The Green Bay Packers released former Las Vegas Raiders first-round pick Johnathan Abram just 20 days after seeking waiver safety, the team announced.
The 27th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft played just one defensive snap and 28 special teams snaps in his first two games for Green Bay against the Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans in during Weeks 10 and 11. He was inactive for the Sunday Night Packers-Eagles game in Week 12. He made a few tackles while playing for Packers Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia, who was his former coach – interim leader with the Raiders.
“Obviously it was a bit of a surprise, first of all, that he got cut and ended up here with us in Green Bay,” Bisaccia said when Abram joined the team, via Sports Illustrated. “He’ll be a diligent learner. He can run. He’s a physical player and I think he’ll have to catch up a bit to understand what we’re trying to do here defensively. But he knows a bit more about our system and the kicking game. He played in a few phases, so we’ll see how it goes here in the next few days.
The decision to release Abram came despite the Packers having safety injury issues on Sunday. Darnell Savage, the team’s longtime starter, injured his foot on his first defensive play. Abram couldn’t get past Rudy Ford, a Green Bay player signed to the Jaguars practice squad who had two interceptions against Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott in Week 10. Per Pelissero, the Packers seek to assess their own young guys. With Abram inactive on Sunday night, the Packers lifted undrafted TCU player Innis Gaines from their practice squad. He played 18 snaps on special teams.
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Abram missed the last 15 games of his rookie season with a torn rotator cuff and labrum, but he started all 13 in 2020, his 14 games in 2021 and the first six games in 2022 with the Raiders. before being benched and letting go. . He would have been an unrestricted free agent with the conclusion of his rookie contract coming this upcoming offseason.