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Cheese Curds, 6/26: Packers’ Milwaukee history, contracts for 2nd-round picks stall

The relationship between the Packers and the city of Milwaukee goes way back, and it’s more meaningful than many fans probably realize.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Why are there two separate ticket packages for Green Bay Packers games at Lambeau Field? Why is the Gold package often referred to as the “Milwaukee” package, and why do those fans get three games a year (two regular season, one preseason)?

For younger fans who may wonder about those questions, there’s a very good reason that dates back to the days when the Packers were a floundering franchise, financially speaking. The team’s relationship with the City of Milwaukee goes back to some of the franchise’s earliest and leanest days, when the move of a home game helped alleviate major financial issues.

Since then, the Packers have always maintained a significant presence in Milwaukee, whether by playing home games there — sometimes as many as four per season — or by maintaining TV rights despite the city being outside of the league’s typical 75-mile radius.

While we find a deep historical examination of the Milwaukee connection in today’s cheese curds, we also note that the Packers still have three draft picks from the 2023 class who have not yet signed their rookie contracts. The delay for one of them, first-rounder Lukas Van Ness, is a bit puzzling due to first-round picks’ deals being clearly prescribed in the current CBA and being fully guaranteed. However, the remaining two, Luke Musgrave and Jayden Reed, were both second-round picks, and that round is currently a minefield for people on both sides of the negotiating table.

Let’s look at those stories and more to get this week underway.

Packers Second-Round Draft Picks Luke Musgrave, Jayden Reed Remain Unsigned; Here’s Why - Sports Illustrated
None of the Packers' first three picks have signed yet, but the second round is where things get weird these days. It used to be third-round picks that would be in an odd negotiating position, but now the addition of more guaranteed money for second-rounders has made that round the tough area to get deals done.

Free-agent TE Marcedes Lewis waiting for call from team to play 18th NFL season: 'I just want to compete' |
Speaking of tight ends, Lewis is still hoping to play in 2023, but hasn't received a call yet. It's still mildly surprising that the Packers don't seem interested in bringing him back as a run-blocker and mentor for their young players at that position.

Part I: How Milwaukee became the Packers’ second home |
The Packers reached out to Milwaukee to provide a lifeline for a franchise that was going through extremely difficult financial times in the early 1930s, and it probably saved the organization.

Jordan Love on becoming the face of the Green Bay Packers |
This clip of Love at his locker during minicamp shows that Love is working hard to navigate the pressure that comes with being a starting quarterback, but he's doing so by just focusing on the on-field challenges.

Where do things stand at safety for the Packers following minicamp? | Packers Wire
With one veteran starter (albeit one who has been inconsistent), a host of journeyman veterans, and a couple of unproven youngsters, this group will be fascinating to watch in training camp.

The special ingredient for Mars travel meal prep? Astronaut breath : NPR
Apparently the CO2 that astronauts exhale can be captured, helping yeast grow and creating a sort of dough. The big question I have now about a trip to Mars is whether they'll send a specific astronaut simply because they breathe the tastiest food.