Don Barclay made the football team last year. It wasn’t pretty. Nothing has been pretty about his play since his unfortunate knee injury, which took him from solid plugger to lost cause.
This offseason, the Packers lost TJ Lang and JC Tretter to free agency. They signed Jahri Evans, in a move that surprised anyone who has followed Ted Thompson for any period of time, and then drafted Kofi Amichia in the 6th round, which also shouldn’t surprise anyone who has followed Ted Thompson for any period of time – Amichia appears to be the next in a long line of tackles that Ted drafts to play guard.
From a numbers perspective, it looks like it could just be a case of two guys replacing two guys, which would keep everyone else on the roster, including Don Barclay, in their current roles.
They also signed unimpressive-as-of-yet guard Justin McCray and have former practice squadder Lucas Patrick to thicken the competition at guard. But even with those two, there’s the issue of backup center.
Corey Linsley has an injury history and Barclay was penciled in as the backup center, which seemed to be his best chance to make the team. The current Packers roster lists Barclay as a G\T. The Packers official roster isn’t always indicative of reality, though, and the Packers still need a backup center.
Jacob Flores, a practice squad signing last year, is a center, but it remains to be seen how his development will progress.
Kofi Amichia started his college career as a center before sliding out to tackle and also played some guard, showing the versatility the Packers like in their linemen. Most teams projected him as a guard and at rookie camp, the Packers gave him some reps at center.
This is great news for everyone who wants to see Don Barclay happily retire.
Since Thompson draft picks usually stick around at least a year, possibly out of habit, Kofi could be the wild card to take the backup center job. With that position settled, there may not be room for Barclay.
After the assumed starting five of Bak, Taylor, Linsley, Evans, and Bulaga, it appears that Spriggs and Murphy are both locks to make the team and both have seen action at both tackle and guard. If Amichia takes the backup center role, that would give the Packers eight lineman, enough to start the season.
Lucas Patrick, Justin McCray, and Jacob Flores can battle it out with Don Barclay to see if the Packers would want to keep a 9th.
The numbers, and his recent play, would be working against him.