Green Bay Packers have hole to fill after dumping Josh Sitton on cut day

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers cut 17 players and put five others on reserve lists Saturday, trimming their roster to the NFL-mandated 53 players. Here's a closer look at the final cuts:

Most significant move: It wouldn't have been a major surprise to see the Packers move on from veteran left guard Josh Sitton after this season, when his five-year, $33.75 million contract expired. But it took many by surprise when the Pack released him Saturday after an unsuccessful attempt to trade him. Sitton, 30, had been a full-time starter since 2009 and has missed only two games (both in 2011) since. However, he has battled injuries, most notably a chronically sore back, in recent years that have limited his ability to practice. It leaves the Packers with a Pro Bowl-sized hole on the offensive line. The leading candidates to replace Sitton are Don Barclay and Lane Taylor, unless coach Mike McCarthy wants to reshuffle the line and move, say, Bryan Bulaga inside from tackle. The Packers don't make general manager Ted Thompson, or anyone else, available following the cuts. The only thing said publicly about Sitton's release came in the form of a statement thanking him and saying it was "best for the team and the growth of the offensive line."

Most significant non-move: The Packers probably did not intend to keep three quarterbacks on the roster, but undrafted rookie Joe Callahan played his way on to the team. It quickly became apparent he was more than just a feel-good story from the Division III ranks. Green Bay clearly thinks Callahan is worth developing after they eventually trade away current No. 2 Brett Hundley for a higher draft pick, and they didn't want to risk exposing Callahan on waivers to try to bring him back on the practice squad.

ILB rotation: Sam Barrington and Clay Matthews opened last season as the starting inside linebackers. Matthews is back to his natural outside linebacker position, and Barrington is on the street. Barrington was trying to come back from a foot injury in last year's regular-season opener. It means the Packers probably will start second-year pro Jake Ryan and rookie Blake Martinez at inside linebacker. Joe Thomas is the only other natural inside linebacker on the roster.

Who needs a long snapper anyway? Maybe the Packers aren't planning to kick this year. They released long snapper Rick Lovato, and the initial 53-man roster does not contain a long snapper. Indications are they plan to bring back Brett Goode, who tore his ACL last season on Dec. 20 but is believed to be healed and ready to play. The Packers will have to release someone in order to add a long snapper.

Undrafted free-agent bonanza: The Packers have long been a preferred destination for undrafted rookies, and here's why: they kept six of them on their initial 53. They were: Callahan, RB Brandon Burks, CB Josh Hawkins, CB Makinton Dorleant, S Marwin Evans and S Kentrell Brice.

Packers moves: Cut -- WR Geronimo Allison, LB Sam Barrington, LB Carl Bradford, LB Beniquez Brown, CB Robertson Daniel, CB Warren Gatewood, LB Reggie Gilbert, LS Rick Lovato, G Lucas Patrick, TE Casey Pierce, DT Brian Price, RB Brandon Ross, G Josh Sitton, FB Alstevis Squirewell, WR Herb Waters, S Jermaine Whitehead, QB Marquise Williams. Injured reserve -- DT Tyler Kuder, C Kyle Steuck. Physically unable to perform: C Corey Linsley. Suspended -- CB Demetri Goodson, DT Mike Pennel.