Former Packers great Bart Starr has passed away

The Green Bay Packers family has lost one of its greatest.

Former quarterback Bart Starr passed away at the age of 85 Sunday, according to a release by the team.

His family issued the following statement:

“We are saddened to note the passing of our husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Bart Starr. He battled with courage and determination to transcend the serious stroke he suffered in September 2014, but his most recent illness was too much to overcome.

“While he may always be best known for his success as the Packers quarterback for 16 years, his true legacy will always be the respectful manner in which he treated every person he met, his humble demeanor, and his generous spirit.

“Our family wishes to thank the thousands of friends and fans who have enriched his life – and therefore our lives – for so many decades and especially during the past five years. Each letter, text, phone call, and personal visit inspired him and filled him with joy.

“His love for all of humanity is well known, and his affection toward the residents of Alabama and of Wisconsin filled him with gratitude. He had hoped to make one last trip to Green Bay to watch the Packers this fall, but he shall forever be there in spirit.”

A 17th-round pick in 1956 out of Alabama, Starr would go on to lead the Packers to five NFL titles. That included the first two Super Bowls in which he was named MVP. Perhaps his most famous moment came in the 1967 title game against Dallas when he called his own number on a quarterback sneak to beat the Cowboys in what is known as the Ice Bowl.

Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977 and is one of just six Packers to have his number — 15 — retired by the franchise.

The Alabama native would go on to coach the Packers for nine years ending in 1983 after compiling a record of 52-76-3.

Starr remained a legendary figure in Green Bay, returning on a regular basis with the rest of the Vince Lombardi-era Packers. A stroke in 2014 limited his travel in recent years, but he still made it back in 2015 to witness the retirement of Brett Favre’s No. 4 jersey and again for another game during the 2017 season.

Packers safety Josh Jones reportedly requests to be traded

A former second-round draft pick wants out of Green Bay.

According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, safety Josh Jones is not taking part in OTAs and has requested a trade.

Jones was the second of two picks the Packers made in the second-round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He’s played in 29 games, starting 12 of them, the past two seasons, racking up 122 tackles, seven tackles for loss, three sacks and one interception.

The request makes sense as general manager Brian Gutekunst has made revamping the secondary a huge piece of his first two years on the job. He drafted cornerbacks with his first two picks in 2018 and signed another, Tramon Williams, in free agency. He then traded safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the middle of the year and made no attempt to re-sign Kentrell Brice after the season. Finally, Gutekunst signed safety Adrian Amos in March and drafted another safety, Darnell Savage Jr., in the 2019 NFL Draft.

If the Packers find a trade partner for Jones, it would leave them with just four players from their 10-player draft class in 2017.

Packers announce open-to-the-public OTA practice dates and times

The dates and times for the Green Bay OTA practices open to the pubic have been set.

The Packers announced Tuesday afternoon that three practices would be open to the public: Tuesday, May 21, Wednesday, May 29, and Tuesday, June 4.

All the practices will start at 12:05 and are open to the public. Because the club is prepping the Ray Nitschke Field for training camp, all the practices will be held on Hinkle Field. It means there will be no bleachers to sit in to watch practice and the public will be limited to standing-room only viewing along the Oneida Street side of the field.

Green Bay’s mandatory minicamp will be held June 11-13.

It was previously announced the Packers would report for training camp July 24 with the first practice coming the following day.

Aaron Rodgers makes cameo on ‘Game of Thrones’

Green Bay Packers’ star QB Aaron Rodgers has made plenty of appearances in commercials but has now appeared in perhaps the biggest hit TV show. Rodgers made a cameo on Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones. He didn’t have much screen time.

Pat McAfee snapped a picture of Rodgers. He’s the third one from the right.

Rodgers hinted that he would be a part of the show during an interview at the Kentucky Derby. It’s impressive that arguably the most talented QB in NFL history can also act.

Ted Thompson inducted into Packers Hall of Fame

Former Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame on Saturday. Thompson was the only one to be inducted into this year’s hall of fame.

“This is a great honor,” Thompson said. “I appreciate it more than you can ever know. This means a lot to me.”

Bob Harlan, Ron Wolf, Eliot Wolf, John Dorsey, Reggie McKenzie, James Campen, Jordy Nelson and Mason Crosby were all in attendance. QB Aaron Rodgers, Seahawks GM John Schneider, former Packers and Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren and former Packer Charles Woodson spoke via video.

“Ted, thank you for your vision, thank you for believing in me year after year, and thank you for representing the Green Bay Packers so well. Congratulations, and see you down the road,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers is the best draft pick Thompson made during his 13 seasons as GM. It was also his first draft pick. He picked Rodgers while Brett Favre was still the starter in 2005.

Packers announce signing of draft picks, undrafted free agents

The Green Bay Packers have signed six of their eight draft picks along with 11 undrafted free agents.

The club announced the signings Friday morning, just hours before the start of the rookie minicamp in Green Bay.

Both first-round picks, outside linebacker Rashan Gary and safety Darnell Savage Jr., have signed their contracts, as has fifth-round pick Kingsley Keke, sixth-round picks Ka’dar Hollman and Dexter Williams, and seventh-round pick Ty Summers.

Only two picks, second-round offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins and third-round tight end Jace Sternberger, have yet to sign.

In addition, the Packers agreed to terms with 11 players that went undrafted last weekend:

LB Curtis Bolton (Oklahoma)
WR Matthew Eaton (Iowa State)
CB Kabion Ento (Colorado)
CB Javien Hamilton (Ole Miss)
TE David Koppenhaver (Duke)
OL Yosh Nigman (Virginia Tech)
LB Randy Ramsey (Arkansas)
LB Greg Roberts (Baylor)
CB Nydair Rouse (West Chester)
QB Manny Wilkins (Arizona State)
OL Larry Williams (Oklahoma State)

Packers sign first-round pick Darnell Savage Jr.

The Green Bay Packers have signed one of their two first-round draft picks.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report that safety Darnell Savage Jr. had agreed to a contract with the Packers. As with all first-round deals, it’s a four-year contract with a team option for a fifth year.

Savage is the first of Green Bay’s eight picks to sign, though the others could happen quickly, including the Packers top pick, outside linebacker Rashan Gary.

The Packers moved up nine spots in the draft to get Savage at No. 21 overall. Considered by some as the top safety in the draft, the Maryland product led the Terrapins with four interceptions last year.

Green Bay will open up its rookie minicamp on Friday.

Report: Packers likely to play Raiders in Winnipeg

Green Bay is reportedly getting closer to playing its first international game in more than two decades.

During an appearance on ESPN Wisconsin Thursday morning, team president Mark Murphy said the Packers are finalizing the details on playing the Oakland Raiders in Week 3 of the preseason in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Murphy first mentioned the possibility of playing the game in Canada during the NFL’s owners meetings earlier this year.

If it happens, it will be the first time the Packers have played outside of the United States since the 1998 preseason when they played the Kansas City Chiefs in Tokyo. The previous year they went to Toronto in the preseason to play the Buffalo Bills.

The game would likely be played at Investors Group Field, a stadium on the campus of the University of Manitoba that opened in 2013. It will serve as a Raiders home game.

If plans fall through on the game taking place in Winnipeg, it’ll likely to be played at Lambeau Field.

Packers pick up fifth-year option on DL Kenny Clark

It is no surprise to anyone that the Green Bay Packers want their young defensive lineman back. According to Field Yates of ESPN, the Packers exercised Clark’s fifth-year contract option. Clark will be in Green Bay through the 2020 season.

A first-round pick in 2016, Clark has become one of the best, young defensive lineman in the NFL. Over the last two seasons he’s had 10.5 sacks, 14 tackles for losses and 17 quarterback hits.

The defensive front will look much different this season. They spent money on pass-rushers in free agency adding Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith. Also, the Packers used their first pick of the 2019 NFL Draft (12th overall) on another pass-rusher, Michigan’s Rashan Gary.

The moves made in the off-season and the draft will no doubt help take pressure off Clark. Green Bay re-tooled their defense and will be looking for another big season from Clark.

Former Packers LB Clay Matthews reacts to the club giving Rashan Gary No. 52

The Green Bay Packers released the numbers their new rookie class will wear and one of the decisions is drawing the attention of the guy that used to wear it.

On the club’s Twitter account, they sent out a tweet with a photoshopped image of first-round pick Rashan Gary wearing No. 52. If you’ll remember, the franchise’s all-time sacks leader, Clay Matthews, wore that number for 10 seasons before the Packers let him walk in free agency earlier this offseason.

Matthews signed with the Los Angeles Rams in March, but took notice of the tweet from the Packers on Monday.

In the past, the Packers have held numbers of long-time players out of circulation for at least a year, including wide receiver Jordy Nelson’s No. 87 last season.

Here’s the complete list of jersey numbers for the draft class.

No. 52: LB Rashan Gary
No. 26: S Darnell Savage Jr.
No. 74: OL Elgton Jenkins
No. 87: TE Jace Sternberger
No. 96: DL Kingsley Keke
No. 29: CB Ka’dar Hollman
No. 22: RB Dexter Williams
No. 44: LB Ty Summers