Packers Sign Safety Matt Bowen

The Green Bay Packers have signed second-year safety Matt Bowen, a recent St. Louis Ram, as a free agent, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced.

To make room for him on the 53-man roster, quarterback Henry Burris has been placed on waivers.

Bowen, 6-1 and 208 pounds, a sixth-round draft selection of the Rams out of Iowa in 2000, played in all 16 games for them last season, with 2 starts, and at season's end was the recipient of the Carroll Rosenbloom Memorial Award presented annually to the team's "Rookie of the Year." He closed out the year with 21 tackles and 2 passes defensed from the safety position and tied for the team lead with 21 special teams tackles.

The 24-year-old Glen Elyn, Ill., native punctuated his rookie season by posting 12 tackles (9 of them unassisted) in a start against the San Diego Chargers October 1.

This season, the former Hawkeye played in the Rams' opener against Philadelphia, then was inactive for the next two games before being placed on injured reserve October 3 with a broken right foot, an injury suffered in the opening game. He was waived off I.R. on November 6.

Bowen had been a second-team All-America and all-Big Ten Conference first team selection as a senior at Iowa, where he started every game at safety, leading the team with a career-high 109 tackles (76 solos) and posting 2 interceptions. He earlier had been an all-state, all-area and all-conference selection at Glenbard West High School in Glen Elyn, Ill.

Bowen, who joined the Packers on the practice field today, has been assigned jersey number 28.

Burris had the Packers' No. 3 quarterback for every game this season, without seeing game action. He completed 13 of 24 passes for 170 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions, during the preseason for a passer rating of 76.7. He played briefly at the end of the third non-league game against Miami August 25, with all of his pass attempts coming in the second half of the preseason finale at Oakland August 31.

The 26-year-old Temple University alumnus, who had elicited interest from 17 NFL teams, had been signed as a free agent February 27, 2001, in the wake of a highly productive 2000 season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, passing for over 4,600 yards and 30 touchdowns.

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