Following the release of linebacker Kamal Martin and tight end/fullback Daniel Crawford and a trade that sent cornerback Ka’dar Hollman to the Houston Texans for a seventh-round pick, the Green Bay Packers still needed to make two moves to get their roster down to 80 players for Tuesday’s roster cut deadline. The two moves that the team made to comply with the cutdown were placing safety Will Redmond on injured reserve and releasing defensive lineman Josh Avery.
Due to the timing of Redmond being placed on injured reserve, he is not eligible to return this season, ending his 2021 campaign. Redmond was not an every-down starter for the Packers, only registering one true start in 2020, but has seen the field in 31 games since 2018 for the team. Last season, he played a third of the defensive snaps and was the third-most-played special-teamer on the squad, according to Pro Football Reference’s player participation numbers.
Redmond is not going to play this year. Redmond is on a one-year contract. Those two facts open an opportunity for a younger safety to earn a long-term roster spot in Green Bay, with Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage projected as long-term starters, but with little long-term certainty behind them on the depth chart.
Currently, the team has four safety candidates fighting for roster spots going into the final week of preseason ball: Innis Gaines (45 snaps last week), Henry Black (39), Christian Uphoff (15), and Vernon Scott (out-hamstring).
Avery was a recently-signed defensive lineman who played in The Spring League before a Packers tryout opportunity turned into a signing. As it stands today, Kenny Clark, Kingsley Keke, Dean Lowry, Tyler Lancaster, Tedarrell ‘TJ” Slaton, and Jack Heflin are likely to make the roster as defensive ends or defensive tackles in Green Bay’s 3-4 scheme, though they will all play defensive tackle in nickel sets.
Avery’s release leaves just Willington Previlon and Carlo Kemp fighting for the opportunity to make the 53-man roster as the team’s seventh defensive lineman. Previlon played 38 snaps last week (the most of any front-seven defender) while Kemp played 13. Avery saw the fewest snaps of any defender to get into the game with five. With the numbers game and the general lack of impact on special teams that defensive linemen have, Pevilon and Kemp very well might be fighting for a practice squad spot rather than a spot on the Packers’ 53-man roster.