24 hours before first practice, Green Bay Packers sign first-round draft pick Derek Sherrod

Jul. 29, 2011


The Green Bay Packers signed their first-round draft pick, Derek Sherrod, a full 24 hours before their first training camp practice.

Not bad considering they had less than a week to get the deal done.

A source told the Green Bay Press-Gazette on Friday evening that the deal was completed at about 7 p.m. and that Sherrod was “on his way over to the stadium to sign as we speak.”

Earlier in the day, a source said the salary and bonus numbers had been negotiated, but the two sides were still haggling over the amount of guaranteed money. The exact figures were unavailable, but several reports said the deal was worth $6.602 million with $5.3 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $3.3 million. Under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, all first-round draft picks were given four-year contracts with a team option for a fifth year.

Several of the early first-round picks have had their full contract guaranteed. But later in the round, that wasn’t the case.

Sherrod missed all of the physical testing the players went through on Friday but should be cleared in time for tonight’s first practice at 7 p.m.

Earlier Friday, the Packers signed four other draft picks: receiver Randall Cobb (second round), cornerback Davon House (fourth round), linebacker D.J. Smith (sixth round) and defensive end Lawrence Guy (seventh round). Four other picks — tight end D.J. Williams (fifth round), guard Caleb Schlauderaff (sixth round), linebacker Ricky Elmore (sixth round) and tight end Ryan Taylor (seventh round) — had signed on Thursday.

That left running back Alex Green (third round) as the last draft pick to sign. There was no indication what was holding up that deal.

Hall departs: Fullback Korey Hall signed with the New Orleans Saints on Friday to become the fourth Packers unrestricted free agent to leave for another team this week, joining left guard Daryn Colledge (Arizona), running back Brandon Jackson (Cleveland) and center Jason Spitz (Jacksonville).

The Packers probably weren’t going to keep three fullbacks like they did last season, and they had become frustrated by Hall’s knack of getting injured late in the season. Last season, he missed games because of three different injuries (hip, back and knee). He missed two of the four postseason games because of the knee. However, he did lead the team in special teams tackles last year during the regular season.

Another of their fullbacks, John Kuhn, also is an unrestricted free agent and remains on the market.

Also, free-agent safety Anthony Smith said he had not received an offer from the Packers.

In addition, unrestricted free agent linebacker Matt Wilhelm was informed by the Packers he would not be re-signed.

Other Packers unrestricted free agents who have yet to sign with other teams include Cullen Jenkins, James Jones and Atari Bigby.

Kicker Mason Crosby is the only unrestricted free agent the Packers have re-signed.

More roster moves: The Packers waived a pair of first-year players: safety Michael Greco and linebacker Curtis Young. Both spent time on the practice squad late last season.

They also added two more undrafted free agents, although one, Temple nose tackle Elisha Joseph (6-2, 290), was initially reported to have signed but then not included on the list the Packers released Thursday. The other was Oklahoma defensive end Chris Donaldson (6-1, 300).

Odds and ends: Packers coach Mike McCarthy’s wife, Jessica, gave birth to a baby girl late Thursday evening. The team reported that mother and daughter Isabella Conroy are healthy and resting comfortably. … Former Packers cornerback Al Harris, who was released last season, has signed with the St. Louis Rams, according to his agent, Jack Bechta.

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