Seven Packers questioned in sexual assault investigation

The Green Bay Press Gazette reports that six Packers players were questioned in an alleged sexual assault case in Lake Delton. While all six (Clay Matthews, Matt Flynn, Brad Jones, Khalil Jones, Josh Sitton and Korey Hall) were cleared of any wrongdoing, an unnamed seventh player remains under investigation.

Police responded to Canyon Road in Lake Delton around 4:20 a.m. Saturday to a report that two women were sexually assaulted, Grimsled said. The assault reportedly occurred between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. at a rental condominium at 1050 Canyon Road at the Wilderness Resort Golf Cabins.

Seven players staying at the condo were questioned, and all cooperated, according to police. They were all released, but police are still investigating whether one player was involved in both assaults. The six others are not suspected of criminal activity, Grimsled said. They are Matt Flynn, Khalil Jones, Josh Sitton, Korey Hall, Brad Jones and Clay Matthews.

The women initially indicated more than one player was involved, according to police. After further interviews, the six men were allowed to leave. The seventh was further interviewed before being released, but his involvement remains under investigation.

The players were reportedly in Lake Delton for a golf tournament hosted by Matthews. No other details are currently available, so it’s best not to jump to conclusions without any hard facts being made public yet.

That said, if the unnamed player is eventually charged with sexual assault, how stupid does he have to be to get nabbed for that with everything that Ben Roethlisberger has gone through over the past couple of months? Again, let’s not jump to any conclusions. Nobody knows what actually happened at this hotel and for all we know, these women are looking for money and/or attention.

Still, this is troubling news to say the least and not just for the Packers, but for the NFL as well.

Update: The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that cornerback Brandon Underwood is the unnamed Packer that is under investigation for sexual assault.

“(The) seventh did have contact with the two females,” Grimsled said. “We were pretty sure of that. Everybody was cooperative.

“It comes down to ‘was it consensual sex?’ One side says yes, the other says no.”

When apprised that the investigation centered on Underwood, 23, several players who wished to remain anonymous said he had been a problem since he was drafted in the sixth round in 2009 out of Cincinnati. Cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt talked last season about Underwood being immature early in his rookie season.

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Is the LOLB position still a concern for the Packers?

While it hasn’t even been a month since the Patriots released him, it’s becoming clearer by the day that Packers GM Ted Thompson isn’t interested in signing free agent Adalius Thomas. With Green Bay’s apparent need at outside linebacker, one would think that Thompson would have reached out to Thomas (who has lost a step over the years, but is still an effective pass rusher) by now.

But maybe Thompson is right when he says that the left outside linebacker position isn’t a dire need like many people believe it is. Maybe Brad Jones is the answer to replace Aaron Kampman (who signed with the Jaguars earlier this offseason) on a full-time basis.

When Kampman (who wasn’t an ideal fit at OLB in a 3-4 anyway) went down with an injury after Week 11 last year, it was Jones (a 2009 seventh round pick from Colorado) and not former starter Brady Poppinga who was placed into the starting lineup. With a playoff berth on the line, the Packers went with an unproven seventh round pick in Jones over a player with starting experience in Poppinga.

The move was either a testament to Jones’ abilities or a total slap in the face of Poppinga. Considering Thomas hasn’t received a call from Thompson, the former is probably more appropriate. The Packers obviously feel as though Jones is ready to become a full-time starter after he registered 27 tackles and four sacks in limited action last season. And considering Jones played in a 3-4 at Colorado, it’s apparent that his learning curve wasn’t that big when he went from college to the pros. He earned the starting position last season and barring a complete meltdown in training camp, it’s clear that he’ll have the same role in 2010.

If Jones blossoms into a reliable starter, then Thompson should be hailed for not only finding a late round gem, but also resisting the urge to sign Thomas. If Jones fails, then the Packers could be left with a gaping hole at the LOLB position and Thompson will be scrutinized for not addressing the need when he had a chance in the offseason.

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The Packers would be a great fit for Thomas

It was only a matter of time before the Patriots gave outside linebacker Adalius Thomas the boot. He was already stealing money from them with his poor play before he became a distraction last season, thus leading to his release on Monday.

One team’s trash is sometimes another team’s treasure, as the Packers could emerge as serious contenders for Thomas’ services. Even though GM Ted Thompson insists that the left outside linebacker position in Dom Capers’ 3-4 defense isn’t a dire need, it is.

2009 seventh round pick Brad Jones saw a fair amount of playing time last year when Aaron Kampman went down with an injury. But while he was decent against the run, he’s not the pass-rusher that Clay Matthews is on the other side. And in Capers’ system, both outside linebackers have to be able to get after the quarterback.

That’s where Thomas comes in. While the 33-year-old has lost a step over the past couple of years, Thomas can still get after the quarterback when he’s motivated. And seeing as how Thompson did nothing to upgrade the outside linebacker position during the draft, the Packers could use someone to push Jones for the starting job.

The Packers could upgrade their LOLB spot by adding Thomas to a one-year deal and still groom Jones for the future if they wanted. If Thomas turns out to be a bust, then Jones has already shown that he’s a capable starter and the team could rid themselves of Thomas after the season.

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