Packers Part Ways With Disappointing Wide Receiver

Getty The Green Bay Packers have finally parted ways with second-year wide receiver Amari Rodgers.

The Green Bay Packers have dealt with a ton of special teams miscues over the last couple of seasons, but general manager Brian Gutekunst finally decided to part ways with one of the team’s biggest culprits in that phase of the game.

After yet another fumble in the Week 10 win over the Dallas Cowboys, the Packers announced on Tuesday, November 15th that they had released second-year wide receiver Amari Rodgers. The team made the announcement via Twitter, along with other social media platforms.

In a surprise move, the Packers also parted ways with second-year running back Kylin Hill, who had just been activated after dealing with a torn ACL from the 2021 season he suffered against the Arizona Cardinals.

Packers fans had been expressing their frustration with Rodgers, who had his seventh career fumble in less than two seasons. At some point, the Packers finally decided that it was no longer worth keeping the second-year receiver on the roster, despite being such an early pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

A Disappointing NFL Career for Amari Rodgers

It’s safe to say that Amari Rodgers hasn’t had the NFL career that he was hoping for. However, expectations were high for the 23-year-old after such an accomplished college career for the Clemson Tigers.

Rodgers was a 4-star prospect coming out of high school in Knoxville, Tennessee. As one of the top wide receivers in the 2017 recruiting class, he drew interest from FBS programs including USC and Alabama, but ultimately decided to move out east to play for Dabo Swinney at Clemson.

It was a memorable career for Rodgers at Clemson. Along with winning a national championship in 2018, Rodgers was named a first-team All-ACC selection as a senior after catching 77 passes for 1,020 yards and seven touchdowns. That impressive college career helped Rodgers get picked up by the Packers in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Unfortunately, Rodgers’ career has gone about as poorly as possible. In 26 games played for the Packers, Rodgers has just eight career receptions for 95 yards and zero touchdowns. His play as a punt returner has been even worse, consistently making mental mistakes and racking up seven total fumbles, including a couple of momentum-shifting ones this season.

The Packers stayed loyal to their second-year wide receiver for as long as possible, but the poor performances and the pressure from fans finally forced the team’s hand.

Who Will Replace Amari Rodgers Returning Punts?

Without Rodgers, the Packers now have the tough task of figuring out who is qualified enough to return punts for the rest of the season.

Keisean Nixon took over returning duties against the Cowboys, returning two punts for 19 yards with one of his returns going for 13. For perspective, the longest return of Rodgers’ career was just 23 yards. However, Nixon made an awkward catch on his first return and showed concerning ball security, meaning that it’s not a guarantee he’ll keep the job in Week 11.

Rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs both had experience returning punts in college, but with Doubs out and Watson dealing with injuries throughout the year, head coach Matt LaFleur will likely want to limit their roles to just offensive duties.

Speedy veteran Corey Ballentine has primarily been a kickoff return specialist during his career, but if the Packers and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia get desperate, he could be another potential solution.

Regardless of who ends up taking the job, as long as they don’t fumble as much as Rodgers did, then Packers fans will be content.

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