Thursday, April 25, 2013

Leading Up To The Draft: Packers Release Saine and D.J. Smith

A couple days ago I wrote that the Green Bay Packers probably weren't looking for an inside linebacker in the 1st round, in part, because they have third-year LB D.J. Smith. And one day later, Smith is a former Packer, along with RB Brandon Saine.
While the timing of their release, on the eve of the draft, seemed a little odd, I think Tom Silverstein is dead-on when he wrote that the Packers made the move now because they need the roster spots. The Packers usually bring in several undrafted rookies for tryouts post-draft, and once that's complete, the Packers' roster should be at it's maximum (90).

The Packers might have been surprised Smith was claimed by the Chargers. A former late-round draft pick coming off tears of his ACL and MCL shouldn't have a lot of value. They might have been hoping that Smith and Saine could continue to rehab while off the roster in the hopes of a future return. Who knows, Smith might not be long for the Chargers either. It wouldn't be a shock to see one of them return next season after someone else is injured.

In the short-term, the Packers have released two players coming off major injuries and will likely replace them with two healthy rookies, so I can see the logic in the moves.

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