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Rodgers, Matthews contract talks top Packers' priority list

Mar. 18, 2013
 
Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers throws against the San Francisco 49ers Jan. 12, 2013, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.
Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers throws against the San Francisco 49ers Jan. 12, 2013, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. / Dan Powers/Gannett Wisconsin Media

PHOENIX — The busiest member of the Packers contingent here at the NFL annual meetings is probably Russ Ball.

The Packers vice president of player finance has the difficult job of trying to negotiate contract extensions for two of the team’s biggest stars, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and outside linebacker Clay Matthews. Rodgers’ contract runs through 2014 but compared to the market, he’s vastly underpaid at $9.25 million this season and $10.5 million next year. Those are the final two years of the contract he signed after just his seventh career start in 2008. Matthews is entering the final year of his rookie contract.

Also, nose tackle B.J. Raji is for all intents and purposes entering his final season, considering his rookie contract contains a voidable year in 2014.

Coincidentally, all three players are represented by the same agent: David Dunn.

Dunn arrived at the NFL meetings here yesterday, and likely will meet with Ball, if he hasn’t already. In fact, while Thompson was speaking to reporters at the Arizona Biltmore hotel yesterday, both Dunn and Ball walked by within minutes of one another. When Ball walked by, Thompson quipped: “You guys should be talking to him,” apparently forgetting his own policy of not allowing Ball to speak to the media.

“Those things will be looked at at some point,” Packers general manager Ted Thompson said. “You can never predict on those things. We’re always working at stuff like that. I’m not talking about those guys specifically, and I never comment directly about those guys, but we’re always working, contemplating, talking to in that realm. Always. And we did with some players that we signed back in October and that we’ve lost to free agency this year. There’s always discussions, conversations.”

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