The Green Bay Packers starting inside linebackers in 2011 will be [intlink id=”492″ type=”category”]Desmond Bishop[/intlink] and [intlink id=”80″ type=”category”]A.J. Hawk[/intlink].
That leaves [intlink id=”139″ type=”category”]Nick Barnett[/intlink] and [intlink id=”79″ type=”category”]Brandon Chillar[/intlink], both of whom are coming off season-ending injuries, in a precarious position.
The Packers have committed $10 million to Hawk, this season and Bishop will make more than $5 million. Barnett has a salary cap number north of $6 million and Chillar makes more than $5 million per season, after signing a four-year extension in 2009.
That’s a lot of money to pay two backups who play the same position, but while financials will surely play a role in who the Packers keep, so will how Barnett and Chillar come back from their injuries.
“We have to see how he comes off the wrist,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “Same thing with Chillar. That’s his third shoulder surgery. You know how these things go. I’m glad we aren’t playing this week. The season we had, I spent too much time with the doctors.”
It’s hard to imagine the Packers getting rid of both players, but that’s certainly a possibility.
While 2010 taught the Packers how valuable depth is, it also showed everyone how valuable guys who can stay healthy are. Hawk and Bishop have proven they can stay healthy. Barnett and Chillar, on the other hand, have become injury prone.
That could ultimately be their undoing with the Green Bay Packers.
I would release Poppinga before Chillar. Chillar will be the #3 ILB and the first on the field when Hawk or Bishop get dinged. Poppinga at best will be the fifth OLB behind Matthews, Zombo, Jones, and Walden.
If we can get a 3rd pick for Barnett and a 4th for Chillar then we should trade them both. Then we can draft Casey Matthews ILB then maybe get another guy in the late rounds because they wont be forced to play in their first season because AJ Hawk and Bishop are never injured
After MM’s comments it’s more likely Chillar gets let go and Barnett stays or he’s also gone due to injury or not wanting to be a backup.
3 weeks ago I predicted during the 1st four rounds of the draft (assuming 5 picks) two of the picks would be for these unlikely positions; QB, TE, ILB, and S. After reading this post I feel more confidant.
Barnett’s ego and mouth won’t allow him to play second string. His bags are as good as packed.