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Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Starter Pack: More questions at center

By Rob Demovsky

A roundup of what's happening on the Green Bay Packers beat.

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- That the Packers released backup center Greg Van Roten on Tuesday wasn't as surprising as the timing and their reason for doing so.

According to his agent, the Packers wanted to get bigger at his position.

Van Roten, who was listed at 6-foot-3 and 303 pounds, was actually up to 315 pounds last season before he injured his foot in Week 5. That would have made him the biggest center on the roster. Instead, after two seasons as a backup, Van Roten is looking for work.

It's worth wondering what that means for Evan Dietrich-Smith, who took over as the starting center in late 2012 and held the job for the entire 2013 season. At 6-2 and 308 pounds, Dietrich-Smith is no bigger than Van Roten.

If the Packers indeed want to get bigger up the middle, then perhaps Dietrich-Smith, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next month, might not be re-signed.

The only other centers on the Packers' roster are JC Tretter (6-4, 307) and Garth Gerhart (6-1, 310).

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