Another consequence of a losing season: For just the second time since 2011, the Packers must guarantee the contract for their first-round pick.
A six-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time first-team All-Pro, Thomas is entering the final year of the four-year, $40 million extension he signed in 2014. That contract was tops among safeties in terms of annual average when it was signed but now ranks sixth, according to Spotrac.com.
Thomas told ESPN at the Pro Bowl in January that he may hold out if he doesn’t get a new deal before the season, but general manager John Schneider has said twice since then that Thomas’ representatives have informed him that he won’t hold out.
And he figures to be a focal point of the offense as head coach Todd Smith will look to utilize all of his tools.
He plans to have me move around, be on the line as well, he said. He wants me to be a versatile tight end, block and catch passes. And I look forward to it.
Via the Associated Press, Manziel was primarily an observer on Sunday, his first day of work with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
“That’s because he doesn’t know the terminology, he doesn’t know anything,” Tiger-Cats coach June Jones said, via the AP. “[Quarterbacks coach] Dan [Morrison] was walking through each route as it was called. But [on Monday] guess what? We’re going to walk in and start taking a couple.”
Manziel realizes it will be an adjustment, especially as it relates to the options available to each receiver.
“Spacing is a little bit different on the defensive side if I had to look at anything,” Manziel said. “On offense, I’ve never ran this many routes that are predicated off of one defender . . . every route has an opportunity to break three or four different ways, which is different. . . . But I think it gives you the versatility and offensive weapons to be able to attack coverages more intensely than it would just running a fixed route. I know it’s going to take some time . . . .”