The Green Bay Packers have signed 20 free agents to reserve/future contracts. The transactions were announced Wednesday by Ted Thompson, Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations.
The Packers will get a better look at most of the signings in NFL Europe this summer. Of the 20 free agents, 14 spent time with Green Bay in 2004, either in training camp and/or during the regular season. A quick look at each of the 20:
Barnard, 25, has punted each of the last two preseasons for the Chicago Bears and saw time on the 53-man rosters of both Chicago and New England late in the 2003 season, playing in one NFL game. With the Patriots on Dec. 7, 2003, in a 12-0 win over Miami after 30 inches of snow fell in New England, he averaged 36.5 yards on 10 punts, with four 'inside the 20.' Waived five days later, he re-joined the Bears, who sent him to the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe (47 punts, 37.8 gross average, 33.4 net average, 14 'inside the 20'). Also a holder in college at Maryland, he originally signed with Chicago as a non-drafted free agent, May 1, 2003.
Breeden, 25, first signed with Green Bay as a non-drafted free agent April 30, but the Packers waived him Aug. 30. He made 81 catches for 1,209 yards and five touchdowns over his collegiate career, playing his final season at Northwestern Oklahoma State, after transferring from Arkansas. In 13 games in 2003, he caught 62 passes for 675 yards and six touchdowns, adding nine rushes for 46 yards. He started his college career at Butler County Community College in El Dorado, Kan., playing there for one year (1999).
Curry, 25, a University of Michigan product, saw two stints on the team's practice squad in 2004, after previously being released on Sept. 21. Originally, he came to Green Bay on waivers, from Detroit on Sept. 1, but was waived in the final preseason roster reduction, Sept. 5. He was signed to the practice squad two days later. The safety played in Detroit's final three regular-season contests in 2003, on both defense (one solo tackle) and special teams (two solo tackles). He entered the NFL as a non-drafted free agent signed by Chicago, May 1, 2003.
Day, 22, originally signed with the Packers as a non-drafted free agent, May 6. Converted from wide receiver to cornerback by Green Bay, he was waived Aug. 30 and spent the '04 season out of football. Earned two combined letters at two school, playing his final collegiate season (2003) at Grambling State, appearing in 11 games and registering 26 receptions for 347 yards and five touchdowns. Out of football in 2002, he played at Troy State the first two seasons of his collegiate career (2000-2001). As a sophomore, he hauled in 20 receptions for 389 yards and rushed 10 times for 156 yards and a TD, while returning 17 kickoffs for 265 yards. He also competed in track at Troy State, running in the 400- and 1600-meter relays.
Garrett, 23, spent his rookie training camp in Baltimore, who signed him as a non-drafted free agent April 30 and waived him Aug. 30. A pass-rushing linebacker at Baylor, he collected 10 sacks (all during his '03 senior season) and 17 tackles for loss during his collegiate career. He started five games as a freshman and held the full-time starting role each of his final three years at Baylor.
Hamilton, 23, was a college wide receiver at Arkansas, where he played with cornerback Ahmad Carroll, but received no serious interest from the NFL after his 2002 senior season. A 215-pound athlete in college, Hamilton actually improved his stock after adding nearly 30 pounds and converting to tight end. The Packers were the only NFL team to offer a tryout, late last July, and signed him after Hamilton played in both the Arena Football League and the National Indoor Football League. A four-year letterman in college, Hamilton caught 38 passes for 553 yards and three TDs.
Hayes, 23, originally signed as a non-drafted free agent April 30, spent all of training camp and preseason in Green Bay, before he was waived Sept. 4. A four-time letter winner (2000-03) at San Jose State, he played in 33 career games with 30 starts (including all contests as a junior and senior).
Herrion, 24, signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent on April 30, was waived Sept. 4, then re-signed three days later to the Green Bay practice squad, where he spent the entire 2004 season. A two-time letterman at Alabama (2001, '03) he transferred from Dodge City (Kan.) Community College, where he also lettered twice (2000-01). Herrion played all five positions on the offensive line during college, and also played three games at defensive tackle in 2000. He redshirted in 2002 at Alabama to work on both sides of the ball before returning to the offensive line in 2003.
Jones, 23, entered the NFL with the Rams April 30 as a non-drafted free agent. He spent four months and 2004 training camp in St. Louis before the Rams waived him Sept. 6. A three-year letterman at North Carolina A&T, he led the team in receiving every year after transferring from the University of North Carolina.
Kight, 22, spent most of the 2004 campaign in Green Bay, who claimed him on waivers from St. Louis Aug. 11. Waived Sept. 5. he joined the team's practice squad, Sept. 7, where he remained through the first five regular-season contests. With Robert Ferguson hobbled by a calf/ankle injury, Kight was promoted to the 53-man roster Oct. 16 and made his NFL debut the next day at Detroit (Oct. 17), playing on special teams with occasional duty in four-receiver sets. Listed as inactive vs. Dallas (Oct. 24), at Washington (Oct. 31) and vs. Minnesota (Nov. 14), he spent three more weeks on the practice squad and the balance of the year on the practice squad/injured list with a quadriceps strain.
Lacey, 25, signed as a non-drafted free agent with New Orleans, April 26, 2002, then spent two weeks in training camp with the Ravens, who waived him Aug. 5, 2002. Out of the NFL since, he has spent time with Atlantic City of the National Indoor Football League and led the club with five interceptions during the '04 season. His cousin, Aaron Beasley, plays for the Atlanta Falcons.
Marker, 23, signed his first contract Dec. 28, 2004, joining Green Bay's practice squad. A two-sport athlete at Division III Millikin, he lettered four seasons in football and competed in track and field during the spring. On the gridiron, Marker caught 51 career passes for 1,051 yards and 11 TDs. Only two players from Millikin have played a league game for the Packers, wide receiver Jeff Query (1989-91) and linebacker Aric Anderson (1987).
McBrien, 24, was waived Sept. 5 and spent the first week of the regular season on the Packers' practice squad, after originally signing as a non-drafted free agent, April 30. In college, he lettered for the West Virginia Mountaineers (2000) before transferring in 2001 to Maryland, where he started two seasons (2002-03) and as a senior completed 173 of 314 passes for 2,672 yards with 19 TDs and six INTs in 12 games.
McNeil, 23, spent the last month of the '04 season on Green Bay's practice squad, signing Dec. 2. Originally a non-drafted free agent signed by the Steelers April 30, McNeil spent four months and 2004 training camp in Pittsburgh before the Steelers waived him Aug. 30. A four-year letterman at Western Carolina, he was a three-time All-Southern Conference selection and finished among the Cats' career top five in both sacks and tackles for loss.
Quinn, 24, is a native of Menominee, Wis., and played high-school ball at Glenwood City, Wis. A four-year letterman at Minnesota (2000-03), he earned second-team All-Big Ten honors, but didn't receive serious looks from pro scouts following knee surgery after his 2003 senior year.
Robertson, 24, spent the final six weeks of 2004 on the Packers' practice squad, signing Nov. 24. He had been out of football since ending his college career at Houston in 2002. He played his first two collegiate seasons (1998-99) at the University of Texas before transferring to Houston. In 2002, Robertson made an improbable comeback after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament during his senior spring game at Houston, and played the final four games that year.
Sims, 25, entered the league as a non-drafted free agent, June 4, 2001, signed by Thompson, then Seattle's vice president of football operations. Waived by the Seahawks that August, he spent the season's final four weeks on Washington's practice squad. Signed by San Diego the following February, Sims enjoyed a promising training camp before an ankle injury landed him on injured reserve, Aug. 26, 2002. Released by the Chargers exactly one year later, he'd been out of football before signing with the Packers.
Smith, 23, who spent the season's final week-plus on the Packers practice squad, is with his third organization. He originally signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Ravens, May 9, 2003, and spent much of that preseason in Baltimore before being waived. Out of football for the balance of 2003, he spent 2004 training camp with the Raiders, who waived him Aug. 31. Oakland re-signed Smith to its practice squad eight days later, but released him Oct. 19. A first-team All-Atlantic 10 selection for a conference champion as a senior in 2002, Smith returned nine kickoffs, including a 100-yard touchdown, and caught one pass for 54 yards. He picked off nine passes in two seasons at Northeastern, including seven as a junior.
Seante Williams, 23, whose first name is pronounced shawn-TAY, was with the Packers for a month during 2004 training camp (Aug. 2-30). He spent the first four weeks of the '04 season on the Jaguars' practice squad, but had been out of football since Oct. 12. Ineligible for the NFL Draft in April, he was made available for the Supplemental Draft but when no team selected him he became a free agent. Williams played at three schools. During his 2003 senior season at Jacksonville State, he recorded 14 tackles and 21/2 sacks. As a junior, he played for Brett Favre's alma mater, Southern Mississippi, after transferring there from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College.
Wendell Williams, 23, originally signed with the Bengals as a non-drafted free agent, May 3. After Cincinnati waived him Aug. 30, he signed a practice-squad contract with Green Bay Oct. 19, then spent one month (Oct. 28-Nov. 30) on the team's practice squad/injured list. His cousin, Walter, also plays for the Packers.