This part of the offseason was not supposed to start yet. But with the Green Bay Packers’ loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, the team’s 2020 season is over and the front office must now begin making preparations for the 2021 campaign.
The first step in doing so is setting up the team’s 90-man roster for the offseason, and on Monday the Packers began that process by signing a series of players to reserve/futures contracts. This means that the players will be a part of the team’s roster through the offseason, making them eligible to participate in offseason workouts, including OTAs and minicamps.
All ten of these players have been on the Packers’ practice squad this season, some for the entire 2020 campaign. The list of players signed is as follows:
- LB Tipa Galeai
- LB De’Jon Harris
- G Zack Johnson
- TE Isaac Nauta
- DL Willington Previlon
- DL Anthony Rush
- CB Stanford Samuels
- RB Mike Weber
- RB Dexter Williams
- P Ryan Winslow
One of these players, Dexter Williams, was a former Packers draft pick, being selected in the sixth round in 2019. He made four appearances as a rookie and played in three games this season before landing on injured reserve for a time around midseason.
With the NFL’s COVID-19 rules in effect, five of these players suited up on the Packers’ active roster during the 2020 season: Harris, Rush, Samuels, Weber, and Williams. Rush did so as part of the active roster before being released, clearing waivers, and finishing the year on the practice squad. Harris, Samuels, and Weber were each active for two games on the season, the maximum for any practice squad player to be elevated before requiring that he be signed to the active roster. Nauta also played on an active roster this year, playing seven games for the Detroit Lions before they released him late in the season.
Look for many of these players to indeed return for rookie minicamp in May (if that event takes place) and to the offseason workout programs, which will likely be more robust than those of 2020 even with the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting team operations.