The Green Bay Packers wrapped up their final mini camp practice on Thursday and thus ends another offseason in Green Bay.Â Â The next team gathering will be on July 25th at the official opening of training camp.
Quite a few stories have come out during the team’s organized team activities (OTA’s)Â and this last week at mini camp so here is a recap of the highlights and latest on where the team stands as they prepare for the preseason.
Some of these notes are brought to you by a host of Packers beat writers and media including ESPN Milwaukee’s Jason Wilde, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Mike Vandermause and Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Ty Dunne.
Early offseason/free agency
The biggest move in terms of the interest and excitement created was the acquisition of defensive linemanÂ and former second-overall draft pickÂ Julius Peppers, who was released by the Chicago Bears shortly after the 2013 season ended.Â The signing was significant in that it was the first time since 2006 that Packers general manager Ted Thompson signed a free agent of notable name.Â Peppers was said to be in great shape during the offseason workouts and practices and is expected to provide a boost to the pass rush from the “elephant” end position.
Despite Peppers’ age (34), he says he has a lot left in the tank.Â Playing in the same division against your former team who released you and may have thought you had nothing left to offer has served many past players in that same scenario.Â Jay Cutler, you’ve been warned.
The Packers also signed former Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Letroy Guion.Â Guion is anything but a lock to make the team’s final roster, but he did choose Green Bay over other offers and if he can become serviceable, he could end up being a bargain.Â Remember Howard Green in 2010?
The Packers re-signed cornerback Sam Shields to a four-year, $39 million contract.Â The Packers also re-signed defensive lineman B.J. Raji to a one year “prove it” deal worth $4 million.Â Other re-signings include Mike Neal, John Kuhn and Chris Banjo and Matt Flynn.Â Shields was a must, in my opinion.Â He knows the defense and has the speed to make up for errors.Â He’s not the best corner in the league but he’s the best corner on the Packers.