Friday, September 2, 2011

Tough Cuts to 53-Man Roster

Ted Thompson will pare the 2011 Packers down to 53 players tomorrow. Given the Packers' incredible depth, there will be some very tough decisions -- not to mention plenty of NFL teams anxious to pick up our cast-offs. Here are the key decisions as I see them.

1) Keep 3 QBs -- last year the Packers got by with just 2 QBs on the active roster, but don't think they can do that this year. Graham Harrell is too good to sit on the practice squad without another team scooping him up. Plus, with Flynn becoming a free agent next year, the Packers can't risk Harrell slipping away. One roster spot occupied.

Brett Swain and Russell Brand.  The same guy???
2) Keep 5 or 6 WRs -- this is a really tough call. The top 5, including Cobb, are a lock (those agitating for a Driver cut are crazy in my opinion). But I would not be surprised to see one of the young studs, like Tori Gurley or Chastin West stay on as a 6th WR -- particularly justifiable since Cobb is their likely returner.  I'd keep West.  His game against Arizona was impressive, with five receptions for 134 yards including that 97-yard touchdown.  He caught every pass thrown his way and showed breakaway speed on the score.  Made me sad to lose Brett Swain, by the way -- he always kinda reminded me of Russell Brand. Sweet 'do.  And I always kept expecting him to say something funny in a British accent.

3) Keep 4 or 5 TEs -- another very tough call. Tom Crabtree and Ryan Taylor would seem to be the candidates for cuts, but keeping TEs is easy to justify since they often contribute on special teams and could fill in at FB if needed. Personally, I'd probably like to see them go to 4 here, though I don't know who I'd cut either. Probably Taylor -- Crabtree's brawler mentality is just too sweet.

4) Keep 8 or 9 LBs -- I think the TE and LB conversations will be intertwined, since the second string guys at both positions make good special teamers. Vic So'oto appears to be the man. He is this year's Sam Shields -- an undrafted free agent rookie who could immediately become a high impact player. Don't know how Thompson finds these guys but God bless him. That leaves Frank Zombo and Robert Francois most likely on the bubble. Zombo would be a lock if it weren't for the broken shoulder blade. Very, very tough decision but I would probably let Francois go -- just doesn't seem as big impact as the other guys.

The rest of the positions, particularly on defense, seem pretty straight forward as to who will still be wearing a Packer uniform come Sunday.  I'm sure it will be a long discussion, but it will be interesting to see who stays on for the 2011 campaign.


  1. Already starting the cuts. As of 10:30 AM OG Caleb Schlauderaff, CB Brandian Ross, WR Diondre Borel, and OG Sampson Genus are gone. No real surprises yet.

  2. Surprise cut of the day is Graham Harrell. Really thought they'd keep him. Also looks like they are going with just 5 WRs. West and Gurley are both gone already.