Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Minor Packer Transactions: Release Josh Boyd and Jeremy Vujnovich

This is a busy time of year for the Green Bay Packers as they sign their draft picks and sign/release undrafted players. The undrafted guys are unlikely to see any playing time, even in a preseason game, but a couple notable players were released to make room for them:
DT Josh Boyd. I was expecting him to be healthy for training camp and compete for a job against the new draftees (Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry) though I didn't expect him to actually make the team in 2016. The combination of his mediocre play over the last three seasons, combined with his recovery from a broken ankle and ligament damage, made it unlikely he'd find a spot on the roster. Though his release is coming right after the draft, my guess is that his release has to do with his rehab. That was a major ankle injury he suffered, and it's unlikely he'd be available to participate in the mini-camps or even during training camp. Boyd isn't a player that the Packers can wait on. They need bodies to practice during these upcoming camps, and they need to figure out their 2016 roster. I wouldn't be surprised if they keep an eye on Boyd while he rehabs, and maybe give him a call mid-season if they need another lineman and he's healthy.

OL Jeremy Vujnovich. He's not as well known as Boyd but he wasn't the worst backup offensive lineman last preseason. Unfortunately he looked undersized while they tried him at guard and tackle. He didn't look good at tackle. His release seems to be directly related to them drafting two offensive tackles. Right now, the Packers probably have too many lineman.

Among the undrafted free agents, a few players stood out:

OL Josh James. He's 6-6, 315 lbs and one of the top non-Division I prospects. The Packers now have a lot of lineman but he might find a role this season on the practice squad.

P Peter Mortell. The "Holder of the Year" award gimmick was fun, but it's great to see some competition for P Tim Masthay. He needs it after a poor 2015 season.

S Kentrell Brice. The Packers always have one of two of these types of players on the roster to play on special teams with a head of steam. With S Sean Richardson's career over due to injury, there is a spot for someone who can challenge S Chris Banjo.

OLB Beniquez Brown. He's not an outstanding athlete but he was very productive in the SEC last season. He could earn a role based on his experience and hustle.

DE/OLB Reggie Gilbert. The Packers always seem to have a Frank Zombo/Andy Mulumba/Jayrone Elliott type guy emerge as a tweener DE/OLB during the preseason. Gilbert could be that guy in 2016.

TE David Grinnage. They didn't draft a TE but they did sign a guy who looks the part (6-5, 248 lbs.). Unfortunately he isn't an exceptional athlete and wasn't very productive last season.

CB Josh Hawkins. With Casey Hayward in San Diego and Demetri Goodson starting the season on suspension, plus they didn't draft a defensive back, there could be a spot on the practice squad or even the roster to start the season for an unknown CB, and he had a lot of success at East Carolina over the past three years.

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