Packers Still Adding Talent to Their Roster

 

This very same time last year, Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst was pondering how to add Khalil Mack to his team.  Even at this late stage of the preseason, he was trying to put the Packers over and make them a Super Bowl contender.

A year later, there isn't a Mack-type player out there (unless you believe Jadeveon Clowney will really be traded in the next day or two) and no one likely to be as impactful, but Gutekunst is still looking to build the best roster he can by adding the top talent available.

Today, the Packers announced that they've released safety/linebacker Josh Jones.  Yesterday, the Packers released running back Darrin Hall and it was reported by ESPN's Rob Demovsky that Gutekunst was looking for a trade partner that would allow him to add a running back to the roster.

The Jones release isn't that big of a surprise but it takes a body away from the safety position as well as in the middle of the defense.  

What's interesting about the Demovsky report that is that the Packers don't lack bodies at running back right now.  The issue seems to be the confidence that the team has in some of the young backs vying for a roster spot.  Undrafted signee Tra Carson and sixth round pick Dexter Williams have gotten the majority of the carries while Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams out to reduce wear and tear.

Head coach Matt LaFleur recently stated that Carson was ahead of Williams and if Green Bay is looking to keep just three running backs and one fullback, that could mean Dexter is the odd man out in a week's time when final cut downs are made.

The Packers are looking at the best options available to them right now and not resting on the fact that D. Williams is one of their guys acquired via the draft.  In previous years, that may have played a bigger role in the approach.

Linebacker Curtis Bolton was hurt in Thursday night's game against the Oakland Raiders and it looks to be a longer-term injury.  Inside linebacker is another area where Gute is likely looking at his outside options.  He may have to wait the week out and see if any viable players are let go from their current teams.

That would also mean adding a guy to the roster who will go into week one with no preseason or training camp time with the team.  It's been done many times before and it doesn't necessarily mean the player can't be successful and make an immediate impact.

This next week is likely to be a more active one as the needs are addressed.  Or maybe Gutekunst fools us all and decides that he's good with what they have and does nothing.  Just enjoy the ride! 

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Comments (74)

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ShooterMcGee's picture

August 25, 2019 at 11:12 am

As long as Rodgers doesn't retire we should be fine.

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Tarynfor12's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:14 pm

Because we've been fine since 2012....nothing beats DIVISION titles...no sir...nothing like them.

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LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:30 pm

I haven't gotten any info on GB this year, but I did get a chance to see them the other night. I know GB's starters didn't play, but this kid Boyle looks like he might be a pretty good QB. Am I wrong on that. He looks like he has some pretty good moves. Have they picked the back-up yet? Also, I thought I heard somewhere that Mike Daniels is gone. Did they let him go, & Why??

Incase anyone is interested. GB is 20 - 1 for the SB, & 9 - 1 to win the NFC. Anyone think they are worth a Dollar or Two??
LVT

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stockholder's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:46 pm

Good to see you check in on the odds.

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Tarynfor12's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:46 pm

Hi LV-Tom
Agree on Boyle and have said so but they'll find a reason/way to keep Kizer as QB2..athleticism..which hasn't won crap so far. As to worth a dollar on the Packers odds for SB or NFC...as long as it's only a ' dollar '..why not.

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LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

August 26, 2019 at 12:12 pm

Hi Tarynfor 12
Like I said, I haven't followed GB, but from what I saw, I agree with you 100% on Boyle. I can't believe Kizer is even in the mix. I seen enough of him last year. I could care less about athleticism. As far as Boyle goes, unless he played the game of his life, I liked what I saw. If they keep Kizer, they may have well kept Hundley. What's the difference?. I must have heard wrong. I heard they let Mike Daniels go. That can't be true, right? Tramon Williams is still getting paid?? I must be wrong on all this. If any of this is true, the (Head Guy) must still be calling the shots. Now Mathews is coming back?? No Defense Again?? Did they do anything in the off season to make this team a contender? I'm not in it like I used to be. I always had a Great Deal of Respect for your opinions, even the few times I disagreed with you. Hope you have a Good Year.
LVT

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John Galt's picture

August 25, 2019 at 03:04 pm

Losing Season coming.

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Rebecca's picture

August 25, 2019 at 06:27 pm

Crystal ball or?

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ShooterMcGee's picture

August 25, 2019 at 11:15 am

What players may be available for the Packers? I read Kiko Alonso might get cut. Any other ILBs or RBs out there?

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2019 at 11:42 am

No obvious cover types among the free agents that I recognize. Summers and Sheldon are fine as depth behind Martinez. If we go to a more traditional ILB 2 then Summers has the spot with Sheldon taking over as backup I think. Crawford appears to be the next man up as the cover backer type. He has not had a good pre season for me.

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Chuck Velek's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:18 pm

Josh Bynes, Mason Foster & Manti Te'o

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2019 at 04:54 pm

These players are slower trad linebackers. I think I’d rather play Summers.

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Old School's picture

August 25, 2019 at 07:46 pm

I like Summers, and he makes his mistakes at full speed. He’ll get better with action. We’ll be fine as long as Martinez isn’t hurt.

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Bure9620's picture

August 25, 2019 at 11:25 am

Gute WILL makes waiver claims, the likelihood is higher a player will be rewarded to them as the Packers are higher on the wire than in previous years. He will also explore vet FA options as well......

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LambeauPlain's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:28 pm

You make a good point....the Pack’s position on the waiver wire is as good as it has been for a long time.

Gutey may have a forecast on future cuts that can help him build and improve the bottom of the final roster.

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sonomaca's picture

August 25, 2019 at 11:31 am

Why did the play Bolton in Canada if he was a projected starter?

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2019 at 11:44 am

Depth was thin and he is a rookie: Tonyan played and a few of the younger players projected as regular contributors did so that is my guess.

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Qoojo's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Why didn't you tell them to not play Bolton before the game? Oh that's right, hindsight makes these things so much easier. If only they would held out all the injured players from the game, then no one would have got injured. Seems simple to me.

Also, which preseasons games are you going to allow your inexperienced rookie players to get more practice? Especially when you consider that the player moved up when the starter(s) got injured.

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sonomaca's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:40 pm

Was the field condition hindsight. Sheesh!

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2019 at 04:55 pm

Gruden says the field conditions were fine

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fthisJack's picture

August 25, 2019 at 07:05 pm

so why didn't Gruden play his starters? easy to say and then sit your best guys.

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Coldworld's picture

August 26, 2019 at 09:29 am

Because he is full of ....

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dobber's picture

August 25, 2019 at 01:32 pm

He's only keeping Burks' spot warm while he heals.

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ricky's picture

August 25, 2019 at 02:14 pm

Unless he plays better than Burks. Then Burks is a backup who would have to compete for a spot on the team next year. Also, expect the bottom part of every team's roster to be changed weekly for most of the season, as players are injured, or if another player seems like he can help the team more than the guy who gets cut. This happens every year. And please, PLEASE don't go after Clowney. Overrated, oft injured and he's going to be very, very expensive.

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Old School's picture

August 25, 2019 at 11:32 am

I mentioned earlier that that ten teams rushed for more than 439 attempts last year and nine of the ten made the playoffs.

That's some pretty clear math. 439 divided by 16 games means you have to run it 28 times/game on average, sometimes a few more sometimes a few less.

We don't have a bellcow back. We have Williams, who is durable and dependable and we have Jones who is explosive but not always available. And after that, we have hopes and dreams.

I thought it would have been worth it to try to add a guy like Duke Johnson to the team. Use him as the bellcow, and Jones and Williams as the change of pace guys.

But based on what we have right now, I'd say that it'll be Vitale, Jones, Williams, and Carson on the active 45 with Dexter on the 53 but inactive. We'll keep the spare fullback on the PS.

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2019 at 11:55 am

RB Jay Ajayi is currently available. One cut running back with a track record on the field but coming off an ACL in October (he has apparently now been medically cleared) and some speculation about his attitude towards training. No idea what he would cost though.

Other than that it just depends what we see in others depths I guess.

I think at this point D Williams is looking at the PS. It’s clear that they don’t think that he is ready from the fact that, despite his flashes Carson is ahead of him and Gute is probably looking for someone to improve upon Carson.

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Lare's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:24 pm

Mel Gordon?

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Qoojo's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:33 pm

From the practice reports, he has shaky receiving abilities, and his pass blocking might be a bit suspect. I agree about PS bound, unless another team signs him after release.

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Johnblood27's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:40 pm

Look closer at your "statistics".

I would wager that teams didn't make the playoffs (win) because they ran the ball a lot.

Teams won (made the playoffs) because they were winning and then ran the ball to kill clock.

Look at attempts while ahead and 4th quarter attempts.

This is one of the straw man arguments that I just can't stand.

Just like yards surrendered as a meaningful measure of defense. There are so many more important ways to measure effectiveness of a defense in the NFL.

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Old School's picture

August 25, 2019 at 02:13 pm

You can only run the ball to kill the clock if you are able to do it. If you can’t, the other team get the ball right back.

I’ll tell you what: You check the rushing attempts at the end of three quarters and I’ll bet they are mostly the same bunch as the overall top ten.

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fthisJack's picture

August 25, 2019 at 07:07 pm

the bellcow is Jones....mooooooo!

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

August 25, 2019 at 08:19 pm

Thats all good. Why 4 clowns thumb down that?
Who let the Viqueen Grape Apes in here?

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BradHTX's picture

August 25, 2019 at 09:56 pm

One... Duke Johnson is not a bell cow back. He’s only 5’9” (though at 210lbs, not a scat back) and he has never rushed for even 400yrds in a season. He’s never caught fewer than 60 passes. He’s the definition of a “change of pace back.”

Two... He now plays for the Texans. So it’s a mooooot point.

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Tarynfor12's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:22 pm

At the moment the talent available is like the shelves in a Venezuelan supermarket....near empty and low quality of what is available.

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fthisJack's picture

August 25, 2019 at 07:08 pm

i see you took your downer pill today!

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Tarynfor12's picture

August 25, 2019 at 09:40 pm

I have the Packers winning 9 games this season....anymore will need a lot of help from other teams failings...or I'd have to take some of that bs drug you use to believe otherwise.

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

August 25, 2019 at 08:20 pm

But AOC & those people are AOK with that.

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BradHTX's picture

August 25, 2019 at 09:58 pm

I dislike injecting politics into sports discussion. But I gotta hand it to you, this is a funny comment.

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Donster's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:25 pm

Raiders released veteran running back Doug Martin today. Rushed for over 700 yards last season.

Gute has to get another ILB. Preferably a veteran.

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stockholder's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:56 pm

Past PED history. Twice injured. Not happening. Gordon wants 12 mil. Not happening. Will be OK at RB . Jones, Williams, and Vitale, should carry the load.

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BradHTX's picture

August 25, 2019 at 10:00 pm

I won’t lie, my initial reaction to this was, “He’s still in the league? I assumed he washed out like three years after his last good season for the Bucs.”

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Coldworld's picture

August 26, 2019 at 09:38 am

I agree that they should be the main load bearers. I do not think that is enough depth. D. Williams is not going to play until he can master the playbook and assignments, consistently pass protect, catch reliably and regularly hit the holes early and hard.

All of these things he does well sometimes, but badly at others. That is too much of a risk to get him on the field despite his talent: I’m sure it’s what held back his college snaps.

Carson is the opposite: dependable as a runner catcher and blocker to the point of being OK at all of them and assignment sure. Other than pounding to run the clock though he just seems like one level of talent too low across the board. Perhaps he has more that I haven’t seen, but I fear that he is the classic mostly harmless fall back.

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LambeauPlain's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:34 pm

In a week, close to 1,000 players currently on NFL rosters will be on the market.

Gutey will have plenty of options to fill in some depth.

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Johnblood27's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:42 pm

but... but... but...

every player that has been in training camp wearing a GBP uniform is one of the best at his position in the whole league and shows much more potential than any other teams scrubs...

Oh my, my world is crashing down upon me...

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2019 at 04:59 pm

As THE franchise GB should naturally get the first pick of all players. Good point Blood.

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sonomaca's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:43 pm

Likely will see ILBs and RBs available. Why would Gute be calling teams for a RB trade?

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2019 at 04:59 pm

If he can get uncontested control of one he likes before they hit the open market

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sonomaca's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:53 pm

Here’s a horrible idea (?): Rodgers to Colts for next three #1’s. Try to land Tua, Herbert or Lawrence.

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BuckyDaBadger's picture

August 25, 2019 at 01:28 pm

Horrible idea.....mainly due to the accelerated dead cap hit on the Packers of all of Rodgers guaranteed money. His contract basically makes him untradeable for 2 years.

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Daren726's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Gute just added James Folston and Joquez Falili. LB and CB

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Daren726's picture

August 25, 2019 at 01:05 pm

From Packers. Com. Folston, a 6-foot-3, 233-pound rookie out of the University of Pittsburgh, was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent on May 29, 2019. He also spent time with the Tennessee Titans. In college, Folston played in 43 games with five starts over four seasons and registered 47 tackles (30 solo), 3.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks. He will wear No. 49 for the Packers.

Kalili (jah-KWEZ kuh-LILLY), a 5-foot-10, 185-pound rookie out of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, was originally signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars on May 12, 2019. After walking on at Arizona in 2014, he spent two years at Mesa Community College (2015-16) and finished his career at UNLV (2017-18), where he appeared in 18 games and recorded 64 tackles (45 solo), five passes defensed, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and an interception. Kalili will wear No. 47 for the Packers.

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stockholder's picture

August 25, 2019 at 01:13 pm

Alonso ILB Fins ? Many more options coming.

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2019 at 05:00 pm

6.5 million contract

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sonomaca's picture

August 25, 2019 at 01:14 pm

CB? Thought they were set there.

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BuckyDaBadger's picture

August 25, 2019 at 01:29 pm

more camp bodies for the Chiefs game, hard to see how either makes the roster. Packers need an actual veteran at ILB and a proven #3 RB. Not sure why these 2 were signed.

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2019 at 05:00 pm

Bodies and evaluation

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Coldworld's picture

August 26, 2019 at 09:40 am

Also don’t forget that, in addition to bodies for the last game, this is like an extended tryout for the PS or an in-season call up.

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BuckyDaBadger's picture

August 25, 2019 at 01:13 pm

Click bait title.

How are the Packers adding talent to the roster? They have subtracted it the last few days.

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dobber's picture

August 25, 2019 at 01:41 pm

They replaced two guys they knew weren't going to be part of the team in 2019 with two guys who might, or to get a head start on assessing these guys for the PS (and perhaps the inside track to getting them there).

When you've got 90 spots, use them.

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Qoojo's picture

August 25, 2019 at 01:52 pm

The difference between tape and first hand experience in your system.

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Gort's picture

August 25, 2019 at 08:35 pm

Agreed! Personal pet peeve with the previous regime was all too often they were at 52 or occasionally less. If a guy gets hurt in a game and everybody in the world knows he is headed to IR, then put him there and sign somebody.

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jasonperone's picture

August 25, 2019 at 01:56 pm

Just signed James Folston and Jocquez Kalili. Call those signings nothing but they are in fact new additions to the team so I’ll take a moment, Bucky, to remind you that there’s an edit button and would love to see your updated post soon!

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John Galt's picture

August 25, 2019 at 03:07 pm

Josh Jones now gone. What a waste of a draft pick. What a clown show.

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2019 at 05:02 pm

Second time you have said that. Show me a franchise without a Jones, or a past Packers GM.

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porupack's picture

August 25, 2019 at 03:54 pm

Ok. I defended Josh Jones and thought all the criticism posted here was too harsh. My bad for thinking the goodwill, and guess my green/gold glasses fogged me thoughts. I'll take the "I-told-you-so" best I can.

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Coldworld's picture

August 26, 2019 at 09:43 am

So did he sulk after his ejection or did the Packers just decide he was done after that?

That seems to have immediately preceded his condition making him suddenly unavailable.

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sam1's picture

August 25, 2019 at 04:02 pm

Anyone have any idea why Antonio Morrison is not brought back?

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2019 at 05:03 pm

I’d rather play Summers.

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sam1's picture

August 25, 2019 at 05:35 pm

I'd rather you answer the question!

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Coldworld's picture

August 26, 2019 at 09:48 am

I did. But I will spell it out if you like. Morrison is a slow thumper. They don’t seem to want slow thumpers, along with a lot of the league. I believe that they do not see Morrison as overall having more value than Summers within the style of play they wish to employ.

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Bure9620's picture

August 25, 2019 at 06:06 pm

He is a downhill tackler only, liability in coverage

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

August 25, 2019 at 08:26 pm

Antonio Morrison negatives I hear are off-field issue.
I liked him as a player...reminded me a bit of Desmond Bishop.

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Coldworld's picture

August 26, 2019 at 09:47 am

Bishop was faster and a little less of a coverage liability and the league was different then.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

August 25, 2019 at 09:03 pm

Just refreshing to see a GM for the Pack being active trying to strengthen the team. There will be a lot of players who do not make the cut but sure nice to know we finally have someone doing everything they can to improve the overall talent level of the player personnel.

Gives you hope!

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