Packers release TE Ryan Taylor
Feeling good about their special-teams depth, the Green Bay Packers released tight end Ryan Taylor on Monday.
A seventh-round pick out of North Carolina in 2011, Taylor played 50 games for the Packers with eight catches for 45 yards and a touchdown, but was known more for his special-teams acumen.
Taylor's release opened a roster spot for receiver Kevin Dorsey, one of the team's three seventh-round picks from the 2013 draft.
"It's unfortunate that that's part of the game," offensive coordinator Tom Clements said. "Ryan did a lot of great things for us and wish him well, and it's unfortunate."
Taylor, who'll turn 27 next month, played in five games this season with all 10 of his offensive snaps coming late in Thursday's 42-10 win over Minnesota.
Offensively, the Packers have been relying on veteran Andrew Quarless (10 catches for 96 yards and touchdown) and rookie Richard Rodgers (two catches for 52 yards) in two tight-end formations. Second-year tight end Brandon Bostick has also developed into a fixture on special teams.
His snap counts on special teams have varied this season. Since Week 1, when he was involved in 13 plays (48 percent), he has taken 14, 12, 4 and 12 snaps. He had one tackle in five games.
Taylor made his biggest impact as a rookie in 2011 when he finished second on special teams with 10 tackles, but his production and playing time gradually diminished. He had eight tackles in 2012 and five in 2013.
"I think overall we've improved as a roster," special-teams coach Shawn Slocum said. "I think we've got a number of guys that can play well. Ryan did a great job for us and played extremely hard and is a darned good player."
Taylor has served as the backup to long-snapper Brett Goode since offensive lineman Don Barclay torn his anterior cruciate ligament early in camp. Slocum said they have other plans in place.
"We're getting pretty thin there," Slocum said. "We're going to have to start taking a poll of the locker room to see who can snap. No, we've got some other options. We'll work through that this week."
With a spot open on the 53-man roster, the Packers have one tight end, rookie Justin Perillo, on their practice squad, but as of Monday afternoon, he hadn't heard told anything about a possible promotion.
The former Maine standout has also been working with the special-teams coach on his long-snapping.