SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 6: Charlie Peprah #26 intercepts the ball for a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers on November 6, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
We are gradually learning more information about why Charlie Peprah was released by the Packers this afternoon. First, a few other transactions were announced by the team today along with Peprah's release. The Packers released undrafted rookie guard Grant Cook as well, and signed another undrafted guard, Greg Van Roten, who was a two-time All-Ivy League guard at Penn. He also tried out with the Chargers earlier this offseason and studied under former Packers executive Andrew Brandt in college.
ESPN Milwaukee talked to Peprah this afternoon after his release was made public and got a little bit of the backstory. First and foremost, Peprah failed his physical. His knee injury kept him out of all of the team's off-season activities, and with it continuing to bother him, it appears the team wanted to move forward with their younger, healthier options. Peprah indicated that he was not expecting the move:
It caught me off guard, I was surprised. I didn’t pass my physical right away, so I’m assuming that had something to do with it. They might’ve been leaning this way anyway.
This is a likely sign that the Packers are comfortable going into training camp with M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian battling for a starting safety spot. Or perhaps, as Jason Wilde suggests in the ESPN article, they plan to play Charles Woodson substantially at safety.
Another series of factors that may have affected this decision is the names of the other players who failed their physicals: Derek Sherrod, Andrew Quarless, and John Kuhn. Sherrod and Quarless are both young players who have showed ability in the past; it's possible that they would be looked at as better candidates for the PUP list than Peprah due to their age and contract situations. Kuhn, on the other hand, is the only fullback on the roster with any experience, and will certainly be kept around because of positional scarcity.
In any case, it appears that Peprah is taking the news with class:
It’s tough to leave your compadres. You have a bond with those guys, and you hate to move on. Who knows? I could come back. I don’t have any grudges. You never know. But it’s definitely disappointing.