Friday, July 29, 2011
Brandon Chillar suffers cruel lockout fate
By Kevin Seifert
Detroit Lions left tackle Jeff Backus is not the only NFC North player who suffered an injury during the lockout. Green Bay Packers linebacker Brandon Chillar tore his hamstring last week and has now endured the worst of lockout nightmares.
The Packers released Chillar on Friday morning, a story first reported by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Because the injury occurred during the lockout, the rest of his contract has been voided and he won't receive the injury protection that veteran players otherwise get when they are released in the midst of an injury. The risk of such an eventuality was one of the primary reasons Packers players decided against holding full-team workouts during the lockout.
No one will be crying for Chillar, who received about $10 million of the $19 million deal he signed in 2009. And it's possible the Packers would have released him anyway because of multiple shoulder injuries he has suffered. In a radio interview, Chillar told ESPNMilwaukee.com he knew his Packers career was over the moment he heard his hamstring pop during a private workout and said he has "no hard feelings."
"As a pro, you have to be real careful on how you train," Chillar said. "And I was. It was just a freak accident."
The Packers have spent much of this week clearing veterans from their corps of linebackers. The count is now up to three: Chillar, Nick Barnett and Brady Poppinga. By my count, their departures created $12.38 million in salary-cap space for 2011.
Per their philosophy, the Packers will spend a good part of training camp developing and evaluating their depth at inside linebacker behind starters Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk.
Recent Packers posts: Who might replace left guard Daryn Colledge? The Packers trust Mason Crosby as their place-kicker of the future. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers really, really wants the Packers to re-sign receiver James Jones. To little surprise, the Packers told Barnett he will be traded or released.