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Finally Johnny Jolly Makes a Good Decision

June 15, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to put the name “Johnny Jolly” and “good decision” in the same sentence, so I’m going to type that headline again: Finally Johnny Jolly makes a good decision.

The defensive end, with looming legal troubles, signed his tender offer before the Packers could exercise their right to reduce that offer by about $2 million dollars. According to Greg Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,

[Jolly] will be paid $2.5 million this season although it is not guaranteed, and he only receives weekly installments once the season starts. Jolly can be released at any time with no financial hit to the team.

Bedard and others are also reporting that safety Atari Bigby had no intentions of signing his offer before the June 15th deadline because the difference was so little. (What’s $54,000 among friends, right?)

So that leaves Tramon Williams. He was the only player, out of the three restricted free agents, with any sort of leverage (he still doesn’t have much leverage because his only options are to sign his tender or sit out the season). Williams started opposite Charles Woodson when Al Harris went down with a knee injury, and he is also penciled in to open the season as the starter.

Starting at midnight (eastern time) last night, the Packers have 24 hours to decide whether or not to reduce their initial tender offer of $3.168 million to $584,078 (110% of Williams’ salary last year). You can bet the Packers are thinking long and hard about following through on the warning letter they sent Williams. If they go ahead and reduce the offer, they run the risk of Williams holding out. If they don’t reduce the offer, they appear soft and other players may follow Williams’ lead in the future.

I have no idea what will happen in the short term, but my guess is the Packers will extend Tramon Williams’ contract before the start of the season and this whole situation will be moot. The only problem with my prediction is Atari Bigby. If Thompson extends Williams, what does he do with Bigby? I’m not sure how this ends, but my gut tells me Williams and Bigby will be lining up in the defensive backfield for Week 1 of the regular season.

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