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Considering Hampton's deal for Pickett

I realize there are some differences between Pittsburgh nose tackle Casey Hampton and Green Bay counterpart Ryan Pickett -- namely, five Pro Bowl selections -- but I don't think Hampton's three-year contract extension is going to make it any easier for the Packers to strike a longer-term deal with Pickett.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Hampton's deal averages $7 million per year, essentially equal to the value of the one-year franchise tag, and includes $11 million in guaranteed money. The Packers made Pickett their franchise player Wednesday, meaning they are willing to pay him $7.003 million in 2010, but they are hoping to find a middle ground that balances his compensation over a longer period.

Pickett earned $2.975 million last season. In an interview Thursday morning, Packers general manager Ted Thompson told Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette that there are "differences of opinion" on Pickett's value. Hampton's deal begins to set the market for veteran 3-4 nose tackles, and it probably helps Pickett's case.