The endless off-season workouts will come to a close this week as the Packers re-convene for the mandatory mini-camp. The team will practice three times (all at 10:45 AM on Ray Nitschke Field, open to the public) before wrapping up the spring workout schedule. The team will be reviewing the offensive and defensive installations that were covered during the 4 weeks of OTA practices. The entire roster is required to report although it's not certain safety Atari Bigby will report. He is the last veteran without a signed contract having declined to agree to the team's restricted free agent tender offer. Johnny Jolly has been excused from the camp to focus on his upcoming trial on codeine posession charges. The trial is scheduled to begin July 30 in Houston, Texas.
In advance of the camp, the Packers announced the release of four players, quarterback Noah Shepard, cornerback Trevor Ford, safety Khalil Jones and linebacker Tim Knicky. The cutting of Shepard leaves the team with three quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn and Graham Harrell who was signed May 20 after piling up big numbers at Texas Tech before playing in the Canadian Football League last fall.
The team also announced NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will be in attendance at the team's annual stockholders meeting at Lambeau Field on July 29. Goodell's appearance will come as the league and the players union continue to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. The owners allowed the existing CBA to expire leading to an uncapped year this season. The deal officially expries next February and without a new contract, the league could be facing its first work stoppage since 1987. The two sides resumed talks last week and the discussion centered on the possibility of eliminating 2 pre-season games and lengthening the regular season to 18 games.