Finally! After a month of nothing but holdout talk from WR Javon Walker and DT Grady Jackson, its finally time to get some players into camp. Yesterday was the first day of camp, but all the veterans don't report until Wednesday. Also, QB Alex Smith finally signed with San Francisco, which should finally get movement on signing QB Aaron Rodgers (1st round), CB Nick Collins and WR Terrence Murphy (both 2nd round). It is always important to get players in for most of training camp, even players like Rodgers who shouldn't be playing much in 2005, because missing training camp during their rookie season essentially holds players back a season.
The NFL has been really slow in signing its first round picks this season; I'm used to the top pick signing soon after the draft, but this year it took almost three months. The biggest problem is that there is no salary cap in 2006, or something like that. I haven't paid too much attention to the issue because I expect the NFL and the players will renegotiate the labor agreement, and all the post-2005 rules will be changed next winter.
Reading the depth chart on packersnews.com, it lists CB Joey Thomas ahead of CB Ahmad Carroll at left cornerback. Despite all the criticism of Carroll, it is the first time I have actually seen it published that Thomas is ahead of Carroll (right next to a picture of Mike Sherman chewing out Carroll). As much as Carroll struggled last season, Thomas rarely played ahead of Carroll in 2004 and Thomas showed almost nothing when he did play. Hopefully one of these guys puts it all together to complement CB Al Harris this season.
Another interesting point, CB Mike Hawkins, the Packers obscure 5th round pick this past draft, is listed as the backup right cornerback behind Harris, ahead of guys like CB Chris Johnson and CB Jason Horton who have actually had a little NFL playing time. Either Hawkins has really impressed early in the minicamps, or the depth behind Thomas, Carroll and Harris is really weak.