In baseball when a batter steps up to the plate and receives three strikes, he is out.
The same should hold true for Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion after he received another season-opening suspension by the NFL, spanning four games for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy.
Guion has repeatedly shown an inability to stay out of trouble, largely documented by multiple Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel stories the past two seasons. The reports showed an individual that was charged on three occasions in Florida for stalking and a pair of domestic violence cases. One of the domestic violence incidents had Guion charged for hitting the mother of his child in the face. Where there is smoke, there is fire. With Guion, the smoke seems to be a representation of a lot of his issues.
Guion’s last incident was in 2015 which involved a gun, $190,000 in cash and nearly a pound of marijuana after a traffic stop. It was documented that Guion had marijuana smoke emanating from his vehicle and was forced into handcuffs after being aggressive with police, who originally stopped him for crossing the centerline. Even more bizarre were the comments from his father joking in the official police report which claimed that Guion routinely brought the “best weed you ever smoked”.
The incident cost him the first three games of the 2015 season, but the Packers stuck by him. This time should be different for the 29-year-old starting defensive tackle, as his play on Sunday no longer makes up for his off-the-field transgressions. While it was reported yesterday that the Packers agreed to a restructured deal with him, it is my understanding that they could save over $3 million by releasing him. Sounds like a perfect opportunity to remove a repeat offender and upgrade his position.
Guion was often non-existent during his ninth season, only posting 30 tackles primarily in a run-situation rotational role. He has shown some consistency in being solid against the run utilizing his strength, but he has never been more than just an average player. He also rarely pressures the quarterback when they drop back to pass, Guion has not posted a sack since his first season with the Packers when he posted 3.5 in 2014.
Whether it is Guion’s third, fourth or fiftieth strike; the Packers should move in a different direction. My preference would be for the Packers to land a defensive tackled that could be serviceable against the run and provide pass rush along the defensive front, something the Packers have lacked desperately. The Chiefs’ Dontari Poe and Giants’ Johnathan Hankins are the first to come to mind, but they may prove to be priced outside of the modest budget for Ted Thompson. I think Philadelphia’s Bennie Logan could also provide good run support, and be an upgrade over Guion.
While these options could prove far off Green Bay’s radar, getting a pass rush up front could bolster the 2017 defense. Kenny Clark certainly flashed at times last season, hopefully he makes a big jump next season. This impact could be heightened if Nick Perry leaves Green Bay during free agency and leaves them without a consistent rusher opposite of Clay Matthews. It could force them to rely on a Julius Peppers, Datone Jones, Kyler Fackrell or a rookie at outside backer.
That trifecta of players seems frightening to this fan, but the impact could be lessened if the tackle is upgraded with Guion’s departure.
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