Monday, July 06, 2015

Andrew Quarless Has Put The Packers In A Tough Spot

Dealing with player arrests is not something new for GM Ted Thompson, but I can't recall another time when two players made news in the same week. First it was a DE Datone Jones, who received a one game suspension relating to an arrest for marijuana possession back in January. Now it's TE Andrew Quarless, who was arrested for firing a gun in public and allegedly trying to hide it in a potted plant. A possible suspension for DT Letroy Guion was also discussed last week, but the Packers knew all about his arrest, which happened before he was re-signed, so that's not a new situation. Jones doesn't seem to be in too much trouble, though he's likely on thinner ice within the organization now, but Quarless might have put the Packers in a tough spot if they consider releasing him.
Quarless is a bit of a football survivor. He was nearly dismissed from Penn State after two alcohol related offenses though he managed to stay with his college team. But I have no idea what the Packers are going to do about him.

If the Packers do release him, then they've got a roster problem on their hands. Quarless is nothing special, even if QB Aaron Rodgers is a fan, but there's little depth on the roster behind him. TE Brandon Bostick was dumped after his mistake in the NFC Championship game, leaving only Quarless and TE Richard Rodgers as the only tight ends who played last season. Now they might be down to just Rodgers, who showed a lot of improvement last season, but he can't be their only player at the position. Here are their other options:

Second year TE Justin Perillo is an interesting player but I wasn't counting on him for anything more than special teams next season. He could be one of the most closely watched players this preseason.

Rookie 6th round TE Kennard Backman. He's a basketball player/tight end, which is a popular skill set in the NFL at the moment, and he might be underrated because he's coming from the chaos that is/was the UAB football program. He's probably got good hands, but everything else about him is a mystery.

Two undrafted rookie tight ends. You never know, but they have to be candidates for the practice squad, at best.

So basically there's no experience other than Richard Rodgers. Throwing Perillo and/or Backman into a significant role with the offense next season might be possible, and it worked OK with Richard Rodgers last season. The Packers might become very interested in tight ends on other teams that will be released during the preseason.

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