On Thursday, the Green Bay Packers reached agreements with their final two unsigned draft picks, second-round cornerback Josh Jackson and third-round linebacker Oren Burks. This represents the new norm, with every member of the draft class under contract months ahead of training camp. But in the past, the process tended to take much longer.
Before the 2011 NFL collective bargaining agreement that effectively created a slotting system for draft picks, holdouts for first-rounders occurred every year. Now, such holdouts have become scarce, with cases like 2016’s Joey Bosa, who didn’t sign his contract until after the start of the regular season, growing extremely rare.
It seems like ancient history now, but many of the Packers’ top draft picks either held out into training camp or signed a deal at the 11th hour. Aaron Rodgers and A.J. Hawk, the team’s first-round selections in 2005 and 2006, both missed some practices early in their respective camps. B.J. Raji sat out nearly two weeks. And even those paled in comparison to Terrell Buckley and Tony Mandarich, both of which waited until just before or after the start of the regular season to put pen to paper.
With their 100th season approaching, the Packers will exhibit artifacts from the original team in their Hall of Fame.
While the guys over at Windy City Gridiron had their fun with the lack of penalties called against the Packers last season, the fact that none of Green Bay’s players ended up on the list represents one of the few positives for them in 2017. Some teams deal with penalty issues year after year (Jack Del Rio’s Oakland Raiders for example). Green Bay hasn’t dealt with that issue in some time. It remains to be seen whether all the changes on the coaching staff will affect those figures moving forward.
Because Yanny vs. Laurel is so passé.