Packers Release Core Special Teams LB From Roster: Report

Ramsey Packers Released

Getty Randy Ramsey #56 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates with teammates after making a tackle on a kickoff return during the first half against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 13, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan.

The Green Bay Packers will have a somewhat surprising name among their first round of roster cuts when the deadline approaches at 4 p.m. ET on August 16.

According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Packers are releasing outside linebacker and special teams weapon Randy Ramsey from their training-camp roster. The 26-year-old played well on his 204 special teams snaps for the team during the 2020 season, but he missed all of last year with a preseason ankle injury and has continued to miss time throughout this year’s training camp.

The Packers carried Ramsey on their injured reserve list for the entire 2021 season because they believe he could become a contributor again for their special teams unit upon his return, but they also hired a new special teams coordinator in Rich Bisaccia and have mostly deferred to him for personnel decisions in the third phase. It is also possible the Packers feel better about some of the other edge rushers they have in place behind their starters, such as Jonathan Gravin, Tipa Galeai and Kingsley Enagbare.

The Packers also released rookie offensive lineman Cole Schneider and cornerback Donte Vaughn and claimed tight end Nate Becker off the waivers from the Carolina Panthers on Monday, the latter of which has not yet been announced by the team. Once the moves with both Becker and Ramsey are official, the Packers will be down to 88 players on their roster and will need to reduce to 85 before 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

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Packers Have Better Options Than Ramsey

The biggest issue with Ramsey was clearly his availability, but it didn’t help his roster standing that Garvin, Galeai and Enagbare all generally performed well in the preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers. Each of them generated at least one pressure despite both Garvin and Galeai only playing a handful of pass-rushing snaps, and Enagbare even managed to record his first NFL sack along with two quarterback hits.

It doesn’t rise to the levels of Rashan Gary or Preston Smith, but it’s a good start for guys who will do most of their damage on Bisaccia’s special teams unit.

As the preseason goes on, it will be interesting to see how the competition between Garvin, Galeai and Enagbare continues to play out. The Packers used a fifth-round pick on Enagbare and will almost certainly count him as one of their depth pieces, but it could get close between Garvin and Galeai if the latter stays healthy. There is most likely only going to be room for one of them in the rotation.

Could Packers Still Add Veteran EDGE?

One other thing that could complicate the roster competition is the possibility of the Packers adding a veteran edge rusher into the rotation for the sake of depth. They ran three strong with Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith and Rashan Gary over the past three seasons, and when Z was unavailable in 2021, they brought in veteran Whitney Mercilus to help compensate for the missing depth. It would make sense if they looked to do it again in 2022 given their Super Bowl aspirations and otherwise rock-solid defense.

The best of the bunch currently available in the free agency pool consists of Trey Flowers (likely too pricey), Jason Pierre-Paul and Takkarist McKinley, but the more plausible approach for the Packers could be waiting until roster cuts are made before the start of the season and trying to scoop a valuable piece out of the discarded pile. If necessary, the Packers do have a bit of cap space ($16.3 million) to play with.

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