Report: Packers considered meeting with Adrian Peterson, price too steep

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson isn’t known for being a big spender, and that modus operandi was confirmed with reports the team turned down a chance to meet with former Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

Peterson is reportedly asking teams for $8 million for the 2017 season, believed to be one of the biggest reasons he remains a free agent. Peterson is also coming off his second season in the last three years in which he’s dealt with knee issues. The Oklahoma product tore his ACL in 2014 before returning for an All-Pro 2015 campaign and subsequent meniscus tear in 2016.

Recent media reports claim the Packers would consider meeting with Peterson, but not until after they’ve had the chance to address the position in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Green Bay lacks star power in the backfield, with converted receiver Ty Montgomery appearing to be the lead running back heading into 2017. The Packers added depth this week by re-signing Christine Michael after initially acquiring him on waivers last November from the Seahawks.

Packers to host DT Jean Francois on Wednesday

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers are set to host veteran free agent defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois on Wednesday, following visits with the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears.

Green Bay has already added three new players through free agency, but the impending four-game suspension of Letroy Guion has the Packers looking for depth heading into next season. Jean Francois is heading into his ninth NFL season, having played the last two years with the Washington Redskins. Jean Francois has experience playing in both 3-4 and 4-3 defensive schemes.

Jean Francois was selected in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft, recording 153 career tackles and 12 career sacks.

Regardless of whether or not Green Bay signs Jean Francois, the Packers have been planning to insert second-year defensive lineman Kenny Clark into that role. They’re hoping Clark can step in for Guion as a pass-rusher, but also act as a run-stuffer  after the 2015 departure of B.J. Raji.

Report: Packers, Browns showing interest in former Cardinals CB Josh Hill

GREEN BAY, Wis. — According to a report from the National Football Post, the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns are looking into former Arizona Cardinals cornerback Josh Hill.

Hill last played in the NFL in August of 2013 as an undrafted rookie out of California, but since his release, he’s not cracked an NFL roster and had even retired from professional football. But recently uploaded workout videos may give teams reason to give the 27-year-old a look.

During his four years at Cal, Hill logged 214 total tackles with four interceptions, though his size (5′ 9-3/4″) and NFL Scouting Combine numbers (4.69 40-yard dash) still leave more to be desired.

Packers bring back Jayrone Elliott on one-year deal

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers will re-address their need for outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott in 2018 after re-signing him on a one-year, $1.6 million contract.

Elliott has spent his first three NFL seasons in Green Bay, mostly contributing as a member of the special teams unit. His role on the defense could increase after Julius Peppers left for Carolina, leaving just Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, and Kyler Fackrell as outside linebackers. Datone Jones is currently testing the free agent market.

After the Packers declined to tender the restricted free agent, Elliott met with the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers. The former undrafted free agent out of Toledo signed with Green Bay in 2014 on a three-year, $1.535 million contract.

Beaver Dam, Edgewood win WIAA girls basketball titles

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Five teams were crowned WIAA girls basketball champions at the Resch Center on Saturday, including Madison-area teams Beaver Dam and Madison Edgewood.

Div II
The Golden Beavers capped an unbeaten season (28-0) with a 52-33 win over the Packers, despite facing an early 10-0 deficit. Beaver Dam forced 16 turnovers in the first half and turned it into a 30-10 run and a 30-20 halftime lead. The Golden Beavers would then go on a 12-3 run in the second half to lock up their first State championship in school history. Tara Stauffacher and Aly Van Loo led the Golden Beavers with 12 points each.

Div III
The Crusaders (25-3) took home their first State title by downing the Spartans 51-30, following an inability from both teams to convert on field goal attempts. Madison Edgewood shot 26 percent in the first half, while Martin Luther was 22 percent. The Crusaders came out firing in the second half, hitting 50 percent of their shots, while the Spartans’ struggles continued. Edgewood was led by a game-high 20 points from Estella Moschkau.

Winners
Div I | Appleton North 49, De Pere 34
Div II | Beaver Dam 52, Cudahy 33
Div III | Edgewood 51, Martin Luther 30
Div IV | Howards Grove 44, Aquinas 43
Div V | Loyal 74, Milwaukee Academy of Science 61

 

Lions sign ex-Packers RG T.J. Lang

GREEN BAY, Wis. — For the first time in his NFL career, right guard T.J. Lang will wear colors other than green and gold after his agent announced he’d signed a three-year contract with the Detroit Lions.

Lang was a mainstay in keeping Aaron Rodgers upright, spending the first eight years of his career in Green Bay. Terms of his new deal weren’t released, but Lang was told prior to the 2016 season that he was not among the team’s priorities in terms of contract extensions. That same reasoning led to the outright release of Josh Sitton last fall.

29-year-old Lang has never played fewer than 12 games in a given season, but will come into training camp this year fresh off foot and hip surgeries. He was injured late in Green Bay’s NFC championship game loss to Atlanta.

Ex-Badger TE Kendricks returns to Wisconsin after being signed by Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson continues to surprise, signing former Los Angeles Rams tight end Lance Kendricks Saturday afternoon.

The signing was reported by Rob Demovsky and Adam Schefter, per unnamed sources. It was also noted that Kendricks has been working out with Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, and David Bakhtiari this offseason in southern California.

Kendricks was drafted 47th overall by the Rams in 2011 out of Wisconsin, logging 50 catches for 499 yards and two touchdowns in 2016.

Report: Packers paid more for Bennett than sources indicated for Cook deal

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Former New England Patriots and Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett is now a Green Bay Packer on a three-year deal worth more than Jared Cook would have received, a source tells ProFootballTalk.com.

It was originally believed Bennett would be coming to Green Bay on a three-year, $18.45 million contract, but after the official figures were released, it actually checks in at $21 million. Cook, now presumably out of a job in Green Bay, says he never turned down an offer from the Packers, so there’s no way to know for sure what kind of offer would have been made. ProFootballTalk.com’s source says the Cook deal would not have been larger than the $21 million Bennett signed for.

Bennett will earn an average salary of $7 million, with a $2 million roster bonus coming his way in March of 2018 when the new league year begins. Spotrac.com lists Bennett’s market value at $6 million per year.

The unnamed source says Green Bay was willing to offer Cook no more than $6 million per year — a deal which included incentives.

Julius Peppers leaving Green Bay, headed back to Carolina

Julius Peppers is no longer a Green Bay Packer. The 15-year veteran is returning to the Carolina Panthers according to his agent Carl Carey. Peppers spent the first eight years of his career in Carolina.

Peppers was a five-time Pro Bowler with the Panthers before joining the Chicago Bears in 2010 and then the Packers in 2014.

The Packers signed Peppers to a three-year, $26 million contract in 2014 after he was released by the Bears. In three seasons with the Packers, Peppers recorded 24.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles. He went to his ninth Pro Bowl in 2015. As a part-time player in 2016 Peppers still finished second on the team with 8.5 sacks.

Peppers turned 37 in January. He currently has 661 career tackles, 47 forced fumbles, 11 interceptions and 143.5 career sacks.

Ex-Packer Davon House released by Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars have released cornerback Davon House in an effort to save roughly $12 million over the next two seasons.

House was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 2011 draft, where he played four seasons for the green and gold. He exceeded the  $2.34 million value of his rookie contract, but when it came time to renew, the Packers cut him loose, eventually signing a four-year, $24.5 million deal with the Jaguars.

After setting a franchise record of 23 pass breakups in his first season in Jacksonville, House lost his starting role the following season. He’s played in 73 games with 33 starts, racking up 150 tackles, 60 passes defensed, and six interceptions.

Jaguars beat writer Ryan O’Halloran predicted on Monday that Jacksonville would release House and he would return to Green Bay where he began his NFL career.