Left with no choice other than to sign or to sit, veteran offensive lineman Daryn Colledge has agreed to sign the one year, restricted free agent tender offer from the Green Bay Packers. Colledge will play the 2010 season for the tender of 1.759 million dollars. He says he will check in to the Pack's off-season training program, underway for the past three weeks, and take part in the organized team activities which begin next week. Colledge is among a large group of NFL players who found themselves in negotiating no man's land this year with the collective bargaining agreement heading into its final year. When owners opted out of the deal last year, if left the 2010 season as an uncapped year with the CBA set to expire in February of next year. The deadlines also triggered a change in free agency, allowing only players with 6, not four years of vested service able to negotiate with any other team. Colledge just finished his 4th year in the league and was only a restricted free agent. That allowed the Packers to retain negotiating rights by offering a tender offer, giving them an opportunity to match an offer from another team or decline and receive a draft choice as compensation. The deadline for restricted free agents to talk to other teams expired last month so Colledge could only sit out or sign. He signed because the Packers are going to step up the competition for his starting left guard job. Jason Spitz is expected to battle Colledge for the position. The Packers are waiting for signatures from the final three veterans, Atari Bigby, Johnny Jolly and Tramon Williams. All three are expected sign as Bigby could be challenged by third round draft choice Morgan Burnett of Georgia Tech, Williams might be in line for a big free agent pay day in another season if Al Harris and Charles Woodson inch closer to retirement. Jolly may wait to sign his tender. He has his trial on codiene posession charges coming up this spring in Houston.
Clay Matthews finished third in the AP Defensive rookie of the year balloting following the 2009 season. The winner of the award, Matthews' USC teammate Brian Cushing, will have to give the trophy back. Cushing has been suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy after testing positive last September. Because he appealed the violation and played the final three months, the Associated Press has announced it will recast all votes. Balloters can still choose Cushing in the do-over but that appears unlikely. Buffalo defensive back Jarius Byrd finished a distant second with Matthews coming in third in the original vote. Matthews led the Packers with 10 sacks and made the Pro Bowl after his first season.