Walker reports to Packers camp without new deal
Despite his earlier suggestions he might not play at all in 2005 without a new contract, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Javon Walker on Wednesday night reported to training camp and is ready to participate in all workouts, ESPN.com has learned.
It was not immediately clear how the conflict between Walker and the Packers was resolved, although sources confirmed there have been conversations the past few days between Green Bay vice president Andrew Brandt and agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Walker's contract, which has two seasons remaining at base salaries of $515,000 for 2005 and $650,000 in 2006, has not been altered.
It is believed that, while the Packers remain firm in their negotiating stance, they will not upgrade the contract, there will at least be some dialogue in the near future. It is also believed the team forgave at least a portion of the fines Walker accrued when he failed to attend the Packers' mandatory minicamp.
Walker, 26, had reiterated as recently as two weeks ago he would sit out camp, and possibly the entire season, until his contract grievances were addressed. And last week, Rosenhaus said he "could not fathom" allowing his client to report under his current deal. Clearly, there was some sort of move that broke through Walker's intransigence.
At one point in the offseason, even Packers quarterback Brett Favre joined the fray, openly criticizing Walker and Rosenhaus.
Earlier Wednesday, several team shareholders urged general manager Ted Thompson and team chairman Bob Harlan not to acquiesce in the Walker standoff. Following the stockholders' meeting, the Green Bay officials were inundated with questions concerning Walker's demands for a new contract or a trade.
Said Thompson: "Things like this happen in professional sports. It's just the nature of the business. It doesn't mean he's a bad person. He's a good kid. We hope that he is here for a long time."
A three-year veteran, and the Packers' first-round choice in the 2002 draft, Walker posted a breakout season in 2004, with 89 receptions for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. For his career, he has 153 catches for 2,417 yards and 22 touchdowns in 47 games.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.
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