Packers part ways with LB D.J. Smith, RB Brandon Saine

4/24/13 in NFL   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

The Green Bay Packers parted ways with two of their third-young players who were returning from ACL injuries this offseason, by announcing the release of linebacker D.J. Smith and running back Brandon Saine on Wednesday.
Acquired as an undrafted free agent out of Ohio State in 2011, Brandon Saine has appeared in just a handful of games (in a reserve role) for the Green Bay Packers ever since. Last season, Brandon Saine played just six-games for the Green Bay Packers. After suffering a torn ACL in the Green Bay Packers’ Week 6 win over the Houston Texans, Brandon Saine spent remainder of the2012 season on the team’s injured reserve.
The third-year pro Brandon Saine was waived by the Green Bay Packers after reportedly failing his physical with the club. He was scheduled to make $550,000 this season, after counted similar against the team’s 2013 cap.
Brandon Saine’s departure leaves the Green Bay Packers with three running backs under contract – DuJan Harris, James Starks and Alex Green. The Green Bay Packers also hosted 2012 starting tailback Cedric Benson, who ended his one-year deal with the team on the injured reserve after suffering a foot-injury five games into last regular season.
Meanwhile, the release of D.J. Smith was more of a surprising move since despite undergoing reconstructive knee surgery, Smith is still young and had his moments while playing on what is considered a relatively cheap rookie deal. D.J. Smith was scheduled to make $550,000 this season, and counted just $580,788.Still D.J. Smith’s agent indicated the move made to release by the Green Bay Packers to release his client shows they “needed to create some space.”
Selected in the sixth-round of the 2011 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers, D.J. Smith appeared in 22 career games for the team, including six-starts in relief of linebacker Desmond Bishop last season, after Bishop tore his hamstring during the preseason.
D.J.Smith’s 2012 season too eventually ended on the injured-reserve after he suffered a torn ACL against the Houston Texans. The 24-year-old D.J. Smith had 39 tackles, two sacks and four pass break-ups last season.
Coming off reconstructive knee surgery, D.J. Smith wasn’t expected to ready for training camp or even the opening week of 2012 regular season. So, it may seem a bit biased that he was reportedly waived on ground of failing the team’s physical test.
D.J. Smith’s agent still expected the linebacker to get a second shot with the Green Bay Packers after he’d recovered from the knee surgery.
However, the Green Bay Packers do have a crowded backfield at inside linebacker with Terrell Manning, Jamari Lattimore and Robert Francisco returning, while A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones and Desmond Bishop remain the top options at the position. The Green Bay Packers could add more competition at the position this weekend through the NFL draft.
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