The Super Bowl champions are about to lose their first starter in free agency.
Left guard Daryn Colledge, looking for the job security the Green Bay Packers refused to provide over the past couple of seasons, appears to be headed elsewhere. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that Arizona is high on Colledge’s list. A source told Packer Report that the always big-spending Redskins are in the mix, and ESPN Milwaukee’s Jason Wilde added the Rams and Buccaneers as possible suitors.
“Teams expressing a strong desire to sign him does make him feel wanted and appreciated for what he has accomplished so far in his career,” agent Jeff Sperbeck said in an e-mail to Packer Report. “In this business, money is a significant indicator of how teams express their appreciation. So based on that, then yes, many other teams do seem to appreciate his talent more than the Packers do. He enjoyed his time in Green Bay and was proud to have been a part of their rich history. He won a Super Bowl championship there, and for that, he will always be proud.”
As a restricted free agent last offseason, the Packers merely tendered Colledge for the year and never seriously engaged in talks toward a long-term deal at the time or during the season. Colledge enjoyed his best season as a five-year pro, especially down the stretch, as the Packers won the championship.
“The Packers have had a lot of years to re-sign me if they wanted to, so it looks like they might just let me go to free agency,” Colledge told Packer Report two weeks ago. “Whether that’s a business decision or a personal decision, I don’t know. As of right now, I still get to look back at all the memories I’ve had over the past few years and all the great times we’ve had and we won a championship and did a lot of great things. I love my guys back there. I love the players and I love the fans and I love the city. but it’s not my choice anymore. It’s one of those things where the Packers will make that decision. If they want me back, they’ll have me back. If they don’t, then they’ve decided they want to go another direction.”
Because of the Packers’ tepid approach, Colledge decided that he’d go in another direction as soon as free agency opened.
“I don’t think they really ever showed interest,” Colledge said in a direct message on Twitter on Wednesday night.
That leaves a hole in the lineup that could be filled by any number of people. Last year’s first-round pick, Bryan Bulaga, got some reps at left guard during training camp last season but the coaches might want to let him stick at right tackle. This year’s first-round pick, Derek Sherrod, played left tackle in college and could slide inside if he’s one of the top five linemen in practice. Holdovers T.J. Lang and Nick McDonald are in the mix, as well.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.