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Which Restricted Free Agents Do The Packers Want Back?

The NFL agreed to a one-week extension in negotiations on a new labor pact with the players, but the Green Bay Packers had to get all of their contracts done by Thursday. They made deals with unrestricted free agents LB A.J. Hawk and SS Charlie Peprah. They made no progress, and as far as I know they didn't even try, to agree on a new contract with unrestricted free agent DE Cullen Jenkins.

They tendered contracts to some players who may be restricted free agents, and didn't with others. I had expected them to tender all the players with less than six years of service time, as those were the rules last season. Instead they were selective, and since all of them are possibly unrestricted free agents with four or more years of service time, it might not matter.

They sent contract offers to LG Daryn Colledge and K Mason Crosby, and also too FB John Kuhn. Maybe they wanted to send those particular players a message (we want you back and we want to pay you this much) or they were hoping those particular players might actually sign them.

Tom Silverstein reports on the players who didn't receive contract offers.

WR James Jones was a surprise, but it was highly unlikely he'd signed now with the opportunity to test the free agent market right in front of him. Some almost-good-enough-to-start receivers have gotten long-term contracts in recent years, before they turn out to be free agent busts. I'm sure they'd like to bring him back, but some other team might be willing to pay him more.

RB Brandon Jackson. He wants to be paid like a lead back, and he just hired super-agent Drew Rosenhaus. He would have never signed a one-year restricted free agent tender. The Packers need him, or a third-down back like him, but he might be ready to move on. Also, as RB James Starks emerged during their playoff run, it lead to less playing time for him. Mike McCarthy has spoken very highly of Jackson in the past, so I doubt the team has completely soured on him. He's just a part-time player.

SS Atari Bigby, FB Korey Hall, and OL Jason Spitz. Three former starters who each had a very small role during their Super Bowl season. All three players have also been injury prone. They are candidates to be brought back at the veteran's minimum, and Bigby and Hall may still be valuable on special teams. I wouldn't be surprised to see any of them re-signed after the draft, but the Packers are probably in no hurry.