The Green Bay Packers have used their franchise tag on nose tackle Ryan Pickett, keeping the hefty center of their 3-4 defense at a hefty sum.

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General manager Ted Thompson says in a statement Wednesday that the 340-pound Pickett has been a productive player and the team wants him to be a part of its future. Pickett will make just over $7 million next season if the sides don't reach a long-term agreement first.
Pickett is a nine-year veteran who has spent the last four seasons in Green Bay. Last year, he totaled 47 tackles and played a key role on one of the NFL's best run defenses.
Pickett began his career in St. Louis before signing a $14 million, four-year contract as an unrestricted free agent with the Packers in 2006.

Oddsmakers from online sports book Sports Interaction have made the Packers 12/1 long shots to win the 2011 Super Bowl.

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Posted: 2/25/10 12:18AM ET