Packers Sign Talented Pass Rusher With Concerning Background


The Green Bay Packers took a risk with one of its undrafted free agents, an edge rusher who was kicked off two different college teams.

The Packers signed Brenton Cox Jr., according to Florida Gators Football, the official Twitter account of the University of Florida’s football program.

Cox, who was a former five-star recruit and a 247Sports top 60 player, played for one season as a true freshman at Georgia before being dismissed from the team for an arrest on charges of marijuana possession as well as for being a “bad apple with the locker room,” according to a Sports Illustrated story from August 2019.

After sitting out the 2019 season due to NCAA transfer rules, Cox got a second chance at Florida. After two and a half seasons with the Gators was dismissed from the team in October 2022, for undisclosed reasons, head coach Billy Napier told reporters.

Brenton Cox Jr.: ‘I’m Ready to Move On’

Before the draft, Cox addressed his leaving two major college football programs.

“I mean, it’s not my business to figure out why another man did something else,” he told reporters on March 1, referring to Napier’s decision to cut him from the team. “I just tell [teams] I’m a hard-nosed guy and I’m ready to move on from it.”

During his time as a three-year starter at Florida, he was named second-team All-SEC in 2020 and was a two-time Academic Honor Roll recipient. He racked up 118 total tackles, 13.5 sacks, 32.5 tackles for loss and 7 pass breakups.

Now, Cox will have an opportunity to keep his football career alive. “He knows how he wants to try and put the situation behind him,” wrote in March.

“You just keep working and you get ready for the next task at hand,” Cox said in March at the NFL combine.

Highlights From Green Bay’s Draft Class

With so many picks in this year’s draft, the Packers have plenty of intriguing rookies to keep an eye on.

General manager Brian Gutekunst and the Packers’ front office had a clear strategy on addressing the defensive front, going after versatile pass rushers capable of also kicking inside on the defensive line. That included the team’s first-round pick in Lukas Van Ness along with a pair of Day 3 prospects in Colby Wooden and Karl Brooks.

Besides an athletic pass rusher in the first round in Van Ness, the Packers made a serious effort to add talent at tight end, bringing in both Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft on Day 2 of the three-day event. The Packers brought in top TE prospects like Darnell Washington in for top-30 visits, but the team went in a different direction with two tight ends that can bring different skill sets to Green Bay’s offense.

At wide receivers, the Packers triple-dipped at the position with Jayden Reed, Dontayvion Wicks, and Grant DuBose. All three prospects have different skill sets at wide receiver and will be looking to compete for playing time as rookies against the likes of Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure.

With so many pass catchers coming in, Jordan Love will have an opportunity to grow with his weapons in his first year as a full-time starter.

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