Green Bay Packers linebacker Brady Poppinga received a four year extension that will keep him under contract until 2012 in a move that will boost his salary.
General manager Ted Thompson made reference to Poppinga's extension during his message to shareholders today during their annual meeting.
The moves comes at a time when it looked like Poppinga might almost be expendable. After the Packers signed Brandon Chillar as a free agent this past offseason, many thought Poppinga's days as a starter might be over.
But the Packers seem committed to putting the best players on the field as possible by creating competition. No matter who starts, both Poppinga and Chillar look to both get valuable playing time.
The time on the field will likely play to their strengths. For Chillar, he might be utilized more often in passing situations where he probably does a little bit better job in coverage than Poppinga.
Running downs look to play more into Poppinga's hands. Perhaps the Packers might utilized Poppinga more often as a pass rusher like he was in college from a defensive end position. There's been consideration to blitzing more, but that remains to be seen until the regular season comes along.
Poppinga played much better as the season went on last year, no doubt part of the reason for his extension. Fans will point to his struggles in coverage, but he definitely improved in that aspect of his game as he got more experience. He also became more and more of a ball magnet as well, especially in chasing down running backs.
The ultra-competitive, and at times hyper, Poppinga is also a willing special teams contributor further proving his worth to the team.