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Harrell sees future in Green Bay, won't shuffle off to Buffalo

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Receiving a modest pay raise was nice. But what Graham Harrell really wanted was a sense that he had a future with the Packers.

Green Bay signed Harrell from the practice squad to the active roster Wednesday, fending off potential interest from the Buffalo Bills.

And with Packers No. 2 quarterback Matt Flynn likely to receive some free-agent offers during the offseason from teams that might give him the chance to show he's a starter, Harrell now appears to have an inside track to becoming Aaron Rodgers' primary backup next season.

"It shows they want to keep you around, and that's always nice," Harrell said. "It's a good thing to be wanted. It was a stressful day trying to decide what's the best situation. It's a good thing to be wanted, and I've always enjoyed it and am happy to still be here."

Rodgers was happy to see Harrell receive a shot.

"There were some conversations yesterday about his situation," Rodgers said. "I think he has a bright future in this league. And with Matt's status up in the air about where he's going to be next year, I think Matt has played well enough to get some opportunities to be a starter in this league. When you've got a guy like Graham Harrell who's learned the position and done some really nice things, I think he has, definitely, the potential to be my backup and then a future starter in the league."

Before deciding between Green Bay and Buffalo, Harrell talked it over with Rodgers.

"He told me I should stay," Harrell said. "Maybe that was a selfish reason because he and I get along so well and he's pretty comfortable right now. I trust him, and he wouldn't advise me in the wrong direction."

Harrell spent a tense Tuesday night talking with his agent, Joby Branion, then ultimately had to decide between Green Bay and Buffalo.

"They were very interested," said Harrell, who had tryouts in the Cleveland Browns' rookie minicamps in 2009 and 2010 before landing with the Packers last year. "I don't know what the quarterback situation is there. They didn't say they were giving (me) a position or anything like that. They just said, 'We want to have you here,' and Joby said they were very interested and picked you and wanted you to come.

"Being here, it's been too great of a place to me, and I've enjoyed every minute I've been here. This is too good of an organization to leave if you have an opportunity to stay."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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