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Green Bay Packers Sign Several Players to Futures Contracts

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The Packers made some signings over the last few days, adding eight young players to their roster.

New Packer Chase Thomas in a college game with Stanford.
New Packer Chase Thomas in a college game with Stanford.

There have been a few things slipping through the cracks over the past two days as Green Bay Packers fans mourned their team's playoff loss to the 49ers on Sunday. Perhaps the biggest of those news items was the series of signings the Packers made, locking up several young players to "futures" contracts.

Six of these players signed were on the Packers' practice squad to finish the season. A list of those players is below.

T Aaron Adams
CB Antonio Dennard
C Garth Gerhart
WR Alex Gillett
RB Orwin Smith
G Andrew Tiller

Gilett saw substantial playing time as a receiver in the preseason after converting to that position from playing quarterback at Eastern Michigan, while Gerhart worked at center with Green Bay throughout the off-season and preseason as well. Adams was the only members of this group to have spent the entire 2013 regular season on the Packers' practice squad, as each of the others was added later on in the season.

Two other players were signed by the Packers: outside linebacker Chase Thomas and tackle Jeremy Vujnovich.

Thomas was a key player on Stanford's defense in 2012, but he could not catch on with an NFL team early this season. He signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent but was cut mid-way through the preseason. The Raiders then signed him, but he was released in the final round of cuts. Finally, Thomas was picked up by the Falcons and spent the season on their practice squad. Thomas recorded 27.5 sacks with two interceptions and nine forced fumbles in his four years at Stanford, but he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.91 seconds at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine which was part of the reason he went undrafted.

Vujnovich signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent after the 2013 draft and worked in the team's rookie mini-camp, but was released shortly thereafter.

These signings bring the Packers' roster to 78 players, which includes the 20 players whose contracts expire at the end of the 2013 league year.