Just a few hours before the Green Bay Packers stepped on the practice field for a walkthrough on Friday, the Packers’ social media accounts celebrated outside linebacker Jonathan Garvin’s birthday. Within three hours, Garvin would be released from the squad.
Originally drafted as a seventh-round pick in 2020, Garvin — still only a 23-year-old — has played in 38 games for the Packers over the last three seasons, recording 673 defensive snaps. In 2022, Garvin played 23 percent of the total defensive snaps for the team.
Just yesterday, Garvin was practicing with the interior defensive linemen, a first during his career in Green Bay. This was likely a move made due to the depth at the outside linebacker position. At the moment, Justin Hollins and Kinsgley Enagbare are rotating as the injury replacements for Rashan Gary across from Preston Smith. Beyond those four edge rushers, the Packers also have rookie first-round pick Lukas Van Ness, returning practice squadder La’Darius Hamilton, international exemption player Kenneth Odumegwu and two undrafted free agents in Benton Cox Jr. and Keshawn Banks at their disposal.
It’s worth noting here that Garvin was one of three players, including cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Rasul Douglas, to miss the vast majority of voluntary workouts with the team this spring and summer. Garvin even missed a portion of minicamp, which he was given an excused absence for.
Currently, the Packers have not made a corresponding roster move that would bring their roster up to 91 players, the current offseason limit for the team with Odumegwu’s exception. Over the last two weeks, Green Bay has been working out receivers and quarterbacks and the team did just recently lose fifth-round rookie Dontayvion Wicks to a concussion, though.
If I had to make a guess, the Packers needed another body at the receiver position and decided that Garvin wasn’t worth keeping around since he only had one year left on his contract, even if he was able to win the uphill climb onto the 53-man roster. Earlier this week, receiver Jeff Cotton was placed on the PUP list and was immediately waived so that Green Bay could sign another receiver — Cody Chrest — to put into perspective how razor-thin their receiver numbers are with four quarterbacks in training camp.