Packers G.M. Ted Thompson doesn’t dip his toe into the free agent waters too often, but one of his most successful signings came in 2006 when he picked up defensive tackle Ryan Pickett.
That four-year deal worked out so well, he wants to sign Pickett again.
The unrestricted free agent is Thompson’s top offseason priority, according to Greg A. Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Pickett was a bargain for $14 million over four years last time around, and is sure to get a raise.
The two sides are already in contract negotiations. If the Packers can cross Pickett off the list, Bedard writes their next move will be to retain left tackle Chad Clifton, who is also an unrestricted free agent. The team will also offer a contract to Aaron Kampman, who is coming off a torn ACL, but he won’t be a priority.
The offensive line figures to be in flux. Right tackle Mark Tascher (a UFA) and guard Daryn Colledge (a restricted free agent) appear less important to retain.
The Packers opened the season as the league’s youngest roster for the fourth straight season in 2009, and nearly all of their key young players should be back.