GREEN BAY —
Lambeau Field faithful will be able to scream Kuuuuuuuuuhn! at the
top of their lungs for at least another year.
and local folk hero John Kuhn re-signed with the Green Bay Packers
on Thursday, general manager Ted Thompson said in a statement.
The one-year deal
is expected to be worth just over $1 million, including signing,
roster and workout bonuses, agent Kevin Gold said.
Kuhn joined the Packers in 2007 when he was claimed off waivers
from Pittsburgh. He's played in 107 regular-season games with the
Packers and he's become a fan favorite. He's also one of
quarterback Aaron Rodgers' closest friends on the team.
player, great teammate," Rodgers said at the end of the 2013
season. "(There's) nobody I trust more on the field than
John. He's an exceptional guy, I love playing with him, and I'd be
really sad if we weren't able to walk out of that tunnel
In 2013, Kuhn
carried 10 times for 38 yards and a touchdown, and caught 13
passes for 81 yards in regular-season play. For his eight-year NFL
career, Kuhn has only 165 carries for 506 yards and 12 TDs.
What role Kuhn
will play next season is unclear. Packers coach Mike McCarthy said
last week he wants all his running backs to be able to play all
three downs. In addition to Kuhn, the Packers have NFL Offensive
Rookie of the Year Eddie Lacy returning for his second season;
James Starks coming back after signing a two-year, $3.166 million
deal ($725,000 guaranteed signing bonus); and DuJuan Harris (knee)
and Johnathan Franklin (neck) both expected to return to full
They also brought
back Michael Hill, who spent time on both the 53-man roster and
the practice squad last year before signing with Tampa Bay late in
The Packers are
loaded in the backfield.
important for all of them to be three-down players," McCarthy
said. "For the way we want to play on offense, we want
players to be three-down players, we want to keep our substitution
limited. That's an offseason goal of ours."
At this point, no
one pass protects for Rodgers like Kuhn, who helped save the
Packers' season by getting enough of a block on now-teammate
Julius Peppers to allow Rodgers to side-step the Chicago defensive
end and throw the winning touchdown pass to Randall Cobb in the
regular-season finale. That road victory over the Bears sent the
Packers into the playoffs.
Asked what it
takes to be an effective third-down back, McCarthy made it clear
what still matters the most.
"A-No. 1, it
is pass protection. We protect the quarterback," McCarthy
said. "He's a franchise quarterback, he's the best football
player on our team, and we have to protect him. Checkdowns will
(also) be an emphasis for us. Because we're very young with that
But with a whole
lot of returning experience in Kuhn.