The Green Bay Packers have signed defensive end Aaron Kampman to a multi-year contract extension. Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations Ted Thompson announced the signing Saturday.
The move helped to kick off the second-annual Packers Fan Fest, a three-day celebration of Packers football in the Lambeau Field Atrium. As part of the festivities, Kampman and several other Green Bay players past and present were scheduled to sign autographs for fans in town from all over the country.
Kampman, a 6-foot-4, 278-pound veteran out of Iowa, became more than just a blue-collar player in 2005, establishing himself among the NFC's top defenders at his position. On a defense that ranked first in the NFL against the pass, Kampman turned in a career-high 61/2 sacks to highlight the best season of his career.
His 105 tackles ranked second in the NFL among defensive linemen, behind St. Louis' Ryan Pickett (115), and first among defensive ends. The figure marked the second-most ever recorded by a defensive lineman since Packers coaches began tracking tackles in 1975. He also forced three fumbles and broke up a pass.
A relentless competitor, Kampman earned a spot on USA Today's "All-Joe" Team and held the Packers' sack lead for much of the season. In arguably his best career performance, on a Monday night vs. Minnesota (Nov. 21), he joined Reggie White, Vonnie Holliday and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila as one of four Packers players over the last 12 seasons to total three sacks in a game. Also that night, he forced two fumbles and deflected a pass.
Originally selected by the Packers as the first of two selections in the fifth round of the 2002 NFL Draft, Kampman started 16 games over his first two seasons, including six as a rookie. One of the league's most consistent players, he enters 2006 having started 42 straight contests. In 56 NFL games (48 starts), Kampman has 246 career tackles (148 solo), 131/2 sacks, seven passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and eight forced fumbles.
Kampman is the second potential unrestricted free agent signed to an extension by the Packers this week. The franchise's second all-time leading rusher, Ahman Green, re-signed with the team Monday.