Packers training camp kicked off this morning at 8:20 a.m., the first of 21 practices and four preseason games. Earning one of the 53 roster spots began today for rookies and veterans alike.
The big news of the day, was Jordy Nelson signing a 4-year contract extension, reportedly worth $39 million dollars with $14.2 million guaranteed. Nelson showed that he was worth that money, as one of the day 1 standouts. The news broke right on cue as Nelson caught a 41-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers during team drills. Later players could be seen congratulating Nelson on the deal as the news spread throughout the team. Nelson said he informed the receivers and quarterbacks before practice, that he wanted them to hear the news from him. The deal was finalized early this morning, after working all night on negotiations.
As far as injuries go, a lot of packers started camp on the sidelines: Mike Neal (core muscle injury), Nick Perry (foot/knee) both start camp on the PUP list. Letroy Guion (hamstring) and Jerel Worthy (lower back) both start camp on the non-football injury list. Jeff Janis also missed the first day due to an illness (non-football injury). Mike McCarthy said Neal and Perry are close to returning, but it’s going to take time for Worthy to pass his physical.
McCarthy said that no rookie stood out but he did point out that Casey Hayward caught his eye with his play-making ability and great instincts. After a stellar rookie campaign, Hayward the majority of the 2013 season with a hamstring injury.
Clay Matthews missed the entire offseason recovering from his second thumb surgery. Today he was a full participant, the first time he and Julius Peppers lined up opposite each other in green and gold.