Another year, another defensive line suspension for the Green Bay Packers.
This time, it’s defensive tackle Letroy Guion. The NFL on Tuesday announced a four-game suspension for a violation of the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Guion was by far the defensive line’s best defender against the run last season. He led the unit with 50 tackles — even while playing more than 200 fewer snaps than Mike Daniels. That gave Guion a unit-best 8.96 snaps per tackle, slightly below last year’s 8.67. However, he had no sacks and three quarterback hits as a nonfactor in the passing game.
By late in the season, first-round pick Kenny Clark had earned more playing time. In the three playoff games, Guion and Clark played an identical number of snaps. So, Clark might have supplanted Guion in the starting lineup, anyway, for 2017. The suspension probably solidifies that — and perhaps puts Guion’s spot on the roster in jeopardy.
Guion’s three-year, $11.25 million contract signed last February included only a $500,000 signing bonus. According to ESPN, Guion has agreed to restructure his deal.
In 2015, Guion and Datone Jones started the season with suspensions. In 2016, Mike Pennel opened (and ended) the season on the suspended list. Now, it’s Guion for 2017. Mike Neal, back when he was a defensive lineman, was suspended to start the 2012 season.
Meanwhile, the Packers gave linebacker Joe Thomas, running back Don Jackson and receiver Geronimo Allison their exclusive-rights free-agent tenders, according to a league source.
Also tendered, according to Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, is defensive tackle Christian Ringo. A deal with another exclusive-rights free-agent, punter Jacob Schum, was struck last week, according to ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky.
Thomas went from the dime linebacker to the every-down linebacker in an effort to get more speed on the field. During the first eight games, Thomas averaged about 37 percent playing time. If not for a late-season back injury, he would have been around 95 percent playing time for the final eight games. Using speed and intelligence, the 227-pound Thomas finished with 77 tackles and one fumble recovery.
After spending the first six games on the practice squad, Allison caught 12 passes for 202 yards (16.8 average) and two touchdowns in 10 games. Allison caught 54.5 percent of targeted passes and had no drops. In the first big game of his career, Week 17 at Detroit, he caught four passes for 91 yards and one touchdown.
Jackson carried 10 times for 32 yards in three games before a season-ending knee injury.
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.