Packers Try Out Troubled Oregon TE Colt Lyerla

Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE

The Packers make a risky move by bringing in former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla for a tryout.

Classify this as a major risk for Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy, and the Green Bay Packers.

When ESPN's Rob Demovsky tweeted out a picture of a team-issued 2014 rookie orientation roster, one name stood out among the rest: Colt Lyerla.

For those unfamiliar, Lyerla was the athletic but deeply troubled Oregon tight end who quit his team (or was kicked off depending who you believe) midway through the 2013 season. In his two seasons and change with the Ducks combined, Lyerla caught 34 passes for 565 yards. Due to several drug charges, Lyerla's movements were restricted to the state of Oregon, an issue that arose when he tried to leave the state to train in Las Vegas.

Lyerla eventually regained the ability to leave Oregon to attend the NFL Combine where he performed well in speed and explosion workouts, recording a 4.61 40-yard dash and a 36.5" vertical. However, Lyerla finished last in bench repetitions (15) for his position leading some to wonder how seriously he prepared for the NFL.

After going undrafted and unsigned, Lyerla comes to Green Bay as a tryout player. As such, he has no contract with the Packers nor are they committed in any way to him should he underperform. While the likelihood of him finding trouble is lower in Green Bay than in other NFL cities, the combination of his multiple legal offenses and the fact he quit on Oregon surely weighs heavy on the Packers' brain trust.

So far this offseason, the team drafted Cal's Richard Rodgers in the third round, re-signed Andrew Quarless, and returns Brandon Bostick, Ryan Taylor, and Jake Stoneburner. Lyerla brings the tight end count to six, a number far greater than the Packers are likely to carry headed into the preseason. Should Green Bay take the plunge with Lyerla, it's likely Stoneburner receives his walking papers.

In any event, Lyerla has to earn a contract before the prospect of him playing for the Packers can be seriously considered.

Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He also serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Hook'em Headlines. His work has previously appeared on Beats Per Minute, Lombardi Ave, and College Hoops Net.
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