The move itself isn't that surprising. Here's where I mentioned back in early-June about how I thought that Peprah was expendable. He was the weakest link in a secondary that set historical marks in futility. It didn't help that Peprah never practiced this spring after he had arthroscopic surgery on a knee.
What's surprising is the timing of the release. The Packers could've placed him on the preseason physically-unable-to-perform list (PUP). They could've transferred him to the regular-season PUP list. Peprah would've had to miss the first six games in that scenario. That would've given him more time to recover.
Instead, the Packers released him before training camp begins. They also released Nick Collins in April. Third-year veteran Morgan Burnett is the only experienced safety on the roster. That doesn't include tweener defensive backs such as Charles Woodson and Jarrett Bush.
The Packers have a crop of young safeties who will compete for what some perceived as Peprah's starting job. Jerron McMillian, M.D. Jennings, Sean Richardson and Anthony Levine are amongst the leading candidates to replace Peprah. The Packers could also make Woodson a full-time safety. They'd need Davon House or Casey Hayward to replace Woodson as the nickelback.
Another scenario, however unlikely, would deal with Jim Leonhard. The former University of Wisconsin standout is looking for work after he tore his patellar tendon last December. The New York Jets opted to not re-sign him. Leonhard isn't even eight months removed from major knee surgery. Leonhard has spent the past four seasons in 3-4 defenses with the Baltimore Ravens and Jets.
The Packers wouldn't have released Peprah had they not been confident in their young defensive backs. Someone is bound to step up. They're expecting that to happen sooner than later. I'm more concerned about the health of Tramon Williams' shoulder. The Packers must make life easier for their defensive backs by improving their pass rush. 2012 first-round pick Nick Perry and second-round pick Jerel Worthy will hopefully correct this deficiency.
Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He's been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 as he completed a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs, Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans. He can be found on Twitter HERE.
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