Get the rooks and other youngens up to speed
In a funny twist of fate, the Packers had several more veterans present for the end of May voluntary OTA than in June’s mandatory mini-camp.
That’s because the top players have off-season bonuses tied to their participation in OTAs (a whopping $500,000 each for Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews III, Jordy Nelson, Sam Shields and Julius Peppers; and a figure of more than $5 million total), making a good argument for attending OTAs. They would need to show up for mandatory mini-camp, too, but Coach Mike McCarthy excused 15 vets, citing the five-week pre-season this year with Green Bay’s participation in the Hall of Fame game.
With all those vets out of the picture, the door was opened for more reps for the younger players on the squad. It was the first interaction with any veterans for rookies Kenny Clark (NT), Dean Lowry (DE) and Kyle Murphy (OL) since their respective schools remain in session longer than others. NFL rules say a player may not show up if their school is still in session, unless they’ve graduated.
The young players looked impressive in this non-padded action. Brett Hundley was zipping passes around, including a long TD to Trevor Davis. David Bakhtiari showed strong, fast punch on blocking dummies (as he enters a contract year), as did rookie Jason Spriggs. Kyler Fackrell is a physical specimen, and Blake Martinez displayed quick feet. Several of the new players sport impressive size.
It’s way too early to know much about them, but this action gets the juices flowing for training camp.