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Packers recover pick: Jets give back 2010 seventh-rounder

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McClatchy-Tribune
August 3, 2009
— Fans waiting for a player to follow in Donald Driver's footsteps by going from seventh-round pick to Pro Bowl receiver can rest easy: The Green Bay Packers will have an opportunity for that to happen next year.

The Packers' seventh-round pick in the 2010 draft was supposed to go the New York Jets when Brett Favre retired after one season with the team. But the pick was given back to the Packers as part of discussions during draft weekend, a source said.


General manager Ted Thompson confirmed the transaction Sunday. When asked how it happened, Thompson said it was part of a normal, if not confusing, procedural move between teams.


"There were some future picks tied up that weren't in clear possession of the Jets based on the conditions of the trade," Thompson said.


"(The conditions of the trade) seemed remote enough. The Jets needed a little bit more flexibility in case they wanted to use some future picks to trade. So since that seventh rounder was sort of a throwaway on the (Favre trade), we agreed to change some language in the trade papers in return for the seventh-round pick.


"That's all there was to it. People do that from time to time; change some language of the trade."


As part of the Favre trade, the Packers received a conditional draft pick in return: a third-rounder (No. 83 overall) after Favre played at least 50% of the snaps but failed to lead the Jets to the playoffs (it would have been a second-rounder if he had).


The third-round pick was later packaged with two others in a deal with New England that allowed Green Bay to move back into the first round to select linebacker Clay Matthews with the 26th-overall pick.


But if Favre retired after one season, Green Bay had to give the Jets its seventh-round pick in 2010. Favre did retire and remains on the sidelines.


The Packers also inserted a "poison pill" into the deal with New York to prevent Favre from being traded to the Minnesota Vikings -- or any other NFC North team. That move would have cost the Jets three first-round picks.


Shortly after the draft, the Jets released Favre after they selected quarterback Mark Sanchez fifth overall. Thompson denied the Jets returned the pick in order to make Green Bay feel better about any attempt to circumvent the poison pill.


"No, the two didn't have anything to do with each other," Thompson said.


If Favre had unretired and played for the Vikings, his exit from the Jets could have been viewed as an attempt to evade the poison pill. The source said there was "no chance" the team would have asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to investigate that possibility. The organization has made a concerted effort to turn the page on Favre the day he was traded.


Raji update: Matthews, who is represented by the same agent firm (Athletes First) that represents first-round pick B.J. Raji, said Raji wanted to get in as soon as possible. He said at this point, he doesn't believe Raji, who is still in Green Bay, is falling behind because much of what the defense is doing was covered during organized team activities.


"I know B.J. wants to be here," Matthews said. "I talked to him on the phone last night. He's chomping at the bit to get in here. I don't think he should be too far behind. We're reiterating what we did in (offseason practices), and he did a great job then. He's a heck of an athlete, so I don't expect him to fall behind once he comes back."


At this point, not much has changed in the first round with the exception of Minnesota wide receiver Percy Harvin agreeing to terms. Harvin was selected 22nd, which means it doesn't affect Raji's situation much since he was drafted ninth overall. Until someone in No. 8-12 budges, it looks like those picks could be out awhile.


Thompson said he's not frustrated that the holdout seems to be driven by Raji's agents.


"No, obviously we would like for B.J. to be here and we're working very hard to see that happens as quickly as we can, but both sides are doing their jobs," Thompson said. "There's a little wait going on but everybody's talking in good faith, and we're trying to get it worked out."


Packing a punch: Sunday was the first of four days during camp in which the Packers are scheduled to wear pads in two practices.


Long-time railbirds might not consider that as very often and, when compared to the camps as recent as the mid-1980s, when the Packers would go twice-a-day in pads for weeks at a time, it isn't.


Still, it's a far cry from the last two years, when the Packers didn't have any in 2008 and only one in 2007. Even in 2002, Mike Sherman's third season, there were only two days in which pads were worn twice.


"It's just to get some situations emphasized that I felt we needed to improve on," coach Mike McCarthy said. "You're always trying to gain an edge whether through scheduling or practice or scheme. I needed more padded periods to get that done."


In all, this camp will feature 18 practices in pads, up from 13 in 2007 and 15 in McCarthy's first two summers.


"I think every man in here knows that we need to be more physical in the run game on both sides of the ball," guard Daryn Colledge said. "We're going to bang it hard and get the work done that needs to get done early.


"It's not a matter of the 'Coach' having to say it. I'm sure it's been mentioned to a few of us that things need to get better."


Running back DeShawn Wynn said it's much easier to work the run game in pads.


"I'm sure most guys would complain about it being something different," Wynn said. "But at the same time, it's fun being able to put the pads on and the hitting. My faith, and I'm sure everybody else's faith, is we're going to be healthy and 100% when the time's right and get our legs back."


Don't expect any live tackling this summer other than the scrimmages and exhibition games.


"I do not have it planned," McCarthy said. "I don't know if the risk is worth it. I did some live tackling the first year, and I never felt good about it. We practice so fast and have a lot of tempo and stress in our practices."


From the huddle: McCarthy has told players they will be fined $1,701 for inappropriate cell phone or Twitter usage. "It's disrespectful," he said. "You don't pull out your cell phone and start talking in the middle of a meeting. To me, Twitter, texting and all the different things you can do on the cell phone fall in the same category."


McCarthy sounded ecstatic to have defensive end Cullen Jenkins back from his season-ending pectoral injury in Week 4. "You could make an argument that (Jenkins) may be the best or one of the best players on our football team," he said. "Cullen Jenkins is a difference-maker."


Wynn reported at 228 pounds, the first time he has been under 230 since his second year at Florida. He was almost 240 early in his Packers' career. "I'm in real good shape and feel a lot better," he said.


Tom Silverstein contributed to this report.

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