Monday, April 12, 2004

Antuan Edwards accepted an offer for the veterans minimum of $535,000 to play for Miami next season according to and Its a bit of a risk for Edwards for two reasons. First, there is no guaranteed money in the Miami deal, although the Packers only guaranteed $100,000, so if Edwards is injured (again) during the preseason, then Miami can easily cut him and not worry about their salary cap. Second, if the competition is tight during the preseason between Edwards and another player, Miami has no established relationship with Edwards while Packers defensive coordinator Bob Slowik has worked with Edwards for the last four seasons. However, Miami has parted ways with two members of their 2003 secondary, Brock Marion (free safety) and Jamal Fletcher (ex-Badger third cornerback), while the Packers brought in Mark Roman to compete for the strong safety position Edwards had last season.

Mike McKenzie is unhappy with the Packers, according to the associated press. This brings the total to two pro bowl cornerbacks (Ty Law and McKenzie) that are upset with their contracts after watching second tier corners like Antoine Winfield receive eight figure signing bonuses this off season.

McKenzie is also upset with the way last season ended in Philadelphia and maybe it isn't such a bright idea to fire the defensive coordinator (Ed Donatell) and replace him with the defensive backs coach (Slowik) when the problem during the playoff game loss was the defensive pass coverage. reported that McKenzie's loyalty to assistant defensive backs coach Lionel Washington, who was bypassed for promotion to Slowik's old job when the Packers hired Kurt Shottenheimer, is another complaint for McKenzie. I am a fan of the hiring of Shottenheimer, who is very familiar with the NFC North as defensive coordinator with Detroit last season, but I can understand why McKenzie is upset that the Packers seemingly overlooked a qualified in house candidate in Washington.

There also appears to be some mixed signals, McKenzie thinking one thing and Sherman doing something else. Sherman appears to keep all football matters close to the vest and probably is not one of the top players coaches in the NFL. Sherman has seemed to have a way with working these matters out with the players, as he did with Nai'l Diggs during last offseason.

In the end, McKenzie would never had requested a trade if it weren't for the money, no matter what is said to the contrary. When Champ Bailey receives a signing bonus ($18 million) that is worth more than your entire 5 year contract (McKenzie signed for $17 million in 2002), although your 2003 stats outpassed him (McKenzie had 4 INT and 18 Pass Defends to Bailey's 2 INT and 9 PD), then you have a reason to complain. Those stats don't tell the whole story because offenses avoided throwing at Bailey which allowed McKenzie to have many more opportunities, however, the two remain comparable players and McKenzie appears to be a bargain for the next three seasons. I can't think of a single case where the Packers have renegotiated a contract for a player when it was not initiated by the Packers for salary cap relief, so any contract renegotiation for McKenzie seems unlikely.

In the end, this is a potential holdout situation. The Packers cannot replace McKenzie's preformance and contract value at cornerback, and a team thinking Super Bowl cannot trade its number one cornerback. Sherman will probably talk to McKenzie this week and hopefully the Packers can avoid McKenzie's potential holdout.

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