Packers cut former first-round pick Sherrod

Weston Hodkiewicz
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The Green Bay Packers have decided to cut their losses with former first-round pick Derek Sherrod.

Packers right tackle Derek Sherrod looks toward the scoreboard while sitting on the sidelines in the second half of the team’s Week 1 loss at Seattle.

The 6-foot-6, 321-pound tackle, who was the 32nd player selected in the 2011 NFL draft, was released on Monday to make room on the 53-man roster for JC Tretter, who was activated from temporary injured reserve.

Sherrod, 25, played in 20 games with one start in his four NFL seasons. His run with the Packers was sidetracked early after he broke the fibula and tibia in his right leg near the end of his rookie season, which required emergency surgery.

He missed the entire 2012 season and required a second surgery afterward, which led to him starting last season on the physically unable to perform list. Sherrod played in seven games after being activated last November, but only played six offensive snaps late in the team's 40-10 Thanksgiving loss to Detroit.

Sherrod became the team's swing tackle after Don Barclay tore his ACL in training camp. He had his first chance since the injury at meaningful playing time when he subbed in at right tackle for an injured Bryan Bulaga during the Packers' regular-season opener against Seattle. He started his only game for Green Bay the following week against the New York Jets.

Sherrod struggled in Bulaga's stead. He gave up three sacks and two quarterback hits in his 140 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. One of those sacks allowed against the Seahawks led to an Aaron Rodgers' fumble, which Sherrod then recovered in Green Bay's own end zone for a safety.

The Packers declined the fifth-year option on Sherrod's rookie contract this offseason, which made him an unrestricted free agent after this season. He was making $1,275,273 in the final year of a four-year, $6.6 million contract that included a $3.3 million signing bonus.

Sherrod's release opened up a roster spot for Tretter, who missed the first eight weeks of the season with a knee injury he suffered in the Packers' third preseason game against Oakland.

One of the Packers' three fourth-round picks last year, the 6-foot-4, 307-pound offensive lineman was slated to be the team's new starting center after Evan Dietrich-Smith's offseason departure.

It's likely fifth-round pick Corey Linsley will stay in that role after playing well in his eight starts, but Tretter's versatility makes him a good candidate to fill the utility role Barclay vacated with his injury. Tretter started two years at left tackle at Cornell and has worked at both center and guard.

The only other two reserve offensive linemen on the roster, Lane Taylor and Garth Gerhart, are both interior linemen. Starting right guard T.J. Lang has also played tackle in the past.

The release of Sherrod means the Packers will see only two of their 10 picks from the 2011 NFL draft finish out their rookie contracts with the team: second-round receiver Randall Cobb and fourth-round cornerback Davon House.

Sherrod joins defensive lineman Justin Harrell as the only two first-round picks Ted Thompson has parted with in his 10 years as general manager.

The Packers also signed running back Rajion Neal and inside linebacker Joe Thomas to their practice squad. Both players were making bids for roster spots in camp before suffering knee injuries that required injury settlements.

Green Bay released tight end Ike Ariguzo and defensive lineman Joe Kruger to make room on its scout team.

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