With the lockout over, Nick Barnett, the second-leading tackler in franchise history, arrived at Lambeau Field on Tuesday morning. Shortly thereafter, he was on his way out of the stadium for the final time as a member of the Green Bay Packers.
Barnett tweeted that general manager Ted Thompson informed him the eight-year veteran will be released.
"Just met with Ted, Thanks for the great 8 years,” Barnett said on his tweet. “Very blessed 2 be apart of such a great tradition and great fans.. Happy I was..
"Happy I was able to be here for the great xlv run... I will always keep a Special place in my heart for this team and city..
"I look forward to the next jungle #Mufasa will roam... :-) let's get it.”
The Packers have not finalized their decision. Players can not be released or dealt until 3:01 p.m. (Central) on Thursday.
Whatever the ultimate decision, it will not a surprise. Sources had told Packer Report and other outlets for months that Barnett had no future in Green Bay. After Barnett was lost for the season with a wrist injury that required surgery, A.J. Hawk and Desmond Bishop played so well that both received lucrative, long-term deals. That Green Bay won the Super Bowl without him and that Barnett caused a stir at the Super Bowl by complaining about injured players being left off the Super Bowl photo — a decision the team reversed — only sealed his fate.
Barnett is the No. 1 target for Kansas City, should he be released, according to Scout.com’s Chiefs Web site, Warhead Illustrated. The Chargers, Giants, Buccaneers and Titans all could be interested in Barnett, a source told Packer Report, and even NFC North rivals Chicago and Detroit are possibilities.
Barnett has cap figures of $6.9 million this season and $7.4 million for 2012. By releasing him or trading him, the Packers would gain $5.2 million in much-needed cap space.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.