Ryan Packing up for good?

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:27 AM ET

It looks like the kid from the Prairies is taking his golden leg to the land of Cheeseheads.

Jon Ryan, who set a single-season CFL record for punting average (50.6 yards) last season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, will agree to a three-year contract with the NFL's Green Bay Packers today, his mother Barb said last night from Regina.

"We're thrilled," Barb Ryan said.

"It's his dad's favourite team."

However, reached on his cellphone in Phoenix, where he worked out earlier this month with the Packers, Ryan said reports may be premature.

"Nothing has really been done officially," Ryan said. "I've heard these rumours too, but we'll have to see."

Ryan, 24, immediately received an offer that included a $10,000 signing bonus after working out with the Packers on Jan. 17.

He later worked out with the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Giants as well and was extended offers by both teams.

After his original workout with the Packers, Ryan told the Sun he was impressed with the situation in Green Bay because management told him the position is going to be wide open next season.

"Even if it's not a large signing bonus, at least I'd be competing for an open spot and not against an established veteran," Ryan said on Jan. 17.

The 6-foot, 220-pound Ryan played two seasons with the Bombers but is due to become a CFL free agent on Feb. 15. Ryan technically can't sign with the Packers until after that date, although the Bombers are not likely to object to any such deal.

"I'm not a free agent until Feb. 15, so I guess I can't sign a contract down here (U.S.) until after that date," Ryan told the Sun recently. "But I'm not really sure how that whole thing works."

SUCCESS STORY

When he does sign an NFL deal, it will be an amazing success story for a kid from Regina.

"I was in New York, and I really liked that, but Green Bay is a lot like a Winnipeg or Regina ... kind of a homey situation," Barb Ryan said.

"Winnipeg was lovely to him, too. We were really pleased with the way the fans treated him in Winnipeg."

With Ryan gone, the Bombers could turn to veteran placekicker Troy Westwood, who is capable of handling both the punting and placekicking duties. Saskatchewan's punter-placekicker Paul McCallum is also due to become a CFL free agent, and Taman has said he plans to bring someone to camp to push Westwood no matter what.

Other Bombers on the verge of becoming free agents next month include kick returner-receiver Keith Stokes, offensive lineman Jermese Jones, defensive end Tom Canada, receiver Jamie Stoddard and linebacker Neil McKinlay.


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