Mark Tauscher has agreed to a “multiyear” contract with the Green Bay Packers, agent Neil Cornrich just told Packer Report.
Cornrich wouldn’t divulge the length or value, though Cornrich called it a “lucrative” amount commensurate of Tauscher being a starter. Tauscher hasn’t signed the contract; he was vacationing in Australia and then went to Hawaii for the NFLPA meeting in his role as the Packers’ players representative. At Fan Fest, coach Mike McCarthy said he expected Tauscher to be back in Green Bay this week.
“Mark is very grateful to (general manager) Ted Thompson and (vice president of player finance) Russ Ball and Mike McCarthy,” Cornrich said, “for the opportunity to remain a Packer for the rest of his NFL career.”
Tauscher was signed to a one-year deal by the Packers on Oct. 12, just more than 10 months after his 2008 season ended with a torn ACL against the Houston Texans. He was nothing short of a godsend upon his return. After settling into the starting lineup on Nov. 22 against San Francisco, the Packers allowed nine sacks in the final seven games while averaging a whopping 32.7 points per game.
“I really like what Mark Tauscher has done in his time here,” McCarthy said at his season-ending news conference. “I thought he definitely got stronger as the season went on. He thinks he’s over the hump from a rehab standpoint with the strength in the knee, so those are all positives.”
Tauscher, of course, was born in Marshfield, Wis., played his high school ball in nearby Auburndale and became a starter after walking on at Wisconsin.
A seventh-round draft pick by the Packers in 2000 — after such luminaries as third-round pick Steve Warren, fourth-rounder Gary Berry and fifth-rounder Joey Jamison — Tauscher wound up starting 14 games as a rookie after veteran Earl Dotson re-herniated a disc in his back in Week 2.
As one of the few quality unrestricted free agent tackles on the market, Tauscher probably could have written his own contract at any number of spots around the league. But, Tauscher’s willingness to give the Packers a hometown discount and the Packers’ desire to bring back the popular veteran helped get another deal done.
“He sees great things ahead for the Packers and appreciates the opportunity to continue to play for his home-state team,” Cornrich said. “He feels like he’s living a dream come true. It’s rare for a player to spend his entire career with one team. It speaks highly of Mark.”
While acknowledging the business aspect of the sport, Tauscher said his all-Wisconsin history was special.
“It’s been good. I’ve been very, very fortunate,” he told Packer Report for a magazine cover story last year. “I’ve been able to have a lot of success and I realize I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve been given a lot of opportunities. That’s all you can ask for.”
Cornrich said Tauscher’s knee is feeling stronger now than it did at the end of the season.
Even with Tauscher seemingly possessing Midas’ touch in curing the offensive line’s problems last season, there’s no guarantee he’ll retain his starting job. At the Scouting Combine, McCarthy said second-year lineman T.J. Lang will be slotted at right tackle. Allen Barbre, who bombed in his shot to replace Tauscher last year, and Breno Giacomini are on the roster, as well.
With Tauscher, though, the Packers now have flexibility with Lang, who could get into the mix at left guard if Daryn Colledge and/or Jason Spitz aren’t playing up to expectations.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.