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Get Those Guys Signed Ted!

With training camp just about to start, I've just begun to get stressed out that it starts in two days and the Packers' top four draft choices remain unsigned. Plus RB Ryan Grant is currently sitting in New York waiting for a new contract. At first I thought GM Ted Thompson was too distracted by Brett Favre and unable to devote the time necessary to get his players signed, but looking around the rest of the league, it looks like that this is typical for the NFL.

  • Top pick WR Jordy Nelson is still unsigned but two wide receivers were drafted right of him, and St. Louis signed WR Donnie Avery today while Washington signed WR Devin Thomas last week. With those two guys under contract, it should be obvious that he should receive just a little below them, and he should be signed this weekend.
  • I was concerned that 2nd round pick QB Brian Brohm might be a tough one to sign. Although NFL draft choices are slotted, he should receive less than the guy above him but more than the guy behind him, quarterbacks usually get paid more than their slotting would require because they are quarterbacks. However, QB Chad Henne was taken right behind Brohm and he signed today with Miami, so it should be pretty obvious that he should receive a similar contract. He should be signed and in training camp very soon.
  • The final second round pick, CB Pat Lee, just signed today.
  • 3rd round pick TE Jermichael Finley is still unsigned, and I don't get it. Since he came out of college as an underclassman, and might need to step in as the backup tight end immediately, he needs to be in camp. Guys right above him like RB Steve Slaton and LB Marcus Harrison have been signed for a while now. So has LB Cliff Avril who was taken right after him. I don't know if this is the team's fault, or Finley's agent's fault.
  • Saving the best for last; RB Ryan Grant remains unsigned. There is some recent good news, but nothing is done. Although he's more important than any other guy on this list, he's still the least important guy to get in camp on time. He's already gone through one season with the team, he's worked with QB Aaron Rodgers already (probably for a while on the scout team last season too), and it seems unlikely his role in the offense has changed much this offseason. Plus, they traded for him right at the end of training camp last season, and obviously he figured out the playbook pretty quickly. Also, this is the most complicated signing, since undrafted players rarely reach a Pro Bowl level while they are still an exclusive rights free agent. The last major player like Grant was San Diego TE Antonio Gates and it took the two sides until the end of training camp that season to strike a deal.