GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers are making a change at punter by releasing veteran Pat O’Donnell.
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst announced Monday that he has released O’Donnell, who had a gross average of 44.5 yards and a net average of 38.9 yards during his lone season as Green Bay’s main punter.
The release of O’Donnell leaves Daniel Whelan as the Packers’ likely punter to open the season. Whelan and O’Donnell had been splitting reps in training camp and throughout the preseason.
Whelan, 24, signed with the Packers in May. He played for the XFL’s D.C. Defenders this year and ranked third in the league in punting average (45.6) and punts inside the 20-yard line (11).
Whelan has no NFL playing experience. He signed with the New Orleans Saints last year as an undrafted free agent from UC Davis but was released later that summer.
O’Donnell had joined the Packers last year after spending eight seasons as the Chicago Bears’ punter. Twenty-four of his 52 punts last season were downed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
The release of the 32-year-old O’Donnell continues the Packers’ youth movement with numerous veterans from last season heading elsewhere. The oldest remaining Packer is 31-year-old offensive tackle David Bakhtiari. Linebacker De’Vondre Campbell and outside linebacker Preston Smith are both 30.