Packers won't tender RB DuJuan Harris

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Green Bay Packers running back DuJuan Harris makes a run during Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media/@PGevansiegle

The Green Bay Packers are parting ways with DuJuan Harris.

The team has informed the third-year running back that it won't be tendering him an exclusive-rights contract, his agent Andy Simms confirmed Monday evening. He'll be free to sign with any NFL team once free agency begins at 3 p.m. Central Time Tuesday.

Harris, 26, made an immediate impact when the Packers promoted him from the practice squad late in the 2012 season. Harris, who previously had been working as a car salesman, rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries in the final month of the season and started two playoff games.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy considered Harris his starting running back going into the 2013 offseason despite drafting Eddie Lacy in the second round. However, he never got that opportunity after sustaining a patellar tendon injury that ended his season before it began.

The 5-foot-8, 203-pound running back returned last season, but only received 16 carries for 64 yards behind Lacy and James Starks. His didn't make much of an impact in his primary role as kickoff returner. He had a 20.7-yard average on 22 returns and the Packers finished 31st league-wide in the category.

The Packers deactivated him for the last three games of the season in need of an extra game-day spot for third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien. Since he had less than three accrued seasons, all the Packers needed to do was extend him a minimum contract for $660,000 for next season.

Instead, they've decided to go in a different direction. The Packers have three running backs under contract for next year in Lacy, Starks and practice-squad holdover Rajion Neal, who impressed in training camp before sustaining a knee injury.

Harris had 50 carries for 221 yards and two touchdowns in 19 regular-season games in Green Bay. and follow him on Twitter @WesHod

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