A little late to the party, but we never miss the last dance. It was announced yesterday that first-round pick Bryan Bulaga inked his rookie deal and will report to the opening of training camp today (In immortal words of Chris Lempesis, “It’s here, it’s finally #&*$ here!).
Bulaga’s deal is for five years and worth $14.75 million, with $8.76 million guaranteed.
The years, numbers and particulars are nothing shocking or even all that newsworthy in today’s slotting system, but the fact he will be able to report on time and not holdout is. Perhaps he took notice of what happened when B.J. Raji held out for the beginning of camp last year. Given the age and health history of both starting tackles, having the big man from Iowa here on time is extremely beneficial as he will play an integral role at some point this year. Bulaga is supposed to serve as Clifton’s backup at LT this season, but don’t hesitate to think if an injury happens to Tauscher he won’t be the first the one to get a crack in the starting lineup. However, all of that hinges on how quickly he can learn the system and his performance in training camp, enforcing the significance of reporting on time.
In other news, three Packers will begin camp on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list. Two of the names are not surprising, but one is – Atari Bigby. It has been well-documented that rookie third-round pick Morgan Burnett is challenging Bigby for his starting strong safety more every day. It also does not look favorable for Bigby, as he chose to work out on his own this entire offseason and not with the team. An ankle injury is keeping him sidelined, the same one that hampered him throughout the 2008 season.
The other two players on the PUP list are Al Harris, who is still recovering from knee surgery; and rookie sixth-round pick RB James Starks, with a hamstring injury he suffered in OTA’s. The PUP list in training camp is a little different than during the regular season when a players is out for six games. When a player is placed on the PUP list in camp, it allows the team to add another player to the 80-man training camp roster to replace the one on the PUP list. Once a player is activated from the PUP list, the team then needs to cut someone to get back down the roster limit.
Training camp is under way folks and while summer seems to have flown by, the positive is that football is here! Stayed dialed-in from continued training camp coverage from OBOD.