5 Green Bay Packers Cut Victims Who Deserved a Roster Spot
Players Who Should Have Had a Roster Spot
The final day for player cuts for all NFL franchises is one of the toughest days at the start of the season. Coaches and players have been working and playing together in hopes that the NFL dream is still alive for the players. At the end of the day, all teams must get down to that 53-man roster, and hand players, who they have been alongside with for the past few weeks, a pink slip and a dream crushed. Certainly this is a tough thing for a coach or management staff to do, without a doubt.
Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson has been a draft and training camp guru in recent years. Finding players late in the draft who turn out to be some of the biggest hidden gems in all the draft is not unusual for Thompson.
For Thompson and the Packers, the 2013 training camp has had a slightly different look to it than past years. This season, the team is focusing in more on team bonding, along with a few key player battles that will directly impact the regular season.
After a tough outing last season, kicker Mason Crosby has been tested all camp and during each preseason game, and two new kickers were brought in to challenge Crosby for the job.
After letting backup quarterback Matt Flynn go, the backup job was anyone’s to have ,and the Packers even brought in league veteran Vince Young, who has had a few rough points in his NFL career to compete.
The running game for the Packers has been exceptionally weak in the past few years, and rookies Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin were added to the mix.
After these and other player battles played out over the course of the preseason, the 53-man roster was finally announced. Some of the players that were let go did not surprise most fans, but other players who left, left us with the question of why.
These next five slides will go through five of the Packers cut victims who deserved a roster spot, due to their on-field performance.
The Packers are looking for that linebacker, opposite of Clay Matthews, who can bring the pressure, and showed their dedication to finding that player by keeping nine linebackers on the roster. Three of those nice players are rookies, while another four of them are starters. If my math is correct, which it is, that leaves two players on the final roster that are backups with experience. Moses is a second-year man who saw time on the field in all 16 regular season games in 2012, accumulating 27 tackles and four sacks. Letting a guy go who was a contributor in his first NFL season, and will only learn more as his career goes on, makes no sense to me.
4-Matthew Mulligan, Jake Stoneburner, D.J. Williams
Any of these three tight ends could have made the roster, and deservingly so. The Packers have a history of keeping many players at the tight end position, and decided to go with four this season. Jermichael Finley was a lock, but after that, any of the remaining six players could have made the roster. Who knows, maybe they all were called up to Thompson’s office and told to draw straws for the roster spots.
He may not have had a preseason that shouts, "This guy must be kept at all costs," but, bottom line, he is an offensive lineman. The Packers are thin at lineman each and every year, with constant shuffling going on upfront, not to mention the injuries. Datko may not be the greatest tackle, but only keeping two on the roster seems like a bit of a gamble to me.
How often does the leading rusher from last season get the boot in the following season? Well, not too often, let me tell you. With an injury to DuJuan Harris that landed him on IR, and fellow running back James Starks missing more games than he has played in his career, the cut of Green was quite a shock. The rookie running backs will more than likely be the leaders in the rushing game, but Green provided an experienced and knowledgeable back.
Fans, coaches and critics around the nation were keeping a close eye on Young, hoping he would land a roster spot. After having multiple troubles throughout his career, out of nowhere the Packers called him up and asked if he still wanted to compete. Throughout training camp, Young looked like he could be the backup to Aaron Rodgers, as long as he could learn the playbook. His role seemed more solidified when the Packers released Graham Harrell. The cut of Young came as a shock to everyone, and most fans will agree that his performance and dedication made him worth a roster spot.