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Starks, Harrell could be on chopping block in Green Bay

James Starks,  Quentin Jammer AP

Green Bay Packers G.M. Ted Thompson has pieced together perhaps the most talented roster in football, and will have difficult to decisions to make at upcoming first and final cuts. The Packers will inevitably cut some good players, who will in turn attract league-wide interest once they hit the open market.

Rob Reischel of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel produced a 53-man roster projection for Thursday morning’s editions, and it has two notable deletions. Backup quarterback Graham Harrell and running back James Starks don’t make the final 53.

Starks, who starred during Green Bay’s Super Bowl run two seasons ago and was the club’s 2011 lead back, is on the shelf with a significant turf-toe injury, jeopardizing his Week One availability. Starks was reportedly struggling in camp even before going down, and Reischel has the Packers keeping Cedric Benson, Alex Green, and Brandon Saine as their three tailbacks instead. Fullback John Kuhn can also carry the football and catch passes in a pinch.

Waiving Harrell would be less of a surprise, but still notable after he was talked up all offseason by coaches in Green Bay. Harrell just hasn’t gotten the job done in preseason games. He’s completed 27-of-51 passes (52.9 percent) for 235 yards (4.6 YPA), one touchdown, and two interceptions.

Reischel expects the Packers to ultimately trade for Aaron Rodgers‘ backup. Colt McCoy and Tarvaris Jackson would be possibilities.

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43 Responses to “Starks, Harrell could be on chopping block in Green Bay”
  1. tjacks7 says: Aug 23, 2012 7:36 AM

    How Harrell is still in NFL I’ll never know. That guy has looked horrible at best.

  2. jbythebay says: Aug 23, 2012 7:38 AM

    future headline: Vikings sign Starks and Harrell

  3. musicman495 says: Aug 23, 2012 7:40 AM

    Maybe they can trade for Matt Flynn.

  4. notrelated says: Aug 23, 2012 7:47 AM

    What ever happened to Ryan Grant, dude fell off the face of the earth?

  5. scrapingthefloorioforstorios says: Aug 23, 2012 7:53 AM

    everyone likes starks, but yes- he’s kind’ve a wuss.

  6. adenaguy says: Aug 23, 2012 7:57 AM

    Most talented roster in football? Wasn’t their defense dead last in 2011? How about just saying the most talented passing attack in football.

  7. gtodriver says: Aug 23, 2012 7:58 AM

    Evidently Aaron Rodgers “mentoring” of Harrell isn’t quite as good as Packer fans have claimed.

    Or Mike McCarthy ins’t the QB guru as claimed.

    Or both.

  8. mavajo says: Aug 23, 2012 8:02 AM

    “Reischel expects the Packers to ultimately trade for Aaron Rodgers‘ backup.”

    This statement makes me unlikely to trust anything this guy says. Thompson doesn’t operate this way. People have been complaining almost every year since Rodgers became the starter that the Packers didn’t have a capable backup. They used to say the same thing about Flynn.

    Very unlikely that Thompson would give up anything of value to get a backup QB in here that will likely never see the field, and he’s really big on developing his own guys. If Harrell gets the boot, Coleman will likely move into the backup QB spot.

  9. Peter Venkman says: Aug 23, 2012 8:07 AM

    If McCoy goes to G.B., he gets a second chance. Actually, it still may be his first chance since Cleveland has shafted him from the beginning.

    T-Jack has had dozens of chances to prove himself and has never really shown anything.

    Think about it, Ted.

  10. aaronitout says: Aug 23, 2012 8:18 AM

    Wrong. Have people already forgotten Rodgers’ and Flynns’ early careers? In Rodgers first pre-season he was absolutely terrible, marginally improved in his 2nd, and finally put it together in his 3rd. The first year Rodgers started Flynn was a rookie, he too was terrible in the preseason and it took a few years to grasp the offense and be able to make the decisions quick enough to be effective.

    Is it scary to go into the season with Harrell as the backup? Yes, but cut the guy some slack. You can’t expect him to be the next ARodg right away.

    In TT and MM we trust!

  11. gtodriver says: Aug 23, 2012 8:25 AM

    mavajo says:

    “Very unlikely that Thompson would give up anything of value to get a backup QB in here that will likely never see the field…”

    Very unlikely for a backup QB to see the field?

    It happened just last year – 5 times.

    And in 2010 – 5 times also.

    Cumulative record in games where the backup QB had significant playing time 1 win (against Detroit last year) and 2 losses (Detroit and New England in 2010).

    Just a reminder – that Detroit game in 2010… Detroit was playing their 3rd string QB and won the game 7 – 3.

  12. realitypolice says: Aug 23, 2012 8:28 AM

    Venkman-

    How in the world is going to a team with the most firmly entrenched starting QB outside of New England a “second chance”?

    McCoy is much better off staying in Cleveland and waiting to see if the Weeden experiment fails than going to clip board land in Green Bay.

  13. scottieplongballs says: Aug 23, 2012 8:32 AM

    T Jack T Jack! Its like Brett Farve switching teams except now the Pack will get the super star.

  14. thesmartest1 says: Aug 23, 2012 8:33 AM

    The Eagles will release Kafka or Edwards. Why trade?

  15. larrydavidstern says: Aug 23, 2012 9:05 AM

    Why not trade a 7th for David Gerrard? The Dolphins don’t need him anymore.

  16. getyourownname says: Aug 23, 2012 9:11 AM

    Don’t forget Troy Smith, although he may not get to Green Bay before the season ends if he has to crawl the entire way.

  17. thetokyosandblaster says: Aug 23, 2012 9:13 AM

    adenaguy says:
    Aug 23, 2012 7:57 AM
    Most talented roster in football? Wasn’t their defense dead last in 2011? How about just saying the most talented passing attack in football.

    —-

    Cute. Now tell me where the defense ranked in points allowed.

    Now tell me how everything is exactly the same every year in the NFL. I mean, if that were the case, The Packers have won every Super Bowl.

    Thanks for playing!

  18. mvp43 says: Aug 23, 2012 9:18 AM

    I think its too early to judge Harrell based on such limited playing time. The guy has progressed exactly the same as Matt Flynn did.

    If A-Rodg goes down, it won’t matter who’s number 2 anyhow, so might as well develope him.

  19. conormacleod says: Aug 23, 2012 9:18 AM

    Very tough decisions when all of your running backs are equally mediocre, at best. Backup QB doesn’t matter. Without Rodgers the Packers would be 5-11.

  20. bobnelsonjr says: Aug 23, 2012 9:21 AM

    1) The Packers do have the most talented roster in the NFL.

    2) Almost all of the players the Packers cut will jobs on lesser teams. Just like the past 2 years.

    3) The Packers always keep the best players regardless of draft position or salary.

    4) The owners and board of directors have full confidence in Ted Thompson.

    5) America’s most beloved team will be fine this season.

    6) The weird ugly jealousy being expressed is rather comical.

    7) No team won more games or lost fewer games than the Green Bay Packers last season. There is no reason to think they will not perform similarly this season.

  21. scoops1 says: Aug 23, 2012 9:25 AM

    I don’t mind seeing Starks go. He is a one dimensional RB and knows only one move.

  22. rmc1995 says: Aug 23, 2012 9:46 AM

    I’m still trying to determine why cutting an injured, sixth round running back and a bad backup quarterback in an offense based around the passing game is a hard football decision. On a personal level maybe these guys are likable. Perhaps that’s why it’s difficult.

  23. steeler1nation says: Aug 23, 2012 10:18 AM

    Brandon Saine is very underrated. He’s a great receiver out of the backfield.

  24. kingcarlbanks says: Aug 23, 2012 10:31 AM

    Boy, Flynn had one good game against one of the worse secondaries in the NFL, bilks the hawks, and people talk about him like he was a pro bowler, wow.

  25. greglandry says: Aug 23, 2012 10:36 AM

    The Packers have one of the best QB’s in the league, but the most talented roster ?? Hardly

    RB – Definitely a question mark
    OL – Average at best.
    DL – Hasn’t been the same since Jenkins left.
    LB- AJ Hawk is slow.
    DB- Woodson aging and Pro Bowl safety gone

    The last game the Pack played they were handled pretty easily at Lambeau when it mattered most. Maybe an 0-2 start with both losses at home will wake a few people up. The 49ers and Bears will both be difficult match-ups for a soft team.

  26. mavajo says: Aug 23, 2012 11:04 AM

    “gtodriver says:

    It happened just last year – 5 times.

    And in 2010 – 5 times also.”

    ————–

    Lol what? Rodgers has missed only one start due to injury since becoming the starter in ’08.

    Fail hard.

  27. michaeljacksonisback says: Aug 23, 2012 11:05 AM

    The Bears will be moonwalking into the playoffs thanks to the two thriller wins over the packers weak def HE HEE

  28. jhtobias says: Aug 23, 2012 11:23 AM

    The Packers have one of the best QB’s in the league, but the most talented roster ?? Hardly

    RB – Definitely a question mark
    OL – Average at best.
    DL – Hasn’t been the same since Jenkins left.
    LB- AJ Hawk is slow.
    DB- Woodson aging and Pro Bowl safety gone

    The last game the Pack played they were handled pretty easily at Lambeau when it mattered most. Maybe an 0-2 start with both losses at home will wake a few people up. The 49ers and Bears will both be difficult match-ups for a soft team.

    Some good points , but your way off on some of your assesments..

    RB – Agreed
    OL ? except for Newsome/Sherrod combo you have an above average unit that is hitting it’s prime.
    DL- The jenkins thing is getting old. If Worthy can generate the power next to Raji it is back to it’s 2010 form.
    AJ Hawk is not a liabily if you take him out of the dime schemes which they will
    Woodson has been aging for six years only to make pro bowl after pro bowl..

    I do agree the Giants are champs until proven otherwise they are number one not the niners nor packers nor anyone else..

  29. bougin89 says: Aug 23, 2012 11:23 AM

    @greglandry

    RB- Starks is talented when healthy(and yes he is injured more often than not) Alex Green was a great pick last year and has shown promise.

    OL-we are really solid at every position and average at LT. Bulaga looks like a great RT, Sitton is a pro bowler and Lang was arguably better than him last year. Saturday will be good.

    DL-Raji had a down year last year but two years ago was one of the best DL in the league and he is still very young. Pickett is still effective and we have a few young guys with promise in the roation.

    LB-Clay Matthews is great. Desmond Bishop is really good. Hawk two seasons ago was really good and we’ll see if he can bounce back.

    CB-If you don’t think Tramon is talented your an idiot. Davon House, Casey Heyward are both middle round draft picks that have shown potential.

    S- Woodson is a HOF’er and if you don’t think he still has it, again, your an idiot. Morgan Burnett has shown lots of promise, plays like Collins did early in his career.

  30. thetokyosandblaster says: Aug 23, 2012 12:02 PM

    Lots of hate.

    I guess we will defer to the people who actually know about football and get paid to share their opinions regarding the talent level of each team.

    Everyone else, face it:

    The Packers are the best team in the NFL. The niners, bears, and Lions are not in the same class.

    Period.

  31. greglandry says: Aug 23, 2012 12:05 PM

    There are lots “if” this happens and “if” that happens and “he was good two years ago”. That doesn’t equal the most talented roster in the league.

    I agree Woodson is a first ballot Hall of Famer, but if you don’t think he’s aging, you are definitely wearing Green & Gold glasses. (I don’t feel the need to call you an idiot). But at this point in his career, he rarely lines up against the other team’s # 1 receiver. His game is mostly holding & grabbing and trying to knock the ball out while the receiver is adding “yards after the catch”.

    The GB Packers had the worst defense in the league last year and it wasn’t particularly close. Rodgers was so good they still won 15 games and they might be able to repeat that. But I doubt it. But they don’t have all of this talent gushing from every position on the roster like some seem to think.

  32. burningrangers says: Aug 23, 2012 12:06 PM

    Can’t see the Packers giving up on Starks yet. Showed too much in promise in 2010 to cut him out right. At worst, they IR him for the season.

    Harrell needs to show up these final two games, because Thompson won’t have trouble scouring the waiver wire or street FA’s for a veteran backup if he continues to struggle. Coleman probably ends up on the practice squad at the end of the season.

  33. taintedsaints2009 says: Aug 23, 2012 12:13 PM

    On look! Bob Nelson is back! Hey bob, why are the packers just the greatest item ever to grace this planet? I’m sure you’ll tell me when you’re done dry humping your 23rd clay Matthews fat head poster.

  34. contra74 says: Aug 23, 2012 12:39 PM

    bobnelsonjr says:Aug 23, 2012 9:21 AM

    7) No team won more games or lost fewer games than the Green Bay Packers last season. There is no reason to think they will not perform similarly this season.
    ——–
    Youre right. I have full confidence that they will be exposed again and will fail miserably in the playoffs…wait, playoffs!? Good luck getting there.

  35. fatgraycat says: Aug 23, 2012 1:04 PM

    Not sure how McCarthy ever got the label “QB Guru”. He took over in Green Bay with Favre at the helm. Rodgers was already on the roster, drafted in the first round and sat and watched a Hall of Famer for 3 years.

    Lets not also forget McCarthy was on the Niners staff when they decided to take Alex Smith over Rodgers in the draft.

    Matt Flynn…meh, not starter material. Surrounded by talent so he could thrive for 2 games in his packer career.

  36. axespray says: Aug 23, 2012 1:15 PM

    Developed Aaron Brooks, corrected Rodger’s throwing motion, taught him how to run the offense, was the 1st guy since Holmgren that brought discipline to Favre’s game, developed a solid starter out of a 7th round QB, everyone on that offense aside from Driver & Saturday were developed and coached up by McCarthy…. but yeah, he’s an awful coach cause I know more than him cause I’ve got a keyboard and it’s true that spiteful people are the most logical… ka-durrh!?

  37. silvernblackpa says: Aug 23, 2012 1:26 PM

    Starks will get picked up by somebody.

    Harrell seems like he was born to play in the Arena League.

  38. purplehayseuss says: Aug 23, 2012 2:18 PM

    Peter Venkman,

    As a clearly astute and successful team executive in the NFL, Ted Thompson needs nor looks for help from you, me, Florio or any poster on this site.

    Further, I still say that Jackson gets included in the final discussions about coming to GB when Seattle (screws) releases him. McCoy is not any superior passer, nor are any of the available QBs that may be available to hold the Golden Clipboard at Lambeau. Backup QBs are placeholders for every team while they panic about the loss of their icon when he goes down.

    Rare indeed is the Tom Brady-caliber QB that steps in and moves the team so well that they dump the injured icon.

  39. foosball11 says: Aug 23, 2012 2:20 PM

    The GB Packers had the worst defense in the league last year and it wasn’t particularly close.
    ———————————————————
    What about the 13 teams that gave up more points than GB?

  40. tucostacos says: Aug 23, 2012 2:35 PM

    Worst 15-1 team in NFL history.

  41. gregm5s7 says: Aug 23, 2012 2:59 PM

    considering the Packers have $0 invested in backup QB or the RB position…they could definitely shore these up in FA if need be

  42. deltaoracle says: Aug 23, 2012 3:50 PM

    They don’t have great players across the board. They still may have the best roster in the league, because everyone else has plenty of weak links too. There – that wasn’t too hard, was it?

  43. vikescry1 says: Aug 24, 2012 6:35 PM

    gtodriver says:
    Aug 23, 2012 8:25 AM
    mavajo says:

    “Very unlikely that Thompson would give up anything of value to get a backup QB in here that will likely never see the field…”

    Very unlikely for a backup QB to see the field?

    It happened just last year – 5 times.

    And in 2010 – 5 times also.

    Cumulative record in games where the backup QB had significant playing time 1 win (against Detroit last year) and 2 losses (Detroit and New England in 2010).

    Just a reminder – that Detroit game in 2010… Detroit was playing their 3rd string QB and won the game 7 – 3.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————- umm last year it was mop up duty, and if rodgers goes down for any signifcant amount of time the season is over anyway. tt may sign colt or t-jack if one is released but i doubt he will trade for one. imo maybe gram is pressing trying to hard or maybe he stinks? i’m not mccarthy so i’ll leave that decision to him and tt. i’m pretty sure they’re track record show’s they know more than me.

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