Packers release OL Van Roten

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Scratch Greg Van Roten as a possible candidate to compete for the Green Bay Packers' starting center job this season.

Once viewed as a promising prospect, the Packers waived him on Tuesday.

The move came as a surprise to Van Roten, his agent Bill Baldini said.

The move had nothing to do with the foot injury that Van Roten sustained in practice last season.

“His foot is fine,” Baldini said. “It actually felt fine during the season. He could have returned [had he not been placed on injured reserve].”

The 6-foot-3 and 303-pound Van Roten, a former undrafted free agent from Penn, played in nine games as a rookie in 2012 after being elevated from the practice squad. He then made the team coming out of training camp last season and appeared in the first three games on special teams before he injured his foot in practice in Week 5.

“I spoke to them, and they felt like they wanted to get bigger,” Baldini said. “They didn’t think he’d be in their plans for the immediate future, so they decided it would be better for him if they let him go now. It’s a shame because he loves the Packers organization and loves the town.”

The Packers might have a need for a new starting center. Evan Dietrich-Smith, who started every game last season, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent next month. The only other centers currently under contract for next season are JC Tretter, who did not play at all as a rookie last season, and practice-squad member Garth Gerhart.