Green Bay Packers release LB Antonio Morrison – 247Sports

Antonio Morrisonis no longer a member of the Green Bay Packers. On Friday, the Packers announced they have released the veteran linebacker before the start of free agency. They acquired Morrison from the Indianapolis Colts via trade before the start of last season. Green Bay had to trade away cornerback Lenzy Pipkins in the deal. 

Morrison came to the Packers after a solid 2017 season with the Colts. In his second NFL season, Morrison recorded 108 tackles and one pass defended. In 2018, Morrison took the place of Jake Ryan who suffered a torn ACL during training camp. In 16 games, Morrison recorded 48 tackles, five tackles for loss and one sack. 

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Morrison was drafted by the Colts in the fourth round in 2016. Here’s a look at his analysis from 

“This two-time second-team All-SEC pick is undersized, but extremely productive; he hit triple digits in tackles in 2014 (101) and 2015 (103, leading the team), and doubled his impact in the backfield between those two seasons, going from six to 12 tackles for loss. The fact he played at all this fall was a tribute to his work ethic, as he came back from undergoing multiple surgeries on his left knee to repair an injury from the 2014 Birmingham Bowl. However, teams will have to check into his background due to two arrests (punching bouncer, barking at a police dog/resisting arrest) within five weeks in the summer of 2013. If he can convince general managers that his hard times are behind him, they’ll bank on his talent.”

Once the trade was finalized, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst explained why they acquired Morrison. 

“He’s not going to set the world on fire by any means,” Gutekunst said when talking about Morrison’s speed. “But he’s an old-school, throwback, very instinctual, very physical inside linebacker.”

Gutekunst also mentioned the Packers needed more veteran help at the inside linebacker since Blake Martinez and Jake Ryan were the only two who have seen any NFL action at the time.  

“Coming into camp, I think we were really light in the experience department at inside linebacker,” Gutekunst said. “So it’s something we’ve kind of been looking at and losing Jake made that a bit more important.”

Gutekunst went on to say he scouted Morrison when he was at the University of Florida and he said he “loves to play ball.”

The release of Morrison leaves the Packers with Blake Martinez, Oren Burks and James Crawford. So it’s clear the Packers will address the inside linebacker position in free agency or in the draft. When it comes to free agency, the best inside linebacker that will be available is C.J. Mosley of the Baltimore Ravens who is a four-time All-Pro selection. The best inside linebacker prospect in the draft is LSU’s Devin White who posted 123 tackles and 12 tackles for loss. 



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