Back in February, free agent safety and Wisconsin native Jim Leonhard openly discussed the possibility of returning home for his 11th season in the NFL. While no signing came out of it, he apparently has made some headway with the Packers.
In an interview with WQOW-TV, Leonhard says Green Bay is among the teams who have expressed interest in his services.
"It would mean a lot, but we've had a lot of conversations with teams, Green Bay being one of them. They're a great organization. I'd love to play for them but it hasn't worked out up to now. You never know what can happen in the future, but we'll see."
Given that Leonhard's interview comes a mere two weeks before the start of training camp, it's fair to question the legitimacy of these supposed conversations. While the Packers entered the offseason with a glaring hole at safety, the selection of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the draft as well as Micah Hyde's conversion appear to have filled the void. Perhaps Green Bay did expressed interest prior to the draft, and Leonhard is only discussing it now in order to gin up interest.
At the same time, Leonhard is a heady, reliable veteran who would require only the league minimum to sign. For a team with exclusively young players at safety -- 25-year-old Morgan Burnett is the graybeard of the group -- adding an experienced reserve could prove a prudent choice.
As it stands, the spot on Packers' 90-man roster vacated by Johnathan Franklin remains unfilled. We'll know within the next 14 days whether the team intends to use it on Jim Leonhard.
UPDATE: Leonhard cooled off these rumors a little bit during an interview on SiriusXM Satellite Radio on Monday, suggesting that these conversations were typical and not indicative of anything happening: