Opportunities run out for Lee

Fortunes change quickly in the NFL. Receiver Charles Lee found himself on the downside of that reality Sunday when the Packers waived their third-year receiver in favor of newcomer Karsten Bailey.<p>

"When you're talking about your fifth receiver, he has to be a special teams phenom in order to be active," coach Mike Sherman said.

He entered this season's camp as one of just two receivers with Packer experience. He played in all four preseason games and scored two touchdowns in the exhibition finale Friday vs. the Titans at Lambeau, but the numbers just didn't add up to a roster spot for Lee.

According to reports, the Packers were unable to engineer a trade for Lee, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound Cetnral Florida product.

"I think Charles Lee has ability," said Packer coach/GM Mike Sherman, who along with Ron Wolf drafted Lee with their third seventh-round selection in 2000 (242nd overall). "He's a big guy who can use his body to get open against defensive backs," Sherman said "I think he can be a good receiver. How good is up to him. sure."

The cut comes a two years after Lee reached his peak as a Packer. The departure of Robert Brooks had signalled started a changing of the guard in Green Bay's receiving corps, with the new order including Lee behind Antonio Freeman and Bill Schroeder and Corey Bradford. Injuries took their toll on that group, giving Lee the opportunity to play in 15 games in 2000, starting one, as the rookie quickly moved up to the team's No. 3 receiver. Lee had 10 catches with a 13.4-yard average and was poised for big things in 2001.

Despite expectations, last season didn't shape up for Lee the way he or his coaches had hoped. He played in just seven games and was inative for the playoffs. Lee tallied only three catches in 2001, although one was for his first NFL touchdown.

"I can't honestly tell you waht held him back," Sherman said.

Lee's release, combined with the departure of Freeman and Schroeder are gone, marks a complete turnaround for both the young receiver and the team's personnel.

Now the depth chart includes Terry Glenn, Donald Driver, Robert Ferguson, rookie Javon Walker and free agent Karsten Bailey, who accelerated past Lee in the late weeks of preseason.

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