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Packers Sign Merling, Release Hill, Ford

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Packers Sign Merling, Release Hill, Ford

The Green Bay Packers have released quarterback Nick Hill and tight end Cameron Ford and signed former Miami Dolphins defensive end Phillip Merling, according to the Packers official website.

CheeseheadTV reported earlier Wednesday that Hill had been released. The Packers signed the former Arena League Football standout on Jan. 20, but he was likely to get pushed out of the quarterback competition behind Aaron Rodgers by Graham Harrell and 2012 seventh-rounder B.J. Coleman.

Ford, an undrafted free agent tight end out of Wake Forest, signed with the team on May 3.

A second round pick in 2008, Merling (6-5, 315 lbs.) spent each of the last four seasons with the Dolphins. He appeared in 47 games (five starts) and recorded 66 tackles, 3.5 sacks, eight passes defensed and one interception (TD).

Merling suffered an Achilles injury in 2010, however, and his production hasn't been the same since. He only appeared in 16 games over the last two seasons, with one start. In those games, Merling made just seven tackles and recorded no sacks. The Dolphins released Merling in April after signing him to a one-year deal in March.

In late 2010, Merling was arrested for hitting his pregnant girlfriend in the face. Those charges were later dropped and Merling faced no further punishment from the NFL.

The Packers likely see him as another body along a defensive line that needs to play significantly better in 2012.

With a complete lack of production from the defensive end position last season, and the Packers facing suspensions for both Mike Neal and Tony Hargrove to start the 2012 season, GM Ted Thompson could afford to take a chance on the 27-year-old Merling. He'll wear No. 69.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (27) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jmac34's picture

alright seems like a good move. if he doesn't work out, cut him. no risk signing

darthvander's picture

is it just me, or has the "Packer People" part of the equation been completely disregarded this off-season? I get we need D Line help, but a dude who punches his preggers GF in the face? I would punch him in the face given the opportunity.

One thing I loved about the team's approach the past few years is that I was able to like all the players on the team. Dudes who hit women, and pregnant women at that.... ...I do not like.

Shawn's picture

If that was completely true and he settled out of court or something then the NFL would have suspended or fined him for sure. Totally against the Players Conduct Policy.

Rocky70's picture

There are presently close to 90 players on the roster. You would like them to be all 'choir boys' ?? ---- Consider this: ---- Everybody is guilty of something. Most people just haven't been caught yet.

lebowski's picture

Always thought that "Packer People" made for a nice sound bite, but was a load of b.s.

Mojo's picture

Unless it was some type of self-defense(apparently the only type of defense he would have played in years), I'm with you Darth. The way I view things if you harm yourself that's one thing, but when you go after someone else I have no need for you. And the comment that is supposed to excuse this behavior - "everyone is guilty of something" - is garbage. I and most of the people I know have never done such things. Too many people need to validate their sorry existence by projecting their misdeeds onto others

PackersRS's picture

Self-defense for a 315 pound, 6-5 guy against a pregnant female? By hitting her in the face?

Good luck trying to make that case...

I get bringing him in to take a look at him, they probably graded him highly in the draft, but I don't like it one bit.

pkrNboro's picture

'And the comment that is supposed to excuse this behavior – “everyone is guilty of something” – is garbage.'

Rocky70's comment was general in nature, and not specifically in response to the alleged beating.

So you, Mojo, are "guilty" of something: not reading with understanding.

Mojo's picture

In that Rocky was responding to Darth's consternation at Merlings actions, I think it is reasonable to assume his reference to 'everyone being guilty of something' was meant to be in the neighborhood of what Merling did. I know it he didn't mean to specifically attribute Merling's crime to all of humanity.

But what really is important is if his statement was meant to be a watered down version of guilt, then it isn't worth being mentioned in the first place and adds nothing to the argument.

pkrNboro's picture


I whimsically poke fun at your comment!

You hold the Packers to high moral and ethical standards...
...while posting with a name -- albeit with a Flemish sort of twist -- synonymous with evil incarnate, on a galactic scale?

(inward hiss) Explain yourself (outward hiss)

Dan's picture

Dear pkrNboro,

There was good in him all along.

But yes, point taken.

I guess I can rationalize the second chances and small mistakes. But violence against a pregnant woman is not small. I would think that if there were some sort of imaginary "Packer People Guidelines" it would start with: Rule 1: no hitting pregnant women.
And quickly move to Rule 2: no bringing prostitutes to fellow teammates' charity events.

But the larger point is, TT has seemed to move away from some of his principles this off-season. (e.g. Drafting for need, going after free-agents). This one disturbs me because this team, like no other team, is of the people.

Darthvander's picture

dan = darthvander btw. auto-fill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Woodson4president's picture

Him n Walden should hang haha.

Oppy's picture

Don't forget Ahman Green

Jamie's picture

Ol' Ted has said numerous times that they look for good people - not necessarily perfect people. If they feel a person has made mistakes, but isn't a bad apple, they'll give'em a shot.

I will say it's hard not to look at someone that punches a pregnant girlfriend, or any woman for that matter, as a bad apple. But, I also don't know the details of the incident. Maybe he had to tell her something two or even three times.

pkrNboro's picture

disclaimer: I'm against hitting women

"Maybe he had to tell her something two or even three times."

Jamie: that was funny

disclaimer: I'm against hitting women

Afrenchpackerfan's picture

Love that one! I have always thought we live in a "Disclaimer World"...

ChiTownCheese's picture

"Packer People" means a TEAM FIRST mentality. Which the Pack excel at. No cancers in that locker room.
And don't believe everything you hear on the news. It's the media's job to SELL news. Not report it. "hit in the face" could have a lot of different definitions, to the media

Darthvander's picture

definitely hear you on that. not fair to jump on news you don't know for fact. My point started off as an example, but the whole disgusting notion of violence toward women got me going.

Point Packer's picture

Maybe its just me, but it seems like half the players in the NFL have either punched, kicked, threatened, etc a girlfriend at some point during their career. Its sad.

Yes, the NFL has its choir boys, but it also has a number a-holes that don't deserve to ever set foot on the field - see Michael Vick. Unfortunately, the NFL keeps rewarding such behavior by reinstating "reformed thugs" like Vick. If the league was willing to take a harder line, especially on higher profile instances like Vicks, we wouldn't see this kind behavior (as much). I'd hope. Or perhaps I am naive. I probably am.

pkrNboro's picture

...who wouldn't want to have these guys as co-workers?

Rocky70's picture

Amazing how fans know players & approve of these players due to a simple lack of information. A fan hears nothing bad so they assume that the player is an 'alright dude'. (CM3 could really be a complete a-hole if you actually knew him)

How naive can people be! ---- Like I said earlier. "Everybody is guilty of something. Most people just haven’t been caught yet." This statement of fact has nothing to do with committing crimes of violence against anyone. Each person applies to his own individual circumstances. You all know your crimes better than I.

Nononsense's picture

I think it was a good signing and I hope he can show enough to stick around at least until Neal or Hargrove serve out their suspensions. At 6'5" 315 lbs hes an ideal fit for the base 3-4 End and the only other guy we have in that mold is Lawrence Guy.

To the people complaining about this signing because hes not "Packer People" or hes a woman beater well, you don't really know if hes guilty or not. Truth is, the charges were dropped and thats good enough for me. She wouldn't testify for whatever reason so to me its like it never happened. Merling didn't get his day in a court of law to prove his innocence, so now he must live with the judgement of the court of public opinion. I refuse to judge him.

If you have ever been falsely accused of something in your life or know someone that has, it tends to change your perspective on guilt or innocence without clear evidence. Thats all im saying.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

He's got great size, that's for sure. Most people know how I feel about the Sasquatch that is "PACKER PEOPLE", so we won't go there. Like Jamie said, perhaps she was already sporting two black eyes? What else you gonna do???


Darthvander's picture

"What else are you gonna do?"...

Not sign douchebags who give the organization a black-eye too.

Seriously. They're talking about dumping Neal over a drug suspension, is that really worse? (and don't give me the performance on the field argument, you know how TT loves his draft picks over other teams cast offs & I know I don't need to remind you of one Justin Harrell's overstayed spot on the roster.)

Just saying something is different this year with TT.

Rocky70's picture

Is it so difficult to figure out ?

The Packer's "D" finished a dead-last in season 2011 (yds. allowed). The only reason they won 15 games was because of the MVP play of AR. TT is smart enough to realize that a team cannot count on the play of "only" one player & expect to be in SB after SB.

Fix the "D" & GB can still win with AR playing only average (for him).

Otto's picture

A lot of really good points.

I'm in the camp of the charges were dropped, so that's where our judgement of him should end.

There is an interesting line football players walk in their lives. They are encouraged and rewarded for being violent in their jobs. At the same time that behavior is not accepted in society. I don't believe it is easy for them to "turn it off." I loved the violence of the game when I played. After I stopped playing I sent a couple of guys to the hospital because I couldn't contain myself in games of flag football. It was tough turning that off.

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