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Packers reinstate OG Cole Madison to active roster

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Packers reinstate OG Cole Madison to active roster

-- The Green Bay Packers have stuck by their investment in Cole Madison through all of his personal trauma, and on Monday, their persistence paid off.

The team officially reinstated Madison to their active roster in time to report for the offseason program, which began on Monday.

Madison, one of three fifth-round picks selected by general manager Brian Gutekunst in last year's draft, was supposed to provide quality depth to the Packers' offensive line and, eventually, a potential starter.

Instead, a tragedy in his personal life caused Madison to step away from football for the entirety of his rookie season.

"He's still dealing with a personal matter," Gutekunst said in a press conference in August. "We don't expect Cole back anytime soon. This will take a little bit of time to deal with. We're fully supportive of what's going on."

There's still a chance for Madison to compete for a starting job with the current roster considering the Packers don't have a starting right guard in place yet. They signed Billy Turner during the free agency period in March, but no roles are designated in the spring.

Madison's return could certainly alter the Packers' draft plans later this month, although there's a chance an interior offensive line position wasn't high on their draft board to begin with. Having a promising, young prospect back in their pocket, however, still bodes well for a team who could certainly use capable players there.


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 (40) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Coldworld's picture

I confess I am surprised, but happily so. One more draft pick this year in essence.

Rossonero's picture

Well said. My thoughts exactly. He's a bonus draft pick. Let's hope the kid can play.

PeteK's picture

I thought Madison was an intriguing prospect because of his experience in a pass heavy pro offense. However, this wouldn't change my plan of drafting a T .

PatrickGB's picture

Except now we plan on running the ball more in a zone run plan. Madison does have good movement skills so I hope he can still do well after a year off.

GBPDAN1's picture

Welcome back Cole! Now let's get to work bud. We need O-line help/depth.

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

Yes, welcome back! It’s nice to have Cole in the mix for this season’s OL.

ShooterMcGee's picture

Wow this is great both for the Packers and this young man. Glad he was able to work thru his struggles. 1 poster on this site never counted him out, kudos. Let's hope Cole can be a player!

David Michalski's picture

I encourage you to read my piece on Cole later today. It's truly the standard the NFL should follow when attending to mental health. So happy for Cole to be able to resume playing football again.

Bearmeat's picture

IF they believe he is going to stay through the year and he stayed in shape, thisis HUGE for the offense. Basically, they're set at OL with him and Turner in the fold. They've got their starter at RG,and they've got the interior backup.

I'm also very glad to see Cole clearly display he is in a better head space this year. I was concerned for his well being last year. To step away from your dreams when on the cusp of fulfilling than? Man... That's tough.

NitschkeFan's picture

He was a 5th round pick. Happy he is feeling better but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We don’t even know if he can make the team.

ricky's picture

Agree with some of this, some not.

Agree: Right now, Cole is an unknown. It will be interesting to see if the hype and the expectations can be met or exceeded. I certainly hope so. It would be great for the team and for Madison.

Disagree: Bakhtiari was a fourth round pick, and he turned out OK. Draft position means nothing compared to whether a guy can play.

NitschkeFan's picture

"draft position means nothing" - uh sure dude. Let's see the team try trading this year's 5th round pick for someone else's 1st rounder (or 2nd, or 3rd or 4th).

Oh yeah, that's never going to happen because every NFL front office disagrees with you.

Nononsense's picture

Ok well lets just look at the Packers recent history of OL draft picks.

1st round

2nd round
Jason Spriggs

4th round

5th round

6th round


Granted some of the best OL guys are early picks but in GB we've not had much luck there

NitschkeFan's picture

OK, so Datone Jones a 1st round bust means never draft an EDGE in the first round?

How about Randall and Rollins, they must mean the Packers should never draft a DB in the first two rounds.

etc, etc. Your logic is deeply flawed and reminds us of how most people are statistically illiterate.

Hawg Hanner's picture

Let's hope he stayed in shape and gained strength
"Madison's athletic ability, foot quickness and ability to sustain blocks on the move make him a desirable target for teams who want offensive linemen who can excel in space. However, his lack of anchor in pass protection will likely be targeted by pass rushers looking to for holes to exploit. A move inside to guard could benefit Madison, if he can add strength and play with better knee bend."

porupack's picture

Nitche, your first line was good "he was a fifth round pick".
But what is the point mentioning whether we know he'll make the team? Kind of true with all draft picks. Guess, its the old half full, vs half empty thing.

Put me down, that he'll make the team, and the packers have; 1) a little heart to stand by a player and wait, and 2) saw enough in him to wait and activate him.
I'll take the optimismo….

NitschkeFan's picture

porupack, my response was to the OP who wrote we were "all set" on the offensive line now because of Madison. Pointing out that a 5th round pick who missed an entire season due to illness and has never played a snap in the NFL does not solve the Packer's offensive line problems in my opinion.

A 5th round pick who missed an entire season due to illness needs to prove he can make the 53 man roster before you guys start putting him in the HOF

We are all happy that the young man appears to be getting healthy. And as Pack fans we all hope he is a good player at a position of need on our roster. BUT, he has proven nothing yet and was far from a highly touted prospect a year ago before his illness. So just pump the brakes a bit and let us see how it goes.

porupack's picture

Ok, nitscheFan; I see your point. I think we all just like the news that he is back in the mix, and seems like some progress for him. Its akin to an extra 2019 pick, in that there is the usual %ages for success. Not that he fills a hole yet, but a nice X card for upcoming year.

dblbogey's picture

It's only HUGE if Madison turns into a quality player. It's certainly good news though.

ILPackerBacker's picture

Someone suffering from the personal issues to this extent are rarely in shape for pro football either mentally or physically. He was a 5th round pick, not a first round pick last year when he was coming off a solid year. Let's not change any draft ideas and if he is able to make it then we get a bonus

stockholder's picture

Vince Lombardi didn't become one of the best coaches in NFL history by discriminating against his players. By all accounts, Lombardi didn't care if his players were black, white, gay or straight, he only cared about one thing and that's whether they could play football. Personal issues usually have a lot to do with Love. His head should have been on football. His heart; In God we Trust. This doesn't sound physical. PER THIS:>>> Gutekunst: “The medical evaluations are significant.” Says it’s the first chance he gets his hands on players. Gutekunst: Doesn’t think he’ll he looking for drastically different players for Matt LaFleur as opposed to Mike McCarthy:
“We’re looking for good football players. That doesn’t change.”GM Brian Gutekunst: scouting part with Matt LaFleur offense isn’t different. Said change in the offense doesn’t change type of player he’s going to pursue.

Since '61's picture

Good to hear that Cole Madison is able to return to the team. I hope that he can get ready and be able to make the team.

I still believe that the Packers should select an OT in the upcoming draft.

I wish Cole the best of luck in his football career. Go Cole Go! Thanks, Since '61

Lare's picture

While I have been a pretty strong advocate for improving the OL in the upcoming draft, I have to admit that I'm now rethinking my position.

The additions of Turner, Madison, Siragusa, Light and DeBeer may have adequately stocked the OL with enough talent for the OL to now be a position of strength for the offense. If that's the case, it opens up the draft to fill a few more needs in other areas.

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

I’m not confident that we have our swing tackle yet.

Since '61's picture

Lare - absolutely correct. However, if we can select an OT as Bulaga's long term replacement and give him a season to learn we should go for it. In any case our OL looks better today than it did yesterday. Thanks, Since '61

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Good Luck Cole! Gald to have you back.

Paul Konieczny's picture

Was he at practice?

Lare's picture


EddieLeeIvory's picture

#1, this is great news. For him & the team.
#2, very surprising.
#3, we hope, but we cannot "count" on him.
#4, we still need another serviceable tackle (Spriggs ain't that)

Swisch's picture

Life can be almost unbearably sad at times, but I'm hopeful that Cole can take this tragedy and turn it into redemption.
If Cole wants to go into pro football, I hope he can channel his deep hurt into effort and excellence on the field in recognition of his departed friend.
This would also give him a platform to talk with teens about the importance of getting help for anxiety and depression.
A fundamental message of Easter is that every life is priceless and irreplaceable and precious. Each of us is here for an important, essential purpose, even when we feel useless, even burdensome to others.
As on a team, each and every person has a key role in life, whether as a star or a sub. God knows us and loves us and never gives up on us. Each of us is necessary!
As a young man in rural Illinois, the young and unknown Abe Lincoln was concerned not to carry a knife because he feared he would ultimately use it on himself.
At one point, when he was in a bout of despair, Lincoln's neighbors even set up a suicide watch to sustain him.
Yet it was Lincoln's struggles with depression that helped to him to a greatness of character and perseverance as president in leading America out of of its darkest hour of Civil War. (See, "Lincoln's Melancholy," by Joshua Wolf Shenk.)
Finally, it is in the divine mercy of Easter that Cole can hope to be reunited with his dear friend, Tyler, one day, where every tear will be wiped away.
We can hope and pray that in the last spark of our lives, all of us will make our own peace with our creator and savior and friend.

EddieLeeIvory's picture

Happy Easter

Bart_Starred's picture

Superb Swisch. Well said.

sonomaca's picture

He’s right to be legitimately concerned about CTE. That said, I’m not sure how you play football at the NFL level if worried about this type of neurological damage. I don’t think you can really count on him.

HankScorpio's picture

Agreed. He obviously felt strongly enough to take a year off. A big hit once the pads come on might prompt another change of heart. I wouldn't fault him one tiny bit if it does.

If he turns into a player, that's great! But I think the odds are pretty long.

Bryan Chisholm's picture

Even if he turns into just a solid depth piece that would be a nice plus.. hell, try him at RG. With the money being paid to Price, I feel like that's his job to lose. Sucks not knowing what he brings to the table though.. if we struck gold, we'd look pretty dumb taking a OL high in the draft (top 3 rounds) IMO, if he doesn't pan out to be anything and we wait a little longer to take a OT because Madison came back , once again, we look dumb after being in prime position to take a top OT. But I guess you can never have too many good players at any position lol.

Otto's picture

I choose one draft pick to follow and route for every year. Madison was the guy last year. After watching his highlight video, I picked him. His technique wasn't pretty but he used everything he had to protect his QB. He graded surprisingly high for his unorthodox blocking style.
After finding out the circumstances of him missing last season, I'm routing for him now more than ever.

Johnblood27's picture

I think Andre Dillard is now a prime target.

His comfort level with Madison and vice versa makes for a 2 for 1 kind of deal.

I like this. As a former Coug, I would LOVE Love love to see 2 Cougs on the GBP OL.

PAPackerbacker's picture

Certainly good news to have Madison back. The Packers still need to take a versatile OL with one of their top 4 picks.

Swedish Chef's picture

Hurdy gurdy schipp schnip!! Bork Bork Bork!

Johnblood27's picture

I could not agree more.

I get it, I'm not as think as you dumb I am.

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