The Green Bay Packers added former Chicago Bears safety Adrian Amos already in an attempt to shore up the safety position, but there is still work to do on rebuilding the back end. One name that is sure to come up is Morgan Burnett, who will be released by the Pittsburgh Steelers after one season, according to Adam Schefter.
Burnett spent his first eight seasons with Green Bay as a secondary utility man, playing everything from corner to inside linebacker. However, he’s best suited for the strong safety spot. Burnett’s not a ball hawk, with nine career interceptions and only two in the last four seasons, but he is a sure tackler and excellent in run support. He started only two games and played in just 11 total for the Steelers as part of an injury-plagued season, and expressed his discontent over playing a hybrid safety-linebacker role. He eventually lost his starting spot to rookie Terrell Edmunds.
While Burnett was one of the better Packer defensive players during his tenure, I hope they seek help elsewhere. His skillset can certainly be useful in the right scheme, but if he’s unwilling to move down into a linebacker spot occasionally, that seriously constricts his value. This is especially true given the fact that coverage was never his strong suit, and as he ages, it will only get worse. Burnett should be focusing on what he does best in the latter half of his career, and that’s going downhill.
It is also troubling that Burnett’s injury issues last season stemmed from his back, and back issues linger forever. While Burnett should be remembered fondly, he will turn 30 this season, and for a team in need of improved pass defense and cover skills, he’s just not a great fit.