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Goodson's Tenure with the Packers Hanging by a Thread

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Goodson's Tenure with the Packers Hanging by a Thread

He's bad. He's inconsistent. He's suspended.

His name is Demetri Goodson and he's the cornerback the Packers selected in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. With two accrued seasons under his belt, his impact with the team defensively has left much to be desired. From getting burned by rookie receivers in training camp to handing over a free 15-yards via penalty to the opposing team in a preseason game and then allowing a touchdown reception the following play — "much to be desired" could just be an understatement.

On the flip side, he's since become one of the best special teams players on the roster alongside the proven gunner talent of Jeff Janis. In fact, he's been so useful to that aspect of the game, that may have been the only thing keeping him on the roster up to this point.

Goodson's skills as a corner, however, aren't very good, as aforementioned. The lack of traits you'd expect to see out of a defensive back left fans all over the Packers' Blogosphere reeling in 2015. When they weren't reeling, they were mostly expecting to see more of Ladarius Gunter — a rather underappreciated cornerback on the team's roster. 

Pair the substandard abilities with the fact that Goodson was docked with a 4-game suspension for the usage of performance-enhancing substances and you have a player who could just be taking up a roster spot for a far more noteworthy talent. 

With Janis in the realm of recovery after the few fractured bones in his right hand, his return is expected to be sometime in the first four weeks of season. That is, if everything goes smoothly and hopefully he doesn't face many setbacks. This apprehension alone is enough to stabilize Goodson's spot on the final 53-man roster since he's excelled in Janis' role, right?

Not exactly.

Despite running a 4.52 at his combine workout, Goodson flashed as a gunner with the capability to fly downfield and make plays opposite Janis in punt coverage. But this doesn't mean he isn't disposable. Gunner talent isn't a rarity and with the eye for talent that Green Bay's front office seems to have, isn't much of a concern either.

Without Goodson on the roster, the Packers would (at the moment) be left with four cornerbacks. Sam Shields, Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins and Gunter. Although you really wouldn't want him to, corner-converted safety Micah Hyde can also fill the vacancy if needed. Four bonafide cornerbacks would occupy the depth chart, but would that be enough?

Keeping four would open the door for talent such as Kentrell Brice to make the roster as a safety. It would allow a possible scenario where the Packers keep seven receivers to prevent the offensive standstill head coach Mike McCarthy and company picked their brains over last season. It may even allow another offensive lineman to make the team, giving the Packers an opportunity to bulk up on depth at a position that, last season, showed how valuable it truly was. (Wow, last season was really, really bad.)

Staring in the face of a suspension and peering upwards from the bottom of the depth chart leaves Goodson at a crossroads. His mere 199 special teams snaps in 2015 isn't exactly much to feel trepidation over losing. The cutting of Goodson could be ridding Green Bay of incompetence at one position and replacing it with proficiency at another.


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (35) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Duke Divine's picture

Hawkins and Brice deserve a spot more than Goodson. If not for the first 3 sentences in the article then just for the potential of Hawkins and Brice.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Just playing Devil's Advocate here:

Even though Goodson can't cover do y'all feel the Pack would cut him in favor of a more athletic DB, that also can't cover?

The TKstinator's picture

How about a less athletic DB that CAN cover? The TKstinator could be had for the league minimum.

Since '61's picture

Chuck him! Make room for Brice or another weapon for Rodgers. We keep the best 53 and right now Goodson is not one of our best 53. Thanks, Since '61

CJ Bauckham's picture


PackEyedOptimist's picture

At this point, I think it comes down to "keep the best players," and these I see as the possibilities:
TOP 44:
QB Rodgers, Hundley
RB Lacey, Starks, Crockett, Ripkowski
WR Nelson, Cobb, Abbredaris, Adams, Montgomery,
TE Cook, Rodgers, Perillo
OT Bakhtiari, Bulaga, Spriggs, Murphy
OG Sitton, Lang,
C Tretter, Linsley
LS Lovato
K Crosby
P Masthay/Mortell
NT Guion, Pennel
DL Daniels, Clark, Lowry
ILB Barrington, Martinez, Ryan
OLB Matthews, Peppers, Jones, Perry, Fackrell
CB Shields, Randall, Rollins,
S Burnett, Clinton-Dix, Hyde

Chris Ringo, Brian Price, Joe Thomas, Lerentee McCray, Carl Bradford, Ladarious Gunter, Chris Banjo, Jayrone Elliott, Kentrell Brice, Robertson Daniel, Josh Hawkins, Trevor Davis, Geronimo Allison, Jeff Janis, Lane Taylor, Don Barclay,

PackEyedOptimist's picture

Myself, I see it as two possible approaches (or a blend):
SUPER BOWL OR BUST: Ringo, Banjo, Janis, Taylor, Barclay, McCray, Gunter, Elliott, Bradford.
TAKE CARE OF THE FUTURE AND THE FUTURE TAKES CARE OF YOU: Brice, Hawkins, Daniel, Davis, Allison, Price, Ringo, Gunter.

sheppercheeser's picture

PEO, are you suggesting that GB keep two punters on the roster?

al bundy's picture

And they dont get rid of underperforming players why?
Ryan was a bust at M but for some reason pack fans missed he is slow of foot and a poor tackler. Goodson tata. Barclay !get rid of him too.
This is ted dumber than a box of rocks kespinb so so giys becuase of his horrible drafting and analysis of players.

ray nichkee's picture

He who says ted dumber than a box of rocks can't even spell. Can you spell jackass?

Nick Perry's picture

How do you call a OLB who moved to ILB his senior season, stayed there as a rookie and ended up playing pretty well down the stretch, in other words doing EXACTLY what most 4th rounders do a Bust?

You have taken over Cow's spot here by a long shot. At least Cow will give credit once in a while where it's due and at least make a point with SOME truth SOMETIMES.

YOU just spew hate for the Packers and every single player with ZERO validity.

RCPackerFan's picture

At least Cow can put together a coherent sentence. And spell...

The TKstinator's picture

I am tempted to repeat my snotty remarks about the sometimes questionable value of freedom of speech.

Community Guy's picture

for now, let's play with your assumptions for TOP 44:
QB Rodgers, Hundley
RB Lacey, Starks, (Crockett), Ripkowski
WR Nelson, Cobb, Abbredaris, Adams, Montgomery,
TE Cook, Rodgers, Perillo
OT Bakhtiari, Bulaga, Spriggs, (Murphy)
OG Sitton, Lang,
C Tretter, Linsley
LS (Lovato)
K Crosby
P Masthay/Mortell
NT Guion, Pennel
DL Daniels, Clark, Lowry
ILB Barrington, Martinez, Ryan
OLB Matthews, Peppers, Jones, Perry, Fackrell
CB Shields, Randall, Rollins,
S Burnett, Clinton-Dix, Hyde

i might choose these 10:
Brian Price (until Pennel returns), Joe Thomas, Ladarious Gunter, Chris Banjo, Jayrone Elliott, Kentrell Brice, Josh Hawkins, Trevor Davis, Jeff Janis, Lane Taylor.

the last cut is Lerentee McCray, which could change based on the next two weeks. if Janis is IRed, that could make room for McCray (7 OLBs?), Bradford (5 ILBs??) or Allison (7th WR).

depending on the severity of Hundley's injury, another QB may come into play. also, i think Kennard Backman may still have a chance to make the 53.

L's picture

The team can decide on what to do with Goodson in relation to the team's roster after he serves his 4-game ban can't they? Meaning, they can wait on making a final decision on his future with the team in case injuries *knock on wood* create an opportunity for him.

My current 53-man prediction:

QB: Hundley needs to demonstrate health to ensure a 3rd QB isn't rostered. I think it's obvious that Callahan is the leading candidate to be added to the Practice Squad.

- Rodgers
- Hundley

RB: Burks is showing well enough during preseason action that he's keeping pressure on Crockett, but I think Crockett will be the #3 guy and Burks ends up being a decent bet to make the PS.

- Lacy (HB)
- Starks (HB)
- Crockett (HB)
- Ripkowski (FB)

WR: I think the team elects to keep Janis on the 53 with the intent of making him active either for week 3 or after week 3 (in order to be a key ST's gunner) while attempting to get T.Davis and G.Allison onto their Practice Squad. This prediction is quite up in the air based a number of other factors, but it's the one I'm sticking with for now. There are obvious arguments to be made for Davis making the 53 such as him being a 5th Round Draft Pick, a potential Kickoff Returner, and questions surrounding the progress of Janis' hand injury as well as his roster status (IR?), but I still think the team elects to try getting him onto the practice squad so he can spend the season learning and bulking up for next year.

- Nelson (X, Z)
- Cobb (Z)
- Adams (X, Y)
- Montgomery (Z, Y)
- Abbrederis (Z, Y, X)
- Janis (X, Y) - likely to be inactive first couple or so games

TE: Backman is still a big bubble guy IMO who's fighting with several others for a chance of making the 53 man roster, but I currently see the Packers electing to go with other players while attempting to get Backman onto their Practice Squad.

- Cook
- Rodgers
- Perillo

OL: Linsley's injury on top of the contract status of a number of O-linemen really helps make this group hard to figure out. I think the Packers elect to place Linsley on the Regular Season PUP list, but what I'm really wondering is if they elect to keep Steuck on the 53-man roster because of uncertainty regarding Barclay and Taylor in handling the backing-up Center position; though, I suppose they could decide to slide Lang over to Center temporarily if need be. The battle between Taylor, Walker, and Barclay for perhaps 2 spots as I'm assuming the team will want to keep 9 O-linemen is very interesting, but maybe they chance keeping only 8 or play it safer with 10; for now I'm taking a wild guess that Barclay and Taylor are who they select.

- Bulaga (OT - RT)
- Bakhtiari (OT - LT)
- Lang (OG - RG)
- Sitton (OG - LG)
- Tretter (C, G, T)
- Spriggs (OT)
- Murphy (OG, OT)
- Barclay (OG, OT, C)
- Taylor (OG, C)
*Linsley (C, OG) - Regular Season PUP

DL: I list Jones here because he'll still be part of the rotation at Defensive End on top of playing Elephant End at OLB. Pennel will miss the first 4 games and when he returns the team will have a decision to make as to who to take off the 53-man roster for him. I'm thinking Price has shown enough that the team will likely add him to the Practice Squad to give him a year to add strength -- I don't think the team would consider him over Ringo at this point for the 53-man roster, but maybe I'm wrong.

- Guion (NT, DT)
- Clark (DT, NT, DE)
- Daniels (DT, DE)
- Ringo (DE, DT)
- Lowry (DE)
- Jones (EE, DE)
*Pennel (DT, NT) - 4-game Ban

LB: R.Gilbert is probably someone the team is looking at for the practice squad. I think there's a heck of a battle going on between Elliot and McCray for earning an OLB spot on the 53-man roster and as of right now I believe both could make it, but I certainly realize there's the very real possibility that only one of them does and if that's the case I think they side with L.McCray over J.Elliot despite their more favorable control over his future contract. A similar situation is occurring at ILB between J.Thomas and C.Bradford, but as of right now I think Bradford has shown enough during preseason action to give him the slight lead in making the 53; though, Bradford can still be added to the Practice Squad while Thomas doesn't have PS eligibility so maybe that factors into the team's decision and they try going the other route. Ryan's injury has added some additional intrigue to the ILB battle because maybe his position in making the 53 isn't as secure as most think it is (for now I say he makes the cut). Not to mention, C.Matthews' versatility in being able to play inside some and Burnett being expected to play some Hybrid ILB may afford the coaches some extra roster flexibility here if they feel they need it.

- Peppers (EE, OLB - Jack)
- Perry (EE, OLB - Jack)
- Elliot (OLB - Jack)
- McCray (OLB - Jack or Sam)
- Fackrell (OLB - Sam)
- Matthews (OLB - Jack or Sam, ILB - Mike)
- Barrington (ILB - Mike)
- Martinez (ILB - Will or Mike)
- Ryan (ILB - Will or Mike)
- Bradford (ILB - Mike)

DB: This is the spot on the team where I think not only one, but potentially two undrafted free agents could and probably will make the 53-man roster. The team can wait on making a final decision on Goodson if they so wish because of his 4-game ban. I think there's a very interesting battle going on between Gunter, Hawkins, Daniel, Dorleant, and maybe even Jette for two potential Cornerback spots. Gunter should be in pretty good position to be considered a near lock as long as he doesn't continue making any more major special teams blunders and of the remaining guys I've been fairly impressed by Hawkins during his preseason action which is why I'm currently listing him, but Daniel is right on his heals. At Safety undrafted rookie free agent Brice has made his presence known to the point that I think the Packers will be forced to put him on their 53 if they don't want to risk another team acquiring his services. Hyde's versatility grants the team with some added roster flexibility here.

- Shields (CB)
- Randall (CB, Slot)
- Rollins (CB, Slot)
- Gunter (CB, Slot)
- Hawkins (CB, Slot)
- Hyde (Slot, SS, FS, CB)
- Clinton-Dix (FS)
- Burnett (SS)
- Banjo (SS, FS)
- Brice (FS, SS)
*Goodson (CB, Slot) - a determination on his roster status won't have to be made till he serves his 4-game suspension.


- Crobsy

P: Quite the battle continues here, but I think Masthay remains the starter this year.

- Masthay

LS: lack of healthy competition leaves Lovato as the guy it seems. I wonder if the team will take a closer look at Goode when they feel he's further along in his ACL rehab?

- Lovato

dobber's picture

"The team can decide on what to do with Goodson in relation to the team's roster after he serves his 4-game ban can't they? "


Starting the season down your two best gunners doesn't bode well for punt coverage, but what it does mean is that, by the time Janis is available (assuming he doesn't go IR), you've had a chance to assess a couple guys in game situations. I think Goodson's situation is a prime reason Janis won't go on IR...they'll need him back ASAP.

I've been critical of Goodson in coverage...well, forever. I think Jarrett Bush was better in coverage. I don't think he's a loss that way, but if you cut him before he's eligible to play, and none of these other noobs can play ST worth a darn, you might regret it. No penalty to use the four weeks...

Duke Divine's picture

Wow, that must have taken your entire coffee break.

croatpackfan's picture

Backmann can not be placed on PS, I think. He was on 53 last year!

dobber's picture

PS eligibility is a function of how many games a player is active, and not whether they made the 53. I think Backman was active more than 8 games last year, but I'm not sure.

L's picture

Backman's NFL career to date includes playing in seven regular season contests as a rookie and seeing time primarily on special teams (only 11 snaps on offense). He did dress for an additional regular season game which made him active for eight total games, but he didn't take the field. He was inactive for the other eight regular season games (aka healthy scratch). He did appear in one postseason game in which he registered a tackle on special teams.

A player has eligibility for the Practice Squad if he does not have an accrued season of NFL experience; an accrued season is gained by being on the active roster for at least six games. Therefore, Backman wouldn't qualify for this year's practice squad under that particular criteria; however, a player who has one accrued season can still be practice squad eligible if they were on the 45-man active gameday roster for less than nine regular season games and Backman was only on it for eight regular season games, so he does have practice squad eligibility for this year.

Tundraboy's picture

As I said, hello Brice, good bye Goodson.

Archie's picture

As a CB, Goodson was horrible in year 1, slightly less horrible in year 2 but has shown major signs of improvement in year 3, the dumb penalty and beautiful throw and catch that beat him in the front corner of the EZ notwithstanding. Definitely keep him while suspended and consider bringing him back if we get injuries or if somebody we kept turns out to be a mistake. I believe Goodson was a basketball player with very limited football experience. if everybody is healthy and doing well, then I guess he has to be cut.

RobinsonDavis's picture

I mostly agree, Archie. The special teams issue looms large, but frankly, not cutting Goodson reduces reps for observation of a nice crop of rookie DBs. Although I believe Brice and Hawkins have outplayed the other bubble DBs so far, most of the others have played admirably. However, Hawkins was so-so in the gunner role the one-time I watched him. Dorleant whiffed on his blocks on punt return, Robertson Daniel was better. Gunter.....ugh! Banjo stands-out.

I will be watching the punt and kick coverage teams closely as this will be a clue as to the Coaches' thoughts. They really need to find just one substitute for now, if the plan is to keep Janis. Banjo will provide support for one side. Stating the obvious, this is the opportunity for Brice and Hawkins to lock a roster spot if they prove worthy on special teams.

ray nichkee's picture

Dump him like a bad habit. Someone will be there to step up.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

No need to be mean. It's not like he's a bad person or something.

Handsback's picture

I have to think he's gone. Too many better replacements at DBs.

lucky953's picture

Yep, I'm on the "Goodbye Demetri" bandwagon with y'all. Packers did a good job bringing udfa talent at the position. That was a hell of an athletic interception by Hawkins the other night (Randall too, of course). They'll find a gunner- insufficient reason to keep Goodson.

PETER MAIZ's picture

Let's face it. Goodson's out. Janis probably in, and Gunter in is the way I see it.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I usually try to avoid repetitive posts, but since there are some 20 negative posts on Goodson, I will relax my rule.

I, half-heartedly, kind of like Goodson. He seems to be able to turn and run with WRs, just has no clue what to do when the ball is in the air. Case in point: on the back-shouilder TD catch the other night, Goodson has excellent position, just can't make the play when the ball is in the air.

The light just won't come on for him. This is his 3rd year. Let him serve his 4 games, come back for the 21 day practice period, look at his game and the state of things on the roster, and decide then: probably to cut him, but still.

L's picture

"Let him serve his 4 games, come back for the 21 day practice period, look at his game and the state of things on the roster, and decide then: probably to cut him, but still."

^ Exactly my thoughts ^

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Snippets from 8/23/16 Open Practice

Wes Hodkiewicz Terrific adjustment by Adams to gain separation from Goodson on 12-yard TD catch from Rodgers 12:38 PM - 23 Aug 2016 [Same play described by Wood: Ryan Wood WR Davante Adams with a pretty, leaping catch over CB Demetri Goodson. Adams can high-point the football well.

Wes Hodkiewicz Productive period for Cobb and Nelson on timing with Rodgers. Competitive reps vs Shields and Rollins 12:29 PM - 23 Aug 2016

Wes Hodkiewicz Rodgers with a beautiful pass to a diving Adams in team red zone. Only place he could've caught it 1:01 PM - 23 Aug 2016

Aaron Nagler Adams putting together a good day.

Michael Cohen Another drop for Randall Cobb on a short pass from Rodgers that would have scored a touchdown. That's three drops for Cobb today.

Ryan Wood WR Randall Cobb twisted Randall with a double move deep, then a back-shoulder adj. That was impressive.

Tom Silverstein Rough day for Abbrederis in one on ones. Rollins smothers him twice - one an INT -- and Hawkins beats him to a comeback route.

Michael Cohen Thoughts on WR/CB 1-on-1s:

Josh Hawkins great, two PBUs
Trevor Davis runs good routes
Quinten Rollins playing well
Jordy Nelson looks fine

Tom Silverstein ILB Carl Bradford with his second pick of camp. Too bad it was a free play for the offense.

Packer Report Rodgers says offside in defense but Bradford with the pick. He might lead the team with three by my count. [Not sure if Bradford has 2 or 3 during camp]

Wes Hodkiewicz Strong one-on-one period for Letroy Guion. Kyle Murphy with some good reps at RT, too Trgo not happy with Ringo - Aaron Nagler

Packer Report Mortell punts 18 times in all. Nine with hang time of 4.0 so that's not good. Nine at least 60 yards with wind at back.

Packer Report Different winds so sort of apples and oranges. But Masthay 46.0 and 4.45 on Monday. Mortell 57.9 and 3.97 hang time on Tuesday.

Mike Spofford Crosby goes 6-for-6 in FG period, distances from 33 to 52. Masthay & Mortell alternated holding.

Camp Battles:

WR: Adams Up; Cobb Down, Abby Down, Davis positive mention; Nelson on the field some

OL: Murphy Up; Linsley Torn Hamstring No surgery- prob PUP; Walker w knee brace and crutch

DL: Guion Up; Ringo Down, Clark Out back

ILB: Bradford Up - Ryan on the field. 1st team Martinez and Barrington

CB: Hawkins and Dorleant Up.

P Masthay Up, Mortell Down

lucky953's picture

Thanks for the detailed update. I feel particularly encouraged that Adams is making plays, but still not ready to exhale.

dobber's picture

With the Packers reaching an injury settlement with Rotheram (torn biceps), the OL situation is clearing up. Not in the way you'd hope, though.

Starters: Bakhtiari, Sitton, Tretter, Lang, Bulaga
Backups: Murphy, Spriggs, Taylor, Barclay
Injured: Linsley (PUP), Walker (IR?)

In this model, they're keeping 9 (Linsley will come off PUP eventually so it's really 10). Depending on the severity of his injury, Walker goes to IR. Barclay makes it as a backup at C.

L's picture

What's up with Josh Walker? I haven't heard news on his injury. Is it pretty bad?

stockholder's picture

I still think Goodson has a chance to be a packer. He was getting better last year. And I remember the James Nixon controversy. With the suspension and the progression of the Rookies, can he make up the time. Being we kept Bush, Goodson might stick around.

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