After a disappointing two seasons in Green Bay, the Packers have traded defensive lineman Jerel Worthy to the New England Patriots.
The Packers will get a conditional future draft pick in return for the 24-year-old Worthy, and the trade will take effect if he passes a physical, according to his agent, Chafie Fields.
A consensus first-team All-American at Michigan State, Worthy was taken by Green Bay in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft (No. 51 overall), but hasn’t been all that productive for the Packers. Worthy got off to a solid start during his rookie season, but was unable to keep building off the positive beginning and ended up tearing his ACL in the regular-season finale.
He missed much of the 2013 season, and has been unable to participate in this year’s training camp while he recovers from offseason back surgery. In his 16 games as a Packer, Worthy recorded 14 tackles and 2.5 sacks while playing as a defensive end in Dom Capers’ 3-4 scheme.
In New England, he’ll likely play as a defensive tackle for Bill Belichick and the Patriots, though he has the versatility to play defensive end in some sets.
New England already has Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, and rookie Dominique Easley at defensive tackle, so Worthy will most likely be competing for a spot as a backup. However, Wilfork (Achilles) and Kelly (ACL) both are coming off major injuries suffered in 2013, as is Easley, who tore his ACL during his senior season at Florida. If any or all of them are unable to perform up to expectations, Worthy could get some playing time.
The trade brings an end to Worthy’s brief, disappointing run in Titletown, but he’ll get another chance to become a productive player and live up to his potential in New England.