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Packers cut loose 3, lose Walden


The Green Bay Packers were busy on the opening day of free agency in the NFL but made more substactions than additions to the roster.  General Manager Ted Thompson declined to offer contract tenders to three restricted free agents, effectively making them unrestricted free agents.  Tight end Tom Crabtree, linebackers Frank Zombo and Robert Francois can now seek offers from other teams.  Defensive back Sam Shields was tendered at the second round rate of just over two million dollars. If Shields gets an offer from another team and the Packers decline to match it, they would receive a second round draft pick as compensation.  That move will likely keep Shields in a Green Bay uniform.  Linebacker Erik Walden is leaving the team as he signs a four year, 16 million dollar contract with the Indianapolis Colts.  The Packers have also re-signed Johnny Jolly to a restructured deal worth the NFL veteran's minimum of $715,000.00.   Jolly has been reinstated after serving three years on suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.  The former draft pick also spent six months in prison on a conviction for posessing codeine.  The Packers appear willing to give Jolly another look in training camp.   Several national reports say the Packers may be interested in free agent running backs Stephen Jackson and Peyton Hillis.  Another report suggests free agent receiver Greg Jennings might consider a return to the Packers.  He did not sign on opening day and was seeking a deal averaging 12 million dollars a year.  That's how much Miami gave former Steeler Mike Wallace on a five year contract.  The Minnesota Vikings have also expressed interest in Jennings after trading Percy Harvin to Seattle for three draft picks.  Harvin's contract averages just under 12 million a season.  Unless the Vikings seriously outbid the Packers, there's a chance Jennings might return.