At the end of every summer, the Green Bay Packers end up cutting a couple veteran players whose release comes as a surprise. Last year, it was receiver Ruvell Martin and safety Anthony Smith.
Here’s a list of several players who could potentially be on that list this year.
Justin Harrell, defensive tackle — The former first-round pick has played in a total of 13 games in his Packers career and did not play at all in 2009. Injuries have derailed Harrell’s career and a recurring back injury kept him out last season. This looks like Harrell’s last shot to impress and he isn’t exactly blowing anyone away. Among the backups at defensive end, rookie Mike Neal has outperformed Harrell and C.J. Wilson, another rookie, looks like he has long-term potential. Harrell has been healthy for most of camp before back pain sidelined him earlier this week. If he can stay on the field, Harrell has a shot to stick. If he can’t, this is likely his last go round with the Packers.
Chances of being cut: 60%
Will Blackmon, safety — Blackmon is coming off a torn ACL and he’s practiced only sporadically during training camp. In the offseason, the Packers moved Blackmon from cornerback to safety, even though the team’s cornerback depth is questionable. That alone is a bad omen for Blackmon. The one factor working in his favor is, when healthy, Blackmon is the Packers top return man. Of course, if his knee keeps acting up and the team doesn’t feel like they can count on him, that doesn’t do him much good. The Packers seem find with Brandon Jackson as the kickoff returner and could use Jordy Nelson or Tramon Williams as a punt returner. At last glance, Blackmon was third on the depth chart at strong safety, behind Morgan Burnett and Charlie Peprah. Atari Bigby, who’s injured, also plays the position.
Chances of being cut: 55%
Derrick Martin, safety — Martin has been a core member of the Packers special teams units, but he hasn’t done much on defense. He currently sits behind Nick Collins on the free safety depth chart and may stick only because the Packers don’t seem to have another serviceable free safety on the roster. That being said, Martin hasn’t distinguished himself in any way other than special teams coverage since coming over in a trade with Baltimore prior to last season.
Chances of being cut: 35%
Jarrett Bush, cornerback — We’ve all been waiting for the day when the Packers finally release the worst cornerback to ever play the position. This may be the year. Like Martin, the Packers like Bush for his special teams play, but he’s atrocious on defense. If they didn’t know it before, they saw first hand how bad Bush was in the playoff loss to Arizona, last season. The Packers will keep six cornerbacks and Bush is currently fighting for that last spot with rookie Sam Shields.
Chances of being cut: 50%
Allen Barbre, guard/tackle — It probably wouldn’t be much of a surprise to anyone who’s seen him play if the Packers cut Barbre, but we’re including him here because he was an opening-day starter last year. The Packers have always been high on Barbre’s potential, but he’s done nothing to reward their faith. Barbre is now toiling at left guard, where he sits behind Daryn Colledge and Bryan Bulaga. His chances of making the team are slim.
Chances of being cut: 90%
Quinn Johnson, fullback — In typical Ted Thompson fashion, the Packers drafted Johnson in 2009 when they already had two solid fullbacks. Thompson then decided to keep three fullbacks on the roster for the 2009 season. That won’t happen again this year. Johnson is third again on the depth chart behind Korey Hall and John Kuhn and he’s been outperformed by both during camp. On top of that, both Hall and Kuhn are valuable on special teams — an area Johnson has made no impact. If Johnson doesn’t start knocking incoming linebackers back five yards during the remaining preseason games, he’ll be getting a pink slip.
Chances of being cut: 85%
Another interesting scenario to watch will be the one that unfolds along the offensive line. It appears highly likely that Bulaga will beat out Colledge for the left guard job. Jason Spitz was also supposed to compete for that job, but he’s been shuffled all around the line. Under normal circumstances, we’d put both Colledge and Spitz on this list, but being former starters, both have trade value. Look for the Packers to move one of the two in order to keep a developmental player like Marshall Newhouse or Evan Dietrich-Smith. The smart money is on Colledge being traded, since Spitz can play multiple positions on the line.
Colledge can also play multiple positions along the line. Unfortunately, he doesn’t play any of them very well…
I say Shields has more potential than Bush. We know exactly what we’ve got with Jarrett and it’s not much. I would be surprised if Bush sticks.
Harrell is gone. I’d put him in the 80% range. Even if he played well, you simply can’t have any confidence that he’ll last the entire season. And so you have possibly lost someone that you could have developed – perhaps Jarius Wynn, for example.
Ever had a friend who was dating someone totally worthless for way to long and no one could figure out why they just didn’t dump them? I guess Ted Thompson has that problem too.
Justin Harrell & Allen Barbre
I’d put Jarrett Bush in that category too but at least he can gun on Special Teams.
Are you saying that Harrell and Barber are good in bed (according to TT, anyway?) I mean that’s what it always boiled down to with the worthless GF scenario.
I actually believe Quinn Johnson is safe – at least for now. I think TT will give him yet another year to prove himself. Harrell…they’ll put him on IR – again, people will be shocked (it’s too embarrassing to admit a mistake was made). I also think they’ll keep 4 active TE’s. I think they’ll run a ton of Max Protect this year. I don’t know which TE get placed on IR or the practice squad though – Quarless, not likely…maybe Crabtree?
Goodbye Darren Colledge…You won’t be missed….neither will we miss your timely infractions that cost the team 10-15 yards at crucial points in important games.
Take that penchant for false starts and holding to another squad so they can appreciate your slightly below average services.
I think that the article is too negative on Blackmon’s chances of making the team. Besides being the best punt returner for GB in a decade, the guy’s not a bad CB and if he can play safety, which he probably can, he’s got yet more value. Can’t believe he wouldn’t be better than D Martin or J Bush at safety by midseason, and he’s way better at CB now.
You’re probably right on Bush’s chances, but I don’t know why he’d make the team. Can’t play a position, ST penalties galore, and no upside.