Monday, May 04, 2009

For the Pack, four come in and one goes out

Following the rookie orientation weekend, which draftees, free agents, practice squad and tryout players attended, the Packers announced the signing of four players: cornerback Trevor Ford, punter Adam Graessle, nose tackle/defensive end Dean Muhtadi and tackle Dane Randolph. All these players were in on a tryout basis this past weekend.

According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, perhaps the most intriguing of the signings is that of the punter Graessle. That puts three punters on the Packers roster: Graessle, Jeremy Kapinos and Durant Brooks. You may recall that the punting situation was basically, hmm, not good last season. And this is why some, including yours truly, thought the Packers might actually pop a draft pick on a punter. But perhaps there is still such a bad taste in the collective mouth after Mike Sherman's drafting B. J. Sander in 2004 (shudder) that no one can yet contemplate actually drafting another punter. So, they go the free agent and tryout route.

In this case, it seems Kapinos and Brooks will have a good challenge on their hands from Graessle. If you want to read why, check out the article here.

This same article also details a surprise move that was made in the release of veteran LB and special teams standout Jason Hunter, who appeared in 42 games with the Pack since 2006. The Packers were looking to upgrade the linebacking corps and apparently felt that their new acquisitions trumped Hunter, even though the team had given him the $1.01 million restricted free-agent tender, which usually means you'll be sticking around. Nope.

One of the names which had been mentioned extensively over the weekend as a player who was really popping out was RB Tyrell Sutton. While not offered a contract, it might be that the Packers still keep an eye on him for the future. He intrigued coaches and reporters alike, according to both print and radio reports of the weekend. He was described as a short back (5'8") who didn't play small. He displayed quickness and good hands and was talked about as a third-down/situational type back. Will be interesting to see where he lands.