GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers didn’t want them, but running back Alex Green, tight end D.J. Williams, outside linebacker Dezman Moses, inside linebacker Terrell Manning and center Patrick Lewis were wanted elsewhere.
One day after being released by the Packers, Green was claimed on waivers Sunday by the New York Jets, Williams was claimed by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Moses was claimed by the Kansas City Chiefs, Manning was claimed by the San Diego Chargers and Lewis was claimed by the Cleveland Browns.
Asked what having so many of his ex-players claimed by other teams meant, Packers general manager Ted Thompson wouldn’t really say.
“I can’t really confirm or deny any of those things, but if we did perchance have some people claimed I’d be happy because guys are getting jobs,” Thompson replied. “I’m very fond of the players who play for the Packers.”
Green, a 2011 third-round pick who was the Packers leading rusher last season with 464 yards, lost out to rookies Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin and veteran James Starks as the Packers kept just three halfbacks after making the 22 cuts needed to get down to 53 players on Saturday.
Williams, a 2011 fifth-round pick who played in 27 games (including playoffs) the past two seasons and caught nine passes for 70 yards over that span, was one of three tight ends released by the team Saturday. The Packers kept starter Jermichael Finley along with Brandon Bostick, Andrew Quarless and Ryan Taylor.
Moses, who made the team as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Tulane last summer, saw action in all 18 games last season, including seven starts. He finished with 46 tackles, four sacks and one forced fumble (including playoffs). The Packers opted to keep undrafted rookie Andy Mulumba and rookie sixth-round pick Nate Palmer over Moses.
Manning, a 2012 fifth-round pick, saw action in just five games last season after a training-camp illness. He lost out to rookie seventh-round pick Sam Barrington for the final inside linebacker spot. Coincidentally, Manning took the spot on the Chargers’ roster by ex-Packers inside linebacker D.J. Smith, whom the Chargers released to add Manning.
Lewis signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent this spring out of Texas A&M but was beaten out by Greg Van Roten for the backup center job. Van Roten was promoted from the practice-squad to the 53-man roster last year and saw action in nine games (including playoffs).
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