Packers sign tight end Sal Cannella ahead of training camp

(Photo by Elsa/USFL/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/USFL/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers were sitting at 89 players on their official roster. However, NFL rules say that teams can hold up to 90 players before and during their respective training camps.

According to Bill Huber of Sports Illustrated, the Packers added their 90th player on Thursday in the form of USFL star and former Auburn Tiger Sal Cannella. This move comes just five days before Matt LaFleur’s team opens up training camp on July 27 in Green Bay.

Cannella, who played for the New Orleans Breakers, led all tight ends in the USFL in 2022 with 368 receiving yards on 34 receptions along with two touchdown catches. He was named to the All-USFL Team after finishing 11th in receiving yards.

Cannella has previously spent time on the practice squads of the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears. The Illinois native brings great size (6-5, 240 lbs) and unique physical traits.

The USFL star joins a roster that is filled with unique players at the same position. Robert Tonyan is the veteran pass-catcher and Marcedes Lewis is the veteran run-blocker. Josiah Deguara is a versatile, young talent, while Dominique Dafney is a fantastic blocker from out of the backfield.

Also, Tyler Davis is a special teams contributor looking for more opportunities in his first full season with the Packers.

So, it is a bit of a crowded room.

However, Cannella could use his speed (4.7) and ability to stretch the field to his advantage.

Tonyan is really the only certainty when it comes to pass-catching tight ends that can stretch the field for LaFleur and quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Cannella can line up anywhere on the field but predominantly runs routes from the slot.

It will be tough for him to make the team due to his inexperience in the NFL. But if he can make an impression on the coaching staff and his starting quarterback by being a trusted target, maybe he can help fill the void left by Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.