It’s been a crazy couple weeks for Jordan Tripp.
Within a span of barely two weeks, Tripp went from starting at linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks to injured reserve to released to on a flight to Green Bay for a tryout with the Packers.
“I had a good game, started and got injured and went on IR,” Tripp said at his new locker on Wednesday. “They did the injury settlement so I could play. If they would have kept me on IR, I couldn’t have played for the rest of the year, so that was nice they did the settlement so I could play ball. Even nicer to end up in an amazing place like this. I’m very happy to be here. It all did happen very fast.”
If he can get up to speed and capitalize on his enormous potential, Tripp could provide vital depth at inside linebacker for the Packers. At Montana, he was a two-time finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, which goes to the top defensive player in FCS. At the Scouting Combine in 2014, Tripp ran a 20-yard shuttle of 3.96 seconds. That time was beaten by only one defensive player at the Combine, and easily beat two of the top linebackers in that draft — Anthony Barr (4.19) and Ryan Shazier (4.21).
Tripp, however, hasn’t been able to stick. A fifth-round pick by the Dolphins, he spent one year in Miami, one year in Jacksonville and most of this year in Seattle. So this will be Tripp’s fourth team in three years.
“t depends on the way you look at it,” Tripp said. “I feel like it’s made me better, it’s made me stronger. There’s certain players that go to different places and it’s a better fit. I feel like for me, I’m getting all this information and meeting all these people, and it’s not easy, but when is anything ever been easy that’s made you better in the future? There’s a lot of guys out there who have had so-called rough roads but it made them who they are. Everybody’s path is different. If it was easy, I don’t think I would be as strong and as intelligent as I am now and as good as I’m going to be because of everything that I have gone through. ... I couldn’t be happier to be part of a team like this. I’d really like to stay here for a while. In order to do that, I’m going to have to get up to speed and go execute my job at a high level.”
Maybe the fourth time will be the charm. Maybe that combination of athleticism and motivation will blossom with Green Bay.
He’s seen it happen before. He’s got, at the least, three weeks to show that he’s worthy.
“You’re always trying to make an impact,” he said. “It’s not, ‘OK, I’m going to come in and see what I can do.’ It’s, ‘I’m going to come in and I’m going to do everything I can to be my best and help this team win games.’ You’ve got to hit it full throttle, pedal to the metal, every single time. If you don’t, it’s not going to work in this league because everybody is so good. I think that’s why this league is so special because it’s so competitive. If you’re not willing to put in everything that you have into it, it’s going to spit you out. It’s the guys that get up and keep trucking that do amazing things over time.
“I look at guys like my rookie year, a guy like Cameron Wake. There’s stories like him across the NFL. He got cut, was off football for a year, went to Canada for two years and then got an opportunity in the NFL when he was about 30, and now he’s one of the best defensive ends in the NFL. A guy like Brandon Marshall for Denver — gets cut four times from the team that drafted him, was on the practice squad and finally gets his opportunity and he’s one of the best linebackers in the NFL. Those guys believed in themselves. I thank Green Bay for believing in me and bringing me in. I just can’t wait for that opportunity to come in.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.