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Tim Couch Cut by the Pakers


Sitting around in my underwear....

By Len Pasquarelli

Just five years removed from being the first player chosen in the NFL draft, quarterback Tim Couch was released on Sunday for the second time in less than three months.

The move came just before the NFL's deadline of 4 p.m. (ET) for reducing rosters to the mandatory 53-player limit, and after Packers officials had spent most of the day trying to trade the former Cleveland Browns starter.

Green Bay, having decided Couch was not the upgrade they had sought as Brett Favre's primary backup, will now enter the season with the same quarterback depth chart -- Favre, followed by Doug Pederson and youngster Craig Nall -- that it had for the 2003 campaign. It had become obvious in recent weeks, as Couch struggled with a sore arm, that he would not oust Pederson for the No. 2 spot.

In June, the Packers signed Couch, 27, to a one-year, $1.25 million contract following his release by the Browns. The team must count $625,000, the amount of the signing bonus in that deal, toward its 2004 salary cap. Green Bay will recoup the $625,000 in base salary that Couch was due this season.

Where the former University of Kentucky star goes from here, and how many teams will show interest in him, remains to be seen. One of the teams said to have had discussions with the Packers on Sunday is Indianapolis, which for now has unproven Joe Hamilton and Jim Sorgi as the backups to Peyton Manning. As Couch discovered when he was released by Cleveland, there are not a lot of openings leaguewide.

Because he is a "vested" veteran, with more than four seasons of experience, Couch will be guaranteed his entire '04 salary if he is on a team's opening day roster. For that reason alone, interested teams may wait until after the first week of the season, when the salary guarantee disappears, to consider signing him.

Couch got considerable snaps early in training camp in an effort to accelerate the learning curve as he tried to assimilate the Green Bay offense. But soreness in his biceps limited him in some practices and, in three preseason contests, Couch completed just 11 of 34 passes for 96 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He has suffered from elbow problems at various time in his five seasons with the Browns, and some suggested that soreness dated back to his college career.

Arguably the most promiment name among the veterans jettisoned on Sunday around the league, Couch's release by the Packers was only mildly surprising, especially to those who had seen him play this summer.

It took Couch and the Packers nearly two months and hours of discussions to complete a deal, since Cleveland officials declined early on to release him, hoping instead they could convince a team to trade for him.

For Couch, the Green Bay scenario appeared to be his best option all along. It was believed the Browns at first were seeking a second-round pick for Couch, but lowered their demands. The biggest sticking point at the time, though, was the reluctance of the first overall choice in the 1999 draft to commit to more than one year in Green Bay.

Couch visited with Packers officials in Green Bay on April 6-7. Less than two weeks earlier, he dined with coach Mike Sherman in Cleveland, only hours after the Packers had received official permission from Browns officials to meet with the five-year veteran.

The Packers staff genuinely liked Couch from the outset.

Couch's five-year tenure in Cleveland essentially ended when the club signed former San Francisco starter Jeff Garcia to a four-year, $25 million contract. The market for Couch was then very slow.

At one point in the spring, Couch attempted to participate in the Browns' offseason conditioning program, but club officials requested he not use the complex. The feeling was that, if Couch was injured during a conditioning session, Cleveland could be liable for the final two seasons of his contract and his trade value would be diminished.

That impasse led Couch to file a grievance against the team. He eventually dropped the grievance as part of the agreement that led to his release by the Browns.

In 62 appearances, 59 of them starts, Couch has completed 1,025 of 1,714 attempts, for 11,131 yards, with 64 touchdown passes, 67 interceptions and a passer rating of 75.1.

For now at least, Couch is the third quarterback from the much ballyhooed first round of the 1999 draft to be out of work, joining Akili Smith and Cade McNown in the unemployment line. There were five quarterbacks chosen among the first 12 picks of that draft.


I give up. This board is too hard to understand.
Just saw this too. Too bad Timmy... you just needed to perform and then take your time and learn from Favre. I wonder where he ends up now?

Edit: from the Packer site about BJ...

At punter, the Packers are expected to begin the season with two punters, keeping both third-round draft choice B.J. Sander and 15th-year veteran Bryan Barker, signed Aug. 23.

Sander better get his act together or he will be gone soon too. He had a 7 yard punt against the Titans.
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Head Coach
His performance was less then stellar... he and BJ Sander were actually booed by the locals a couple of weeks ago.

But BJ had two very nice punts today... :) By the way, the sports shows out here keep making a big deal about how the punt is the least important play in football. Wish someone had told Tressel that; he might not have to bother lugging around that heavy National Championship ring.

It was a shame to see Kenny Peterson get hurt. He was getting his leg x-rayed last update... appeared to be really in pain on the field. Hopefully it will heal quickly.

He had a 7 yard punt against the Titans.
Whoops... that wasn't one of the two I saw, obviously...
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I give up. This board is too hard to understand.
OK... I was wrong, it wasn't 7 yards... it was 5.

Green Bay punter B.J. Hunter may have had the worst moment when his punt traveled only 5 yards and was caught by Titans right tackle Fred Miller a few yards deep on the sideline.

BJ had 4 punts for 130 yards for an average of 32.5. That just will not get it done in the NFL. He had a long of 46 yards... he needs to be consistant. He did have 2 that landed inside the 20.
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Wolverine is largest member of weasel family
I think there was some concern that he was more of a running QB, then a protypical dropback, NFL style QB. If memory serves me, they booed the hell out of his pick in Philly. Of course, I think they boo every pick in Philly.

I saw an interview with McNabb and TO the other day. McNabb was hysterical in it. You could tell they were tired of doing interviews with all the same questions. They even said they were.
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Well, that's like hypnotizing chickens.
Staff member
Tech Admin
Anyone remember why McNabb was not more highly considered by the Browns front office?

Yeah.. a lot of people thouhgt the Eagles were reaching when they picked him...

On Akili.. the Browns were never very interested in him... they were using him as leverage to get Couch to sign before the Draft.
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