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Packers Release OL Greg Van Roten

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Packers Release OL Greg Van Roten

The Green Bay Packers released offensive lineman Greg Van Roten on Tuesday, according to the NFL's transaction wire.

Even with starting center Evan Dietrich-Smith set to become an unrestricted free agent March and his future in Green Bay uncertain, that apparently wasn't enough to save Van Roten's job.

Perhaps the Packers figured they have sufficient depth even if Dietrich-Smith were to leave between J.C. Tretter and Garth Gerhart, who are also currently on the roster.

Van Roten suffered a foot injury this past season, which landed him on season-ending injured reserve, but apparently that had nothing to do with his release, according to an interview with Van Roten's agent appearing at ESPN.com.

“I spoke to them, and they felt like they wanted to get bigger,” agent Bill Baldini is quoted as saying. “They didn’t think he’d be in their plans for the immediate future, so they decided it would be better for him if they let him go now. It’s a shame because he loves the Packers organization and loves the town.”

Van Roten had decent height at 6-3, but is a little on the light side at 303 lbs. The Packers became more of  run-oriented offense this past season with the addition of Eddie Lacy, so it could be a case where they're looking to continue to move in that direction.

It's doubtful Van Roten's release has anything to do with Dietrich-Smith's future in Green Bay one way or the other, although it remains to be seen how much the incumbent starter will make on the open market, or for that matter, how the Packers would replace him if he leaves.

Tretter may get first crack at replacing Dietrich-Smith if the need arises, but for a player who hasn't played a single down in the NFL, Tretter is still a big question mark.

Van Roten played in 10 games for the Packers the past two seasons. After being cut in training camp in 2012, Van Roten started the season on the practice squad before being called up midway through the season, playing in seven games down the stretch.

He then started the 2013 season making the team and playing the first three games of the year, primarily on special teams before the foot injury ended his season.

Van Roten's release comes on the heels of representing the Packers in a goodwill tour, visiting American military members in Japan during the Super Bowl.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (18) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Rich Beckman's picture

This brings to my mind the 1998 Super Bowl. Going in there was a lot of press about the undersized Denver offensive line. In the game it seemed they put Gilbert Brown where ever they wanted him.

4thand1's picture

Maybe Gilbert picked the wrong time to have a bad game. To many Gilbert burgers?

Jordan's picture

Possibly too many Gilbert burgers at Burger King, but I suspect he gorged himself on In-N-Out Burgers instead since the game was in San Diego. ;)

Jamie's picture

So you're saying we should have released Sitton instead?

Rich Beckman's picture

No. I am sure I do not know who should be released. It is just that upon reading that the Packers want to get bigger, I was reminded that small offensive lines can be good too.

Maybe the skill of the player is more important than the size...

Or maybe Denver's line sucked and it was all Gilbert's fault.

fish and crane's picture

or a new AFC TV contract was up and the NFC had won like ten straight Superbowls and the Packers were huge favorites...

Jordan's picture

You can't believe everything you hear coming from the Packers. Saying they want to get bigger is a nice way of cutting someone without saying "you're not good enough and we feel like we can do better".

They obviously like the guy (personally) because they sent him overseas. They're just trying to be nice.

Rich Beckman's picture

Good point.

paxbak's picture

The uncalled holding that occurred on the left side of the line on Terrell Davis's 20 yard run to the one at the end of the game helped too.

Still bitter about that game. We were the better team!!

Jamie's picture

More bitter about Holmgren taking DEN for granted and focusing too much on getting Favre SB MVP.

"RUN THE DAMN BALL"

Lou's picture

Give GVR credit for making the team for 2 seasons against huge odds and wish him well. If you look at Tretter's bio, he was an incredible athlete from high school forward and will have every opportunity at center or guard this spring. And Gilbert, yes he was huge when he left but he and the "Bus" went to high school together and at one time each held the state record as part of a 440 relay team, hard to laugh at that. The key to those Denver offensive lines was the coach, Alex Gibbs. You could any RB behind them and they got 1200 to 1500 yards.

The TKstinator's picture

I remember it was the first time (for me, anyway) that the whole zone-blocking, back side "cut blocking" thing became "famous"...(infamous?). You don't blow Reggie and Gilbert off the ball, you just get them moving laterally, and the decisive, one-cut runner chooses his lane and goes, while the backside blockers cut their man and possibly open up the cut-back lane. Denver's personnel were ideally suited for this: mobile (often smaller) linemen and decisive, "one cut" RB's. I read an article back then about how Denver scouted its RB prospects differently than most other teams. They called them "Bronco backs". Looking for that "decisive, one-cut" style.
The NFL is cyclical. Remember when GB adopted the whole ZBS? And now, recently, you hear about how GB has been trying the last few years to get bigger and stronger on the O-line? And this past season they ran more "power" running plays?
The pendulum continues to swing, my friends.
Does it swing for thee? (Sorry, couldn't resist)

THEMichaelRose's picture

Sure, they may want to get bigger on the OL.
But I really think it comes down to getting better. Everywhere.

Just another reminder that this team is full of UDFAs who really aren't as great as you might think. Sure, some turn into good players. But for the most part, those guys are just guys, replaceable. Plus, guys like GVR and Tyrone Walker weren't even priority guys, they were added after tryouts just before training camp. Bottom of the barrel. Longshots.

The TKstinator's picture

MOST NFL players are "just guys".
When a team wins the SB, their "jags" get overrated, sign big FA contracts, and then don't live up to them.
When a team underachieves, their "jags" allegedly "suck".
The "middle class" is much larger than many fans think.

Stroh's picture

So you don't think Tramon Williams and Sam Shields EARNED their roster spots? You don't think they EARNED their STARTING jobs?

Yeah the Packers have some udfa on the team, maybe even a couple more than other teams, but EVERY DAMN ONE of them earned the roster spot by beating out a draft choice. Packers give them as much a chance to EARN a roster spot as the draft picks! They don't keep a drafted player just cuz he was drafted over the udfa who beat him out.

How many other teams have a pair of starting CB that were both undrafted? And yet their among the better pair of CB's in the NFL!

Every NFL roster is made up of about 75% just "guys" that are easily replaceable. That includes most of the draft picks! You need a couple of playmakers on each side of the ball and the rest are "just guys" that play a role and support the playmakers. Packers have lost 2 of their playmakers on Defense to career ending injuries and another to age. Tell me how many teams you think can withstand losing 3 of their better playmakers on one side of the ball and still continue to be successful. What happens to Seattles D if you take Sherman, Thomas and Wagner off the field? Do you still think they would win the SB this year?

The TKstinator's picture

I am totally with you on the "majority just guys, need a couple playmakers" idea.

I bleed Green More's picture

I was wondering who would be the first, well now we know. The whole team will be different to many changes we will need a score card lol.

steven's picture

I really hope that this doenst mean us drafting two offensive linemen in the fourth again lol. Although baktiari is a keeper. Tretter is anyones guess.

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