Inside linebacker has been one of the shakiest positions all preseason for the Green Bay Packers after injuries to Oren Burks and Curtis Bolton left them with a thin and relatively green group.
The Packers, though, gave that group a little help Monday when they traded for New York Giants inside linebacker B.J. Goodson, who started 13 games last season for the Giants and was initially planned to be waived from their 53-man roster, according to multiple reports.
Rather than leave it to chance with other teams interested, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst choose to make a deal for Goodson after he made 61 tackles, four for a loss, in 15 games of action during the 2018 season.
Meanwhile, the Giants replaced him with former Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers linebacker David Mayo, scooping him off the waivers.
Goodson was the Giants’ fourth-round draft pick during the 2016 NFL Draft, coming off of a standout career over four years at Clemson — during which the Tigers went 46-8, reaching the College Football Playoff National Championship game in Goodson’s senior year. He finished with 108 tackles and 5.5 sacks that season.
It was not immediately made clear what the Packers were giving up in the trade, but The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman reported the team was waiving James Crawford to make room for Goodson. Crawford, a University of Illinois graduate, proved to be a special teams asset in 2018, but he had yet to develop as a reliable man on the inside.
With Crawford now gone, the inside linebacker group features unquestioned starter and defensive shot-caller Blake Martinez and budding rookie Ty Summers, who starts in the absence of Oren Burks while he recovers from a chest injury. Burks will be back this season, fortunately for the Packers, after it was originally believed to he suffered a torn pectoral muscle.