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Packers 2014 Roster Preview: Returning Safeties

The Packers bring back three players at the safety position from a year ago, but none of them forced a single turnover all season.


To prepare for training camp, we will be breaking down every player on the Green Bay Packers' 90-man roster in more detail, looking at contract terms and 2013 statistics, before we make our prediction for which players will make the 53-man roster at the end of training camp.

After a disappointing 2013 season from the team's safeties, the Green Bay Packers have moved forward and purged a few players at the position from the roster. M.D. Jennings departed as a restricted free agent (who did not receive an offer sheet), while Jerron McMillian was released late in the season. Not counting Micah Hyde, who has been practicing at free safety in the offseason, only three players remain from a year ago, and they have 14 starts combined between them. Let's take a look at each one.

#28 Sean Richardson

6'2", 216 pounds
How acquired: undrafted free agent signing, 2012

2014 Contract Details (signed through 2014 only)

Base salary: $570,000
Salary cap number: $571,668

2013 Stats

Six games played
15 total tackles (11 solo)

Richardson is the prototypical in-the-box safety who can help out in run support. He's also a big piece of the Packers' puzzle on special teams. After spinal fusion surgery late in 2012, Richardson started last year on the PUP list but returned for the final six games and played extensively in a trio of games late in the season - he played on at least 55% of defensive snaps in each game against Atlanta, Dallas, and Pittsburgh. He also posted the single highest special teams grade of any individual Packer in a single 2013 game, by earning a +3.5 against the Falcons.

#32 Chris Banjo

5'10", 207 pounds
How acquired: free agent signing, 2013

2014 Contract Details (signed for 2014 only)

Base salary: $495,000
No signing bonus

2013 Stats

16 games played, one start
19 total tackles (17 solo), two passes defended

Signed just at the start of training camp in 2013, Banjo made his mark on special teams and earned one of the last roster spots a year ago. He was pressed into emergency duty right away due to Morgan Burnett's injury, and started the game against the Bengals in week 3. He played 54 snaps in that game, but never more than 29 in any other single game, finishing with 192 for the year. He was a key special teams contributor, though, and that will likely be his ticket onto the roster once again.

#42 Morgan Burnett

6'1", 209 pounds
How acquired: third-round draft pick (#71 overall), 2010

2014 Contract Details (signed through 2017)

Base salary: $1.15 million
Roster bonus: $1,743,750
Workout bonus: $300,000
Total compensation: $3,193,750
Salary cap number: $4,843,750

2013 Stats

13 games played, 13 starts
102 total tackles (66 solo), five passes defended, three fumble recoveries (one returned for a touchdown)

After receiving a big contract extension in 2013, Burnett performed poorly in his fourth season, a year which had many (myself included) hoping for a breakout season. He missed the first three games with an injury, then was inconsistent throughout the year, wavering between great performances in run support and disappointing games. Burnett needs to step up in 2014 with a new starter beside him.