On Monday, Packers linebacker Mike Neal welcomed a new baby girl into the world. Two days later, he appeared to know where his daughter and family would call home for the next couple of years.
On Wednesday afternoon, almost 26 hours after the start of NFL free agency, Neal tweeted, "Hi Green Bay!!! I’ll enjoy your winters for two more years!!"
The announcement on Twitter seemed to indicate that Neal, an unrestricted free agent who played his first four seasons in Green Bay, had been signed by the Packers to a two-year contract.
Johnny Jolly, another Packers free agent, responded to Neal’s tweet with one of his own: "Congrats bro u deserve it" to which Neal then responded, "Thanks big bruh!", once again indicating he had a deal with Green Bay.
Neal, 26, entered free agency with some uncertainty after his rookie contract expired following the 2013 season, his first year playing a new position. His tenure in Green Bay had oftentimes been frustrating, fraught with injuries, inconsistent play and a four-game suspension in 2012 for using the banned substance Adderall. He faced criticism in his first few seasons from fans and media that he was a bust who couldn’t stay on the field.
But last season, after switching from defensive end to outside linebacker in Green Bay’s 3-4 scheme, Neal lived up to his potential and showed the ability the Packers had hoped to see. Finally healthy, he showcased the elite strength and athleticism that led Green Bay to draft him in the second round out of Purdue in 2010.
Neal played in every game in 2013, finishing with career-highs in tackles (47) and sacks (5.0), while adding a forced fumble and the first interception of his career.