Offensive lineman signs contract

Jason Spitz

With training camp just two days away, the Green Bay Packers narrowed their number of unsigned 2006 draft picks to four by signing guard/center Jason Spitz. The Packers also released quarterback Tom Arth and running back Chaz Williams.

Spitz reportedly received a four-year contract, like all of Green Bay's other selections. The Louisville product was the Packers' second of two third-round selections in April's draft.

Spitz now has to prove that he can start at right guard for the Packers. He was inserted into the starting lineup during the Organized Team Activities practices in May and June. He will be competing for a starting spot against second-year pro Junius Coston.

The 75th overall choice and 15th offensive lineman taken, Spitz started at both guard positions in college but was thought by some scouts to have better long-term pro prospects at center because of his size and body frame. He overcame a knee injury as a redshirt freshman to start the last 38 games of his college career, earning postseason honors in the final three seasons.

The Packers have been in negotiations with first-round draft pick A.J. Hawk throughout this week. He is expected to receive a multi-year contract of about $20 million to $22 million. Other draft picks who remain unsigned include guard Daryn Colledge, linebacker Abdul Hodge and quarterback Ingle Martin.

Spitz joins defensive end Dave Tollefson (June 23), defensive tackle Johnny Jolly (July 7), safety Tyrone Culver (July 11), cornerback Will Blackmon (July 14), tackle/guard Tony Moll (July 18), wide receiver Greg Jennings (Monday) and wide receiver/kick returner Cory Rodgers as draft choices to sign contracts.

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