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Packers release linebacker Antonio Morrison before raise kicks in

Jim Owczarski
Packers News

GREEN BAY - With the legal tampering period for free agency beginning Monday and the new league year ringing in at 3 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst began molding his roster and creating salary-cap space Friday with the waiving of veteran linebacker Antonio Morrison.

Gutekunst acquired Morrison from Indianapolis on Aug. 26 and the linebacker appeared in all 16 games (eight starts). He made 42 total tackles and had a sack.

Morrison, 24, was about to enter the fourth year of his rookie contract originally signed after he was drafted in the fourth round in 2016. That contract had him set to make a base salary of $2.020 million this season, a raise from $630,000 from a year ago.

Green Bay Packers linebacker Antonio Morrison (44) yells at the referee after a scuffle against Washington Sunday, September 23, 2018 at FedEx Field in Landover, MD.

Morrison still could return to the Packers on a new deal at a cheaper price. The Packers have seven linebackers under contract for 2019.

Reggie Gilbert has yet to be tendered his exclusive rights deal, but that is expected to happen soon. The deadline for that tender is Wednesday when fellow linebacker Clay Matthews and Jake Ryan are set to become unrestricted free agents.

Other fourth-year players slated for raises in 2019 include tackle Jason Spriggs ($1.132 million, up from $904,936), Dean Lowry ($2.02 million, up from $630,00), Kyler Fackrell ($2.004 million, up from $648,000), Blake Martinez ($2.02 million, up from $630,000) and Trevor Davis ($720,000, up from $630,000).

Also Friday, Packers tight end Robert Tonyan received his one-year exclusive rights tender of $570,000, as expected.