is fair for Barnett, and I'd be willing to push that amount to 12 maybe 13 million.

    However, I think TT will be thinking quite differently in terms of overpaying Barnett.
     
  12. flapackfan

    flapackfan Cheesehead

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    Lol, me 2. Maybe 4 years 9 million back loaded with a 3 million bonus
     
  13. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    Fla, I think that is chump change given the current market. I'd be downright shocked (but very happy) if Barnett ever excepted a deal like that.
     
  14. Mortfini

    Mortfini Cheesehead

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    what if we just offered him 1-2 years then when farve (GOD!) retires we could offer him a little more
     
  15. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    Well instead we could apply the franchise tag on Barnett...
     
  16. Mortfini

    Mortfini Cheesehead

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    i would never place a franchise tag on any1 in green bay after whats happened with briggs
     
  17. arrowgargantuan

    arrowgargantuan Cheesehead

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    Barnett has earned his payday, end of story. he's a worker and we'd be blessed if we had more like him on this squad.

    don't break the bank, but make him happy.
     
  18. Joebediah

    Joebediah Cheesehead

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    Whenever I think about what to pay Barnett, I always think about Will Witherspoon because, imo, they are on similar levels as players.

    Witherspoon got a 33 million over 6 years with 15 mil in guarantees in 2006 from the Rams.

    No doubt, Barnett has his sights on 40+ mil with a lot of it in guarantees.
     
  19. retiredgrampa

    retiredgrampa Cheesehead

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    The only reason I can think of for the delay is that TT has plans (hopes) for draft day that could involve big money. Since that's not picks ($5-6mil there) it may be an expensive trade. I'm most probably wrong but I can't imagine what he plans to do with $20mil in hand. He won't spend it on June 1st. Nothing will be there.
     
  20. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    To me, these kinds of statements are why you lose people on your side. In the Ricky Williams thread, you are stating how great he is, and how the Packers should go after him. The guy is a pot head who is just a shell of his former self. Then we have Barnett, who i think has played at a very high level, and hasn't screwed his team or done drugs, and you think HE isn't worth paying. I just don't understand your way of thinking. Go after a has been druggy RB, but try to be cheap with your best LB on your roster.
     
  21. PackerLegend

    PackerLegend Cheesehead

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    packerchatters reports that deal is suppose to be done by April 20th barring any set backs. Guess we have to wait and see.
     
  22. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    It would be sweet to have it done before the draft.
     
  23. warhawk

    warhawk Cheesehead

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    Which also makes this report on it moving slowly old news. It's certainly important for TT to have the number here nailed down so he knows what he has to work with before the draft.
     
  24. robkeg

    robkeg Cheesehead

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    I agree warhawk. TT needs to have Barnett's deal done prior to the draft. Then go into the draft knowing what you have so if trades are going to be done during the draft you know what you have to work with. It is is plain life. You got to pay your current bills before you go buy the new car and add new bills.
     
  25. RainX

    RainX Cheesehead

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    I'm not to worried. TT knows how important it is to get him locked up to a long term deal, and even if it takes him awhile, it'll get done.
     
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