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Packers make first contact

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Heatherthepackgirl, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    Green Bay - The Green Bay Packers recently took the first step designed to lock up linebacker Brady Poppinga on a long-term contract.
    95004Packers/NFL

    Photo/Rick Wood

    Packers linebacker Brady Poppinga wraps up Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson for no gain during a game in November. Poppinga hopes he will get to stay in Green Bay with a substantial new contract.

    Their contact with Michael Hoffman, the agent for Poppinga, is the latest example of how general manager Ted Thompson attempts to build a football team.

    With just about every club in the National Football League having signed at least one player in the first two weeks of unrestricted free agency, the Packers have signed none.

    Thompson prefers to use the draft as his primary source of player procurement. Then, after those young players prove themselves, he seeks to retain them with new deals.

    "As Ted Thompson has made pretty public, they want to identify their core guys and look to keep them," Poppinga said Friday. "So they keep their own. They don't go out and spend a lot of money in free agency."

    Poppinga described as "very preliminary" the Packers' call to Hoffman, but Poppinga hopes it will culminate with a substantial new contract.

    "First, I'd have them eventually give me an offer and then we'll go from there," Poppinga said. "I understand what the market is and all the different elements involved. That all will work itself out."

    Although Poppinga would become unrestricted next March with the expiration of his original four-year contract, he expressed no desire to test the market.

    "Honestly, there'd be no reason to leave this place," he said. "Obviously, I love Green Bay. I love the community. I love the team. I love everything that this place represents."

    Poppinga, a fourth-round draft choice in 2005, has been the strong-side starter for the past two seasons after recovering from reconstructive knee surgery in December of his rookie year.

    Because of an escalator clause in his contract, his base salary for 2008 has increased from $520,000 to $927,000. He counts $1.029 million against the salary cap.

    The Packers have discussed the possibility of signing free agent Brandon Chillar, a strong-side starter for St. Louis for two seasons. But the two sides appear apart on money, and the team perhaps now has decided just to move ahead with Poppinga and improve its depth later.

    Late in the week, Green Bay ranked fifth in available dollars beneath the cap at $24.3 million, about $11.7 million more than the NFL average. They would gain an additional $11.4 million in space if and when Brett Favre officially retires.

    The Packers could eat up considerable salary room by structuring Poppinga's extension with a hefty roster bonus this year.

    Poppinga's situation is analogous to defensive end Cullen Jenkins, who signed a four-year, $15.84 million deal in February 2007 that contained $5.28 million in first-year bonuses. Jenkins was a year away from unrestricted free agency, same as Poppinga, and had played three seasons, same as Poppinga.

    Center Scott Wells was a year and a half removed from unrestricted free agency in November 2006 when he signed a five-year extension worth $15 million.

    Poppinga and the Packers undoubtedly will be studying four contracts of outside linebackers from the early stages of the unrestricted signing period. Poppinga is different from them, however, because he has a contract and the Packers aren't compelled to do anything for another year.

    Boss Bailey and Kawika Mitchell, two players born within a month of the 28-year-old Poppinga and with five years of experience, each signed a five-year, $17.5 million deal. Bailey, formerly of Detroit, got $4.3 million in '08 bonus money from Denver. Mitchell, former of the New York Giants, got $2.5 million up front from Buffalo.

    A pair of four-year players, the Giants' Reggie Torbor and Atlanta's Demorrio Williams, also switched teams. Torbor went to Miami for $14 million over four years ($4 million bonus) whereas Williams went to Kansas City for $10.5 million over five years ($3 million bonus).

    Poppinga is two years older than most players with just three years of experience because he devoted his first two years out of high school to a Mormon mission.

    Last season, Poppinga played 52.7% of the snaps on defense.

    "It's been gratifying just seeing where I began my NFL career and where I'm at right now," he said. "It's like a drug. You just want to keep going, keep feeding it.

    "I think a lot of people overlook is that I was a D-end in college. I've just improved and improved. I can just offer so much to this team and they know that.

    "I'm only going to get better."
     
  2. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    Strong side linebacker is one of the few positions where I thought the Packers might be able to improve substantially by signing a free agent, and yet, I don't see anyone out there who would be a major upgrade. It might have been interesting to bring in someone like Lance Briggs and then move A.J. Hawk over to the strong side, but Briggs has been re-signed by the Bears.

    I do like Poppinga, and he has continued to improve, so a long-term deal makes sense at this point. We need at least one more solid backup at linebacker, but that's what the draft is for.

    Edit: This thread needs a better title than "Packers make first contact."
     
  3. MassPackersFan

    MassPackersFan Cheesehead

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    I agree Greg, and we don't have to necessarily spend a high rounder on one either. 4th round or so is fine with me. Someone who can play OLB.
     
  4. Gattocheese

    Gattocheese Cheesehead

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    Yeah i am not really high on Poppinga. I thought he was one of our soft spots on defense. But i do have to agree, at the end of the season he started playing a little better. Hopefully we will keep improving through experience, because thats all i see us hoping for.
     
  5. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    Poppinga improved a lot from 06 to the end of 07. I mean, bigtime. If it was a pass play, I'd scream "SOMEONE HELP POPPINGA!" but now I don't do that, because he's a lot better. He also tackles like a madman and is somewhat of a ball hawk.

    I love the Swarmin' Mormon!

    Lock him up!
     
  6. PackOne

    PackOne Cheesehead

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    Lock him up. One of the hardest workers on the team.
     
  7. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    First off, Heather with all due respect the title is hilarious.

    Was anyone else reminded of McLovin from Super Bad? "It's in....." :lol:


    As for Poppinga, he really has improved, and he had a better second half of the season than he did first half. Prime example of our "growing from within" formula. Here's hoping to a continued growth.
     
  8. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    No.
     
  9. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    Um...

    That post wasn't meant for you.... [​IMG]
     
  10. arrowgargantuan

    arrowgargantuan Cheesehead

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    lol.
     
  11. micklaus

    micklaus Cheesehead

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    McLovin' needs to be locked into a longtgerm deal. Don't we need a longsnapper?
     
  12. Krazygangsta

    Krazygangsta Cheesehead

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    Lock him ... his not the best LB ... but his pretty darn decent
     
  13. mkapp

    mkapp Cheesehead

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    Good for you TT! Sign him up.
     
  14. yooperfan

    yooperfan Cheesehead

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    " The Swarmin Mormon", good one Trom!
    Lock him up!
     
  15. carlos

    carlos Cheesehead

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    Sign him on his awesome attitude first, team player, and a pretty decent linebacker to say the least.
     
  16. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    That's Nick Barnett's nickname for him.
     
  17. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    Yeah I wish I could take credit for that one. One of the better nicknames on the team.
     
  18. BangTheDrum

    BangTheDrum Cheesehead

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    Meh... I like Brady but he isnt all that great
     
  19. Tiger

    Tiger Cheesehead

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    Brady's little bro Kelly could be worth a shot as a FA Training Camp rookie, itd be pretty cool to have them play together :)

     
  20. BangTheDrum

    BangTheDrum Cheesehead

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    I was thinking the same thing! I ran into his name on a pro day website... Looked like his numbers werent all too great and in that respect he was the second best linebacker working out for BYU but I don't take TOO much stock into numbers. On the field play and instincts are what matters
     
  21. Tiger

    Tiger Cheesehead

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    Sounds like Big Bro too :)
     
  22. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    That's strange. I was thinking he's the worst of the 3 LBs by far. Barnett and Hawk are solid. I was hoping we'd draft someone to challenge Poppinga's position.

    But then again, I did notice improvement in the later games of '07.
     
  23. BangTheDrum

    BangTheDrum Cheesehead

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    He is easily the least talented of our 3... Ive said a hundred times that he is slightly above average in the NFL and they need to bring someone in to challenge if not take his job, thats why I think we go with a OLB with one of our second round picks this year.
     
  24. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    Poppinga will show the doubters!
     

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