With the NFL draft complete and the new NFL season vast approaching, the Green Bay Packers have made changes to their roster over recent days. The most impactful changes come in the shape of second round pick Jason Spriggs and the surprise release of veteran defensive tackle Josh Boyd.
The Packers selected defensive tackle Kenny Clark in the first round of this year’s draft. Both Clark and third round pick Kyler Fackrell remain unsigned from their seven player draft class.
Recently, Packers General Manager Ted Thompson announced the signings of both Spriggs and tight end Casey Pierce along with several other rookie free agents. Pierce spent last season with the Detroit Lions having been undrafted from Kent State, and will be looking to make an immediate impression following success in his team’s two practice sessions at the back end of last week. However, as a result of such incoming players, the Packers have had to five players from their roster of last season.
It’s the release of Boyd that has caused the most surprise among Packers supporters, with the twenty-six-year-old displaying last season that when fit, he can provide some quality depth along the defensive line. Alongside Boyd in leaving the Lambeau Field were tackle Jeremy Vujnovich, defensive tackle William Campbell, tight end David Grinnage and wide receiver Dennis Parks. Head Coach Mike McCarthy will certainly be hoping that such changes can help his team improve on performances this time around.
One man who will certainly have to step up to the plate this year is Aaron Ripkowski. Having been drafted from Oklahoma last year, the fullback was expecting to compete with John Kuhn, but the future of the veteran Kuhn remains in doubt. The thirty-four-year-old has been with the Packers since 2008, however the three-time Pro Bowl choice remains unsigned. Kuhn may have interest in his services from some other teams, with the Packers seemingly uncertain as to whether to sign him up for another year. Despite such questions remaining up in the air, the Packers are 12/1 odds with bookmakers Betway to reach the Superbowl next year.
Elsewhere, with Clay Matthews having switched to the inside linebacker position this past season, the Packers would like to see him to return to his more natural position on the outside. As a result, the coaching staff will be looking to solidify the inside linebacker position as they look to be a major force in the NFL this year. Green Bay are the 6/1 third favorites with Betway for the NFC title behind the Seattle Seahawks and the Carolina Panthers.