Packers release Murphy

Receiver's neck injury the main concern

The Green Bay Packers Friday released wide receiver Terrence Murphy, who sustained a serious neck injury during a game early last season.

"After several tests and consultations, we have concluded that Terrence will not be cleared to play for the Green Bay Packers," Packers general manager Ted Thompson said in the team's release.

Between the time of the injury and January, Murphy met with at least five specialists around the country to examine his neck and spine, but the risk of playing football and sustaining further damage outweighs the reward, at least to Green Bay. It is uncertain if Murphy will attempt a comeback with another team, or if any other team will take a chance on the receiver.

"Terrence is an outstanding person and player who is very well thought of by everyone within the Packers family. We wish him nothing but the best in whatever direction his life takes him."

Murphy, selected in the second round (58th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Packers, played in three games as a rookie, catching five passes for 36 yards (7.2 avg.). Murphy also returned five kickoffs for 91 yards (18.2 avg.).

Murphy's season ended at Carolina on Oct. 3 after he injured his neck in a helmet-to-helmet hit with the Panthers' Thomas Davis on a second-quarter kickoff return. The collision left Murphy with a bruised spinal cord and numbness in his extremities, and he was taken off the field on a stretcher. He spent the night in a Charlotte-area hospital. The Packers placed him on injured reserve three days later.

Doctors have since discovered that Murphy suffered from an existing condition known as stenosis or a narrowing of the spinal column, according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Murphy left Texas A&M as the school's all-time leading receiver.

The move will cost the Packers an additional $265,000 in salary-cap space this season. He was originally supposed to count $605,000 against the 2006 cap, but $1.18 million — or the remaining pro-rated portion of his original $1.475 million signing bonus — will be accelerated to this year's cap. The Packers will be able to wipe out his $310,000 base salary. That means his new salary-cap number for 2006 will be $870,000. The rest of his base salaries ($385,000 in 2007, $460,000 in 2008 and $545,000 in 2009) also will be wiped off the books.

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