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Packers sign USFL All-Star TE Sal Cannella

Cannella spent time with the Miami Dolphins in 2021.

USFL: Houston Gamblers vs New Orleans Breakers Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, the Green Bay Packers worked out four players in the leadup to training camp. One of them was former Auburn tight end Sal Cannella, who the team announced today was signed to the squad’s final opening on their 90-man roster.

Cannella, who was last listed by the USFL at 6’5” and 230 pounds, weighed in at 242 pounds during the pre-draft process in 2020. The former college “big slot” transitioned to the tight end position when he made the jump to the professional ranks, earning an offseason opportunity with the Miami Dolphins. Unfortunately, he only spent three real days with the Dolphins between his time on the physically unable to perform list, him coming off the list and him being released. He would later work out with the New York Giants following his release from the Dolphins but did not receive a contract.

After resurfacing in the upstart USFL with the New Orleans Breakers, Cannella finished his first professional campaign with 34 receptions for 368 yards and two touchdowns. That 368-yard mark was good for 11th in the league overall, including receivers, and the best statistical season of any tight end in the USFL. For his effort, he was named a USFL All-Star along with his quarterback Kyle Sloter.

Last week, Acme Packing Company took a look at the Packers’ tight ends in our roster breakdown series. With starter Robert Tonyan likely to begin the 2022 campaign on the physically unable to perform list as he recovers from his mid-season ACL tear, the team desperately needs a pass-catching threat at the position on obvious passing downs. Maybe that’s the value that Cannella can provide as a dart throw to make the team.

APC reached out to a source who was at Auburn during Cannella’s playing days. The source described him as “a ‘tight end’ who basically played big slot receiver or on the outside in red zone situations,” “very much a package dude,” and a player who “was kinda positionless and didn’t get really focused coaching.”