Green Bay Packers OTAs: Latest Player Reports and Analysis
Now that the draft is over, the Green Bay Packers can turn their full attention to organized team activities. Rookie tryouts have taken place, and the next items on the agenda are OTAs and minicamp activities which start on May 29.
What's often so exciting about OTAs is seeing rookies and how young players have developed. This also gives us a steady stream of news about players who will help determine the overall depth chart for the Packers.
Let's take a look at player reports that have been coming out the past few weeks and analyze what they might mean.
Will Corey Linsley Push for Starting Center?
The Packers drafted center Corey Linsley in the fifth round of this year's draft. They selected JC Tretter in the fourth round last year. Neither player has NFL experience at the center position.
While the starting job is basically Tretter's to lose, Linsley could give the Packers a reason to rethink their decision. Linsley stood out in rookie camp, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.
It's certainly early, but whenever a rookie catches the coaches' attention, it's a very good thing. Don't be surprised if the center position becomes one of the most heated battles on the roster throughout OTAs and training camp.
Is Jordy Nelson Working on a New Contract?
It seems like Jordy Nelson never gets the respect he deserves. He's been one of the most consistent receivers in the league; he has proven time and time again that he's an elite player.
The good news is that the Packers recognize just how important Nelson is to the team. They're currently working on extending his contract, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any rush on getting the deal done from either side.
With Nelson becoming a free agent in 2015, the Packers definitely need to determine the details of an extension. However, that might not happen until late in the offseason or possibly into the regular season.
Does Randall Cobb Have to Be Re-Signed?
There's no doubt that Randall Cobb is the most dynamic playmaker the Packers have at the receiver position. Heck, Cobb is one of the most dynamic receivers in the entire league.
Cobb also becomes an unrestricted free agent following the 2014 season. The last thing the Packers want is for him to hit the open market in free agency. That's probably why ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky said Cobb is a "must re-sign" in his mailbag.
Unlike the Nelson situation, where the Packers could wait until the regular season to begin offering a contract extension, Cobb should be getting his new offer long before the season starts.
Could Brad Jones Lose His Starting Job?
It'd be hard-pressed to find any projected starter on the Packers defense who needs to be replaced more than inside linebacker Brad Jones. He was expected to be a quality starter, but he was a disappointment in a major way last year. Now it appears Jones is at risk of losing his job, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.
While many expected the Packers to draft his replacement in this year's draft, that simply didn't happen. That ultimately makes you wonder if Green Bay believes it has Jones' replacement already on the roster in Jamari Lattimore or Sam Barrington.
Of course, both Lattimore and Barrington need to show improvement over where they were in limited action last year before that happens. However, look for Jones to be on notice throughout the remainder of the offseason. He should be one of the first veterans to lose his starting job before the start of the regular season.
Is Colt Lyerla a Changed Man?
There's no doubt that the Packers took a potentially huge risk in signing tight end Colt Lyerla as an undrafted free agent. His off-field issues are well-noted. The Packers generally stay away from players with a past like Lyerla.
However, Lyerla is not only a member of the Packers, but he also has a good chance of becoming a contributor as a rookie. This is mostly due to general manager Ted Thompson's trust in Lyerla being a changed man.
Thompson had this to say about Lylera, per Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:
I’ve always believed there are certain things that people can atone for, acknowledge their mistakes and get on with their lives. I’m a proponent of those kinds of people that try to do that. That’s where we’re at with Colt.
As long as Lyerla can continue to stay out of trouble while in Green Bay, he should get a legitimate shot to compete just like every other rookie.
Is Jermichael Finley Close to Returning?
Jermichael Finley isn't technically a member of the Packers, but it's still worth reporting when there's news on the former tight end.
Finley recently tweeted that he had "awesome news." That brought about major speculation about his health.
However, it wasn't too long after that awesome news that Finley tweeted about a "minor setback" in his recovery. So, what does this all mean?
It basically means that nothing has changed with Finley. Until he's cleared by doctors to play football, teams will continue to stay away from signing him.
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