Wednesday, February 04, 2004

The Packers assigned 12 players to NFL Europe, but 10 of the 12 were signed just two weeks ago. Only Erwin Swiney and Derek Combs played any part on last season's team. Swiney might be part of the battle for the 3rd cornerback position, if Michael Hawthorne leaves in free agency, so it appears that Swiney is the only one of the 12 players who might make next season's roster. Certainly this is not as interesting as last season, when QB Craig Nall went to NFL Europe.

Apparently, Hawthorne thinks he is likely to get a big contract this offseason to be someone's starting cornerback. It is unlikely the Packers would sign Hawthorne to be a starter for next season since Mike McKenzie and Al Harris are both under contract for next season. Hawthorne might be right, he is tall (over 6 feet) and played well this season. Atlanta gave Tod McBride a multiyear contract last offseason, after McBride was the Packers 3rd cornerback (when healthy). However, Atlanta's pass defense was a disaster last season and it wouldn't be surprising to see McBride cut. Hawthorne has a few strikes against him because he is relatively slow for a NFL cornerback and he was released by New Orleans supposedly after clashing with coaches. Hopefully he doesn't get much interest from other teams and the Packers can resign him to a one year contract.

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