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Packers agree to terms with eight rookie free agents

Two defensive linemen, long snapper among Green Bay's latest undrafted class

Lambeau Field
Lambeau Field

The Green Bay Packers agreed to terms with eight rookie free agents. The agreements were announced Tuesday by General Manager Brian Gutekunst.

Table inside Article
No. Name Pos Ht Wt College HS Hometown
49 Peter Bowden LS 6-2 239 Wisconsin San Diego, Calif.
65 James Ester DL 6-3 289 Northern Illinois Detroit, Mich.
44 Ralen Gofort LB 6-1 227 Washington Bellflower, Calif.
35 Jarveon Howard RB 5-10 215 Alcorn State Columbia, Miss.
67 Donovan Jennings OL 6-4 323 South Florida Tampa, Fla.
68 Trente Jones OL 6-4 305 Michigan Loganville, Ga.
60 Rodney Mathews DL 6-1 311 Ohio Memphis, Tenn.
43 Messiah Swinson TE 6-7 259 Arizona State Brookville, N.Y.

Bowden was at the University of Wisconsin for five years and saw action in all 39 games over the past three seasons (2021-23). In 2021, he handled the snapping for all kicks and over the past two seasons he was the long snapper for all special-teams action. Bowden was named a Patrick Mannelly Award semifinalist in 2022 and a finalist in 2023. Last season, he also helped K Nathanial Vakos earn honorable mention All-Big Ten honors.

Ester was a four-year team captain and was named team MVP twice during his time at Northern Illinois (2019-23). He played in 49 games with 43 starts, recording 121 tackles (50 solo), 20 tackles for a loss, nine sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and an interception. In 2022, Ester second-team All-MAC honors from Pro Football Focus and Phil Steele's College Football, and was a third-team All-MAC selection by the league coaches. He followed that up by earning first-team All-MAC honors from Phil Steele's College Football and second-team honors from the league coaches in 2023.

(RAY-lun GO-forth) Goforth played in 40 games with 17 starts at the University of Southern California (2019-22) before transferring to play in 15 games for the University of Washington (2023). Last season, he registered 37 tackles (20 solo), four tackles for a loss, two passes defensed and a fumble recovery as he helped the Huskies win the Pac-12 title and make it to the national championship game.

Howard played in 26 games at Syracuse (2018-21) before finishing his career at Alcorn State (2022-23). He appeared in 22 games for the Braves, registering 2,048 yards and 19 touchdowns on 403 carries (5.1 avg.) while also hauling in 37 passes for 225 yards (6.1 avg.) and a TD. Howard earned first-team All-SWAC in each season at ASU. He was named the SWAC Newcomer of the Year in 2022 after leading the league with a career-best 1,273 rushing yards.

Jennings set a USF record with 55 career games played and made 45 career starts, tied for seventh most in school history. He earned second-team all-conference honors in 2021 when he started all 12 games at left tackle. After an injury shortened his 2022 season to four games, Jennings returned in 2023 to help lead the biggest turnaround in program history as USF went from 1-11 to 7-6 and returned to a bowl game for the first time in five years, culminating in a 45-0 defeat of Syracuse in the Boca Raton Bowl.

(TREN-tay) Jones played in 41 games with 16 starts for the Wolverines from 2020-23. He made nine starts at right tackle and seven starts in a six-offensive-linemen package. He started the final three games at right tackle this past season, helping Michgan win the national title. Jones was a contributor to a line that earned the Joe Moore Award in back-to-back seasons (2021-22). He earned Academic All-Big Ten honors four times.

Mathews played at Hutchinson Community College in 2019, where he was a team captain and earned All-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference honors, before playing 41 games for Ohio from 2020-23. In four seasons with the Bobcats, he registered 71 tackles (28 solo), 14.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks, two passes defensed, an interception, and a forced fumble.

Swinson spent three seasons at the University of Missouri (2019-21), appearing in 23 games, before playing two years at Arizona State (2022-23). He appeared in 24 games for the Sun Devils over the past two seasons, registering 21 receptions for 233 yards (11.1 avg.) and two touchdowns.

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