GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers lost three veteran free agents yesterday.
Those players cannot sign contracts until 5 p.m. today at the earliest. But various reports say Packers' running back Brandon Jackson has agreed to a two-year contract with the Cleveland Browns worth four-and-a-half million dollars. He'll reportedly back up Peyton Hillis. Guard Daryn Colledge is off to Arizona, where he reportedly accepted a five-year deal worth $28-million. And offensive center-and-guard Jason Spitz appears to be headed to his hometown of Jacksonville, where the Jaguars were said to make a two-year offer for undisclosed money.
Receiver James Jones talked with the Minnesota Vikings earlier yesterday - but by last night, media reports indicated he was not close to signing with anyone. And defensive end Cullen Jenkins, who was considered the most likely to leave, is still not sure where he might end up. There was talk yesterday that Jenkins would go to Washington after Albert Haynesworth went to New England. But the Redskins later signed defensive end Stephen Bowen of Dallas to a five-year, $27-million-dollar deal.
The Packers started the week with 11 unrestricted free agents, and we only know of one player who has re-upped with Green Bay so far - kicker Mason Crosby.
Also, the Packers have cut two more veterans - defensive end Justin Harrell and linebacker Brady Poppinga. The team did not announce either move, but Poppinga's agent got the news yesterday. Harrell - the Packers' top draft choice in 2007 - was riddled with several injuries during his four years in Green Bay. He said it was a great place, and he'll go home to Tennessee and see what happens. And the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says linebacker Brandon Chillar's season might be in jeopardy with a serious hamstring injury. But his agent would not confirm that Chillar was hurt.
And with training camp starting today, media reports said the Packers have signed at least four of their 10 draft choices as of last night. They were fifth-round tight end D.J. Williams, sixth-round linebacker Ricky Elmore, sixth-round guard Caleb Schlauderaff, and seventh-round fullback Ryan Taylor.