GREEN BAY, Wis. — Jaylon Smith‘s run with the Green Bay Packers was a short one. He played in only two games and was released on Tuesday, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, less than a month after he was signed.
The former Dallas Cowboys second-round pick was a healthy scratch for last Thursday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, an indication that his time with the team might be short-lived.
The inside linebacker played a total of 27 snaps for the Packers — 17 against the Chicago Bears in Week 6 and 10 against the Washington Football Team in Week 7 — and was credited with one tackle in those two games.
The Packers signed him just days after he was released by the Cowboys, who were on the hook for the entirety of Smith’s $7.2 million guaranteed salary for this season. That meant the Packers only had to pay him the league minimum, which is $990,000 for a veteran, but they’re responsible for only the prorated portion of four game weeks.
Smith came in shortly after Krys Barnes suffered a concussion. Barnes had been starting alongside De’Vondre Campbell at inside linebacker. Barnes has since returned, and defensive coordinator Joe Barry has also used Oren Burks at inside linebacker in certain packages in addition to playing him on the edge.
A Pro Bowler in 2019, the 26-year-old Smith was released by the Cowboys after his role diminished following the addition of first-round pick Micah Parsons. Smith was a second-round pick by the Cowboys in 2016 even though the team considered it unlikely that he would play for a year given the knee injury he suffered in his final college game. After sitting out his entire rookie season, Smith did not miss a game from the start of the 2017 season until the Cowboys released him.
The Packers now have two open roster spots, which they may need this week if they activate tackle David Bakhtiari from the physically unable to perform list and receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling from injured reserve in advance of Sunday’s game at the Kansas City Chiefs.