But with a roster full to the brim in depth, several players that are currently on the roster won’t be making it back for 2011. Here a list of the players who may not be back on the Packers 53-man roster next season.
Also, to keep this post away from free agency, players not currently under contract were excluded from this list.
LB Nick Barnett
His situation remains one of the trickier to assess. Are the Packers going to float his name in trade discussions? And would any team bite at a price that makes sense?
Either way, his $6 million contract and recent demotion makes him an expensive backup. The Packers have a tough decision to make regarding Barnett’s future in Green Bay if they don’t trade him. A straight up release could be in the cards.
T Mark Tauscher
With the Packers taking Derek Sherrod in the first round, Tauscher becomes even more expendable. And even without a high draft pick on the roster, there was a chance the Packers weren’t going to bring him back.
He’s almost 34 years old, hasn’t been healthy in three years and is owed over $4 million next season. The only chance he has of returning is if he takes a substantial pay cut.
RB Dimitri Nance
Nance’s future might be solely tied into the free agent dealings with Brandon Jackson. If Jackson returns, there’d likely be little-to-no chance the Packers could afford using another roster spot on a running back.
But if Jackson isn’t retained, the Packers might be able to squeeze four running backs—Ryan Grant, James Starks, Alex Green and Nance—onto the roster. He’ll have to sit and wait. He could ultimately be a candidate for the practice squad, however.
TE Tom Crabtree
It pains me to say it, as he has quickly become a fan favorite, but Crabtree will have to really fight for his spot during training camp. Of course, that is nothing new to him. But the Packers did take two tight ends in the draft, and it’s possible that both D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor could bring more to the football table than Crabtree.