GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The official start of the offseason program could mean the unofficial end for a handful of long-time contributors to the Green Bay Packers.
Players report back to Lambeau Field on Monday for voluntary workouts and most -- if not all -- of the 61 players currently under contract are expected to attend (many have financial incentives to do so). But unless something changes in the next few days, it means seven players who have been significant and key contributors over the years likely won’t be back.
Here’s a look at the other six, their current situations and their chances of returning, using the injury report designations -- doubtful (25 percent chance) questionable (50 percent) and probable (75 percent) -- as the guide:
Don Barclay: The backup offensive lineman struggled to regain his form following his 2014 ACL injury, and it would appear the Packers are deep enough on the offensive line that they’ll let Barclay go. He struggled in his only start at left tackle (he also started three games at right tackle) last season -- the Week 16 loss at Arizona, where he allowed four sacks. The versatile JC Tretter looks like a better option as a backup tackle. At guard, the Packers like Lane Taylor (who was re-signed to a two-year deal last month) better than Barclay.
Andrew Quarless: The Packers likely would have moved on anyway but signing veteran free-agent tight end Jared Cook probably clinched that. Quarless battled knee problems all of last season and caught just four passes in six games (including playoffs).
Sean Richardson: The backup safety/free-agent standout is still rehabbing from a second neck fusion surgery in four years with the intention to play again. Richardson’s latest surgery came in January and his agent, Brian Parker, acknowledged that the odds aren’t in his client’s favor given that they’re not aware of anyone who has played in the NFL after a second fusion.
John Kuhn: Some teams practically ignore the fullback position all together. The Packers had two of them on their roster last season with Kuhn and then-rookie Aaron Ripkowski. Although coach Mike McCarthy relied more heavily on Kuhn in a two-back set late in the season, Ripkowski might be ready for that kind of role. Still, the Packers have not told Kuhn they’re closing the door on his nine-year career in Green Bay.
Mike Neal: When free agency opened, it appeared the Packers would re-sign either Neal or Nick Perry but not both of the outside linebackers. Perry returned on a one-year, $5 million contract less than a week into free agency. Neal reportedly has visited at least two teams -- the Seahawks and Lions. The former second-round pick in 2010 has shed the injury-prone label, playing in every game the last three years, and has put up 16 sacks in the those three seasons combined (including playoffs).
Brett Goode: The recovery from his late-season torn ACL has gone well, according to agent Kevin Gold. Goode had been working out at Lambeau Field until his contract expired when free agency opened. The Packers still have his fill in, Rick Lovato, under contract for this season but appeared to keep the door open for the veteran long snapper to return, especially if he can be cleared in time for the start of training camp in late July. Prior to his injury in Week 15 last season, Goode had not missed a game since he joined the Packers in 2008 and was one of the most consistent snappers in the league.