General Manager Ted Thompson was all smiles at this weekend's 6th annual Fan Fest at Lambeau Field. He announced Friday night that long term contract extensions were reached with safety Nick Collins and nose tackle Ryan Pickett. Collins had earlier accepted the one year tender offer of 3.3 million dollars for 2010 in the hopes that a longer deal could be reached. Pickett was slapped with the franchise tag by the team just before free agency began, guaranteeing him 7.8 million for the season but he also signed on long term. With the earlier signing of Chad Clifton to a three year, 19.6 million dollar deal, and reports that Mark Tauscher is all but locked up on a new two year contract, it's clear Thompson opened the checkbook for his own free agents, rather than shop the open market for other NFL players. The week long spending spree will approach 80 million dollars for the 4 veterans. Thompson must feel his team is close to becomming a serious contender in 2010, and he had to solidify his bookend tackles and remain strong up the middle for the league's second ranked defense. While a few holes remain to be filled, an outside linebacker to replace Aaron Kampman and another defensive back, Thompson appears poised to address those issues not with other team's castoffs, but through the draft next month.
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