Drug arrest complicates Packers' plans for DT Letroy Guion

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A month ago, it looked like a foregone conclusion that the Green Bay Packers would sign defensive tackle Letroy Guion to a long-term deal. Talks had been ongoing between Guion's agent, Seth Katz, and the Packers, and the sides were expected to meet again soon.

Now everything is on hold after Guion was arrested late Tuesday in his hometown of Starke, Florida, on felony possession of marijuana and a firearm. Guion also had more than $190,000 in cash in his possession.

The Packers only issued a statement saying they are "aware of a serious matter involving Letroy Guion. We have not yet spoken to Letroy and we will have no further comment." However, they no doubt have suspended all contract talks with him.

Guion, who signed a one-year deal with the Packers last March after the Minnesota Vikings released him, is scheduled to become a free agent next month.

Here's where things stood before the arrest:

According to Katz, the Packers told him they want to retain Guion.

"They've said as much," Katz said Wednesday morning before learning of his client's arrest. "At this point, we'll wait and see what the offer looks like. We've given them our direction where we'd like to see it. We've thrown the ball back into their court."

Katz said he thought he would have an idea by the NFL scouting combine, which begins in two weeks, whether Guion would have a deal done with the Packers before free agency opened.

That's all up in the air now. In fact, it's unlikely Guion will come to terms with the Packers -- or any other team -- until there's more clarity about his legal situation in Florida, and that could take weeks or months. Not only will the legal process take time to run its course, but Guion also will have to appear before NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and could face discipline from the league under either the substance-abuse policy or the personal-conduct policy.

Guion's arrest could help the bargaining position of fellow defensive tackle B.J. Raji, who also is headed toward free agency. Raji missed all of the 2014 season after he tore his biceps tendon in August. Raji had returned to the Packers under a one-year, $4 million deal after he failed to find a long-term deal on the open market.

Starting all 16 regular-season games in Raji's place, Guion set career highs for tackles and sacks (3.5) and quickly became a popular figure in the locker room. In fact, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers called Guion "one of my all-time favorite teammates" last month on his ESPN Milwaukee radio show.

"That takes a lot for me to say because he's only been with us for a little bit of time," Rodgers said on his Jan. 6 show. "There's things about his personality that really remind me of Johnny Jolly. And I loved Johnny. Johnny was such a great teammate and an incredibly charismatic locker room presence. Everybody who was around Johnny, you always enjoyed his stories and his energy and just the way that he had a passion for football. I always appreciated that about Johnny. Letroy brings the same kind of passion.

"From the first day that he got here, there was just an excitement about being in Green Bay. He kind of felt like this was a great opportunity for him to fit in and for him to be a part of something special. He battled through a time where you didn't know he was going to make the team with his hamstring [injury in training camp]. He's become an important player for us. More importantly, he's really kind of brought more of himself to the table. He's made some great pregame speeches. He's practiced really well all year. He's just brought it every single day. He's got an infectious personality that guys really latch on to."