The Green Bay Packers have reduced their roster to the League-required 53 man limit. As there are every year, there were a few surprises. No longer on the Packers 53-man roster today are:
- OL Allen Barbre
- DT Anthony Toribio
- DE Ron Talley
- RB Kregg Lumpkin
- OLB Cyril Obiozor
- S / RET Will Blackmon
- WR / RET Jason Chery
- WR Charles Dillon
- TE Spencer Havner
- OL Evan Dietrich-Smith
- LB Alex Joseph
- LB Robert Francois
- DE Jarius Wynn
- OT Chris Campbell
- OT Breno Giacomini
- LB Maurice Simpkins
- WR Chastin West
- WR Patrick Williams
- S Anthony Levine
- CB D.J. Clark
- P Chris Bryan
- QB Graham Harrell
Let’s take a quick look at some of these moves.
Spencer Havner: I’m kicking myself right now, because I came “this close” to predicting this move but I chickened out and decided to go with a Lee trade as any easy way out of the 5 TE predicament, instead. Regardless, I never believed the Packers would keep 5 tight ends, and I was sure they were not going to risk losing Quarless and Crabtree. Quarless will be a better pass catcher and Crabtree a better blocker than Havner will ever be. The one thing holding me back on Havner was his ability to play LB in an emergency. Otherwise, I’m not shocked by this and actually agree with it.
Will Blackmon: The Packers seemed very disappointed with Blackmon’s lack of progress with his injury. In my initial roster projections, I had Blackmon on the team, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized the Packers were not going to hold a spot for a guy who may or may not get better soon. Just because he is their best punt returner? No, they’d rather just let steady but unspectacular Jordy Nelson field punts and keep a player that will be able to contribute somewhere. So, in my final roster projections, I had Blackmon being placed on IR or cut . It’s sad, but one of the harsh realities of this sport.
Cyril Obiozor: In my opinion, he played his way off the team on Thursday night against the Chiefs. Unlike Maurice Simpkins, who was playing like a man possessed, Obiozor gave a very poor effort and even looked lazy to me in a few cases. Inexcusable for a guy in his situation – I just don’t think football means that much to Obi. Frank Zombo, on the other hand, plays with passion and love for the sport. This was a no-brainer for me after watching the Chiefs game.
Kregg Lumpkin: I guess I have to find a new underdog to root for. Lumpkin did enough to earn a 3rd RB spot, but the Packers chose to keep 3 fullbacks again and needed a roster spot. John Kuhn showed in preseason that he could handle the halfback spot in an emergency, so the Packers go into the 2010 season with only 2 tailbacks. I don’t like it, personally, but it’s not the end of the world, either. I’ll live with it.
Evan Dietrich-Smith: Before training camp started, I predicted here, that: “I think Dietrich-Smith is beaten out this year by a better version of himself, Nick McDonald.” As it turns out, McDonald has made the team and Dietrich-Smith has been cut. Smith was not Practice squad eligible, a factor I considered heavily when making my final roster predictions, so i decided to keep Smith and see if McDonald would be put on the practice squad. Evidently, however, there was much interest in McDonald, so the Packers elected to keep him and also turned down trade offers for Jason Spitz, according to Greg Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Jarius Wynn: In my final projections, I went with 7 DL, because I was convinced the Packers would not want to expose C.J. Wilson, and Jarius Wynn was not practice squad eligible. So, I thought they may try to keep them both. Not that either has shown much during the preseason, but Wilson certainly has the more typical 3-4DE body and more upside. Wynn being gone is not much of a surprise.
Charles Dillon: He was my underdog to unseat Brett Swain. Was much better in shorts during OTAs than on the field in pads. He killed any chance he had when he allowed himself to get stripped of several balls he should have caught. He’s just not strong enough to compete with NFL caliber players right now. Maybe it’s back to the Arena League for him.
Here’s what the roster looks like right as of Sunday morning. Waiver claims have to be in by 12:00EST. Then teams can start filling in their practice squads.
QB (2) Rodgers, Flynn
WR (5) Driver, Jennings, Jones, Nelson, Swain
TE (4) Finley, Lee, Crabtree, Quarless
RB (2) Grant, Jackson
FB (3) Hall, Kuhn, Johnson
OL (10) Clifton, Tauscher, Wells, Colledge, Sitton, Bulaga, Spitz, Lang, Newhouse, McDonald
DL (6) Raji, Pickett, Jenkins, Neal, Harrell, Wilson
OLB (4) Matthews, Jones, Poppinga, Zombo
ILB (4) Barnett, Hawk, Chillar, Bishop
S (4) Collins, Burnett, Peprah, Martin
CB (6) Woodson, Williams, Shields, Underwood, Bush, Lee
LS (1) Goode
K (1) Crosby
P (1) Masthay
PUP (3) S Bigby, CB Harris, RB Starks
IR (2) CB Bell, RB Porter,
IR W/ Injury Settlement (2) CB Blackmon, OL Barbrr
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.