Packers: Flurry of activity sends Gunter, Jean Francois packing

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 22: Julio Jones
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 22: Julio Jones /
ARLINGTON, TX – JANUARY 15: LaDarius Gunter
ARLINGTON, TX – JANUARY 15: LaDarius Gunter /

Packers fans knew the team would have to make room for the addition of wide receiver Geronimo Allison as he made his way back to the 53-man roster after serving a single-game suspension last weekend.

But they didn’t know how they were going to do that and which player would be released to make room.

Now they do.

It was the release of cornerback LaDarius Gunter that made the room for Allison, but the team is also said, according to reports, to be cutting defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois, leaving the team with five defensive linemen with the addition of rookie Montravius Adams, who is coming back from foot surgery.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced this afternoon that the team was to release Ricky Jean Francois, but his name didn’t appear on the league’s waiver wire.

Not long after, it was announced that the team was cutting ties with cornerback LaDarius Gunter to make the room for Allison.

Gunter was victimized continuously throughout the season and demonstrated why his 4.7 40-yard dash time was his own worst enemy in the championship game last January at Atlanta.

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Gunter was on the field Sunday for only two snaps, but played 14 on special teams.

However, buried deep on the cornerback depth chart, Gunter’s number was pretty easy to call for cutting by the Packers.

Gunter started 15 games last season after injuries to Sam Shields and Damarious Randall made his playing time a necessity.

As an undrafted free agent, his play was less than spectacular as teams picked on him time and again throughout the year. It was his play, along with others who weren’t ready for prime time that sunk the Packers’ pass defense to near the bottom of the league.

This offseason, GM Ted Thompson went out and got former Packer Davon House in free agency and selected Kevin King with their first pick in last spring’s draft. Those moves, along with the rise of players like Josh Hawkins, forced Gunter even further down the bench.

As for Ricky Jean Francois, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reported this afternoon that his release came after seeing just six plays last Sunday.

With the signing of Quinton Dial late last week and the impending return of rookie Montravius Adams, the Packers made the decision to cut ties with Jean Francois.

The Packers signed Jean Francois in March to a single-season deal worth $2 million. Guaranteed at his signing was $250,000, which he will be able to keep.

With five defensive linemen now on the roster, the Packers seem set, but given the changes that Thompson has made recently, nothing is out of the realm of possibility as we move ahead.

Now on the active roster for Green Bay are Quinton Dial, Montravius Adams, Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, and Dean Lowry.

Next: Eddie Lacy's tough homecoming

Green Bay is preparing to travel to Atlanta Sunday to take on the Falcons in their stadium-opening game, much like the Packers did last season when they traveled to Minnesota to take on the Vikings on the night they opened US Bank Stadium.

Sunday’s game in Atlanta will be the featured Sunday night game.