Green Bay Packers: Nick Barnett Released After 8 Quality Years

Matt SteinCorrespondent IIJuly 26, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Linebacker Nick Barnett #56 of the Green Bay Packers walks with teammates out to the field prior to the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Packers  51-45 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After eight years of service, Ted Thompson and the Green Bay Packers have released Nick Barnett.

He tweeted about it this morning and here is the actual report

Since being drafted out of Oregon State back in 2003, Barnett has spent the majority of his career as the on-field leader of the Packers defense. Many people felt Barnett never fully reached his full potential, but there is no doubting the impact he had in Green Bay.

He was an extremely likeable player who gave everything he had out on the football field. His best season came during the 2007 campaign when he was voted to the All-Pro team after recording 131 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two interceptions.

Even though injuries have derailed his career (he missed nearly all of 2008 and 2010), there will be plenty of interest from teams looking for a player with Barnett's talent. If he can prove that he is completely healthy, he might even be the steal of free agency.

The most likely suitor right now for Barnett appears to be the San Diego Chargers. They are desperate for a quality middle linebacker and Barnett played his best while playing in a 4-3 scheme similar to what San Diego runs. However, a team from the NFC, such as Atlanta, Detroit or Seattle could also make an offer to Barnett.

While is appears that both Green Bay and Barnett have split with good terms between them, Green Bay is most likely hoping that he ends up in the AFC where he won't be able to do as much damage to the Packers.

I'm sure I speak for every Packers fan when I say that it has been a great eight years with Barnett and we hope him only the best. All we ask is that you don't go and play for the Minnesota Vikings like some other player that won't be named.