State Sports Roundup: Expect a quiet free agent period for the PackersWisconsin Sports
-- NFL free agents can officially start shopping around for new teams today.
N-F-L free agents can officially start shopping around for new teams today. And just like in recent years, the Green Bay Packers are expected to be a virtual non-factor. General manager Ted Thompson normally saves his biggest salaries for his own players. He did meet with veteran defensive end Chris Canty, who was cut by the New York Giants – but there was no word of an offer. Canty was among the victims of the league’s flat salary cap of 123-million dollars per team, which is the same as a year ago. And with a glut of veterans who were cut, Canty and the others might not get the big paydays they could have received in the past. Former Packers Charles Woodson and Nick Barnett are among the cut veterans joining a large group of free agents in the player market.
Media reports say the Packers have offered their lowest tender to restricted free-agent center Evan Dietrich-Smith. If another team makes an offer, Green Bay can match it – but the Packers would not get any compensation if they lose him. If he stays, Dietrich-Smith gets a one-year tender of just over one-point-three million dollars a year. He became the Packers’ starting center near the end of last season, replacing veteran Jeff Saturday. Dietrich-Smith is one of Green Bay’s five restricted free agents. The others are Sam Shields, Tom Crabtree, Frank Zombo, and Robert Francois. The Packers have until three this afternoon to give tender offers to those players, if they haven’t already done so.
The Milwaukee Brewers edged the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 yesterday in an exhibition contest in Phoenix. The Dodgers scored two unearned runs in the top of the fourth inning, after Carlos Gomez botched a fly ball in center. But Milwaukee came back with three in the bottom of the frame on an R-B-I triple from Rickie Weeks and run-scoring singles by Khris Davis and Blake Lalli. Brewers’ starter Mike Fiers went four innings. He gave up both runs on six hits. The Brewers never even saw their former teammate Zack Greinke. He was scheduled to pitch for the Dodgers – but he was undergoing tests in Los Angeles on a sore right elbow. The Brewers are now 7-and-8 in the Cactus League, and will play Texas this afternoon. Right-hander Mark Rogers will start for the Crew.