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Javon Walker requests to be traded
Updated: March 10, 2006, 1:04 AM ET
Walker wants Pack to let him explore trade options
By Michael Smith
Daunte Culpepper's misery in Minnesota has company in, of all places, Green Bay.
While the Packers await a decision from quarterback Brett Favre about whether he intends to retire or return, wide receiver Javon Walker, who is rehabilitating the right knee he injured in last year's season opener and yet whose relationship with the organization remains fractured following the team's refusal last summer to renegotiate his contract and Favre's public criticism of Walker's holdout threat, told ESPN.com on Thursday that he has already informed the Packers of his desire to play elsewhere.
Walker said he's expressed his feelings to new Packers coach Mike McCarthy, while his agent, CSMG Sports' Kennard McGuire, has asked general manager Ted Thompson, as did former Walker agent Drew Rosenhaus, to deal Walker or allow them to pursue a trade. Thompson on Wednesday denied the requests.
"I just don't feel like this is the best place for me to be right now," said Walker, 27, preparing to enter his sixth pro season. "I really have no interest in being in a Green Bay Packers uniform or playing for Green Bay again."
Citing recent contract squabbles with running back Ahman Green, tight end Bubba Franks, defensive lineman Grady Jackson and cornerback Mike McKenzie, as well as his own, Walker added, "I just don't like the way the organization runs itself. They want players to come up there and play hard and work hard, but when it comes time to be compensated, it's like, 'We forgot what you've done.'"
The source of Walker's bitterness is the team's refusal even to discuss his contract, which at the time had two years remaining, the penultimate year of which paid him $515,000 the season after he made the Pro Bowl by catching 89 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. But Walker says that at this point, money is not the issue.
Favre offended Walker when he spoke out against the receiver in his contract dispute, saying he should come to training camp and not hold out. (Walker heeded the advice.) Walker believes Favre's comments made living and working in Wisconsin difficult; Walker tells of one instance when he was in a hotel and an employee announced his presence on an Internet message board for "anyone who had something to say to Javon Walker." It also angered Walker that the team allowed its iconic quarterback to interfere publicly in a teammate's business with management. He held his tongue all year.
"There's an unwritten rule that players stick together," said Walker, still biting his tongue on Favre for the most part.
While Walker is quite adamant about not sticking around in Green Bay for the final year of his contract -- whether Favre returns or not -- he promises not to be a disruption next season, because he doesn't plan to show up at all for training camp.
"If I had to go back there, I'd retire," he said. "I don't have to play."
The rift is so deep and his animosity toward Favre so great that, Walker said, he is even willing if necessary to repay the Packers the prorated portion of his signing bonus, which amounts to around $850,000.
"Why should I risk another year of getting beat up playing for a team that I don't want to play for? That's stupid," Walker said.
Walker, who underwent surgery Oct. 7 in Houston, says his rehab at Florida State (his alma mater) is going as planned. He's sprinting and should be ready to go by training camp -- for some other team, he hopes.
"I love the game," Walker said. "But I'm not going to risk what I went through this year, tearing an ACL and taking pain pills. If I'm going to go out and take hits, it's going to be for a team that I love playing for."
Walker said he told McCarthy, "It's nothing against you or your staff, but it's unfair to you to have a player in your organization that doesn't want to be there."
"I'm not going to grandstand," Walker said. "I just want the Packers to give me peace of mind."
Reached in his office, McCarthy declined comment.
Michael Smith is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
Re: Javon Walker requests to be traded
I dont blame him to be honest. He had a monster year, and he was getting paid less then some long snappers. Favre should have kept his mouth shut and out of other peoples business, but he is Brett Favre and the Packers let him do what he wants.
Look at Favre when he didnt have Walker last year, he was bad. People think Favre made Walker, but it seems mutual or the other way round to me.
Re: Javon Walker requests to be tradedOriginally Posted by tomahawk247
However, I will agree that Favre should have kept his comments within the lockerroom. Privately, he should have been in Walker's ear to get his under-contract butt into camp. But publicly, he should have left it alone."Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod
Re: Javon Walker requests to be tradedOriginally Posted by HUbisonThere are 10 types of people in this world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.
Re: Javon Walker requests to be traded
The complete collapse of the packers offensive line last year, to say nothing of the injury to ahmand green, sure didnt help farve.
ramming speed to all