A day that began with a bang – the announcement that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had signed his much-anticipated contract extension – continued into the second round of the NFL Draft when the team traded back several picks, but still got their guy – Alabama running back Eddie Lacy.
But it wasn’t over as Packers Nation sat tight and watched General Manager Ted Thompson again use his trade skills, not once, but twice. Thompson traded the 88th selection to the Niners and then traded back into the fourth round with the Miami Dolphins as he stockpiled 10 fifth, sixth and seventh round selections that will all pay off on the final day of the draft tomorrow, Saturday.
After the dust had cleared, here is what Thompson had accumulated:
Packers picks – fourth round 109 and 122; fifth round 146, 159, 167; sixth round 173, 193; and seventh round 216, 224, 232.
Thompson clearly has his sights set on players who will help fill out his roster with young legs.
But before the big day begins tomorrow, we look back on what will be known as an eventful day in Packers history. Rodgers’ new contract will keep him in the Green and Gold through 2019 and will pay him $20 million per year. He gets $40 million upfront and becomes the NFL’s richest man – eclipsing the deal signed a couple of months ago by Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco – he will get $20 million per year.
Here’s what Rodgers tweeted following the signing:
Big thanks to the Organization, our coaching staff, my teammates, and packer nation for the last 8 years!Excited about 7 more!#extension
— Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) April 26, 2013
Even Jermichael Finley, the one who has criticized Rodgers from time to time over the past couple of years, got in on the act following Rodgers’ signing
Congratulations 2 my man @aaronrodgers12. Frankly, he deserves more, but thank you 4 saving some 4 the rest. Every dinner on u sir! Let’s Go
— Jermichael Finley (@JermichaelF88) April 26, 2013
Needless to say, it has been a great day for Rodgers … and not so bad for his team.
The Packers stood pat with the 55th selection up until just before they were to make their selection in today’s second round of the NFL Draft. Instead, Thompson traded down with the San Francisco 49ers and selected Lacy with the 61st pick – a selection that would turn out to be the Packers’ lone pick of the day.
That’s because when it came time to select with the 88th overall pick, Thompson again traded with the Niners – moving out of the 88th slot and into the 93rd spot. That didn’t last long either as Thompson would finish the night with one more trade, this time back into the fourth round. In all, Thompson trade magic conjured up a total of 10 picks through rounds 4-7 Saturday.
With so many picks in his back pocket, it gives Thompson some flexibility to use them as trade bait or to sit tight and accumulate players … you might look for Thompson to trade up tomorrow to secure players he has in his sights.
So, what will it be? Will he use the fourth and fifth rounds to possibly target some wide receivers? Safeties? Linebackers? Maybe another defensive lineman?
That’s the beauty of so many picks in this draft with talent that has been described as balanced across all rounds.
Today’s eventful occurrences should spill over into tomorrow with an entertaining final day of the draft.