Lombardi: Better late than never

Hunt deserved ticket out of town

So Cletidius Hunt did not make the final cut. I guess it was not surprising to see that the Packers finally did what almost every fan knew was necessary. Hunt's underachieving and disappointing Green Bay career came to an end over Labor Day weekend. How appropriate. On the holiday to honor the American Laborer, Hunt was out of work for not laboring enough. He is the poster boy for a big payday bust. He defined the statement, "Give me the money and I will quit". If there was ever a more obvious case of a guy getting financially comfortable and losing any hunger, then I have yet to see it.

I hate to pile on him when he is down, but he has no one to blame but himself. I wrote about this a few years ago, but I scouted Hunt for the Titans when he was at Kentucky State. He had a lot of the same qualities in college that spelled his demise in the professional ranks, but he was talented. Unfortunately, size, speed and quickness do not spell success in the NFL. You need drive and discipline. If he ever possessed any of those qualities, they got deposited in the bank with his big signing bonus.

For a few seasons now, he has been the best the Packers had and they put up with his laziness and attitude because they did not have anyone to turn to and possibly because they hoped he would rise to his level of talent. But time ran out on the waiting and Hunt failed to realize that there was a new Sheriff in town. Whatever protection Hunt had from the old regime being unable to admit a mistake or under the salary cap disappeared when Ted Thompson began making the decisions.

Again, I hate to revel in another's failure, but I, and apparently the team and its fans would rather enter the season with players who will at least look like they are trying. Maybe they are not as talented, but the results will probably be better with the young guys. At least I will be satisfied with their effort. The defense is not significantly worse off without old Number 97. And they have the chance to be better. Let those young guys get a shot and see what they can do.

Hunt is probably a decent guy to know. I am sure that his family and friends love him, but in the cut-throat world of professional football, he deserved what he got, which was a ticket out of town. What the Packers got (and deserved) was many years of underperformance and overpayment.

Let him go break somebody else's heart with his combination of talent and laziness. I saw a report that the Bengals were looking into signing him. Bully for them. I hope he brings them years of frustration. Maybe he will get the wake-up call and step up his level of commitment and work ethic. If that happens the Packers will look stupid, but I doubt it.


John Lombardi

Editor's note: John Lombardi is the grandson of legendary coach Vince Lombardi. John resides with his family in Green Bay . His football experience includes stints with two teams in the World League (now NFL Europe); in the scouting departments of the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans; and graduate assistant coach and director of football operations at Vanderbilt. He will be contributing columns for PackerReport.com.


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