DT Jackson's 'current situation doesn't work'

Updated: July 6, 2005, 10:17 AM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Agent Drew Rosenhaus has another new Green Bay client. And that means Packers officials have another veteran player seeking a new contract.

Grady Jackson
Defensive Tackle
Green Bay Packers
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
Tot Ast Solo FF Sack Int
23 18 5 0 1 0
Rosenhaus confirmed Tuesday that he has been retained by starting defensive tackle Grady Jackson, who joins wide receiver Javon Walker and tailback Najeh Davenport as Packers players who have joined his burgeoning stable during the offseason. And the ubiquitous Rosenhaus said that Jackson, who is entering the final season of a two-year, $2.3 million contract he signed late in 2003, is seeking a contract extension.

"We talked to the Packers people [Tuesday]," said Rosenhaus, "and the information we got from them was not encouraging at this point. But I'm always an optimist, so we'll see what happens. But the current situation doesn't work."

It is likely that, without an extension, Jackson will not report for the start of training camp on July 29. Walker, who has skipped all of the team's offseason program, probably will miss the beginning of camp as well. Davenport, who signed the one-year restricted free agent qualifying offer earlier in the offseason, is expected to report.

Despite recurring problems with injuries and with this weight, Jackson is a key defender for the Packers, a solid interior anchor against the run and also capable of collapsing the pocket versus the pass. In 10 games last season, the eight-year veteran had 36 tackles, one sack and two pass deflections.

But he missed five games after having arthroscopic knee surgery for a second straight year and, as has been the case for much of his professional career, there were concerns over Jackson's weight. His current contract does include weight clauses. Green Bay coaches obviously would prefer to have the 350-pound Jackson in camp, where they can monitor his weight and conditioning.

Jackson, 32, is scheduled to have a base salary of $665,000 for 2005, the minimum for a player of his tenure, and he received a $65,000 advance in May. He is seeking security for his future and Rosenhaus said he will consider "all the options," including possibly asking for permission to speak to other teams about a trade.

The value of Jackson, historically, has gone beyond pure statistics. He has never posted more than 69 tackles in a season and, in 1½ seasons with the Packers, who signed him after his release by the Saints during the 2003 season, he has 61 stops. But he can control the middle of the line and, as the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel pointed out, the Packers are 15-6 with him in the lineup and 2-4 in contests he missed.

For his career, Jackson has 359 tackles and 31½ sacks in stints with Oakland (1997-2001), New Orleans (2002-2003) and Green Bay (2003-2004).

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.