Green Bay Packers: Recapping the Latest Buzz Heading into Training Camp
With the Green Bay Packers starting training camp in just over two weeks—July 26, to be exact—there is plenty of buzz surrounding the team.
Most of the news about the Packers is good. It involves new contracts, impressive young players and veterans really stepping up.
However, not all the buzz that the Packers are creating is of the good variety. For example, defensive end Jerel Worthy isn't having the best offseason, and it could ultimately cost him his roster spot.
Today I'll recap the latest and greatest offseason buzz about the Packers with training camp just around the corner.
Aaron Rodgers Having a Spring to Remember
It's always good news when your All-Pro quarterback is having an "exceptional spring." That's what head coach Mike McCarthy called this offseason for Aaron Rodgers, according to Rob Reischel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Rodgers has lost some weight this offseason, started doing yoga and his shoulder appears to be back at full strength. And that's only the on-field stuff that has made this a spring to remember from Rodgers.
Off the field, Rodgers is dating actress Olivia Munn. He seems more open about his personal life in general, which seems to have him more relaxed than in previous years.
Overall, everything seems to be going right for Rodgers. If he can carry this exceptional spring into training camp and the regular season, it could be a very special year for the Packers.
Is Jordy Nelson's Contract Extension Almost a Done Deal?
One of the biggest topics since the end of the 2013 season has been the contract situation surrounding wide receiver Jordy Nelson.
He's definitely proved that he deserves a contract extension, and the last thing the Packers want is for him to hit the open market in free agency. While there hasn't been much movement in a positive direction on Nelson's contract in recent weeks, that might all be changing.
The Packers really want to get something done sooner rather than later, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN. Some people pointed to Green Bay drafting three receivers as a reason for the team not getting a deal done with Nelson, but that's just foolish.
Nelson is absolutely a part of the Packers' future, so don't be surprised if his new contract gets finalized before the end of training camp.
Jared Abbrederis' Versatility Is a Major Plus
It's been a long time since the Packers didn't keep their fifth-round draft pick from the previous draft on their final 53-man roster. However, wide receiver Jared Abbrederis could be an exception due to the position he plays.
The Packers have crazy depth at his position with four players near locks to be on the final roster. What could ultimately help Abbrederis stick with the Packers is not just his ability as a receiver, but his versatility to help as a return man.
Green Bay has been looking for a permanent replacement for Randall Cobb as a kick and punt returner, according to Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Abbrederis made his first impact with the Wisconsin Badgers in the return game, and he could end up doing the same for the Packers.
If Abbrederis wants to guarantee a roster spot, he's definitely going to need to prove that he can be a dynamic player on special teams.
Jermichael Finley Still Wants to Play in Green Bay
While tight end Jermichael Finley is not technically a member of the Packers, his news is still relevant to the team.
Finley still remains a free agent with teams being extra cautious about signing him after such a serious neck injury. Recently, Finley has said that he still desires greatly to come back to Green Bay, per Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin.
Finley also told Wilde, "This is the best I've felt in this entire crazy process." It's unlikely that the Packers will relook at Finley and decide to re-sign him, but we certainly can't say it absolutely won't happen.
The likely scenario with the former Packers tight end is that he won't get signed until late in training camp or even into the preseason. That way, teams can see what they have at the position and add Finley if they come to the conclusion that they need more potential talent.
Is Jerel Worthy on the Roster Bubble?
It's been two years since the Packers traded up for defensive end Jerel Worthy in the NFL draft.
He was expected to make an immediate impact along the defensive line. Unfortunately, injuries have kept Worthy from doing too much in Green Bay, as he only played a total of 13 defensive snaps last year.
While the Packers have had depth issues at defensive end in years past, which has been good for Worthy, that is no longer the case this year. With players like Mike Daniels, Datone Jones and rookie Khyri Thornton, the Packers don't necessarily need to keep the injury-prone Worthy around.
In fact, ESPN's Rob Demovsky points out that his roster spot is "far from guaranteed." Unless Worthy can have an outstanding training camp, he could be looking for a new team as one of the final cuts Green Bay makes.
Datone Jones Poised to Be Packers' Breakout Player
To say that Datone Jones didn't live up to expectations as a rookie would be a fair assessment of his first year in the league. It'd also be fair to say that Jones is poised to be the breakout player for the Packers this year.
Jones has done everything right this offseason. He's added strength, worked on his technique and is acting like he'll be starting come September, according to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
If Jones can improve in other areas without losing his athleticism, his upside is so ridiculously high. He'd not only be a dominant pass-rusher, but he'd also make an impact against the run due to his ability to chase down the ball-carrier.
With more snaps this season, look for Jones to establish himself as one of the best defensive players on the entire Packers roster.