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Cheese curds: Green Bay Packers news and links for April 7, 2015

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Badgers fans can turn their attention to the Packers in their time of need.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

This is a rough Tuesday for a significant amount of Green Bay Packers fans. The Wisconsin Badgers dropped a heartbreaker in the National Championship Game against Duke. Combined with the Packers' own heartbreaker in Seattle back in January, it's been a rough year for Wisconsin sports.

Still, there is some Packers news that will help distract from those games. Here are the curds:

Packers Annual Checkup: Richard Rodgers | Fox Sports

Tight ends tend to struggle as rookies, and early on Richard Rodgers was no exception. His blocking was poor (though don't tell that to the creators of Madden 15), and he was inconsistent as a pass catcher. However, by the end of the season Rodgers had become a regular component of the Packers' offense. One of the main reasons for his ascension was the trust he gained from quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Without that level of comfort, there's no way that the MVP attempts this insane pass against the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs.

Illini tight end Matt LaCosse eager to impress Bears, Packers | Chicago Sun Times

Matt LaCosse, who actually played high school basketball against Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky, is a huge, well-rounded tight end from the University of Illinois. According to the Sun Times, he has visits scheduled with both the Bears and Packers. While he's unlikely to get drafted before the third day (and possibly not at all), he has the frame and athleticism to succeed on special teams and, eventually, as a weapon on offense.

Former Packers S Sharper in New Orleans for plea deal on rape charges | Fox Sports

By now, the unfortunate criminal exploits of former Packers safety Darren Sharper are well known. Though Sharper entered a formal plea of not guilty in New Orleans, he's already entered into plea deals in Nevada and Arizona. As such, Sharper's initial plea is considered no more than a mere formality. It is expected that he'll reach another plea deal soon.

J.J. Watt, Caroline Wozniacki, Aaron Rodgers, Apple CEO at Duke-Wisconsin | CBS Sports

We couldn't entirely ignore the Duke-Wisconsin. For a non-blue blood program, it's quite impressive how much star power the Badgers had come tournament time. Obviously, J.J. Watt was going to support his alma mater, but Caroline Wozniacki and Aaron Rodgers have no official ties to the school. While Tim Cook is certainly a big deal in his own right, Wisconsin outperformed Duke in the star-support column.

Jason B. Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He also serves as an SB Nation newsdesk contributor and NFL writer for Sports on Earth.