The Green Bay Packers have decided not to let DT Ryan Pickett test the murky free agent waters.  Pickett received the franchise tag from General Manager Ted Thompson Wednesday.

By tagging Pickett, the Packers will have to pay him the average of the top five salaries at the defensive tackle position in the NFL.  That figure comes out to $7.003 million for one-year.  The two sides could still work on a long-term deal keeping Pickett in Green Bay past 2010. Pickett earned $2.975 million in 2009.

The move doesn’t necessarily mean Pickett will spend 2010 with Green Bay.  In 2008, the Packers placed the franchise tag on DT Corey Williams only to ship him to the Cleveland Browns for a second round pick.  Trading Pickett doesn’t seem to be on the radar though.

2010 will be Pickett’s 10th NFL season and his 5th with the Green and Gold.  He recorded 47-tackles in 2009 in 13-starts and was an intrical part to the #1 rush defense in the NFL. 

GM Ted Thompson said this about Pickett in the press release announcing the move:  “Ryan has been a good teammate and productive player for us on the field and also a good representative of the Packers in the community.  We look forward to having him be a part of our future.”

Pickett would have become an unrestricted free agent March 5th had the tag not been applied.

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