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Ted Thompson’s last acts as Green Bay Packers general manager — if he was actually still acting as GM and not just as a figure head — were to sign Davante Adams and Corey Linsley to contract extensions on the final weekend of the 2017 regular season.

It leaves new GM Brian Gutekunst without a must-sign player on his list of upcoming free agents.

Adams would have been one of the top receivers had he hit the open market. Instead, the Packers were able to retain him on a five-year, $58.9 million contract that made him the fourth-highest-paid receiver in the league.

In Linsley, the Packers made sure they retained their starting center — and the only player on the team who played in every snap on his side of the ball last season. He signed a three-year, $25.5 million extension.

Here’s a look at the rest of the Packers’ players who are headed for free agency when the new league year opens on March 14:


Unrestricted (Players with four or more accrued seasons)

  • Richard Rodgers: Tight end is a major need with or without Rodgers, who never quite took off after his Hail Mary catch against the Lions in 2015. That remains the only 100-yard receiving game of his career. He slipped behind Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks to start the season and even when Bennett was released, Rodgers’ productivity barely spiked. He had only two games this past season with more than one catch and missed the finale with a shoulder injury. The market could be light for the former third-round pick, so perhaps the Packers could get him back cheap for some depth. His salary last season was $1,797,000.
  • Jahri Evans: The 12th-year veteran was perhaps the surprise of last year’s free-agent class for the Packers. He played the first 912 snaps of the season before a knee injury kept him out of the final two games. Evans said late in the season that he wasn’t sure if he would play a 13th season. He will turn 35 in August. The Packers could slide Justin McCray or Lucas Patrick into the right guard spot if Evans isn’t back. He signed a one-year, $2.25 million deal with the Packers last offseason.
  • Jeff Janis: His chance to contribute as a receiver is probably gone; he played just 50 snaps on offense last season and didn’t catch a pass until the second-to-last game of the year. But he’s become a valuable special-teams player.

Restricted (Players with three accrued seasons but not four; can be tendered by March 14 for the Packers to retain the right to match any offer from another team):

  • Ulrick John: The tackle was signed off Arizona’s practice squad on Sept. 26 after injuries to backups Jason Spriggs and Kyle Murphy and played just 40 snaps.

Exclusive rights (Players with fewer than three accrued seasons; must be offered minimum salary tenders by March 14 or they become street free agents): WR Geronimo Allison, QB Joe Callahan, WR Michael Clark, OL Adam Pankey



  • Morgan Burnett: The veteran safety was No. 3 on the priority list behind Adams and Linsley, but he was a distant third. Yes, he’s versatile — having played everywhere from safety to slot cornerback to inside linebacker. But he’s also never been one to make a ton of splash plays. He has nine career interceptions in eight NFL seasons. He just turned 29 and hasn’t played a full season since 2012. He missed four games this past season because of two separate injuries (hamstring and groin). The Packers also have potential replacements in Josh Jones and Kentrell Brice. Burnett is at the end of a four-year, $24.75 million deal. There will be a market for Burnett, but it may not be at that same price. Given that new coordinator Mike Pettine’s defense can be complicated, Burnett might have more value to the Packers than to another team.
  • Ahmad Brooks: Essentially signed as a replacement for Julius Peppers, who left months earlier in free agency, but the former 49ers linebacker didn’t come close to replicating what Peppers did during his three years with the Packers and certainly couldn’t match the production Peppers had back in Carolina. For the same money — $3.5 million — the Packers got 1.5 sacks from Brooks and the Panthers got 11.0 from Peppers.
  • Quinton Dial: Like Brooks, Dial was a last-minute pickup right before the regular season started. He gave the Packers quality snaps along the defensive line to complement Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels and Dean Lowry. At just $775,001, he was a value signing who probably earned a little bit more in his next contract.
  • Davon House: After two seasons with the Jaguars, House returned to the Packers on a one-year, $2.8 million deal and played with the kind of toughness the Packers expected. He also served as a mentor to top draft pick Kevin King. A similar type of deal would make it worthwhile to bring him back. Like Burnett, House could be valuable in a scheme that favors veterans because of its complexity.
  • Demetri Goodson: Although he made it back to the active roster more than a year after a serious knee injury, he did not play a single snap in 2017, so it’s unknown what the fourth-year cornerback can do. He would be a minimum-salary-type signing.


  • Joe Thomas: A year after he led the inside linebackers in snaps, he fell behind Blake Martinez and Jake Ryan on the depth chart. Injuries and the increased use of the “nitro” defensive package with a safety at inside linebacker also played a role.

Exclusive rights: CB Herb Waters, S Jermaine Whitehead



  • Brett Goode: The veteran long-snapper played in 10 games during two separate stints on the roster last season. His snaps have been on point for 10 seasons, but the Packers have seemed intent on trying to replace him in recent years, even though he’s on a minimum salary. The Packers signed another snapper, Zach Triner, to a futures deal and also could bring back Taybor Pepper, who finished the season on IR.


  • Jake Schum: The punter in 2016 spent all of 2017 on injured reserve because of a back injury and probably won’t get a shot at the job after the solid year rookie Justin Vogel had.

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- The Green Bay Packers will re-sign backup quarterback Joe Callahan, a source told ESPN on Monday.

Callahan was released on Saturday to make room for Aaron Rodgers, who was activated off injured reserve.

The signing did not appear on the NFL transaction list Monday because Callahan had to clear waivers first. That means the Packers do not have to make a corresponding roster move until it becomes official, likely on Tuesday.

It could mean the Packers are considering shutting down Rodgers if they’re out of playoff contention, which would happen if the Falcons beat Tampa Bay on Monday Night Football. However, the Packers like Callahan as a developmental prospect, so the move could have been in their plans all along after he cleared waivers.

Callahan entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2016 and also has spent time on both the Saints’ and Browns’ rosters before returning to Green Bay.

Coach Mike McCarthy was noncommittal when asked after Sunday’s loss at Carolina whether Rodgers would play Saturday against the Minnesota Vikings if the Packers were out of the playoff race.

Sunday marked Rodgers’ first game since he underwent surgery to repair a broken right collarbone two months ago. He threw three touchdown passes but also had his first three-interception game since 2009.

The Packers also worked out two quarterbacks on Monday: veteran Matt McGloin and rookie Garrett Fugate.

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Whatever interest — if any — the Green Bay Packers had in veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer before he signed with the New England Patriots, it appears to have been in the normal course of work that general manager Ted Thompson and his staff do on a daily basis.

Coach Mike McCarthy remained steadfastly committed to Brett Hundley as Aaron Rodgers’ fill-in, and conversations about Hoyer or any other quarterback this week did not include him.

A report by NFL Network said the Packers expressed interest in Hoyer after he was released by the San Francisco 49ers following their trade for Jimmy Garoppolo on Tuesday.

“I can’t confirm it because from the time Aaron has been injured, I’ve never once been involved in a conversation about bringing in a veteran quarterback,” McCarthy said Thursday.

McCarthy stood firmly behind Hundley and backup Joe Callahan after Rodgers broke his collarbone in Week 6 against the Vikings. The day after the injury, he was asked specifically whether the Packers were interested in Colin Kaepernick, and he reiterated that he has “three years invested in Brett Hundley, two invested in Joe Callahan. The quarterback room is exactly where it needs to be, OK? We’re fortunate to have a great quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. We’re committed to the path that we’re on.”

McCarthy said Thursday that nothing has changed.

“From my perspective, from the time of the Minnesota game, the Monday after the Minnesota game to here today, I attempted particularly here [in a press conference], which really, frankly, I know you think I’m talking to you guys, I’m really talking to our football team and our fans, the direction that we’re going with the quarterbacks is Brett Hundley and the guys that we have here,” McCarthy said. “So that was really clearly the vision from the time we had to address it there in Minnesota.”

But that doesn’t mean Thompson didn’t kick the tires on Hoyer. Thompson isn’t typically available for interviews during the regular season.

“I’m not naïve to the fact that player personnel people talk around the league,” McCarthy said. “Was there a conversation on other free agents, particularly leading up to the deadline of trading? Yeah, that’s those guys doing their jobs. But as far as pursuing any player, I personally was not involved in any conversations, especially on a veteran quarterback.”

Hundley will make his second career start on Monday against the Lions at Lambeau Field. The third-year former fifth-round pick from UCLA completed just 12 of 25 passes for 87 yards with no touchdowns and an interception in his first start, a 26-17 loss to the Saints on Oct. 22. The Packers’ bye followed that game, giving McCarthy and Hundley the chance to spend extra time together to review that game and formulate a plan for this week.

Since then, Rodgers also returned to Green Bay after his surgery and has been in the meetings to help Hundley prepare while undergoing treatment and rehab.

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Aaron Rodgers remains on the Green Bay Packers’ roster, and it will stay that way at least until he undergoes surgery on his broken collarbone.

That surgery has not taken place yet, coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday.

“[A date for surgery] hasn’t been set yet that I’m aware of,” McCarthy said.

The Packers won’t have a timeline on Rodgers’ recovery until after the surgery is performed. At this point, it’s unclear whether Rodgers will have a plate and screws inserted to stabilize his right clavicle or if he will have a “Mumford” procedure in which part of the bone is shaved or removed.

The Packers promoted Joe Callahan from the practice squad to serve as Brett Hundley’s backup on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. They also added a quarterback to the practice squad, rookie Jerod Evans from Virginia Tech.

“I don’t have any roster moves to give you today,” McCarthy said. “But as far as Aaron’s situation, our focus clearly is just to get through the surgery and just see where he is. I’m not personally looking in that direction. My focus is on Aaron’s health right now.”

If the Packers place Rodgers on injured reserve, it doesn’t necessarily mean his season is over. He could be activated after eight weeks if the Packers decided to make him one of their two players they can activate off IR. Teams don’t have to make that declaration until they’re ready to bring back a player.

The Packers announced on Monday that Rodgers would have surgery to repair the broken collarbone he sustained at Minnesota on Sunday, when Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr hit him and drove him into the ground on a roll-out pass. McCarthy said Rodgers’ season “could potentially be over.”

Rodgers missed seven games when he broke his left clavicle in 2013. He returned for the regular-season finale, a game the Packers won in Chicago to make the playoffs. Rodgers did not have surgery for that injury and remained on the roster the entire time.

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It’s upsetting to Mike McCarthy he has lost his MVP quarterback possibly for the season, but his displeasure on Monday was directed just as much at the rest of his team.

The update on Aaron Rodgers is he’ll have surgery soon on his broken right collarbone and begin a recovery process that has no timeline as of yet.

Regardless of when that information becomes available, though, McCarthy is focused on getting the awful taste of Sunday’s loss to the Vikings out of his mouth.

“It was a poor performance as a football team, one I’m frustrated by,” McCarthy said. “When the mental mistakes are what they were yesterday, it’s something I take very personal from the chair of the head coach.”

McCarthy didn’t go into detail on the errors, but his tone and words suggested they were numerous.

Communication and assignment mistakes were made repeatedly against Minnesota’s pass rush, leading to four sacks and more than a dozen quarterback hits. Three starting offensive linemen departed with injuries at different times, but the lineup shuffling wasn’t handled as well as it had been in other games.

Defensively, the Packers had their highest number of missed tackles in a game this season, according to defensive coordinator Dom Capers. Multiple penalties on third down also extended drives.

Monday was focused on going over the extensive corrections in the film room and then working ahead a little on the next opponent, the Saints, who have won three straight after an 0-2 start. Normally that initial film study occurs on Wednesday, but in the wake of Rodgers’ injury and the team’s rough day without him, McCarthy and his coaches are turning the page as quickly as possible.

“It’s important to shift gears,” McCarthy said. “We’re looking forward to playing again after our performance yesterday.

“My challenge is to win game No. 5. This is what we do as coaches. This is what we’re committed to as a football team. It’s unfortunate for all these guys to be hurt right now, and it’s unfortunate for Aaron to get hurt like that, but this is where we are. All the energy needs to be poured into beating the Saints.”

That energy is also fully behind Brett Hundley as the new starting quarterback, with Joe Callahan  as his backup. McCarthy made that unequivocally clear.

Having invested multiple years in both backup signal callers, McCarthy is calling upon himself, the QBs, and the entire offense to “turn it up” after producing a measly 118 yards on Sunday from the time Rodgers left the game until a late desperation drive.

“I have to do a better job. I have to get Brett into a flow. More importantly, we need to get our offense into a flow,” McCarthy said. “We didn’t run the ball very well, pass protection was a negative, we didn’t handle basic blitzes they came with. We have to play cleaner football.”

It would help to get some continuity up front, but McCarthy had no injury updates on offensive linemen Lane Taylor , Bryan Bulaga or David Bakhtiari , saying their prospects for Sunday will be sorted out later in the week. The defense remains banged-up as well, with three top defensive backs in Morgan Burnett , Kevin King and Davon Housemissing the Minnesota game.

As for the injury to Rodgers, McCarthy said he watched the video of Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr’s outside-the-pocket takedown and termed it “totally unnecessary.”

“I didn’t like the hit,” he said. “He’s clearly expecting to get hit, and to pin him to the ground like that, I felt it was an illegal act.

“To sit here and lose any of your players to something like that, it doesn’t feel good.”

But a performance like Sunday’s almost feels worse to a head coach, whose resolve and determination were unmistakable one day later.

“I’m focused on getting back to playing Green Bay Packer football,” McCarthy said. “Yesterday was not anything we needed to be. We’re not going to play like that anymore.”