Antonio Morrison Jersey

The Green Bay Packers have released LB Antonio Morrison. General Manager Brian Gutekunst announced the transaction Friday.

Morrison, who was acquired by the Packers in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts in August 2018, played in all 16 games with eight starts last season and posted 42 tackles (28 solo), four tackles for a loss, a sack, two QB pressures and a QB hit while adding four tackles on special teams. He was originally selected by the Colts in the fourth round (No. 125 overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft out of the University of Florida. In two seasons with Indianapolis, Morrison played in 31 games with 19 starts and registered 154 tackles (91 solo), six tackles for a loss and a pass defensed.

Tramon Williams Jersey

Not many 36-year-olds can play cornerback in the NFL. Even fewer can survive inside in the slot.

Tramon Williams is excelling for the Green Bay Packers as the team’s primary slot cornerback to start the 2019 season.

Through five games, Williams has allowed only seven total receptions on 14 targets, including just four catches from the slot.

Pro Football Focus recently ranked the top 25 cornerbacks in the NFL after five weeks. Williams came in at No. 11, just one spot below Jaire Alexander. So far, no cornerback has been more stingy allowing catches in the slot than Williams, who is averaging 28.5 coverage snaps per reception allowed from the slot, per PFF.

On Sunday in Dallas, Williams gave up a 40-yard touchdown pass to emerging second-year receiver Michael Gallup, who beat strong man-to-man coverage and made a terrific play with the ball in the air. Williams was playing on the outside after Kevin King exited the game.

Prior to the touchdown, the six completions allowed by Williams in 2019 gained only 39 yards.

Williams’ ability in the slot showed up earlier in the contest Sunday. Covering former Packers receiver Randall Cobb in the second half, Williams tracked the veteran’s out-breaking route and disrupted Dak Prescott’s throw at the catch point, causing an incompletion. Cobb caught three passes, but only one came with Williams in coverage.

The 36-year-old has been solid in the slot all season, using his combination of veteran instincts and still-intact athleticism to stifle receivers in the middle of the field.

Andy Herman, who grades every player on every play for Packer Report, has Williams ranked as the defense’s fifth highest-graded player and second highest-graded cornerback (trailing only Alexander) through five games. He’s earned positive grades in four of five games. His best grade of the season came Sunday in Dallas.

Williams has also blitzed six times in 2019, producing two pressures – including a quarterback hit. And he’s missed only one tackle attempt despite playing near the line of scrimmage.

The Packers are getting outstanding efforts from Alexander and Kevin King on the perimeter to start 2019. Just don’t forget about the savvy veteran quietly holding down the slot.

Jimmy Graham Jersey

Jimmy Graham #80 of the Green Bay Packers participates in warmups prior to a game against the Denver Broncos at Lambeau Field on September 22, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Jimmy Graham looked ready to prove to the NFL he wasn’t too old to compete at age 32 when he caught the first touchdown of the 2019 season for the Green Bay Packers in their opening 13-3 win over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

Then, for the first time in his 10-year career, the veteran tight end played made no catches in two straight games in which he was targetted in the passing game, simultaneously battling a groin issue in the process on top of a preseason finger injury.

Graham also picked up a quad injury in Week 3’s victory over the Denver Broncos, listed as a non-participant on Monday’s injury report for this week’s matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles in prime-time for Thursday night Football. He was elevated to a limited participant for Tuesday’s practice, but two injuries on an older player raise a fair number of red flags after two straight goose eggs.

Graham was once a fantasy football force of nature at the tight end spot, but now? Owners would be wise to evaluate how much they want him on their rosters.

Jimmy Graham Fantasy Outlook: Matchup vs. Philadelphia Eagles

After Aaron Rodgers admitted both Graham and Davante Adams deserved more targets in Sunday’s win over the Broncos, first-year coach Matt LaFleur seemed to accept responsibility for the limited opportunities. Graham was targetted just once for a second straight week while Adams, the Packers’ star receiver, caught all four of the ball thrown to him.

“You always want to get your playmakers the ball, and Davante is a premier playmaker in the league,” LaFleur said Monday evening, via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “So is Jimmy.”

Deserving more looks and getting them, though, are two entirely different things. The Packers tight end appeared with two injuries on the injury report in a short recovery week, while veteran Marcedes Lewis and Robert Tonyan — who last season hauled in a 54-yard touchdown for his first NFL catch — have been effective in their limited use behind him.

The good news is all three of them have multiple catches through the first three games, showing the Packers’ willingness to incorporate positions outside of wide receiver into their passing game. Unfortunately, near-equal production in their limited opportunities makes each one of them a poor option for a TE1 spot in any league, PPR or otherwise.

Should You Start or Sit Jimmy Graham in Week 4?

Jimmy Graham is long departed from his glory days with the New Orleans Saints, where during the four seasons from 2011-14 he caught 355 passes for 4,396 yards and 46 touchdowns while seeing more than 135 targets on average each year. As much as he and the Packers would love for him to return to power, a comeback doesn’t seem to be in the cards anytime soon.

Thirty other tight ends have logged better fantasy numbers than Graham’s 4.0 points in PRR leagues through the first three weeks, according to FantasyPros. That includes both tight ends in Dallas, Baltimore and Indianapolis among others. Not to mention consecutive no-catch games is fast-acting poison to a successful fantasy football team.

Final verdict: Not only should Graham be kept on the bench this week, but dropping him for another available option might be worth your while if the TE1 spot is hurting you week to week. Just don’t make the mistake of going for another Packers tight end. It isn’t worth the heartbreak.

Muhammad Wilkerson Jersey

DRAFT ADVICE AND POSITION RANK

Muhammad Wilkerson is not projected to be worth a roster spot. His 11 projected fantasy points puts him at #190 behind Willie Henry and ahead of Michael Johnson. His projected per game average is 0.7 fantasy points. In 3 games last season he was the #216 ranked defensive lineman.

These projections power SportsLine’s Computer Picks and Fantasy Data. But for contest winning DFS optimal lineups by top experts like Mike McClure visit SportsLine’s new Daily Fantasy Hub.

WEEK 1 AND 2 FANTASY OUTLOOK

Muhammad Wilkerson is projected for 0.7 fantasy points in week 1 which only ranks him as the #184 projected defensive lineman and not a fantasy relevant player for the week. This is a typical week for him with a FP projection that is the same as his projected per game average over the rest of the season. He is ranked above Michael Johnson but behind Willie Henry. Week 2 will be slightly worse based on projected rank (#185). He is projected for 0.7 fantasy points.

FANTASY PROJECTIONS AND ACTUAL STATS

The tables below show projected stats (totals and averages) for the rest of the season and upcoming weeks. Below the projection are actual stats from last season.

Josh Jackson Jersey

Josh Jackson Jersey

Former Iowa football star Josh Jackson’s rookie season wasn’t quite as expected, there were some fantastic bright spots for him to build off in Green Bay.

Josh Jackson came to the Iowa football team as a part of the 2014 recruiting class. He redshirted his freshman year due to the talent the Hawks already had on the team, but Jackson knew he would have his chance.

Jackson saw his first action in 2015 and participated in all 14 games, but he recorded just eight tackles and a couple of pass break-ups.

In 2016, Jackson got a little more playing time as he played in 12 games and had 1 start at cornerback. He recorded 10 total tackles, a single tackle for loss and 4 pass break-ups. His best game in 2016 was in the Outback bowl where Jackson had a career-best three solo tackles and one tackle for loss.

2017 was Jacksons junior season where he started all 13 games for the Hawks, and it was by far a season to remember for any Iowa football fan or player. Jackson finished the season with 48 tackles and he added 8 interceptions and 2 pick-sixes, 18 pass break-ups, a forced fumble, and a blocked field goal.

Jacksons biggest highlights of his career at Iowa were his three interceptions against Ohio State where the Iowa football team went on to destroy the Buckeyes 55-24 in thrilling fashion. His second biggest highlight was when he recorded two pick-sixes in the same game, which was at Wisconsin, unfortunately, those were Iowas only points that game which resulted in a lopsided defeat.

As a result of his fantastic junior year, he collected numerous awards including being named unanimous First Team All-American, winning the Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year award, and winning the Jack Tatum Award. He was also named First Team All-Big Ten and was a finalist for the 2017 Jim Thorpe Award.

Following Jackson’s astonishing final year as an Iowa football player, he was selected by the Green Bay Packers with the 45th overall selection. His rookie season in Green Bay was up and down, to say the least.

He started 10 of 16 games and would finish the season with 49 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 10 pass breakups. He also scored a special teams touchdown when he recovered a blocked punt in the end zone in week two.

There were also some downs though. Jackson led the team in total penalties (8) and penalty yards (75). His technique struggled at times, and that played a huge role.

At Iowa, Jackson was known for his ball skills, but there were concerns about his hip fluidity and it showed. Jackson struggled against elite wide receivers and, too often, was beat on routes covering quick and shifty wide receivers. He also struggled to make tackles in the open field which makes him a liability in the run game.

The athleticism is there, but he has got a lot of work to do.

Green Bay coaches have considered moving him to free safety, but they wanted to give him a shot at cornerback and see if he could adjust.

This next season will be crucial for Jackson to prove he has refined his technique, improved his tackling, and is ready to compete with the big boys.

Dexter Williams Jersey

Dexter Williams is now officially a member of the Green Bay Packers. On Friday, it was confirmed by a source that Williams signed his rookie contract and he is the fourth member of the Packers draft class to sign. Williams was drafted by the Packers in the sixth round (No. 194 overall).

Williams had a productive 2018 season as he rushed for 955 yards and 12 touchdowns on 158 carries. Not bad for a player who only played in nine games with eight starts due to a suspension. In 2017, Williams played in 10 games and rushed for 360 yards and four touchdowns. He missed three games that season due to an ankle injury.

Here’s a look at what Tim Prister of 247Sports had to say about Williams:

“Williams is the first Notre Dame running back drafted since C.J. Prosise was a third-round selection by the New Orleans Saints in 2016. He’s just the third running back of the Brian Kelly era to be drafted. Theo Riddick, a sixth-rounder of the Detroit Lions in 2013, is the only other Irish running back selected during the Kelly regime.”

“Williams is just the third Notre Dame running back chosen in the seven-round NFL draft in the last 15 years. Green Bay selected Notre Dame wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown in the sixth round of last year’s draft. Offensive guard Brennan Curtin (2003) was the last Notre Dame player chosen by Green Bay before its selection of St. Brown in ’18.”

Once Williams was drafted by the Packers, he talked about the strong relationship he has with his mother.

“My mom’s reaction, it was really indescribable because it was something she’s always wanted to be able to see,” Williams said in a conference call. “She always prayed for it, she always asked God to let her see this moment. Just to be there, to be with her on this moment is so special. It was just tears of joy for her because she knew that all the hard work that me and her have put has finally paid off.”

Williams senior season at Norte Dame did not get off on a strong start as he was suspended for the first four games of the year. But that incident helped him to finish his college career strong.

“I love my teammates and my family,” Williams said after being selected by the Green Bay Packers in the sixth round on Saturday. “Just for me to let them and my mom down, it hurt me a lot. I just realized it was time to really figure out who Dexter Williams is and correct all my mistakes while I can and also make a difference and show people that I can change and do everything they ask of me. That was just a moment in my life where it was time to show maturity.”

Now that Williams is signed, he looks to be part of the running back rotation that includes Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. In 2018, Jones and Williams combined to rush for 1,192 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Jace Sternberger Jersey

For Jace Sternberger, his second chance came at Texas A&M after things didn’t work out at his first school, Kansas. Dexter Williams got a second chance at Notre Dame, the same school where he had started his collegiate career, but it came after some serious missteps.

So it’s fitting that the two come in together for their first shot in the NFL.

More important, however, is that for the Green Bay Packers, they’re the only two offensive skill position players they’ve added this offseason in either free agency or the draft.

They will be bound by what they do from here forward, not by their pasts. But it’s what happened heretofore that helped them reach this point.

Sternberger, the third-round pick who’s expected to bring a youthful dynamic to a veteran tight end group, washed out at Kansas after two years and then resurfaced at Texas A&M following a junior-college stop. He blossomed under coach Jimbo Fisher, with 48 catches, 832 yards and 10 touchdowns, and left school a year early.

Williams, a sixth-rounder, could give new coach Matt LaFleur another viable running back option to go along with third-year pros Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams.

“First starting with Jace, he’s got a pretty cool skill set in the fact he’s a tight end that can separate,” LaFleur said after the draft. “Any time you’ve got those types of guys, it becomes a little bit of a matchup nightmare for a defense. And then Dexter, got a lot of history with having coached at Notre Dame, and just his ability to be a one-cut runner – which is what we’re looking for. I think he was, quite frankly, I was a little surprised he was still there.”

Here’s a look at the two skill position players – and their backstories – that the Packers added:

Jace Sternberger provides a shot of youth for an aging tight ends room.

Sternberger (6-foot-4, 251 pounds, 4.75 40-yard dash)

In two years at Kansas, Sternberger redshirted as a freshman and then caught just one pass for five yards as a sophomore. He left for Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, where he caught 21 passes for 336 yards and six touchdowns in one season.

“I was actually on my third offensive coordinator at Kansas; it just wasn’t the best fit overall,” Sternberger said. “I always dreamed of playing big-time college football, and I felt like the juco was the best way for me to get re-recruited by everybody.”

Enter Fisher.

At the time, he was still at Florida State but was in the process of taking the Texas A&M job. Either way, he wanted Sternberger.

“From there, it was mid-November and I cut off all recruiting and it was straight Jimbo only,” Sternberger said. “So he technically never came out to my juco, it was strictly over the phone. That’s how we developed our trust. I committed to him over the phone.”

Sternberger was NFL-ready after just one season. The Packers picked at him at No. 75 overall, making him the sixth tight end taken in the draft.

“There’s a reason I left early: because I felt like I was the best tight end in this draft class,” Sternberger said. “So I have a lot of work to prove out for me, but I’ve always been in a situation where I want to take challenges head-on and that’s what I plan to do here, and just prove to Green Bay they made the right pick.”

The Packers think Sternberger is a pass-catching tight end who also can play on the line, which is critical in LaFleur’s outside-zone run scheme. It gives them a building block at a position dominated by aging players Jimmy Graham (32) and Marcedes Lewis (34).

General manager Brian Gutekunst didn’t think he needed another receiver for Aaron Rodgers, but it’s clear he wanted another weapon in the passing game.

The Packers see Dexter Williams as a one-cut runner who fits Matt LaFleur's offense.

Williams (5-11, 212, 4.58)

The 2018 season didn’t start until the fifth game for Williams, who served a four-game suspension for team/school violations that have never been disclosed or reported. This came two years after he was arrested for marijuana possession.

His football life was in jeopardy and so was his home life. His mother, Cheryl, had just been diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension, the second terminal condition to afflict her. She already had been diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, a condition that has a similar effect as ALS on the body.

Still, Cheryl left her home in Florida last fall and moved to South Bend, Indiana, to be with her son – a story that was documented by ESPN last fall.

“The reason why I have her with me is I’d say she’s my guardian angel, she going to be there just to help, to support,” Williams said shortly after he was drafted at No. 194 overall. “Like I said, at any given day I could lose my parents. So I just want to be able to share a lot of these moments, these times, with them as much as I can. And I want my mom to be able to see these games, see me play, just to be happy knowing her son is doing something he loves.”

Williams, of course, excelled after his suspension. He totaled 995 yards and 12 touchdowns in just nine games. He’s bringing that quality – and his mom – with him to Green Bay.

“We thought he could really press the edge,” Gutekunst said. “He’s an aggressive downhill runner that can press the edge, stick his foot in the ground and get north to south. You know, he had a lot of explosive plays and he was a finisher. Once he hit that crease, he seemed to finish. And so, yeah, those are some of the things we like to run. He’s got a nice build to him and I think his best football should be ahead of him.”

Elgton Jenkins Jersey

The Green Bay Packers went into the 2019 NFL Draft needing some help on the offensive line, and they might have found it in Mississippi State center Elgton Jenkins. While not one of the higher rated players, Pro Football Focus recently shared some stats that prove how good Jenkins can be.

In a recent tweet by PFF, they shared that Jenkins was tied for the sixth-best pressure rate allowed by draft-eligible centers, with only 1.4% of his pass blocking snaps resulting in a pressure of the quarterback.

Needless to say, the ability to keep the pocket clean for his quarterback is crucial, and when you’re going to a team like the Packers who have one of the best passers in the game, you’ll need to hold your own.

While Jenkins played primarily as a center for Mississippi State, the Packers hope to use him in a variety of roles, including right guard, where the team is objectively its weakest. While both tackle and center positions are held by some talented players, the Packers have had a history of injuries hitting their offensive line, so securing the talents of a versatile player like Jenkins is never a bad thing.

Known for his quick first step and his proficiency when it comes to helping the running game out, Jenkins should be competing for a starting job from the start of training camp, especially considering how both Lane Taylor and Billy Turner – the two current starting guards – are not guaranteed to be secure in their positions.

For the Packers, a little competition among the offensive line is never a bad thing, especially when you have Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.

Darnell Savage Jr. Jersey

The Packers have signed first-round draft pick Darnell Savage Jr. to his rookie contract, as NFL Insider Adam Caplan tweets. The safety from Maryland is the first 2019 first-round choice to put pen to paper.

Savage was Green Bay’s second choice in the first round, and the Packers traded two fourth-round selections to move up nine spots to land the Maryland product with the No. 21 overall pick. Savage has a great chance to become an instant starter, alongside free-agent acquisition Adrian Amos, and help solidify the Packers’ defensive backfield. Savage represents another example of the Packers’ attempts to shore up their defense this offseason.

Savage’s stock rose dramatically in the weeks leading up to the draft. He put himself on the map as a junior with 59 tackles, eight pass breakups and three interceptions, and delivered again last year with four picks, two pass breakups and 52 tackles (5.5 tackles for loss). He really impressed in workouts, however, and evaluators began to see him in a whole new light.

At 5-foot-11 and 198 pounds, Savage lacks ideal size for the next level. However, the Packers feel his athleticism, combined with his football IQ and instincts, will make him a success story in the NFL.

Savage’s contract will be a standard four-year pact with a fifth-year option, and he will earn $12.5M over the first four years of the deal.

Rashan Gary Jersey

The Green Bay Packers officially signed their top draft pick on Friday.

Defensive end Rashan Gary, who Green Bay selected with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft, signed his rookie contract, the team announced. While terms of the deal were not disclosed, it will be a four-year contract with a fifth-year team option.

The Gary selection turned heads after an up-and-down showing during his collegiate career with the Michigan Wolverines. Dan Wussow of USA Today’s Packers Wire noted, “when you turn on Gary’s college film, two things become apparent very quickly: his play is maddeningly inconsistent and his high-end flashes are some of the best in the class.”

Wussow pointed to his athleticism and “overwhelming” speed-to-power ability as a pass-rusher.

Those traits help explain why he arrived at Michigan as the No. 1 overall player and a 5-star prospect in the recruiting class of 2016, per 247Sports’ composite rankings. However, he didn’t live up to elevated expectations production-wise in a career that didn’t feature a single appearance in the Big Ten championship game or a victory over the archrival Ohio State Buckeyes.

Gary posted 0.5 sacks and 23 tackles as a freshman and 38 tackles and 3.5 sacks in his final season. His sophomore campaign was his best, and he finished with 58 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.

Still, the ability and potential clearly caught Green Bay’s eyes after it missed the playoffs the last two seasons with a mediocre defense at best.

It was 6-9-1 in 2018 and finished a middling 18th in the league in yards allowed and 22nd in the league in points allowed. The Packers need to make significant strides on the defensive side of the ball if they are going to compete with the likes of the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North in 2019.

They selected safety Darnell Savage with the 21st overall pick after drafting Gary, further emphasizing the need to bolster their defense.

If the young additions live up to their potential, Green Bay can challenge for a playoff spot after two years of struggles.