B.J. Raji Deal Closer, Michael Vick Rumors Persist
Two interesting developments came to light over the weekend for the Green Bay Packers.
First, was the progress made on the deal with still unsigned first-round pick B.J. Raji. Two other unsigned rookies – the Denver Broncos Knowshon Moreno (No. 12) and the Seattle Seahawks Aaron Curry (No. 4) – signed their deals over the weekend, and at least Moreno’s seemed to have some positive impact on moving talks between Raji and the Packers forward.
Don’t get too excited yet, though. The Green Bay Press Gazette’s Pete Dougherty reported that although the sides are closer, that doesn’t mean a deal is necessarily imminent. The problem is the players selected before (Eugene Monroe – Jacksonville) and after (Michael Crabtree – San Francisco) Raji.
Raji’s chances for reaching a deal soon would improve dramatically if either the No. 8 pick (Jacksonville’s Eugene Monroe) or the No. 10 pick (San Francisco’s Michael Crabtree) would sign, because then Raji’s deal could be slotted off that. But Crabtree’s agent reportedly is looking to better the contract of the one receiver taken ahead of his client, (Darius) Heyward-Bey, so those talks could be prolonged.
The main problem with Monroe is Oakland seemingly decided to overpay Heyward-Bey, giving him a five-year, $38.25 million contract with $23.5 million guaranteed. If Monroe’s agent doesn’t get similar money and similar guarantees, then he isn’t going to look like much of an agent.
Crabtree, meanwhile, is said to be demanding money of a top-five pick and certainly is demanding more money than Heyward-Bey. Let’s face it, the Oakland Raiders are the idiots who fucked this whole thing up, first by drafting Heyward-Bey at No. 7 when he was considered a late first-round prospect at best, and then by paying him more than they had to. A second-rate organization all the way, Oakland. Well done!
Let’s hope Raji and his agent decide it’s time to get into Packers’ training camp, and get this deal done.
The second interesting development is the rumors of Michael Vick joining the Packers continue to swirl.
As we mentioned last week, Ted Thompson didn’t deny the Packers were interested in Vick. In fact, the Wisconsin State Journal’s Jason Wilde reported the Packers had indeed discussed the possibility of signing the former Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback.
Now comes the news from Yahoo! Sports Charles Robinson the Packers have sent a high-level personnel man to visit Vick. Robinson says the Packers interest is legitimate because of the continued struggles of third stringer Brain Brohm.
“I’ve heard from inside the (Packers) organization that he just hasn’t progressed the way they had hoped,” Robinson told EZ The Blog’s Zach McCrite. “He’s having a tough time just competing with (second string quarterback Matt) Flynn.
While Flynn seems to be progressing nicely, Brohm continues to struggle with his confidence, something we detailed coming into training camp (when we also suggested Vick as a possible alternative).
Former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy has been mentoring Vick, and says several coaches have inquired with him about the troubled star. Does a signing appear likely?
Well, not so fast. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein points out, while the Packers have some interest in Vick, the decision will largely revolve around the potential cost to the football team.
Among the considerations general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy would have to consider is how much of a distraction it would be to have Vick at training camp. Not only would the national media converge on this football-crazy hamlet, there would be potential for disruptive demonstrations by groups that think Vick shouldn’t be in the spotlight after being responsible for the death and injury of so many dogs.
Still, several players, including Charles Woodson, Donald Driver and Nick Barnett are in favor of adding Vick.
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Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.