Packers release Charlie Peprah

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The Packers need to find a safety to replace Nick Collins this season, but it isn’t going to be Charlie Peprah.

Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com reported the news after getting a text message from Peprah confirming his change in employment status. Peprah did not practice this spring after having arthroscopic surgery on his knee, but there wasn’t much of an inkling out of Green Bay that this move was coming.

“It’s tough to leave your compadres. You have a bond with those guys. Who knows? I could come back. I don’t have any grudges,” Peprah told Wilde after his release.

With Peprah gone, the Packers’ most experienced safety is third-year man Morgan Burnett which is part of what makes the timing so surprising. Unless Peprah’s knee is worse than anyone has reported, it would seem like a good idea to keep him around until you have a better grasp on the other options.

Burnett’s likely to start at one safety spot, with M.D. Jennings and 2012 fourth-rounder Jerron McMillian looking like the likeliest choices for the other spot. The Packers could also give Charles Woodson more time at safety, although that would require some of their other cornerbacks stepping up over the summer.

Peprah started 25 games for the Packers over the last two seasons and signed a two-year, $2.3 million deal with the team before the 2011 season. If he’s healthy, he’ll likely catch on with a team looking for veteran help at safety but that might be a big if given the unexpected timing of his departure from the Packers.