According to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com, the Green Bay Packers have released safety Charlie Peprah:
— Jason Wilde (@jasonjwilde) July 25, 2012
Peprah reportedly underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in the offseason, which kept him out of the entirety of the Packers’ offseason practice program.
Being cut in July, however, before the Packers even began their training camp practices, comes as a surprise. Perhaps the knee was a larger issue than anyone let on.
The Packers held physicals and conditioning tests on Wednesday morning in advance of Thursday’s first day of practice, so it’s perhaps easy to assume Peprah did not pass one or both of those tests.
Peprah played in parts of five seasons with Packers dating back to 2006, including 25 starts over the past two years. In 2011, Peprah ranked third on the team in tackles (94), second in interceptions (five) and first in interception return yardage (147) in addition to having 10 passes defensed.
The veteran safety didn’t begin either of the past two seasons as a starter but became one when injuries occured to Morgan Burnett in 2010 and Nick Collins in 2011. Peprah was a starter on the Packers team that won the Super Bowl during the 2010 season.
With the release of Peprah, the door has been opened to a pair of young safeties, M.D. Jennings and rookie Jerron McMillian.
Jennings would appear to have the inside track after spending much of the offseason program with the first-string when Peprah sat out due to injury. McMillian, a fourth round draft choice out of Maine, has all of training camp to state his case.
A much debated change of position for Charles Woodson took place over the course of the offseason, and judging by comments from head coach Mike McCarthy, Woodson will continue to primarily defend opposing receivers from the slot cornerback position. He may, however, play some safety when the Packers are in the base 3-4 defense this season.