A third-year pro, Underwood missed all of last season with a knee injury (torn ACL and MCL) that he sustained during the team's first exhibition against San Diego. He remained in Green Bay throughout the season to strengthen his right knee but had yet to regain the form that he showed early in camp a year ago when he was pushing for a starting position.
"I thought he did agood job rehabbing it," said McCarthy. "I don't think he is all the way back to where he was last year. The other thing is the competition at that position has heated up. It was in our best interest to make that move."
The Packers likely will keep four safeties on the 53-man roster. The Packers selected Aaron Rouse in the third round of NFL draft. He lined up with Marquand Manuel with the second team defense Monday night while Atari Bigby and Nick Collins were with the first team at safety. Second-year pros Tyrone Culver and Charlie Peprah also are competing for a roster spot.
Underwood, selected in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL draft by Green Bay, played in all 16 games as a rookie. He led the team in special teams tackles with 23. He also had 14 tackles while playing as a reserve on defense and one forced fumble.
"A great individual. I can't say enough about him," said McCarthy. "Maybe give him an opportunity to hook on with somebody else."