Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Packers Sign Phillip Merling and Release Two Others

The Green Bay Packers announced a couple of roster moves. First, they released an undrafted rookie (Wake Forest TE Cameron Ford) after he apparently failed to impress at the rookie camp earlier this month. They also released former arena league QB Nick Hill, which wasn't a big surprise after he showed a lack of arm strength during the same rookie camp. I wouldn't be surprised if they signed another quarterback before the start of training camp so they can have four quarterbacks available during practice.

They also signed DE Phillip Merling, who the Dolphins had released last month because he wasn't very productive on the field and he wasn't showing up for the "voluntary" offseason workouts. But the commentators at The Phinsider believed Merling had played better late last season and they were a little surprised by his release.

Since Merling hasn't recorded a sack since 2009, the former second round pick is probably best suited for a role as a DE in their 3-4 base defense. At 6-5 and 315 lbs., he certainly looks the part. I was a little surprised to see the Packers lining up with C.J. Wilson as the starting DE in the base defense during this week's open OTA because Wilson didn't prove last season that he deserves to start. I'm not sure he's even worth keeping on the roster. It wouldn't take a lot for Merling to move ahead of Wilson and find himself starting in the base defense.

In addition to the lack of effort he's been showing in the offseason, Merling had some problems with the law when he was arrested for beating his pregnant girlfriend in 2010, but those charges were dropped after she wouldn't testify against him. The Packers haven't shied away from players with legal problems. Erik Walden was arrested during a similar incident in 2011 and he was recently re-signed.

The Packers won't tolerate him long if he doesn't show enough effort during the remaining offseason program, but if he can turn himself around and move into a starting role as the defensive end in the base 3-4 defense, he could be a solid value signing for the Packers.

No comments: