Packers: Defensive lineman Letroy Guion released

August 9, 2017

GREEN BAY — Perhaps it was inevitable, given the number of off-the-field issues Letroy Guion had had during his three-plus seasons with the Green Bay Packers. Maybe the news Tuesday that the team had released the veteran defensive lineman shouldn’t have been at all surprising.

But given how the team had stood by Guion until now — through an embarrassing February 2015 arrest in which police in Starke, Florida, posted a photo of the cash and marijuana he had in his truck; through a three-game suspension in 2015 for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy; through news that he’d be suspended for the first four games this season for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy; through a Feb. 21 DUI arrest in Hawaii — it was at least unexpected that the Packers parted ways with him two days before the preseason opener against Philadelphia.

The Packers announced the move during Tuesday’s practice, and most of Guion’s teammates didn’t learn of his release until they got back into the locker room. Coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson each had news briefings Tuesday morning, but neither of them said anything about Guion’s pending release.

Last week, when asked why Guion hadn’t been released, Thompson replied, “Letroy’s made some mistakes, but we’re just not there yet.”

It’s unclear why the Packers decided to cut Guion. It’s possible the league informed Guion and the Packers of another violation or an increase in his suspension, and that prompted the move.

But it appeared that, at the very least, the Packers intended to keep Guion as an insurance policy in case any of the players in their defensive line rotation sustained injuries before or while Guion served his suspension.

If the unit got through the first four games healthy, perhaps the Packers would have cut ties then; or, perhaps if Guion stayed out of trouble, he would have remained with the team for the final 12 games. Rookie third-round pick Montravius Adams, a defensive tackle from Auburn, is already out following foot surgery, although the team did add veteran Ricky Jean Francois in free agency.

Whatever the case, Guion’s teammates seemed genuinely disappointed and surprised by the news.

“Man, he’s a great teammate. I feel like people really don’t know him and don’t understand that,” second-year defensive tackle Kenny Clark said. “He really is a good dude, great teammate. Came in with a lot of energy, put smiles on all our faces. (On) game day, we knew he was going to give it his all. He really cared about his team. And we all knew that.

“Nothing stops — how we work, how we prepare, what we’re trying to accomplish this year — but definitely, it’s a tough situation. We were all close as a defensive line, and I can genuinely say Letroy was a great teammate.”

Guion, who played six seasons with the Minnesota Vikings before joining the Packers as a street free agent in 2014, played in 15 games last season and recorded 30 tackles but no sacks.

Guion was in the second year of a three-year, $11.25 million deal he signed in February 2016, which called for him to make a $1.7 million base salary this season.

Extra points

Tight end Richard Rodgers, who was having what McCarthy called the best camp of his career, left practice and did not return. There was no update after practice on what injury he sustained or whether he’ll play Thursday against the Eagles. … According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the village of Ashwaubenon, which borders Green Bay, is considering renaming a section of True Lane and making it Ron Wolf Way in honor of the Packers’ retired GM, who entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015. Wolf attended practice on Monday. … Mason Crosby kicked for the first time since Saturday night’s issues on Family Night and was 6-for-6 on field goal attempts in practice, connecting from 33, 35, 36, 38, 38 and 40 yards. However, one 38-yarder was aborted when holder Justin Vogel couldn’t handle a high snap from Derek Hart. … ESPN.com reported that ex-Packers long snapper Brett Goode, who remains unsigned, had a workout scheduled with another NFL team on Tuesday.