Green Bay Packers Who Will Be on the Roster Bubble in 2014
There are a number of players for the Green Bay Packers who will find themselves on the roster bubble. Whether it's from an injured 2013 season or a backup player proving to be more valuable, the following players could find themselves looking for a new team rather soon.
For purposes of this exercise, we will be including some restricted free agents. We'll also be including one or two of the more relevant unrestricted free agents since the Packers have the option to bring both UFAs and RFAs back for 2014.
Here's a look at a handful of Packers who will be on the roster bubble in 2014.
DuJuan Harris, Running Back
The problem for running back DuJuan Harris is that the backfield has become too crowded for him to return next year.
Between Eddie Lacy and James Starks, the Green Bay Packers have a fantastic one-two punch in their backfield. Throw in Johnathan Franklin, who showed promise when he was on the field, returning from injury and the Packers have three talented backs on the roster.
What really killed Harris this season was getting injured in in the preseason. He wasn't able to produce and had to sit back and watch guys like Lacy and Starks have extremely productive seasons.
With the Packers needing so much help at other positions, it might not make sense to keep so many running backs on their roster heading into the 2014 season.
Jermichael Finley, Tight End
It's really a shame what happened to Jermichael Finley this year because his start to the season was superb. Unfortunately, you simply can't overlook the injuries if you're the Green Bay Packers.
Finley first suffered a concussion before his season ended due to a scary neck injury. In fact, it's possible that Finley might not ever be able to return to NFL.
However, let's pretend that he will be returning. The Packers' decision to re-sign Finley, who is an unrestricted free agent, is extremely hard.
The biggest question is whether or not Finley will ever get back to being the player he was at the start of the 2013 season. Before the start of this season, many thought that Finley never lived up to the high expectations he had in Green Bay. He was close to getting there this year, but the Packers never got to see him sustain that for a whole season.
Whether or not to bring Finley back to the roster in 2014 will likely be the most difficult decision the Packers make this offseason.
Marshall Newhouse, Offensive Tackle
The 2013 season wasn't really a good one for Marshall Newhouse. It started with him losing the left tackle job in the offseason to Bryan Bulaga. Then he lost any type of starting position when he was replaced by rookie David Bakhtiari and Don Barclay.
When Newhouse did eventually get into the lineup, he was absolutely horrid. He gave up 14 quarterback hurries and three sacks despite only playing 261 snaps over the course of the season.
Newhouse is an unrestricted free agent this year, and the probability of the Green Bay Packers bringing him back in 2014 seems like a very slim one.
B.J. Raji, Defensive End
Did any player for the Green Bay Packers have a bigger dip in production and impact than B.J. Raji this year? Seriously, what happened to him?
Raji went from being a premier talent to having one of the worst seasons in the NFL at his position. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) graded Raji as the third-worst 3-4 defensive end in the league.
The biggest issue with the Packers and Raji is that Green Bay doesn't have the depth to currently replace him. Now, that could change through free agency or the draft, but that player currently isn't on the roster for the Packers.
That could ultimately cause them to panic and attempt to sign Raji quickly. However, that wouldn't be the correct course of action as Raji's spot on the roster should definitely be in trouble after his struggles in 2013.
Brad Jones, Inside Linebacker
The crazy thing about Brad Jones is that he looked like a future star in limited time during the 2012 season. Expectations were high for Jones heading into 2013, but he failed to ever live up to them.
The biggest issue with Jones this year was he simply couldn't seem to stay healthy. He missed a handful of games at the start of the season and was forced to leave games early due to injuries a number of times later in the year.
The other thing working against Jones is that Jamari Lattimore flashed potential at times when he was on the field. Sure, he wasn't perfect, but he played rather well for the fact that he was getting major minutes for the first time in his career.
Jones still has a few years left on his contract, but his inability to make a consistent impact could force the Packers to look elsewhere at inside linebacker come 2014.
Nick Perry, Outside Linebacker
It's hard to give up on a player after only two years, but Nick Perry has failed to impress at all at outside linebacker so far.
After struggling with injuries and a position change as a rookie, Perry had difficulties with the same things this year. The biggest area of concern for the second-year linebacker was his ineffectiveness when rushing the quarterback.
This is exactly what the Green Bay Packers drafted Perry for, but he hasn't proved that he can pass rush on a consistent basis. Combine his struggles with the impressive late-season play from Mike Neal and Andy Mulumba and the Packers may feel ready to move on from the former USC player.
M.D. Jennings, Safety
It might be a stretch to say that M.D. Jennings is on the roster bubble due to his extremely poor play over the course of the season. However, defensive coordinator Dom Capers continued to start Jennings as the season went on, even with Sean Richardson healthy.
There wasn't a single aspect of the game that Jennings excelled in this past season. In fact, it wouldn't be an exaggeration at all to say that Jennings actually struggled in all areas of the defense.
He was terrible in coverage, couldn't stop the run and seemed to miss a number of tackles in every single game. What this all combines to is a player who just doesn't deserve a roster spot.
Don't be surprised if Jennings is the first player on the roster bubble to be looking for a new job.
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