Packers begin cuts with Gatewood, Williams

Michael Cohen
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Football analysts seem to agree that the reason Packers GM Ted Thompson has succeeded in building rosters is because he values draft picks - the more picks the better the odds are to make a good pick.

GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson has begun paring down his roster in advance of Saturday's deadline for a 53-man squad. Cornerback Warren Gatewood and quarterback Marquise Williams were released Friday afternoon, league sources told the Journal Sentinel.

An undrafted free agent from Alcorn State, Gatewood was prioritized by the Packers in the hours after the 2016 NFL draft. He planned to sign with the Packers, whose history of trusting undrafted corners is well-documented, but a hamstring injury caused him to fail the physical. Gatewood rehabbed the injury for the better part of three months and finally signed a deal July 20.

But Gatewood faced an uphill climb from the beginning. Aside from the wide receiver position, which still resembles gridlock less than 24 hours before Saturday's 3 p.m. deadline, the Packers had more competitive depth at corner than anywhere else on the field. Gatewood battled two more undrafted rookies — Makinton Dorleant and Josh Hawkins — as well as first-year player Robertson Daniel for an undetermined number of spots on Thompson's roster.

He finished the exhibition season with four tackles and one pass defended.

Williams, another undrafted free agent, signed with the Packers in late May after the front office had seen enough of former Miami quarterback Ryan Williams. He occupied the fourth spot on the depth chart for the remainder of his time in Green Bay and took reps behind Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley and rookie Joe Callahan.

Williams' playing time was minimal during the four exhibition games as the Packers worked to develop Callahan, a former Division III star. He completed 6 of 17 passes for 55 yards and one interception. He did not throw for a touchdown.

As a rusher, Williams chipped in 12 carries for 37 yards.

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