The NFL is a very unforgiving job, just ask Green Bay Packers wide receiver and return specialist Jeremy Ross. The Packers cut Ross after he recorded two critical fumbles in his last four games, the most recent one occurred against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3. Green Bay currently has a couple options on the roster that could potentially work out as a solid kick returner. However, would it be better to take a chance on free agent Josh Cribbs?
The 30-year-old is considered to be one of the greatest kick and punt returners in NFL history. Unfortunately, he had a dismal preseason with the Oakland Raiders, which led to his release from the team. It also is a reason why he is currently unemployed.
Whether you believe in fate or not, Ross’ release could be a sign to bring in someone with Cribbs’ talent. It is true Cribbs did not impress anyone just a few weeks ago. It is also true that some knee problems showed up during his physical with the Raiders. However, the Packers are not looking for a long-term solution. They just need someone who is willing to give one last effort in an attempt to go out on top.
If his knee is not an issue, Cribbs is definitely someone the organization needs to bring in during the bye week. There will be no better time to see if he has what it takes to be a contributor. Considering the Packers have a big question mark in a critical area of the team, they have absolutely nothing to lose trying him out.
Green Bay has no intentions of using Randall Cobb as a return man, even though he proved to be very good at it. I do not blame the coaching staff for preventing him from returning punts and kickoffs. To lose a very talented player on a return would be detrimental to the offense. Jonathan Franklin is also someone Green Bay should keep out of the return game, especially since running backs are dropping like flies.
Cribbs is a low-risk, high-reward signing that Ted Thompson must make immediately. His 387 career kickoff returns for 10,015 yards and eight touchdowns is everything the team needs to know. Not to mention, his 195 career punt returns for 2,154 yards and three touchdowns should kick all doubt to the curb.