Packers pass on Alabama's Sims, for now

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Green Bay Packers rookie Blake Sims (6) runs through footwork drills during rookie orientation in the Don Hutson Center.

Blake Sims is leaving Green Bay without a contract.

Sims' agent, Kyle Strongin, confirmed Sunday evening that the Packers have decided against signing the former Alabama quarterback at this time after he participated in the team's rookie orientation camp this past weekend on a tryout basis.

It's possible Green Bay could bring the 5-foot-11, 218-pound speedster back in the future, but as of now, he's scheduled to try out at Washington's rookie camp next weekend at running back.

Sims, 23, started his career at running back for the Crimson Tide before moving to quarterback. He won the starting job as a senior last fall and completed 64.5 percent of his passes for 3,487 yards, 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He helped lead the Crimson Tide to a 12-2 record, an SEC championship and a berth in the first college football playoff.

His height and 4.57-second time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine left many scouts wondering if he'd be better suited for running back, but the Packers still brought him in to throw with fifth-round pick Brett Hundley at their rookie camp.

"Blake did some nice things," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Saturday. "He made some throws. Definitely an understand from Day 1 to Day 2, he increased there. He's instinctive, has a bounce in his step. I thought he did some nice things today."

Green Bay currently has four quarterbacks under contract with Hundley, fourth-year veteran Scott Tolzien and former UW-Whitewater quarterback Matt Blanchard, who was signed last month as a street free agent.

The Packers also entertained the idea of moving Sims from quarterback, though competition for spots was tight. They had 25 tryout players vying for the final two spots on their 90-man roster.

"That's something that's been thrown around," McCarthy said. "The evaluation process doesn't end today, but it's nice to have video. We did some post-practice work with guys we may want to look at different positions. We did a lot more open-space drill work and tried to put these guys in football drills to make sure the personnel department is getting everything they need."

Meanwhile, it appears Central Michigan offensive lineman Andy Phillips is staying in Green Bay.

Phillips (6-2, 300) started most of his college career on Central Michigan's offensive line. He hopped into the starting lineup at center for the final five games of his redshirt freshman year before starting at left guard in each of the past three seasons.

He earned first-team All-Mid American Conference recognition this past year after starting 13 games, which extended his consecutive games started to 42. He ran a 5.05-second time in the 40-yard dash at his pro day in March with a 30-inch vertical, 9-2 broad jump and 26 bench reps of 225 pounds.

On Friday, Hundley said he trained with Phillips in Los Angeles during the draft process. and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.

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