Packers Release DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila

Most of the comments I've read, here and here, have been critical of this move. Although KGB had knee surgery last summer, he was rarely (if ever) listed on the injury report. He wasn't hurt exactly, but he obviously wasn't the same guy. I expected he would play himself back into shape, but it hasn't happened. Apparently the Packers didn't think he was going to return to form either.

In nine seasons he's had 74.5 sacks and been to one Pro Bowl. But at age 31, a lot of NFL miles on those legs and at least one knee surgery, it's not surprising that it's time. From 2001-2007, he's recorded 72.5 sacks for an average of just over 10 per season. In 2008, he's recorded a half a sack, and is on pace for 1 sack. According to my Pro Football Prospectus 2008, he was 2nd on the team behind DE Aaron Kampman with 7 hits and 14 hurries in 2007, but based on what I've seen this season, he's lucky to have recorded 1 of each. Obviously something's wrong, and if it's not injury, then it's time to let him go.

There were a lot of calls to release him after the 2005 season when it was obvious he couldn't stop the run anymore and his sack totals went down. He wasn't that good considering he was the highest paid defensive player. Surprisingly, I haven't read any of that talk this season. Maybe we were all just waiting for him to return to form. I've sure appreciated everything he has done for the Packers, but it's obvious he's not contributing this season.

The real disappointing thing is that the official word is that he was released to make room for younger ends. Unfortunately they are all lousy pass rushers. Rookie DE Jeremy Thompson is still waiting to record his first NFL sack. DT Mike Montgomery has 2.5 sacks in 4 NFL seasons. DE Jason Hunter has 0 sacks in 3 NFL seasons. Recently signed DE Kenny Pettway is the most dynamic pass rusher of this group with a whopping 3 sacks in 3 NFL seasons. They needed to make room on the roster to activate DT Justin Harrell, and this was what they decided to do. KGB's release doesn't mean they have the next great pass rusher already on the roster, and this is something GM Ted Thompson will have to address in the offseason.

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