INDIANAPOLIS - Center JC Tretter has a large free-agent market and is expected to receive offers more lucrative than the Green Bay Packers will match, according to a source close to the situation, paving the way for his exit from the team that drafted him.
Tretter’s agents, Alan Herman and Jared Fox, received a wealth of interest at the NFL scouting combine this week, the source said. They had met with six teams by Thursday afternoon and had two meetings still to come, one of which was with the Packers.
Preliminary conversations indicated Tretter could receive some considerable offers when he becomes an unrestricted free agent next week. Other teams are expected to pursue him more aggressively than the Packers, the source said, and Tretter is likely to accept a larger contract to become a starting center.
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Should Tretter leave, the Packers will move forward with Corey Linsley as their starter. Linsley, 25, has started 38 games over the last three years and performed well. His productivity lessens the need to re-sign Tretter.
The lynchpin of Tretter’s earning power is the health of his right knee. Tretter, 26, absorbed a hard hit during the loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 30 and missed the final nine games with what originally was described as “significant MCL damage.”
But the swelling lingered well beyond the expected recovery time, and results of Tretter’s MRI were sent to three specialists around the country for further examination. Ultimately, Tretter and his agents asked renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews to scope the knee in hopes of discovering a problem.
Tretter underwent minor arthroscopic surgery Jan. 17 at Andrews’ clinic in Alabama. Andrews removed a piece of tissue that had broken free and lodged in the knee, which triggered Tretter’s discomfort after each practice.
Andrews found no cartilage or structural damage of any kind, a source said, and those close to Tretter believe he will pass his medical examinations.
The Packers selected Tretter in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in 31 games over the last three seasons and made 10 starts.