November 25, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Alex Green (20) runs through the tackle of New York Giants corner back Corey Webster (23) during the third quarter of an NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Packers’ Green, Starks may be running elsewhere

Will Alex Green be a Green Bay Packer by the start of the regular season?
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

One of the best, if not the most intriguing stories brewing for the Green Bay Packers as the start of training camp nears this week is that surrounding the team’s running game.

We all know about the Packers changes and upgrades at the position: Eddie Lacy and Jonathan Franklin – two of the highest-rated running backs who will now be competing for playing time in Green Bay’s already-vaunting offensive scheme. Everyone’s excited about the potential and possibilities they bring to the table.

James Starks has an uphill climb to make the Packers roster.
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

But there are so many questions to add to the matrix. Where will last year’s late-season phenom DuJuan Harris fit? Will the Packers continue to stay with the oft-injured James Starks? And what about the team’s leading rusher from last season, Alex Green? We also must question how undrafted free agent Angelo Pease will play into the mix.

Many over the past few months have been saying that Starks will be the odd man out. In fact, his name was the first to come up during the NFL Draft when trade bait came up. But most recently, there are others who feel that it won’t be Starks on the trading block before the start of the season, but rather it will be Green.

Josh Sanchez, of, wrote today that is the most likely scenario.

When I first saw the headline, I said ‘no way.’ But after reading this piece and giving it a bit of thought, it made sense. When it comes down to roster spots, the three locks at the position will be Lacy, Franklin, and Harris. Green and Starks should be the two on the bubble. Because Starks might be considered damaged goods, there probably won’t be any teams willing to give up anything for him. Whereas Green was a starter most of last season and led the team in rushing. He’s got some credentials that might be attractive to others.

Unless Green and Starks burn it up in training camp, most likely both will be considered for release or a trade. The Packers might consider four running backs, but if that’s the case, my guess is that they would go the youth route and keep undrafted rookie Angelo Pease on the practice squad.

So, as I see it, the Packers will go into the regular season with Lacy, Harris, and Franklin as their main guys out of the backfield. Starks will most likely be a street free agent and Green may be wearing different colors.

But any way you slice it, this should be one of the most important, one of the most exciting position battles to watch over the next six weeks.

I’m looking forward to it.

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Tags: Alex Green Green Bay Packers James Starks

  • Mike Brand

    the way i think it will be is lacy will get the most of the carries . franklin as a 3rd down back because of his speed and ability to catch the ball .harris as that special schemes guy due to being shorter and imo faster than the other 2. i hope they can get green in to a full back role he has the size for it and he is decent at blocking. starks i hate it for him but i just dont see him in the nfl anymore maybe a cfl team will pick him up. pease if he goes out there and does well will make the practice squad but this is my opinions. but if your on the 1 yard line and you need that big back lacy is the man . he is a beast and it takes a lot of guys to tackle him . most of his take downs were by 2-3 guys and some were just forcing him out of bounds

  • VEEJ

    Please stop trying to pretend our avg or less than backs will net us anything in return. I see all the new guys kept, including Pease and Harris and Starks will be released. They have already proven they like healthy bodies (See Bishop) over talent. The backs week one are Green, Lacy, Franklin with Pease on P.S.

    • Tony Little

      You would have been right about average back in the last few seasons, but you can not be serious that Lacy and Franklin are AVERAGE? Come on, theres are premier backs and GB has both! Harris will feature and I suspect Pease will be on board at the end of training camp. If we keep a fifth it is more likely to be Green.

      • Jeff

        I think what your going to see is Lacy,Franklin,and Harris on the 46 every Sunday Green will be on the inactive list every week unless someone is injured.
        I think we may have seen the last of John Kuhn and will see Matthew Mulligan pick up the blocking duties Pease will end up on the practice squad.

      • Mike Brand

        yep lacy and franklin the #1 and #2 on the nfl board are far from average . lacy has already run over most of the draft board this past draft

  • Mark

    I really like Starks. He was the Packers’ back when they won the Super Bowl. He’s got good size and good speed. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Last year it looked like he was just beginning to round into form when he went down with another injury. I hope he stays with the Packers, but right now it doesn’t look like he will.
    God bless,

    • Mike Brand

      even if he is not a packer i dont think his playing days are over . i can see him in the cfl breaking records up there.

    • holmesmmd

      He has been a beast in camp this year according to coach M. I wouldn’t write Starks off quite yet.