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Packers Release Safety Who Had Chance to Start

The Green Bay Packers have a made a big move in what had been a wide-open competition at safety.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers are releasing Tarvarius Moore, according to a source, the first big move in the team’s wide-open safety battle.

With the decision to not re-sign veteran Adrian Amos, the Packers elected to sign Jonathan Owens and Moore to low-cost one-year contracts. Moore, however, suffered a minor knee injury during the second preseason game vs. New England and missed the last week of training camp and the preseason finale against Seattle.

Moore should be fully ready to roll by Week 1 or Week 2 but the Packers have chosen to release him with an injury settlement. That means Moore will be healthy and available at least a couple weeks before the Packers could re-sign him.

The injury took Moore out of the competition to earn the starting job. In the interim, Rudy Ford moved in with the No. 1 defense and figures to be the Week 1 starter vs. Chicago.

With truly elite speed, Moore was a third-round pick by the 49ers in 2018. He started two games as a rookie, three games in 2019 and eight games in 2020. That progression put him in a strong position to start for one of the best defenses in the NFL in 2021. However, he suffered a torn Achilles during an offseason practice and missed the entire season.

He returned to action last year, with most of his snaps coming on special teams.

Tarvarius Moore

“Definitely feel like all the speed is still there,” Moore said following a practice in which he ran with the starters. “Just a different way of going about getting there. Definitely, you have to work and build that power back up. Like I said, it was a grind, but the only way to feel that and to get back to that self is just get back in the atmosphere and running around with the guys and comparing yourself to other guys and where you used to be.”

With Green Bay, the hope was he would earn a starting job and position himself for a long-term contract this coming offseason. He had an impressive preseason debut against Cincinnati with a couple solid open-field tackles.

“Great opportunity here,” Moore said. “Defense is very similar to what I’m used to, just even more so just letting me play freely, and it’s a great scheme, playing behind a great group of guys, great D-line, great linebackers, and just a great secondary. They’ve made it really easy for me just to transition here, picking up the playbook, just welcome me in and be part of the group.”

Without Moore, the Packers have Darnell Savage and Ford as the presumptive starters. Owens and seventh-round rookie Anthony Johnson could be in line for the backup spots, with Dallin Leavitt working on special teams. 

Rookie Benny Sapp was released.

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