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Tauscher signs deal to keep him with Packers through 2011

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Veteran Green Bay Packers right tackle Mark Tauscher has signed a contract that will keep him with the team through 2011, the team announced on Monday.

Agent Neil Cornrich said the deal will allow Tauscher, who went to the University of Wisconsin, to play his entire football career in his home state. Tauscher was an unrestricted free agent.




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"Mark has been a consistent player for us and we are excited to reach this agreement," general manager Ted Thompson said in a team release. "He is a leader in our locker room and a fine representative of the team throughout his home state."

Cornrich said Tauscher was thankful the team's front office -- including Thompson, vice president of football administration/player finance Russ Ball and coach Mike McCarthy -- gave him the chance to finish his career with the Packers.

"He's ecstatic," Cornrich said. "Mark's very grateful that Ted Thompson, Russ Ball and Coach McCarthy have worked so diligently to provide him an opportunity to return to the Green Bay Packers."

The new deal for Tauscher completed a flurry of activity this weekend for the Packers, who also completed long-term deals with two cornerstones of what was a much-improved defense last season: nose tackle Ryan Pickett and safety Nick Collins.

The Packers also recently re-signed veteran left tackle Chad Clifton, who also was an unrestricted free agent.

"We're focused on bringing our own free agents back, getting better as a football team, starting internally, and then we'll add another draft class to this group," McCarthy said Friday. "We like where we are today, but the importance of the offseason program and keeping your own players has been our focus, and that time is upon us now."

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Promising young lineman T.J. Lang could be in line to eventually replace Tauscher at right tackle. The team also is expected to look closely at offensive line prospects in the NFL draft.

Tauscher, Green Bay's starting right tackle for most of his first nine seasons in the league, began the 2009 season out of football after a torn left anterior cruciate ligament ended his 2008 season.

The Packers brought Tauscher back in midseason after his replacement, Allen Barbre, struggled on the field.

After working his way back into football shape, Tauscher returned to his starting spot, bringing stability to the NFL's worst pass protection unit and earning praise from quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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