The state of the Green Bay Packers' salary cap in 2013 and beyond is examined in depth by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Silverstein cites the need for room to sign players to contract extensions like Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji as well as sign free agents like Sam Shields. "It's a given that (Jeff) Saturday won't be back, and if the Packers really want the cap flexibility to offer contract extensions they're going to have to either release (Charles) Woodson or get him to take a major pay cut," writes Silverstein. "Assuming the Packers have $5 million of cap room (after the restricted tenders are offered), they could increase that total to $17.2 million by cutting ties with Woodson and Saturday." Silverstein also notes that the Packers will gain slightly more than $7 million in salary-cap space in 2013 by carrying over unused space this season to next year. The entire article is highly-suggested reading.
Wide receiver Donald Driver could make a decision about his future in just a few days, according to Mike Garafolo of USA Today. "Following a disappointing season in which he caught eight passes and was inactive for one of the team's two playoff games, Driver is leaning toward retirement, according to a person informed of Driver's thinking on the matter," writes Garafolo. "The person, who spoke to USA TODAY on condition of anonymity because Driver hasn't made a final decision, said an announcement could come as soon as next week." Driver is scheduled to make an appearance at the Super Bowl Media Center next week, so it's possible he could offer more information on his future at that point in time. Despite a desire to play longer, it just probably isn't in the cards for Driver.
Running back Cedric Benson is scheduled to appear twice in Manitowoc County Court in Wisconsin in February. One appearance is for traffic violations that include speeding and driving without a license. The other appearance is for a charge slightly out of the ordinary. "Charges filed by the county sheriff’s department claim that Benson’s dogs 'Stack' and 'Tina' bit 17 calves at a North Lake Drive farm on Dec. 20," according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "A member of the farmer’s family alleged that he found the dogs chewing the calves’ legs, and that several suffered “very deep wounds and possibly tendon damage.” While this is certainly not good news, it's probably not likely to land Benson in jail or have any bearing on his future with the Packers. He will be a free agent at season's end.
Cornerback Davon House apparently underwent surgery on his injured shoulder on Wednesday. "It's not a shock that surgery is required given the injury," writes Tom Silverstein at JSOnline. "The fact House needed to play with a harness all season long speaks to the concern there was that he would reinjure it playing." House later relayed on his Twitter account that surgery "went well."
More on Davon House comes from the Press-Gazette.
Reports from the Senior Bowl are shared at the Journal Sentinel, including a desire of Florida State linebacker Vince Williams to play for the Packers and thoughts on the ongoing Manti Te'o saga and his future in the NFL.
With Pro Bowl practices underway in Hawaii, the Packers official website shares some thoughts from running backs coach Alex Van Pelt and some behind-the-scenes photos, including a couple of Josh Sitton.
The running back position in Green Bay gets some attention in an article at the Press-Gazette.
Aaron Rodgers shares some thoughts on the label Green Bay received as a "soft" team, through a blog post at NFL.com.
The Packer Ranter has an outside-the-box idea to create a competitive advantage at Lambeau Field.
Video: WBAY in Green Bay does a little more digging into the Cedric Benson story...
Brian Carriveau is the author of "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and an editor at Cheesehead TV. To contact Brian, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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