What to know about new Packers TE Sal Cannella

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The Green Bay Packers filled up their 90-man roster by officially signing tight end Sal Cannella on Thursday. The move was first reported by Bill Huber of SI.com.

Cannella, who worked out for the team on Wednesday, will wear No. 80. He is the eighth tight end on the Packers roster.

Here’s a quick introduction to the Packers’ newest player:

Undrafted out of Auburn

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Cannella played both wide receiver and tight end at Auburn, where he caught 25 passes for 330 yards and five touchdowns over 37 career games. He certainly has a flair for the dramatic in the red zone. In 2018, he scored Auburn’s first touchdown of the season on a leaping play in the end zone against Washington. He also made this tremendous catch for a 14-yard touchdown against Alabama in 2019. Despite the highlights, Cannella went undrafted during the 2020 draft.

Professional football history

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The Packers will be Cannella’s second NFL team. He participated as a tryout player for the Chicago Bears in 2020 but didn’t sign, and he spent four days on the roster of the Miami Dolphins in 2021. Cannella has never played a snap during the preseason or regular season in the NFL. He did play extensively with The Spring League, and he became a star in the USFL this past year.

All-USFL team in 2022

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Cannella was named to the All-USFL team in the league’s return season in 2022 after catching 34 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns. He led all tight ends in receiving yards while also finishing sixth in receptions and 11th in receiving yards among all players. Here is one of Cannella’s touchdowns for the New Orleans Breakers during the 2022 season.

Relative Athletic Score of 7.32

ras.football

Cannella can safely be categorized as a strong athlete overall, as his RAS card shows above. At Auburn’s pro day in 2020, he showed “good” explosiveness, speed and agility at the tight end position. There is no glaring weakness in his athletic profile, save for maybe weight. He can run, jump and change direction at NFL levels for a tight end.

Chance of making roster

Head coach Matt LaFleur is shown during the Green Bay Packers’ organized team activities on May 24.

The Packers have at least five tight ends they really like in Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis, Josiah Deguara, Tyler Davis and Dominique Dafney, but don’t rule out Cannella’s chances of pushing for a roster spot or at least sticking around on the practice squad. He’s been playing at a high level in other professional football leagues, and now he’ll get a chance to see if he can compete in the NFL. Big-bodied with a receiver background, Cannella’s story is a bit like Tonyan’s. He’s also a willing blocker. Can he follow in Tonyan’s footsteps and make the most of the opportunity in Green Bay this summer?

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