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Packers drop running backs after drafting three

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By Michael Cohen
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Monday, May 1, 2017

GREEN BAY--The Green Bay Packers decided they no longer needed running backs Christine Michael and Don Jackson after selecting three running backs in the NFL draft.

Both were informed of their release Monday morning.

The only guaranteed money the Packers will have to count against their salary cap as a result of the moves is the $25,000 signing bonus Michael received in March. Both players' minimum-wage base salaries will be wiped off the books.

With Jamaal Williams (Round 4, Pick 134, BYU), Aaron Jones (Round 5, Pick 182, UTEP) and Devante Mays (Round 7, Pick 238, Utah State) all en route to Green Bay, what had been a barren cupboard suddenly was stocked to the brim.

The Packers went into the draft with Ty Montgomery as the starter and Michael and Jackson as the backups. Jackson was signed as an undrafted free agent last year and Michael was claimed off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 16.

Jackson's contract expired after the season, but the Packers made a one-year qualifying offer after the season that the second-year back signed April 5. Michael became an unrestricted free agent after the season and re-signed with the team March 23.

Jackson, 23, understood his time with the organization was dwindling after the Packers selected a second running back Saturday afternoon, according to a source close to the situation. When a third running back was drafted in the seventh round, Jackson knew his next commute to Lambeau Field would be his last.

The Packers released Jackson when he arrived at the facility for Monday's portion of the offseason workout program, the source said.

"The Packers are a first-class organization," Jackson told the Journal Sentinel in a text message. "I have tons of respect for the staff, and this will be a vital motivating factor to my career."

Jackson signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent from Nevada on Sept. 5, 2016. He spent six weeks on the practice squad before Thompson added him to the active roster on Oct. 20, the same day starting tailback Eddie Lacy was placed on injured reserve.

Jackson appeared in three games for the Packers and earned one start. He carried 10 times for 32 yards before winding up on IR himself with a foot contusion and Grade 2 sprain of his MCL on Nov. 16.

Michael played in six regular-season games for the Packers and carried 31 times for 114 yards and a touchdown, including a 42-yard touchdown run against the Chicago Bears in Week 15. In nine games with the Seahawks before joining the Packers, Michael carried 117 times for 469 yards and six touchdowns. He led the Seahawks in attempts, yards and touchdowns despite starting only seven games for them.

The Packers didn't add any other running backs after the draft, but they could consider moving undrafted free agent Taysom Hill there if he doesn't pan out at quarterback. He's 6-2, 230 pounds and ran a 4.45-second 40-yard dash at his pro day. He ran for 2,815 yards, a school-record for a quarterback, during his time at BYU.

After the draft, coach Mike McCarthy made it clear that Montgomery not only would stay at running back, but that he was his starting running back as of now.

 


Last updated: 11:34 pm Monday, May 1, 2017


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