Buried at the bottom of an article in which Bob McGinn tries his best to create a not-enough-balls controversy amongst the Green Bay Packers receivers was this nugget: safety [intlink id=”188″ type=”category”]Atari Bigby[/intlink] won’t be back.
No, no one’s said those exact words. No, it isn’t a surprise the Packers would choose younger players to replace an oft-injured veteran who’s about to hit free agency.
Still, no one on the Packers is typically very candid when speaking about the team’s plans.
On Tuesday, coach [intlink id=”67″ type=”category”]Mike McCarthy[/intlink] was exactly that when asked about the team’s safeties.
“We’d like to have some veteran guys to go along with Morgan (Burnett),” he said. “We also like Anthony Levine. We’ve got some good depth at safety.”
If McCarthy has his way, those veteran guys will be [intlink id=”525″ type=”category”]Charlie Peprah[/intlink] and [intlink id=”375″ type=”category”]Anthony Smith[/intlink], who he said he’d like to re-sign.
When asked about Bigby, McCarthy termed the situation a “business decision.” In other words, see ya later, Bigby!
Bigby’s problem has always been injuries. He played in only four games in 2010 and missed a total of 12 the previous two seasons.
Meanwhile, Peprah finally proved he can play in the NFL in his fifth season, starting 11 games for the Packers after Burnett went on injured reserve and recording 63 tackles and two interceptions. Peprah was never spectacular, but he didn’t make a lot of mistakes, either, and that was enough for the Packers to win in the playoffs.
Smith didn’t make much of an impact after coming over from the Jacksonville Jaguars just before the trade deadline, but he’s been an NFL starter and has managed to stay relatively healthy throughout his career.
Levine spent last season on the Packers practice squad and the small-school prospect (Tennessee State) should make a noticeable jump in year two in the Packers’ system.
Add those three players to [intlink id=”162″ type=”category”]Nick Collins[/intlink] and [intlink id=”1034″ type=”category”]Morgan Burnett[/intlink] and the Packers are set at safety for the foreseeable future.