The Green Bay Packers don’t normally make trades — so when the news spread that defensive tackle Jerel Worthy had been traded to the New England Patriots, it was a surprise.
I understand why the Packers made the deal. Worthy hasn’t lived up to the potential that caused Green Bay to use a second round draft pick on him in the 2014 NFL Draft, there is no doubt about that. Yet, in his rookie season he was somewhat effective and even notched 2.5 sacks.
Then Worthy tore his acl against the Vikings and only saw a few snaps last season. That left his roster spot in jeopardy, particularly after Green Bay drafted Khyri Thornton this year along with the continued development of Mike Daniels, Datone Jones and Josh Boyd.
In the NFL you have to be available to play to have value. The fact that Worthy was traded for a seventh round pick shows how little value he had. Yet, he still has potential and even though he may not have made the Packers’ 53-man roster, giving up on him so soon was a mistake.
Good defensive lineman are hard to come by and despite his struggles Worthy really had only one season to be judged on and during that 2012 campaign he showed enough to at least be a rotational player with some interior pass rush skills.
Maybe his injury affected him to the point that he lost his explosiveness or athleticism. Maybe Green Bay no longer liked how he fit into Dom Capers’ defense but whatever the reason, trading him before even seeing him play in the preseason is a mistake.
While I applaud general manager Ted Thompson for not being afraid to admit a mistake, which Worthy is at this point after the second-rounder was traded for a conditional seventh in 2015 — it’s just that this time he pulled the trigger prematurely.