Packers 2016 Recap: LB Carl Bradford

2016 Stats

  • Appeared in 4 games
  • 1 tackle

Expectations going into the season: Low
Expectations were: Not Met

Analysis: Bradford’s disappointing Packers career ends quietly

Carl Bradford was an undersized defensive end in college with Arizona State. When he was selected by Green Bay in 2014, the expectation was that Bradford would bring his ability to rush the passer as an outside linebacker.

The transition from defensive end to outside linebacker was rocky. Bradford’s physical limitations – namely, shorter arms than most NFL pass rushers – were his undoing. The third-round selection stayed on the 53-man roster throughout his rookie season, but was inactive for every game.

The coaches ultimately chose to move Bradford to inside linebacker, and he entered 2016 on the practice squad for the second consecutive season after a solid preseason performance.

Then, he waited. Injuries ravaged the Packers defense, and a 4-2 start had disappeared into a 4-5 record by November 19th. After inside linebacker Jake Ryan was ruled out for the upcoming contest against the Washington Redskins, Bradford was signed to the active roster.

After three years of waiting, Carl Bradford finally saw his first game action in the regular season as a member of the Green Bay Packers. He recorded one tackle over four contests, and was released in late December.

When his number was finally called, he simply didn’t do enough to entice the Packers to keep the third-year linebacker on their team.

Bradford’s Packers career ended quietly on December 19th, when Green Bay promoted third-string quarterback Joe Callahan to the active roster as an insurance policy in case Aaron Rodgers’ calf injury worsened.

Once considered one of the league’s best young pass rushers, Bradford was released to make room for a third-string, Division III quarterback who couldn’t impress the pitiful Cleveland Browns enough to earn a start. 

After his release, Carl Bradford was claimed on waivers by the San Francisco 49ers.