According to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, the Green Bay Packers have signed tight end Shaun Beyer to their practice squad, only their second outside signing to the 16-player unit. The other outside signing, cornerback Benjie Franklin via the Jacksonville Jaguars, worked out for the Packers during the pre-draft process (likely on an undrafted free agent recruiting trip.)
The Packers released three tight ends in their cutdown from 80-man rosters to their final 53 on Tuesday: Sal Cannella, Alize Mack and Nate Becker. Becker was waived with an injury designation, reverted to Green Bay’s injured reserve and will likely receive an injury settlement. None of those players were retained on the Packers’ initial practice squad, which was a bit surprising considering that Mack was starting on the team’s kickoff return unit in the preseason.
Now that tight end is addressed, the team has at least one player on the practice squad at each core position on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, assuming that they can bring back safety Micah Abernathy. Abernathy was waived from the team’s 53-man roster on Wednesday as a corresponding move to the signing of safety/gunner Rudy Ford. General manager Brian Gutekunst mentioned in a press conference yesterday that the team hopes to bring back Abernathy to the practice squad.
Iowa Tight End Shaun Beyer is interesting as hell. Only 18 career catches but he is an outstanding blocker and a really good athlete. Did the high jump (PR of 6-8), long jump, and ran hurdles in high school. Also played basketball and wrestled. pic.twitter.com/vgZi5tsWlx— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) March 2, 2021
Beyer was a blocking tight end at Iowa but managed to record a 4.81-second 40-yard dash time and very good agility drills at the Hawkeyes’ pro day in 2021. He signed on with the Denver Broncos last season as an undrafted free agent and even received $125,000 in guarantees on his deal. To put that into perspective, that’s more guaranteed money than seventh-round safety Tariq Carpenter, the first of Green Bay’s four seventh-round picks in 2022, received on his rookie deal.
Shaun Beyer is a TE prospect in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 7.73 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 211 out of 927 TE from 1987 to 2021. https://t.co/ChpDoJVzFi #RAS via @Mathbomb pic.twitter.com/IojNjlncmr— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 8, 2021
Beyer was eventually let go by the Broncos and spent this past preseason with the Minnesota Vikings, where he was released from on the 23rd of August. Wilson also reported today that the team worked out another tight end, Rysen John, on Wednesday.
Officially, the Packers have 14 of their 16 practice squad slots accounted for after yesterday’s signings. With the expected signings of Abernathy and kicker Ramiz Ahmed, who the staff also mentioned they hoped to retain in their post-cutdown press conference, it’s uncertain whose spot on the practice squad that Beyer is taking.
Was Abernathy claimed off waivers? (Update: no, he was not.) Did Abernathy or Ahmed sign with another practice squad? Is a player getting cut from the practice squad? No one knows as of yet. All we know is there are 17 names for 16 jobs in Green Bay.