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Colt Lyerla the latest player Ted Thompson takes a chance on

Ted Thompson

Not everyone was willing to even consider Colt Lyerla.

But the Packers have shown a willingness, perhaps even a fondness for second chances, and General Manager Ted Thompson made it clear that there are certain players he’s willing to stick his neck out for.

The Packers signed Lyerla after a free agent tryout. The talented former Oregon tight end wasn’t drafted, after leaving the team in October and then getting arrested on drug charges.

“You weigh it all. And every case is an individual case,” Thompson said, via Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com. “We have always believed that, or I have always believed, that there are certain things . . . that people can atone for, acknowledge their mistakes and get on with their lives. And I am a proponent of those kind of people that try to do that. And that’s where we’re at with Colt.”

The Packers have given out chances at redemption before, for players such as Koren Robinson and most recently Johnny Jolly.

Thompson said he talked to many people about Lyerla’s troubled background, and clearly did plenty of evaluation of his football skills as well. The kid is clearly talented, and had the best vertical leap and broad jump in his group at the Combine, running a 4.59-second 40 as well.

Let’s not be naive, it’s also easier to give chances when you have a stable organization and strong leadership and a quarterback.

But Thompson also obviouisly places a value on a good redemption story, which can help lift a team as well — especially if the guy can play.

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46 Responses to “Colt Lyerla the latest player Ted Thompson takes a chance on”
  1. ariani1985 says: May 20, 2014 8:47 AM

    Trouble and packers go together like bees and honey.

    #sharper

  2. superslugg says: May 20, 2014 8:54 AM

    He’s the only one willing to take a chance on this guy. A lot of talent, but apparently a divisive locker room cancer that can’t stay out of trouble. Good luck with that, even the Bengals wouldn’t sign this one.

  3. gbmickey says: May 20, 2014 9:02 AM

    So far he has may pretty good choices on players he gave a 2nd chance to unlike Minnesota who has led the NFL in arrests in recent years.

  4. Carl Gerbschmidt says: May 20, 2014 9:04 AM

    What’s your ring size. Colt?

  5. aa1829 says: May 20, 2014 9:06 AM

    Just catch the damn ball.

  6. luigiboy12 says: May 20, 2014 9:10 AM

    He either gets with the program or he’s out. Small risk with great upside for rewards, especially with TE questions this year.

  7. whatjusthapped says: May 20, 2014 9:23 AM

    I would love to read his contract, I bet the Packers protected themselves with clauses that lay out the consequences for bad behavior.

    But this article has it right when it mentions it takes a stable organization and strong leadership to pull this off. For example, a team that is switching coaching staffs and has a long history of players getting arrested (Love Boat anyone?) do not an option to sign a player like this.

  8. jimmysee says: May 20, 2014 9:25 AM

    Blaming the Packers for Sharper is like blaming Eisenhower for Nixon.

    Doesn’t hold water.

  9. stellarperformance says: May 20, 2014 9:30 AM

    If this guy stays clean and says the right things and does his job well, he has no idea (yet) how welcomed the Packer faithful will make him feel.

    From everything I have read and a little bit of firsthand input (Oregon OC in Phoenix golf tourney this past weekend,) this guy is not only starting caliber, he could be a difference-maker. Especially with Rodgers throwing to him. This guy could be the Finley that never showed up. What a find this could turn out to be.

  10. greenandgold78 says: May 20, 2014 9:39 AM

    Not that I’m sticking up for Sharper but his issues were not while he was in Green Bay.

  11. aldante66 says: May 20, 2014 9:43 AM

    It only means that he is despirate to find a tight end.
    I don’t care for Ted at all. He uses the ‘draft the best player available BS’. The TE he drafted in the third was considered a 5 or 6 pick at best and to hear the analyst the guy had nothing remarkable about him to be a third.
    The analyst must be correct because Ted just picked up three undrafteds in the last week.

    It may also mean that the Jerm is not coming back anytime soon. A Neurologist would have to clear him to play again. He may be done.

  12. uknepatsfan says: May 20, 2014 9:47 AM

    I wanted my Pats to take a chance on him in free agency. Kid has a bunch of talent and if he can stay out of trouble he can be a real stud at TE.

    Unfortunately, NE is probably too close to Sandy Hook and the Aaron Hernandez business has probably put an end to that ever happening.

    GB deserve some success from this kid for taking a chance on him.

  13. scrotiemcb says: May 20, 2014 9:51 AM

    While its rare, some guys don’t deserve a path to redemption. Colt Lyerla is one of those guys.

    Packers fans should be ashamed.

  14. dpagsknowsall says: May 20, 2014 10:06 AM

    Dear lord, he’s an UDFA.

    If he screws up, he’ll be cut. If he sucks, he’ll be cut. If he looks at Rodgers the wrong way, he’ll be cut.

    I think were looking a little too hard into this people. GB has all the leverage here. With everything to gain and nothing to lose.

    #gocolt

  15. dethsupport says: May 20, 2014 10:26 AM

    I wonder if he hires Schneider, superbowl roster architect, to consult.

  16. 4949centennial says: May 20, 2014 10:31 AM

    Apparently Packers just moved their ‘drawn line’ ;)

    Not hating on the kid. I hope he makes it. But Packers hypocrisy is kind of exposed.

  17. purpleguy says: May 20, 2014 10:36 AM

    If the Vikings signed this guy, this site would probably shut down from overload as Pack fans rushed to trash the decision. Jolly just had a substance abuse problem, but this guy’s a scumbag pure and simple.

  18. troutbrookbob says: May 20, 2014 10:57 AM

    The bears fans must have forgot. They sign quitters too, Cutler ring a bell!

  19. uwsptke says: May 20, 2014 10:58 AM

    The difference with Robinson (Seattle) and Jolly (Green Bay) is that Ted drafted those players before they had their legal issues, and had much more information to go off of. In that regard, this is new territory for Ted.

    Hoping for the best, because he’s arguable the most talented player they’ve acquired this offseason. A base offense with Rodgers, Nelson, Cobb, Adams, Lyerla, and Lacy? Good luck stopping that.

  20. schmitty2 says: May 20, 2014 11:02 AM

    All he has to do is catch the ball and he instantly upgrades their TE position.

  21. woodyg says: May 20, 2014 11:10 AM

    If Thompson’s last few drafts were any better than just mediocre, GB would never have to touch someone like this. — This is just TT trying to make up for lousy drafting.

  22. heyjoe737 says: May 20, 2014 11:13 AM

    A few, not many people, saying he doesn’t deserve a second chance. I’m glad there weren’t a lot of people like that in my life.

  23. packerfan4life1 says: May 20, 2014 11:27 AM

    The packers are the best place for him to go. Strong organization and consistency at the QB position. All he gotta do is keep his nose clean and catch the ball

  24. chris1cat says: May 20, 2014 11:31 AM

    A second chance is deserved, but not 5 or 6.
    Come on man, the Packers and TT don’t deserve any props for signing him. They need a TE and are desperate to find one. Period.

  25. channelguy says: May 20, 2014 11:57 AM

    I don’t think the issues around Lyerla that kept him from being drafted are the drug ones. Sadly those aren’t that uncommon. It’s the fact that he is a kook, referencing the Sandy Hook shootings and his idea of a government conspiracy.

    Does being a kook make you unfit to play in the NFL? I remember other conspiracy wonks in the past, notably Rashard Mendenhall. I don’t think he did his career any favors there, but no one said Mendenhall should be thrown out of the league. Something like this is just a negative like any other in the mix of positives and negatives about whether you want a guy. So when you have a guy with potential all-pro talent, it’s a no-brainer to sign him.

  26. axespray says: May 20, 2014 12:30 PM

    Ted probably has his hand on the “Cut Colt” button, just in case – like Blade in Blade 2 with the bomb on Ron Pearlman’s head.

  27. heyjoe737 says: May 20, 2014 12:45 PM

    Saying kooky things while hi or wasted is certainly not unusual. In today’s world, with social media like twitter, a person’s bad judgement is captured for all to see. Colt was dumb enough to do this and now he has to own it. A good starting place would be to the Sandy Hook parents and community, if he hasn’t done that already.

  28. heyjoe737 says: May 20, 2014 12:48 PM

    See what I mean? I meant “high” not “hi” and that Colt should apologize. If in fact he is an addict and is trying to get sober, then good for him. He has a hard road ahead.

  29. karlpk says: May 20, 2014 1:11 PM

    I’m rooting for the guy to turn it around because he is a beast in every sense of the word, but I’ve mixed feelings. The GB locker room is filled with veterans and winners so that could rub off.
    Criticism of TT esp from NFC North types makes me laugh. No GM gets it right all the time but TT has given McCarthy plenty to work with over the years and GB always contends even with crazy injury numbers –
    With everyone focused on whether or not the Pack can pull together an effective defense this year I do believe the offense is going to set records – they are loaded for bear as they say – also lion and viking

  30. rosstuckershair says: May 20, 2014 1:50 PM

    Hoping for the best, because he’s arguable the most talented player they’ve acquired this offseason. A base offense with Rodgers, Nelson, Cobb, Adams, Lyerla, and Lacy? Good luck stopping that…..

    With the 24th ranked Oline? Good luck keeping that going

  31. jvando42 says: May 20, 2014 3:25 PM

    The Packers got a deal. I hope Colt gets his act together. Shutting down his twitter account would help. He has million dollar skills and a five cent brain. I watched every one of his home games at Oregon in person. TV does not do him justice. He broke DeAnthony Thomas, LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner loose on a lot of those big runs with his blocking.

  32. deltaoracle says: May 20, 2014 3:30 PM

    Somehow that horrible GB OLine managed to help produce a 1200 yard rusher and an offense that ranked #3 in yards and #8 in points.
    IF Lyerla can get his head on straight, the Packer offense would be very scary indeed.

  33. Frazier28/7 says: May 20, 2014 6:09 PM

    your defense is terrible

  34. sonofad says: May 20, 2014 6:41 PM

    Ted just got himself an extra 2nd rounder.

    You don’t get those Super Bowl rings by accident.

  35. stellarperformance says: May 20, 2014 7:24 PM

    The Packer O-line was ranked 24th. The SuperBowl winning Seattle Seahawks O-line was statistically very close…..ranked 23rd. Good luck stopping the Green Bay Packers in 2014. They are going to be tough.

  36. kevjones75 says: May 20, 2014 7:56 PM

    Boy there is a lot of Packers envy on this site. Never realized that so many teams had such an inferiority complex.

  37. tangysizzl says: May 20, 2014 8:12 PM

    I will take a highly talented player like Colt for the measly cost of a minimum salary contract, a little PR hit and a few jabs from some NFL fans.

  38. packsoldier says: May 20, 2014 9:29 PM

    It’s easier to give chances when you have the top franchise in the league and not a total basket case like the Minnesota Vikings.

  39. gforce4all says: May 21, 2014 1:06 AM

    @ariani1985: You are one serious idiot.

  40. kriselliott1 says: May 21, 2014 1:52 AM

    It’s easy to put someone down for their short comings but it takes guts to pick yourself up and fight the odds stacked up against you. I have faith in Colt. I’ve watched him play every home game at Autzen and I know for a fact that he’s a winner. No one is perfect nor should anyone be expected to be so. As for the Packers and the Packers fan base, hold onto your seats, Colt is going to light it up, just wait and see!

  41. jimatmad says: May 21, 2014 4:03 AM

    Mr Lyerla is a case where the phrase “keep your nose clean” has added meaning.

    The guy was a total bonehead at Oregon.

    Green Bay is just about the best place to be for a guy looking for a second (or third) chance.

    Let’s see if he has grown up enough to take advantage of this opportunity.

  42. jimatmad says: May 21, 2014 4:06 AM

    In other news, the Vikings just won the rights to the 2018 Super Bowl.

    Guess they figured that was the only way they were ever going to get a Lombardi Trophy into the building.

  43. packsoldier says: May 21, 2014 8:31 AM

    It’s easier to give chances when you have the top franchise in the league and not a total basket case like the Vikings.

  44. upyourscornholio says: May 21, 2014 8:38 AM

    It’s easier to give chances when you have the top franchise in the league instead of a basket case like the Minnesota Vikings.

  45. crownofthehelmet says: May 21, 2014 9:18 AM

    I guess we now know that packsoldier and upyour are one in the same. Brilliant.

  46. jimmysee says: May 24, 2014 11:13 AM

    Brett Favre was a player Ron Wolf took a chance on. Atlanta was only too happy to be rid of the guy. That one turned out pretty good.

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