The Packers and defensive end Mike Daniels remain far apart in ongoing contract negotiations, according to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Per McGinn, the two sides have engaged in “on-again, off-again” talks for some time, but no deal is considered close at this time.
Green Bay management has reportedly identified Daniels as the most important of its 14 upcoming free agents, and while they are interested in working out a long-term deal, the club currently isn’t willing to go to $10MM per year — Daniels’ apparent asking price — to get something done. That level of salary certainly isn’t out of the question for Daniels, as it would put him in line with other 3-4 defensive ends, such as Cameron Jordan, Cameron Heyward, Corey Liuget, and Calais Campbell, who earn between $10MM and $11MM per year.
“Why wouldn’t (Daniels) get $10 (million)?” an NFL personnel director told McGinn. “Most of those guys are bigger, but who’s more disruptive? I think Mike Daniels is a good player. I think he and Liuget are on a par. The way that market goes, you’re going to overpay. It he goes to free agency, do you (the Packers) want to run that risk?”
The 26-year-old Daniels is in the midst of his fourth NFL season (all with the Packers) and his second as a full-time starter, and he’s playing slightly more than 60% of Green Bay’s defensive snaps for the second consecutive season. The club’s best defensive lineman, Daniels has posted 17 career sacks — admittedly, not the primary goal of a 3-4 DE — while helping the Packers defense to the No. 8 overall position in Football Outsiders’ DVOA.
“I haven’t heard anything,” Daniels told McGinn yesterday. “I don’t want to really get involved. Think about it. Am I going to worry about a contract when I got Peyton Manning across from me?”
Sam Robinson contributed to this post.