It's not all draft foolishness that surrounds 1265 Lombardi Avenue this week. For once, we have some real transactional news to report! According to the NFL's daily transaction report, restricted free agent Jamari Lattimore has signed his tender and will be a Green Bay Packer next season, as expected.
Lattimore was given the "original round" tender by the Packers before free agency opened. Since he was originally signed as an undrafted free agent, the Packers would not have received compensation if he signed an offer sheet with another team, but they would have had the right to match that offer sheet. Apparently Lattimore did not receive enough interest from other teams, and he has signed the tender two days in advance of the offer sheet deadline on Friday.
The tender will pay Lattimore a base salary of $1.431 million in 2014.
Lattimore filled in for Brad Jones in 2013, starting four games and recording a pair of sacks and a forced fumble. When Jones was healthy enough to play, Lattimore played some spot duty on defense, recording 24 solo tackles and 11 asists. He was a crucial member of the Packers' special teams, though, and was credited with three solo tackles and three assists on that unit as well.
His return assures that the Packers will have a competent veteran backup behind A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones. Sam Barrington and Victor Aiyewa are the other inside linebackers currently on the roster, though many of us expect the Packers to draft an inside linebacker prospect early in next week's NFL Draft.