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Report: Jerel Worthy Traded by Packers to Patriots Pending Physical

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Report: Jerel Worthy Traded by Packers to Patriots Pending Physical

Jerel Worthy in attendance at a Packers offseason practice. Photo by Benny Sieu—USA TODAY Sports.

Jerel Worthy in attendance at a Packers offseason practice. Photo by Benny Sieu—USA TODAY Sports.

The Green Bay Packers will trade defensive lineman Jerel Worthy to the New England Patriots pending a physical.

That was the word Tuesday from Worthy's agent, Chafie Fields, who broke the news on Twitter in advance of any announcement from either team:

According to Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, citing a source, the Packers will receive a conditional seventh round draft choice incumbent upon him making the Patriots' 53-man roster.

There has been no official word, as of yet, whether that draft choice could improve based upon Worthy's playing time with the Patriots.

Worthy has been on the Packers' Non-Football Injury list since the opening of training camp, yet to take part in a single practice. He reportedly injured his lower back while weightlifting on his own during the offseason.

Originally a second round draft choice of the Packers out of Michigan State in 2012, Worthy has done very little during his two-year stint in Green Bay.

In his rookie season, Worthy played in 14 games, starting four and making 2.5 sacks before tearing his ACL in the final game of the regular season.

After starting the 2013 season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, Worthy returned to play in just two games, making just a single tackle the entire season.

Just three years removed, the Packers' 2012 draft class has been more hits or misses. Only defensive lineman MIke Daniels and cornerback Casey Hayward have made significant contributions.

The jury is still out on former first round draft choice Nick Perry, but none of the rest of the draft class even remains in Green Bay: Jerron McMillian, Terrell Manning, B.J. Coleman and Andrew Datko.

If Worthy passes his physical, a berth would open up on the Packers' 90-man offseason roster.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (50) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Carlos Danger's picture

A potential late rounder for a former second round pick. The Pack is getting screwed on this deal no matter how you slice it. I think they should have put him on IR and try again next year. So far that is working with Sherrod.

Nick Perry's picture

Well if Daniels keeps progressing, Hayward is back to 2012 form, and Perry can actually stay on the field, the 2012 draft won't be a total wash. I feel confident in Daniels and Casey and always been a big Perry supporter, but he really needs to start showing up. Quick!

jeremyjjbrown's picture

/**/

Censoring my own stupidity. :)

Aeric's picture

Makes me think TT was going to cut Worthy anyway and took what he could get.

Stroh's picture

I think that's exactly what it says too. Apparently Thomspon is condident enough in Daniels, Datone, Boyd, Thornton at DE and as interior pass rushers. Add in the use of Raji on some pass downs, Mike Neal and Peppers pulling some pass rush snaps at DT, it just doesn't leave a lot of opportunities for Worthy. His injuries clearly have caused them to move on w/ other options.

Zoellner25's picture

I would have to guess Worthy may have also have not been great in the locker room. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

L's picture

I wonder if the performance of Mike Pennel has helped with making J.Worthy more or less expendable or if it had more to do with things such as J.Worthy's work ethic, constant unavailability, and perhaps attitude that lead the team to seek getting what they could for him. Anyways, the UDFA has looked pretty good so far in camp and preseason.

Also, I wonder if the team will consider bringing in Johnny Jolly for an update on his neck.

Evan's picture

Possibly, though I'm not sure how direct the connection is as Pennel and Worthy don't play the same position. Pennel is a NT and Worthy is a DE.

I certainly thinks cutting ties with Worthy improves Pennel's chances of making the team significantly.

L's picture

True about M.Pennel being more or less a NT verse a DE, but I'd argue the team already had more players who could fill the DE role and less of the NT type D-lineman so this is probably an improvement to roster flexibility; plus, including M.Pennel on the active roster could potentially allow the team to run a true heavy line out there on goal line or short yardage situations. Having BJ.Raji, J.Boyd, and M.Pennel, along with a solid run stuffing DE or EE on the field together should provide the team with some serious beef and run stopping ability up front.

Evan's picture

No doubt. The Pack desperately needed another big guy on the d-line. I think at this point, Pennel is more likely than not to make the team.

Last year they kept 8 DL: B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, C.J. Wilson, Josh Boyd, Mike Daniels, Johnny Jolly, Datone Jones, Mike Neal.

Right now, I'm not seeing more than 5 locks (Raji (NT), Daniels (DT), Jones (DE), Boyd (DE), Thornton (DE)) and 2 bubble guys (Pennel (NT), Guion (DT)).

I haven't heard anything about Grey or Robinson, but they could use another DE it seems.

Stroh's picture

They won't keep 7or 8 DL this year. The trade of Worthy virtually guarantees that. The 5 you mentioned are locks. Pennel is very nearly a lock since Guion hasn't practiced yet and they can save a little money w/ Pennel and stay younger. Mike Neal is listed in some instances as a DL, but I consider him more of an OLB, so I include him in that group.

34 Defenses don't generally keep more than 6 DL. Last year was more of an anomaly IMO, but I don't see that happening again. Mark it down...
Raji, Pennel at NT and Daniels, Datone, Boyd and Thornton at DE.

Most downs they really only use 2 DL anyway, unless you count Peppers. It doesn't make much sense to keep more than 6 DL.

Evan's picture

Yeah, in my scenario, Guion only makes the team on the PUP. He's missed too much time at this point, I think.

So, 6 DL plus Guion on PUP.

GoldFinger's picture

L, you hit it on the head. This move is 100% because they are absolutely giddy about Mike Pennel. I loved Worthy coming out of college but he's damaged goods unfortunately. Pennel could be better than Raji in two years. He's already flashing in practice and even in that TN game I was impressed. Huge mammoth man and there's no way they are cutting him. Pennel made the team and Worthy was expendable. I have no problems with this. Basically Ted upgraded getting a better football player with Pennel who they got for peanuts. The drafting of Worthy and Daniels was just TT rolling the dice hoping one worked out. Same thing with Brohm and Flynn and Lacy and Franklin. All he had to do was hit on one of them each and he did. TT does it again striking gold with Pennel.

Imma Fubared's picture

Great. One more piece of deadwood rid off. I also think the Pack was dumping Worthy and took a 7th pick to get rid of his salary and move on.

Unfortunately my 3 Bustkateers: Worthy, D Jones and Perry are down to two. and those two better step up to the plate and play like one picks instead of five picks.

Point Packer's picture

Here's to the great Stroh - about the only person on the site who continues to somehow think that tub of lard was worth a shit as an NFL defensive lineman. 7th round pick, if only you could trade for UFA's...

Stroh's picture

Where did I say that? He hasn't been on the field and I just didn't expect them to outright release him when they could put him on PUP. Here's to PointButtplug putting words in my mouth.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I will say that when I heard this, I was surprised but honestly I'm not shocked.
I am surprised because I thought for sure he would have either been put on the PUP list or IR.

What this move does is tell me that Thompson had no plans for keeping Worthy and decided that a late round pick is better then nothing. Which if they were planning on just letting him go I would agree that a late round pick is better then nothing.

Now everything comes down to him passing his physical.

Miisbigsur's picture

What a disappointment. It's tough for a draft and develop club to recover from drafts like GB had in 2011 and 2012. Does anyone know how Devon Still panned out?

Stroh's picture

18 games played, no starts, 21 total tackles in 2 yrs and 1/2 of a sack. Not much to speak of, maybe less than Worthy. Don't know if he's been injured that he's only played in 18 games.

Mojo's picture

Well it looks like Pennel might have moved up the d-line food chain.

I think some others were right when they suggested the Pack were going to cut him anyway and they got what they could.

MM has already stated they won't have patience for players who aren't available. Fair or not. Maybe unless you're a star player.

The TKstinator's picture

Conditional 7th.
Could become a 1st if.....?

zeke's picture

... if Imma Fubared learns how to spell.

The TKstinator's picture

Well played.

Clay Zombo's picture

He was definitely starting to give me that Justin Harrell vibe so Im not surprised they pulled the trigger on this.

Nice little gamble for the Patriots though. If hes healthy and plays in a 4 man front, he still has some upside especially for a 7th round pick.

DrealynWilliams's picture

I'm with you on the Justin Harrell comparison. Just can't stay healthy.

C's picture

I appreciate reading Bob McGinn's work, but is there a Packer journalist out there that gets more smug in hindsight when it comes to personnel? It's getting to be a bit much....

Nicedog's picture

Old Jerel had a hundred dollar body wrapped around a nickel head. It was known when he was drafted but potential especially on the D Line means you draft and hope. God didn't make 320 lb. men who can move too often and so Uncle Ted rolled the dice as GMs throughout the league sometimes do.

JimTaylor31's picture

Tough to throw away a 2nd round pick but I gotta give Ted credit for cutting his losses. Sure hope Perry can stay on the field and play like a #1. I've always been a big TT supporter and try to avoid second guessing. When he sticks to BPA in the draft he's been pretty successful. I can't help but to think, and did so at the time, that he drafted more for need in 2012. Just hasn't worked out too well.

lebowski's picture

I remember thinking when we switched to a 3-4 defense that it would be easier to find college players for that scheme. Couldn't have been more wrong. The past few drafts have been rich with 4-3 type D linemen and smaller, quick linebackers. Too many projections and position switches, but that's why Ted likes holding onto his draft picks. Doesn't really matter which round, the more swings you get the better your chances of finding a player. Still have some nice young talent despite plenty of draft misses.

Zoellner25's picture

Great point. For every miss TT has had in the draft, he's found a gem on the undrafted FA market as well. Scouting, scouting, scouting.

Miisbigsur's picture

He does have a knack for having UDFAs contribute...but I just wish some of these guys would make that jump from year 1 to year 2 and turn into real players rather than simply get replaced by the next UDFA gem the following year.

Duke Divine's picture

Must have been more to it than the back... Maybe work ethic, attitude came into play... I was sure he would be PUP'd and perhaps offered some midseason help after 6-8 weeks when other DLs hit the tub. Guess there was more than meets the eye with this turd... go Pack!

White92's picture

This should send a message to Perry and maybe even Datone.

Back injuries are always worrisome. They seem to be chronic most times. Good to cut losses there and move on.

Carlos Danger's picture

Watch Datone have a solid year. He has the physical tools, all he needs is in game reps.

COW's picture

I have strong doubts on this.

Duke Divine's picture

you would...

COW's picture

As much as I would love for him and Perry to be difference makers... I'm afraid they're destined to be j.a.g.s.

COW's picture

Addition by subtraction.

What happens with his salary?
What would have happened with his salary if they had cut him?

If they saved 2nd rounder money by sending him off to the Pats - - - - - - AWESOME!!!!!!!!

I LOVE WHEN TT TRADES WITH NE (G. JENNINGS, C.MATTHEWS).

-They've got 5 - Jones, Daniels, Raji, Boyd, Thornton.

-They probably only need 6 (seeing as Peppers, Neal, and Perry can all play down).

-That means 1 spot for Pennel, Guion, and Worthy. Both Pennel and Guion are cheeper than Worthy... plus they aren't as douchey.

Hey - sometimes guys don't translate to the pro game.
I watched a lot of MSU games when he was there. He was a good college player. Gave Wisco fits.

It is what it is.

Evan's picture

I was thinking about the salary implications too.

$750,000 cap hit this year ($930,000 next year) with no more guarantee (so nothing dead if he was just cut). That all goes to NE now, yeah? Nearly $2 mil. Not nothing.

I'd be willing to bet Pennel makes the team and Guion goes on PUP. That's 7 DL (had 8 last year, counting Neal).

EDIT: His rookie deal was only 4 years, $3.9 million. I would have thought it'd be more.

L's picture

I wondered the same thing initially in regards to the financial costs or basically the potential financial savings so I started by researching the details of Worthy's contract this is what I found...

He signed a 4 year $3,948,203 contract which included a $1,311,420 signing bonus as well as $1,701,420 in guaranteed money. To note: the guaranteed money is determined by the signing bonus amount as well as the first year's base salary. Also, the signing bonus money is divided up per each year of the contract so the team would be on the hook for it this year as well as next year too -- I think (not 100% sure given a trade which might pass that payment type onto NE for both this year and next though I really doubt this year as I think the Packers probably already paid that amount earlier this year - at the beginning of the NFL's fiscal year).

At worst I believe the Packers will be stuck with $327,855 of "dead money" next year instead of being completely cost free. This year I believe they're probably stuck with a "dead money" amount that's around the $400,000 range (signing bonus + prorated amount of his base salary which was $748,928). Not sure if cutting him verses trading him makes much difference in what the Packers would be facing in cost, but at least the Pack are receiving something for him if the trade goes through verses nothing and there's the possibility that there's no dead money to deal with next year and maybe even less this year.

Evan's picture

According to spotrac, there would be no dead money if cut this year or next.

http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/green-bay-packers/jerel-worthy/

Then again, it says he has a $1.3 million signing bonus but that only 654,000 of it has been paid so far ($327,000 in 2012 and 2013), so something isn't adding up.

So, yeah, I think you're right. Spotrac doesn't list his prorated signing bonus for 2014 or 2015.

Stroh's picture

Pretty sure the signing bonus, which is spread over the length of the contract so 4 years, is accelerated if traded or released. So the remaining 2 yrs of the signing bonus will count as dead money. NE is only on the hook for the last 2 years salary, no bonus money if he makes the roster. If they release him, they owe him nothing, but the Packers are still on the hook for the last 2 yrs of the signing bonus.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

It's my understanding that the signing bonus is paid up front but the cap hit gets spread over the deal, and if a player is cut or traded the cap hit is excellerated. If that is true then the Packers will have a 650,000 hit this year for money they have already paid Worthy.

Maybe what spotrac means is that Worthy's salary is not guaranteed so that they will not have dead money in guaranteed salary.

lucky953's picture

Makes me wonder if Rodgers comments about "entitlement" in prior draft classes included Jerel. Even when you're injured, there's a difference between staying in the tub and getting in the film room.

Imma Fubared's picture

Just read (lucky for us) that he passed his physical and is officially a Patriot. Another big piece of deadwood we got rid of.
If the Packers coaches and staff started realizing that if you replace Worthy with Worthless like I did the moment he was drafted then bravo to them for taking out the garbage.
The pre draft analyst said he often went missing in games and took plays off. In our case he took whole seasons off.
Funny he could pass the Pats physical but not ours and couldn't practice.
Lot more going on then we were told. Use your imagination.

Big Moe's picture

Man I've been holding my breath hoping he'd pass the Pats physical, now lets see who that roster spot goes to.

Stroh's picture

It shows the Packers like Daniels, Datone, Boyd and Thornton at DE. Worthy would have been behind all of them and there just wasn't snaps for him. His primary role would have been as an interior pass rusher. But they've got Daniels, Datone taking the majority of those snaps. Thornton will get some, Raji will get more pass rush opportunities, Mike Neal and Peppers should get some.

Thompson did Worthy a favor trading him now, instead of keeping him around even tho he won't have a role. It gives him a chance to make an impression in NE.

GoldFinger's picture

They didn't play Worthy because they knew for a while now that he probably wouldn't make the team. They wanted to get something for him rather than just releasing him. If anything this just shows you how great TT is at what he does and it sends a message to all the players.

It doesn't matter where you are drafted. If a guy is a free agent and he's better than you and isn't injured, he's going to be ahead of you in the line. Worthy wasn't a bust. He simply got hurt and the Packers moved on with other players. He learned from Justin Harrel to move on earlier.

I'll say it again. They are madly in love secretly with Mike Pennel. This is why they did what they did with Worthy. Pennel takes his roster spot and hopefully Worthy can continue his career. He had an unfortunate injury and was a willing and determined player trying to get back. Justin Harrel truly was the one guy that showed no determination and I will call a bust but not Worthy. Good luck to him.

Stroh's picture

I don't think they withheld Worthy. He had a back injury and IMO he just got healthy. In the meantime the Packers became comfortable w/ Daniels, Jones, Thornton and Boyd at DE. Pennel is a NT and will be backing up Raji. So he didn't really figure into the equation. 4 DE on a 34 D is plenty, especially when most downs only 2 DL are even on the field. Pennel just makes Guion expendable.

Thompson probably did Worthy a favor trading him now. It allows him to actually get on the field in NE now and show what he can do now that he's completely healthy. Daniels, Datone, Boyd and Thornton made Worthy expendable, not Pennel, since he and Worthy wouldn't have nearly the same role on the D. Plus Worthy's role would have been as an interior pass rusher. Beside the 4 DE, they also have Raji who'll get more pass rush opportunities, Mike Neal who can pass rush inside and Peppers who also should get some snaps inside. There just wasn't any snaps left for Worthy.

Irish_Cheesehead's picture

No great loss. I didn't like the pick when they took him. At least it was only a wasted second rounder. There were talks that year of the Packers taking him in the 1st.

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