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Packers will release second-year LB Kamal Martin, per report

After running with the 3s and playing some outside linebacker in camp, the 2020 fifth-round pick is done in Green Bay.

NFL: JAN 03 Packers at Bears Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tuesday marks the second roster cut deadline for NFL teams in 2021. Each franchise must trim their active rosters down from 85 players to 80 by 4:00 PM Eastern time, and the Green Bay Packers got started on Monday with a surprising, if not outright shocking cut.

According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, the Packers will release linebacker Kamal Martin. The team’s fifth-round draft pick in 2020, Martin played ten games in his rookie season with six starts and recorded 24 total tackles and one sack.

Although he did play in ten games last season, Martin only saw 190 snaps on defense, good for just 19% of the team’s total. He was a regular contributor on special teams in those games, taking the field for 106 plays (25%). Martin had suffered a knee injury late in last year’s training camp that landed him on injured reserve to start the season, and he was also inactive for one game in November, when he was on the COVID-19 list.

However, after running with the starters late in training camp a year ago, Martin was playing with the third string much of this season. DeVondre Campbell and Krys Barnes appear to be penciled in as the starters this season, with Oren Burks and Ty Summers getting the bulk of the second-team work behind them. In fact, Martin’s role was so unclear early in camp that the team tried lining him up at outside linebacker at times during practices.

This is a disappointing result for a player who flashed at times in his rookie season. Martin had signed a $3.566 million rookie contract prior to last season with a signing bonus of about $271,000. The release means that the Packers will carry just under $68,000 of dead money on the 2021 cap with roughly another $136,000 to hit the 2022 salary cap.

Stay tuned to APC for news on the four additional cuts the Packers will need to make by Tuesday afternoon to reach the 80-man limit.