Packers release RB Davenport in final round of cuts

Updated: September 2, 2006, 10:30 PM ET
Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers released talented but frequently injured running back Najeh Davenport in their final round of roster cuts Saturday.

Davenport used a punishing running style over four seasons in Green Bay, but struggled to stay healthy. He broke his ankle in a game against New Orleans last October, forcing him to miss the rest of last season.

Davenport returned to the Packers this year, but had nagging injuries in training camp and averaged only 2.7 yards per carry in the preseason.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson said he struggled with the decision to cut Davenport, and didn't expect him to be unemployed for long.

"It was a difficult one," Thompson said. "He's been here, he's done a good job, he's done everything we asked."

Thompson said there was some trade interest in Davenport from other teams, but not enough to pull off a deal.

"I'm sure he'll be working somewhere tomorrow," Thompson said.

Davenport, a fourth-round pick out of Miami, Fla., in 2002, rushed for 1,068 yards on 217 carries (4.9 avg.) with seven touchdowns in his four seasons with the Packers.

But various injuries prevented Davenport from ever playing a full season for Green Bay. He was placed on injured reserve twice, after his injury last year and after he broke his eye socket as a rookie in 2002.

Last week, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Davenport "needs to get out there" after sitting out practice with a hip flexor injury.

"I know what type of athlete I am, what type of person I am, what type of player I am," Davenport said last week. "If this isn't the place for me, I'm pretty sure I can find a home somewhere."

The Packers also released wide receiver Rod Gardner, who was picked up on waivers near the end of last season. Thompson said Gardner, who gained 1,006 yards with the Washington Redskins in 2002, worked hard in practice.

"It just came down to, these were the guys we wanted to keep at this time," Thompson said.

Thompson also cut rookie wide receiver Cory Rodgers, a fourth-round pick out of TCU. Thompson drafted Rodgers primarily as a return-game specialist, but he struggled to catch punts both in practice and in preseason games.

Rodgers also was placed on 15 months' probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge after an incident outside a bar in Fort Worth, Texas in May.

The Packers also released tight end Zac Alcorn, safety Atari Bigby, safety Tra Boger, wide receiver Carlton Brewster, fullback Ben Brown, kicker E.J. Cochrane, cornerback Patrick Dendy, wide receiver Chris Francies, linebacker Tim Goodwell, cornerback Antonio Malone, linebacker Roy Manning, safety Jeremy Modkins, guard Siitupe Peko, defensive end/defensive tackle Kenny Peterson, defensive end Dave Tollefson and center Pete Traynor.

They placed running back Arliss Beach, tackle Josh Bourke and cornerback Mike Hawkins on injured reserve.

The moves reduced the Packers roster to 51 players, two below the league-mandated maximum of 53, giving Thompson room to pick through the list of players cut by other teams.

"Rosters will get shuffled around a little bit over the next few days," Thompson said.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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