There have been few weeks like this one in recent memory, as the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers and Marquette University all had major roster or executive movement (or extensions) over the last seven days.
The Green Bay Packers got the last seven days started with a bang by agreeing to a contract extension with veteran wide receiver Jordy Nelson, locking up the 29-year-old pass catcher for an additional four years at $39 million – with an $11.5 million signing bonus.
Nelson is coming off his best season, catching 85 passes for 1,314 yards, both career highs.
The Milwaukee Bucks began their week by announcing some additions and changes in the front office, naming Patrick McDonough as the team’s new Chief Financial Officer and Bob Cook as the new Vice President of Business Affairs.
Longtime staffer John F. Steinmiller was moved into a new role as Executive Vice President of Community Affairs and Responsibility.
In a series of tweets, Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry said the moves were made with making the Bucks the best organization it can be on and off the court.
The Packers snuck up on everyone – which is difficult to do nowadays in sports journalism – by sending out this tweet in the afternoon, just after practice:
Thompson was previously scheduled to meet with the media later in the afternoon, and he told the gathered media that he "felt very appreciated by the organization and honored to work with such fine people. The more you think about it the more you wonder how nuts are you to walk away from something like this? After you put all of the chips on the table, there’s very little choice."
The team disclosed the extension was of the "multi-year" variety but did not release specific details.
Right at the end of the "business" day – 5:01 p.m. – the Bucks announced that they agreed to terms with second round draft pick Johnny O’Bryant.
While a formality, the forward out of LSU had already participated in all five of the team’s summer league games.
Shortly thereafter, Marquette University announced that senior guard Todd Mayo was leaving the university and the men’s basketball program to pursue a professional career. Mayo was the top returning scorer for new head coach Steve Wojciechowski after averaging 11.3 points per game last season.
"We wish Todd nothing but the best and appreciate his contributions to the program, not only since I arrived at Marquette, but during his entire career," Wojciechowski said in a statement. "I completely understand his desire to continue his career at the professional level and support his decision."
The timing was odd, considering that Mayo tweeted the following just a day before:
In the morning, the Milwaukee Bucks officially welcomed in free agent guard Jerryd Bayless at the team’s training complex in St. Francis.
The 6-foot, 3-inch guard comes to Milwaukee by way of Boston, who acquired him from Memphis at the trade deadline last season.
After being drafted No. 11 overall by Indiana in 2008, he was traded shortly thereafter to Portland. He was then traded twice in 2010, first to New Orleans and then to Toronto, and then signed as a free agent in Memphis in 2012.
"I feel like I’ve seen a lot that the league has had to offer or what not in my six years," he said with a smile.
Bayless, who will be just 26 years old in August, is entering his seventh season and will be one of the more experienced players on the team.
"I think my experience in the league is a little bit different than most," he said. "I’ve been in a lot of different situations. I’ve been on good teams. I’ve been on teams struggling. I’ve been on teams kind of in the middle of the pack as well. Just continuing to get this experience and teach a lot. I think I’ve been through a lot."
He did say that new coach Jason Kidd was a factor in his decision to come to Milwaukee.
"’I think it’s great. ‘J Kidd’ is a young coach but he’s been in the league for a long time," Bayless said. "Just being around him. And learning from a player of that magnitude, now switching over to coaching is something I’m looking forward to."
A few hours later, the Milwaukee Brewers made a deal to fortify their outfield and deepen the bench by acquiring two-time Gold Glove winner Gerardo Parra from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Brewers sent two minor leaguers to Arizona for the 27-year-old, six-year veteran who came into the trade hitting .259 on the year.
The left-handed Parra is a career .286 hitter off right-handed pitchers.
Parra tweeted a message to Brewers fans on Thursday:
As all this was happening, the news that Jeff Sherman tweeted about late Wednesday night was confirmed both in Philadelphia and here in Milwaukee – that Greg Foster was joining the Bucks staff as an assistant coach.
It's been an eventful seven days for fans of the major sports franchises and programs in the state, and this "work week" isn't over yet.
Jim Owczarski is an award-winning sports journalist and comes to Milwaukee by way of the Chicago Sun-Times Media Network.
A three-year Wisconsin resident who has considered Milwaukee a second home for the better part of seven years, he brings to the market experience covering nearly all major and college sports.
To this point in his career, he has been awarded six national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, breaking news and projects. He is also a four-time nominee for the prestigious Peter J. Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, presented by the Chicago Headline Club, and is a two-time winner for Best Sports Story. He has also won numerous other Illinois Press Association, Illinois Associated Press and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association awards.
Jim's career started in earnest as a North Central College (Naperville, Ill.) senior in 2002 when he received a Richter Fellowship to cover the Chicago White Sox in spring training. He was hired by the Naperville Sun in 2003 and moved on to the Aurora Beacon News in 2007 before joining OnMilwaukee.com.
In that time, he has covered the events, news and personalities that make up the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, NCAA football, baseball and men's and women's basketball as well as boxing, mixed martial arts and various U.S. Olympic teams.
Golf aficionados who venture into Illinois have also read Jim in GOLF Chicago Magazine as well as the Chicago District Golfer and Illinois Golfer magazines.