No joint practices for the Packers this year

The Green Bay Packers won’t be holding joint practices with the Cleveland Browns during training camp this summer.

The NFL sent a memo to all 32 teams Tuesday informing them that training camps must be held at the same facilities they use during the season. That means the 10 teams that went away for camp last year, including Dallas (Oxnard, Calif.) and Carolina (Spartanburg, S.C.), won’t be able to.

While that rule does not affect the Packers, the league also nixed joint practices. It eliminates the planned practices with Cleveland that were set to take place prior to the teams meeting in a preseason game at Lambeau Field on Aug. 22.

The goal with both changes, according to the NFL, is to limit travel in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

This was to be the second-straight year the Packers would practice against another team. Last season, Green Bay went against Houston for three days. Coach Matt LaFleur was happy with how it played out, but several players, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers, said they were not fans of it.

Packers announce signing of two draft picks

The Green Bay Packers have signed three of their nine draft picks.

The club announced Monday morning it had agreed to terms with safety Vernon Scott and offensive lineman Simon Stepaniak. The two join outside linebacker Jonathan Garvin as draft picks under contract. Scott and Garvin were seventh-round picks and Stepaniak was a sixth-round choice in April’s draft.

Scott started 12 games during his career at TCU, including 10 in 2019. He finished fourth on the team in tackles and ranked third with seven pass breakups. He had two interceptions in his career and took one back for a touchdown.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound, Scott joins a safety room headlined by veteran Adrian Amos, former first-round pick Darnell Savage and former undrafted free agent Raven Greene.

Stepaniak started 11 games for Indiana in 2019 and 31 games in his career. The guard was a third-team All-Big Ten pick as a senior and is recovering from a knee injury he suffered prior to the Hoosiers bowl game.

The 6-foot-4, 321-pound Stepaniak was one of three offensive linemen taken by the Packers in the draft.

Packers reportedly rework contract of guard Lane Taylor

The Green Bay Packers have freed up some salary cap space.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Saturday morning that guard Lane Taylor had agreed to rework his contract.

After starting 49 games between 2016-2018, Taylor played in just two games last season due to a biceps injury that landed him on injured reserve.

Rookie Elgton Jenkins took over for him, starting the final 16 games of the season and played well. He’s likely entrenched at the left guard spot, but Taylor could push last year’s starter at right guard — Billy Turner — for time there.

NFL coaches could return to team facilities next week

NFL coaches could be back in team facilities next week.

On Tuesday, teams in areas where stay at home orders due to COVID-19 had expired began the gradual reopening of facilities after being shut for the last two months, but it was limited to non-field employees. In a memo sent Thursday to clubs following the NFL’s virtual spring meetings, commissioner Roger Goodell laid out plans for the next phase of that gradual reopening, including when on-field personnel could get back in.

“We expect that next week clubs will be permitted to include members of their coaching staffs among the employees permitted to resume work in the club facility,” Goodell wrote. “We are actively working with Governors and other state and local authorities in those states that have not yet announced definitive plans and will confirm the precise date on which coaches can return to the facility as soon as possible.”

Goodell made the point that all 32 facilities must be open before any coaches are allowed in.

The commissioner also announced the extension of the virtual offseason program for at least another two weeks. It had been sent to expire on Friday. But Goodell also said there are efforts to get players back in the building before June 26, which marks the end of the offseason program.

“We are also continuing to work with the NFLPA on developing protocols that will allow at least some players to return to your facilities on a limited basis prior to the conclusion of the offseason program,” Goodell wrote. “We expect to begin sharing agreed-upon protocols and additional information very soon.”

The second phase on the plan will also allow teams to reopen ticket offices, retail shops and other customer-facing facilities.

RB Aaron Jones hopes to be a ‘Packer for life’

If it is up to Aaron Jones, he will be with the Green Bay Packers for the rest of his career.

Speaking Tuesday to the media for the first time since right after the NFC title game loss in San Francisco, the running back was asked about his mindset heading into the final year of his rookie contract.

“Whether it’s my first year or my last year on a deal, I’m going to be just as motivated,” Jones told reporters on a Zoom conference call. “It doesn’t change just because a contract is on (the) line for me. I’m going to continue to work and do everything in my power. I trust my agency and the Packers. With that, I would love to be a lifelong Packer.”

After flashing major potential his first two seasons, the UTEP product delivered on that potential and more in 2019. He ran for 1,084 yards, added 474 yards receiving and scored an NFL-best 19 touchdowns.

But many teams are hesitant to give big money to a running back, no matter how productive they’ve been. The Los Angeles Rams did with Todd Gurley, and it was a mistake. The Los Angeles Chargers didn’t with Melvin Gordon, and it was the smart move. It remains to be seen if it will pay off for the Carolina Panthers, who made Christian McCaffrey the highest-paid running back in the league at an average of $16.02 million per year.

“I’m really not looking at the market. I’m just focused on myself,” Jones said. “I feel like I can play at a really high, elite level for a very long time. I’m just going to do what I can. Hopefully, that leads to me being a Packer for life. That’s my goal.”

Almost none of the backs listed among the top-10 highest-paid players for 2020 had a better season than Jones last year. Unlike almost all of those teams, though, the Packers took a running back in the second round of the draft, grabbing Boston College’s AJ Dillon. That high of a pick on a guy that would currently be third on the depth chart would suggest the team is investing in its present and its future, and it’s unclear if Jones will be a part of the latter.

“I know I have no control over that, so it doesn’t disappoint me to know they are bringing in competition to keep the rooms competitive, make sure everyone is competing and just raise the level of competition,” Jones said. “It’s not that I’m surprised or anything. It’s the NFL. You never know what can happen.”

With Jones coming off the kind of season he had, it made sense to ask what he could do to top 2019. Instead of focusing on his individual success, he pointed to the team.

“I want to win the Super Bowl. We were one game short. It’s not all about me. It’s about the team,” Jones said. “That’s all of our goals. I’m focused on our team’s main goal.”

Still, the contract will loom over Jones and the Packers if a deal doesn’t get done before the season.

“It’s not up to me. It’s nothing I can control. It’s what I was always told as a little kid, ‘control what you can control,’” Jones said. “If I can control what I can control, I feel like it will be taken care of.”

Packers sign their seventh-round pick

The Green Bay Packers have signed one of their nine draft picks.

Seventh-round pick Jonathan Garvin became the first on Tuesday, the team announced.

The outside linebacker from Miami was GM Brian Gutekunst’s final pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. A two-year starter at defensive end before declaring for the draft following his junior season, Garvin had 12.5 sacks and 29 tackles for loss during his career.

Listed at 6-foot-4, 257 pounds, Garvin joins an outside linebacker room that has a top three of Pro Bowler Za’Darius Smith, along with double-digit sack man Preston Smith, and 2019 first-round pick Rashan Gary. But with Kyler Fackrell signing with the New York Giants this offseason, there is a spot for someone like Garvin to step into.

With Garvin’s signing, the Packers have eight draft picks still to sign, including first-round quarterback Jordan Love.

Packers will reopen team facility on Tuesday

After a number of NFL teams started gradually reopening their facilities earlier this week, the Green Bay Packers will do the same next Tuesday.

According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, the team will allow up to 75 employees to return to Lambeau Field the day after Memorial Day. The reopening is being done in accordance with the guidelines set out by the NFL, as well as local health officials. That means no coaches and no players except for those that are rehabbing injuries.

However, none of the public portions of Lambeau Field will reopen just yet. The team is still putting together plans for that.

Lambeau Field has been closed since the middle of March due to COVID-19.

Packers: DL Montravius Adams arrested

A Green Bay Packers defensive lineman was arrested this week in Georgia.

As first reported by AL.com, Montravius Adams is facing three misdemeanor charges — possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, driving without insurance and revoked/canceled/suspended vehicle registration. He was arrested Tuesday night, booked in jail and released on bond hours later.

ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reported the team is aware of the situation involving Adams but would not comment further because it is an ongoing legal matter.

A third-round pick in 2017, Adams has played in 37 games over the past three seasons for the Packers. After a promising 2018, the Auburn product struggled to make any kind of impact last season.

Many NFL facilities will start gradually reopening on Tuesday, but the Packers won’t be among them

A healthy number of NFL teams will reopen their facilities on Tuesday but the Green Bay Packers won’t be among them.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal’s Jason Wilde, a team spokesman said the club is working on formulating a plan to reopen Lambeau Field for select staff and football personnel.

NFL officials announced last week that teams in areas where stay at home orders due to COVID-19 were being relaxed could start gradually reopening with a small number of staff on Tuesday. Around 20 teams will reportedly do so.

Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order was supposed to be in effect until May 26, but the Wisconsin Supreme Court found it unlawful last week, allowing businesses around the state to reopen. Brown County, which Green Bay resides in, issued its own safer at home order the same day as that decision before rescinding it the next day due to legal concerns.

As of Monday, Brown County had 2,102 COVID-19 cases and 23 deaths.

Lambeau Field has been closed to the public and nearly all staff since March 13.

Aaron Rodgers knows pick of Jordan Love makes it harder to finish career with Packers

Surprise.

That was Aaron Rodgers initial reaction when the Green Bay Packers traded up to take quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of April’s NFL Draft.

Speaking for the first time since general manager Brian Gutekunst made that move, the future Hall of Fame quarterback explained his feelings that night.

“The general reaction at first was surprise, like many people,” Rodgers said Friday on a conference call with reporters. “I’m not going to say I was thrilled by the pick necessarily but I understand. The organization is thinking about not only the present but about the future, and I respect that. I understand their focus and their mindset.

“Obviously, they thought that he was such a great talent that they needed to go up and get him. Like I said, generally surprised. It’s what those guys are paid to do — to put together a roster for now and for the future as well.”

Rodgers admitted there were similarities between the Packers decision to pick Love this year and the team’s decision to pick him in the first round in 2005, including he’s about the same age as Brett Favre was at that time. But he also pointed out the fact that, unlike Favre, he has indicated he wants to play out the remainder of his contract (signed through 2023) and continue to play into his 40s, while his predecessor was always talking about retirement. With the pick of Love, it becomes harder for Rodgers to do that in Green Bay.

“That’s something that is very important to me, but I think it’s definitely telling at this point that is truly something that is out of my control,” Rodgers said. “What I can control is how I play and making that decision at some point a very hard one. If I were to retire in the organization’s timetable, then it’s an easy decision. But if there comes a time where I still feel like I can play at a high level and my body feels great, then there are other guys that have gone on and played elsewhere.”

What Rodgers promises to do is not treat Love like Favre treated him early on his career. Rodgers ran down a list of his former backups, and said he remains friends with a majority of them and doesn’t expect it to be any different with Love.

“He didn’t ask to get drafted by the Packers. He’s not to blame at all. He’s just coming in, excited about his opportunity,” Rodgers said. “We had a great conversation a day after the draft, and I’m excited to work with him.”

Rodgers mentioned the old adage of control what you can control multiple times during the 30 minute press conference. He knows even if he plays at a high level, even that may not be enough for him to go out on his own terms with the only franchise he’s ever known.

“It was more the surprise of the pick based on my own feelings of wanting to play into my 40s. And then the realization it does change (what I can control) a little bit, because as much as I feel confident in my abilities and what I can accomplish and what we can accomplish, there are some new factors that are out of my control,” Rodgers said. “My sincere desire to start and finish with the same organization, just as it has for many other players over the years, may not be a reality at this point. As much as I understand the organization’s future outlook, and wanting to make sure they are thinking about the team now and down the line, and I respect that, at the same time, I still believe in myself and have a strong desire to play into my 40s. I’m just not sure how that all works together at this point.”