Packers Sign Former 49ers Defensive Lineman: Report

Spencer Waege

X The Packers are signing former 49ers DL Spencer Waege

The Green Bay Packers have swooped in for a waiver claim, signing defensive lineman Spencer Waege ahead of training camp.

ESPN’s Field Yates shared the move via X on Thursday, May 9. In order to claim Waege, the Packers also released defensive tackle Rodney Mathews. The Packers announced Mathews’ release via their team website, but made no mention of the waiver claim for Waege.

Waege was on waivers after being released by the San Francisco 49ers. Now, Waege will quickly get another opportunity to prove himself at Packers training camp. If he can do enough, he may be able to sneak onto the 53-man roster or practice squad.

Who Is Spencer Waege?

After growing up on a farm in South Dakota, it seems fitting that Waege is heading to Green Bay.

A virtually unknown player in high school, Waege only had a few college offers in 2017. One of those schools was FCS powerhouse North Dakota State, however, giving him an opportunity to play on a national stage.

Waege had an almost immediate impact for the Bison. After making the FCS Freshman All-American team in 2019, he earned two more All-American honors before going pro. He was a finalist for the FCS Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2022 after racking up 17.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks on the year.

After dominating at the FCS level, Waege got an opportunity with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent last season. While he didn’t make the final roster, he was eventually able to land on the team’s practice squad.

At the very least, Waege brings a good athletic profile to Green Bay. He is listed a tick under 6’5″ and 295 pounds while boasting a Relative Athletic Score of 9.58 out of 10. That score is boosted thanks to a 40-yard dash time of 4.91 seconds and a three-cone time of 7.19 seconds.

It’s not a surprise that Packers GM Brian Gutekunst showed interest in Waege with that kind of athletic profile.

The Packers Have Defensive Line Depth

Waege will be an interesting story heading into training camp. However, the Packers already have quite a bit of depth on the defensive line.

Kenny Clark remains one of Green Bay’s biggest stars. At 28 years old, he’s already a three-time Pro Bowler with 34 career sacks. He’ll likely start alongside former first-round pick Devonte Wyatt, who finally started to flash as a pass rusher in 2023.

Behind those two are a handful of intriguing options. T.J. Slaton has been a run-stuffing nose tackle, but may not fit as well in Jeff Hafley’s new defensive scheme.

Karl Brooks is a much more interesting name to keep an eye on. The 2023 rookie was an edge rusher at Bowling Green, but flashed on the inside last season. He finished the year with four sacks and a forced fumble in limited playing time.

Behind those four, there may be an open competition to keep another defensive tackle on the 53-man roster. Former seventh-round pick Jonathan Ford could steal that spot, but hasn’t done much in two seasons with the Packers.

If Green Bay wants to keep a fifth defensive tackle, then Waege may have a very real chance at shining in training camp.

Read More