Packers' Kenny Clark hoping no holdout will be needed to spark long-term contract talks
GREEN BAY - Now that the season is over, nose tackle Kenny Clark is hoping to do some business with the Green Bay Packers.
Entering the option year of his five-year contract, Clark would like to negotiate a long-term deal that would allow his prime years to be with the Packers. He said no serious talks have taken place and he’s not sure when they will.
“I’m just waiting on them, really,” he said Monday, a day after the Packers’ season ended with a 37-20 loss to San Francisco in the NFC championship game. “I can’t do nothing about it. I just have to keep playing.
“I hope it happens sometime soon. They’re not really (at a point) where they’re actually getting into it, talking. I’m pretty sure at some point they will. Somebody will have to break the ice and talk.”
Clark said he didn’t think he would have to force talks with a holdout during the offseason or training camp.
“Hopefully, I don’t have to do anything like that,” he said. “I’m not that kind of guy. I don’t think it will come to that.”
Clark, who is due a base salary of $7.69 million in 2020, did say he’d like the talks to get going so that his future can be secured. He said he feels he’s a good fit for the organization and that the team wants him to stick around for a long time.
He started all 16 games and ranked second on the team with a career-high 89 tackles and tied a career high with six sacks. He was voted a Pro Bowl alternate.
“I think it’s one of those situations where, I think they’re going to want me here for a long time,” he said. “I think I’m a stable player and I’m a core player here. I think they want me to be here and they’re going to try to do everything they can to keep me here.
“I just have to be level-headed and pray about it. I have confidence. I believe with their history, they don’t let guys they want to be here, they don’t really let them leave.”
Lewis not ready to call it quits
Tight end Marcedes Lewis found himself in a place he hoped to be last year when he first signed as a free agent after leaving the Jacksonville Jaguars: wanted.
The 35-year-old veteran played in every game and took part in 45% of the offensive snaps during the regular season, second only to Jimmy Graham (57%) among tight ends. Lewis said he felt he fit well in coach Matt LaFleur’s system and wants to return.
No matter what, he said, he wants to play next season. Lewis becomes an unrestricted free agent in March.
“I felt like I got into a groove with my role in this offense,” he said. “It was really fun. I love the game. I knew I still had more football to give. Being in this offense and having LaFleur and conceptually what he wanted and then having (former Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel) Hackett here, it all went hand in hand.
“I just think it was a good situation. Mentally, you were coming to a place where guys cared about you, you know?”
Guts but no glory
Punter JK Scott was questionable Sunday with the bug that had been passing through the Packers' locker room and there was some question Saturday whether he would be able to play.
But Scott bounced back enough that the Packers did not sign a punter and trusted he would be able to get through the game. He took part in warm-ups and appeared to be no worse for wear.
He punted four times and averaged 43 yards gross and 36.5 net. He had a 62-yard punt and a 23-yard shank.
“I’m just proud of him doing what he needed to be out here,” kicker Mason Crosby said.
Jaire Alexander in a cast
About halfway through the third quarter, Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander left the field and had his right hand looked at on the sideline. He quickly headed to the locker room where an X-ray indicated a fracture at the base of his right thumb.
After the game, the second-year corner was in a cast. Asked if he would need surgery, he said, “Even if I do, I’m not having it.”
Further imaging was planned to determine the full scope of the injury and treatment options.
Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contributed