The Packers have officially re-signed hard-hitting safety Atari Bigby. Bigby was what is called an exclusive rights free agent, meaning that he hasn’t been in the league long enough to test the waters in unrestricted free agency or restricted free agency. Bigby has been signed to a 1-year deal, and when it expires at the end of next season, he will have played in the league for 3 years and will therefore be eligible for restricted free agency, which basically makes him much more accessible to other teams than he currently is. His base salary for the 2008 season will be about half a million dollars, in addition to performance bonuses.
Two other key exclusive rights free agents, Ruvell Martin and Ryan Grant, have not yet been resigned. It seems inevitable that Grant will be re-signed, but there is a small chance that the Packers might decide to let the wide receiver Martin go. In my opinion, that would be a dumb move, because Martin’s presence makes it possible for the Packers to use their 5 WR set that was very effective last season. Additionally, Martin’s salary would not hurt Green Bay at all because the team has so much cap room, especially with Favre’s departure.