Winners and Losers of Green Bay Packers Offseason So Far
Even though the Green Bay Packers are in the early stages of the offseason, there are still plenty of winners and losers.
Now, there is still plenty of time for a player's status on the team to change as we get into minicamp and training camp. However, those who have been on point already in the offseason can certainly ride that straight into the preseason and regular season.
From strong performances in OTAs to injuries and failed contracts, there are a number of reasons why a player could be a winner or a loser. There have definitely been more winners so far simply because coaches are consistently gushing about how great a player looks in shorts without pads on.
Let's take a look at the biggest winners and losers from the Packers offseason so far.
Winner: Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback
Just take a look at that woman above. That's who quarterback Aaron Rodgers is dating—actress Olivia Munn.
Yeah, there's no doubt that makes him a winner this offseason.
Loser: Andrew Quarless, Tight End
With tight end Jermichael Finley off the roster (more on him later), Andrew Quarless had an opportunity to lock up the starting job early in the offseason. Unfortunately, he hasn't been on the field to do just that.
Quarless has missed all of OTAs, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN. His injury isn't known since head coach Mike McCarthy doesn't discuss injuries during OTAs, but the fact that he missed every practice is notable.
With the Packers potentially having some extremely talented players at tight end, Quarless simply can't afford to lose any more ground. He needs to get back on the field to fight off rookies Richard Rodgers and Colt Lyerla.
Should Quarless continue to miss time this offseason, he could find himself sitting on the bench more often than playing once the regular season rolls around.
Winner: Chris Harper, Wide Receiver
Chris Harper is probably the last receiver anyone would have thought could turn out to be a winner in the offseason. The Packers boast one of the deepest receiving corps in the league, and they just brought in three talented draft picks to add to their impressive group.
However, Harper is doing everything he can to climb the depth chart and make a name for himself. In fact, his goal, according to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, is to never come off the field. Harper went on to say:
I don't want to come off the field — that's my goal. So when people ask me about the numbers thing, I'm not worried about the numbers or who they drafted because I'm trying to start. So for me to worry about the numbers game would be the totally opposite of what I'm trying to do.
Harper's done a good job making an impact during OTAs. He's had a handful of big catches while running precise routes.
Now, it's still very early in the offseason, but if Harper continues his strong play, he could certainly push Jarrett Boykin and Davante Adams for a starting job.
Loser: Jermichael Finley, Tight End
Jermichael Finley isn't technically a member of the Packers, but he's still family in Green Bay, so it's fair to get him on our list. Unfortunately, he's making the list as a loser this offseason.
Despite getting clearance from his personal doctor that he's at full strength, Finley has yet to sign with a team. He's most recently met with the New England Patriots, a team that needs some depth at tight end, but walked away without a contract.
So, even though Finley's doctor is giving him clearance, it appears that NFL teams aren't quite there yet. It's certainly possible that Finley could be signed late in the offseason after a team suffers some injuries. However, it's also possible that the longer he remains a free agent, the more forgotten he will become to the league.
It would have been nice for Finley to bounce back quickly from such a horrific neck injury, but that just doesn't seem to be the case. Don't be surprised if Finley's career is over.
Winner: Richard Rodgers, Tight End
While we are on the topic of tight ends, let's talk about third-round pick Richard Rodgers.
Many expected it to take some time for Rodgers to acclimate to the NFL game. However, it looks like it'll be sooner rather than later that Rodgers makes an impact in Green Bay.
He's been extremely impressive throughout OTAs. Rodgers earned the praise of head coach Mike McCarthy after making some big catches, according to Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
With Finley off the team and Quarless dealing with injuries, the door is really wide open for Rodgers to take a starting job. If he can keep his strong play going throughout the remainder of the offseason, there's no reason we couldn't see him as the No. 1 tight end on the depth chart once Week 1 rolls around.
Loser: Johnathan Franklin, Running Back
There's been a handful of Packers who have been injured throughout OTAs. However, none is feeling the pressure as much as running back Johnathan Franklin.
Franklin remains sidelined from the neck injury he suffered last year, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN. For starters, it's a little worrisome that this injury is keeping Franklin off the field for so much time.
Another reason Franklin is a "loser" this offseason is because of the depth at the running back position for the Packers. Every day that Franklin misses puts him behind guys like DuJuan Harris and rookie Rajion Neal.
Simply put, Franklin needs to be healthy if he wants to make this team after a disappointing rookie season.
Winner: J.C. Tretter, Center
J.C. Tretter would have fallen into the loser category last year due to the fact that he suffered a broken leg and missed all of the season. However, this year Tretter is a winner because of how coaches view him, specifically McCarthy.
Tretter is expected to make a big jump by McCarthy, according to Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He's being viewed as a second-year player despite not playing a single snap last year.
He's also atop the depth chart at the center position, and the job is basically his to lose. He'll certainly have some stiff competition from the likes of rookie Corey Linsley, who is more of a natural center than Tretter.
However, as long as Tretter can stay healthy and continue to impress, he should be feeding the ball to Rodgers once the regular season starts.
Winner: Sean Richardson, Safety
If there's one position on the Packers roster that needs some players to step up, it's the safety position. Sure, the Packers have moved Micah Hyde there and drafted Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, but an influx of talent still needs to be seen.
That's why it was so good to see Sean Richardson making some plays during OTAs. Richardson intercepted Rodgers on a deep pass to Boykin, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.
That it happened during a no-pads practice takes a little away from the accomplishment, but it's still good to see Richardson out there making plays. With Richardson being more of a natural strong safety, he has a chance to push Morgan Burnett for some playing time if he keeps making big plays like he did during OTAs.
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