Dumb Green Bay Running Back Thinks He's Cut,Leaves
Brookins turned in playbook, misread message
By John Clayton
A communication mixup put Packers halfback Jason Brookins' brief Green Bay career on hold.
Jason Brookins averaged 3.6 yards per carry as a rookie.
On Tuesday, the day NFL teams had to trim their rosters to 65 players, Brookins was asked for his playbook by a Packers official. He thought the request meant that he was being released.
What he didn't know was that it was for some late additions to his playbook prior to Friday's game against the Titans.
By then, it was too late. Brookins had already gotten in his car, turned off his cell phone and headed to his offseason home in Missouri.
"It's one of the weirdest things I've been involved with,'' said his agent, Stephen Weinberger. "The Packers called and wanted to get him to come back, but we couldn't reach him. Somebody there asked him if he needed a ride to the airport, but he had his own car, so he left.''
On Tuesday, the Packers told Weinberger that they wanted to bring Brookins back. But on Wednesday, there was uncertainty.
"We're awaiting word on what coach Mike Sherman wants to do,'' Weinberger said.
Brookins could understandably think that he would be included in the list of cuts. Despite being brought in to compete for a backup halfback job, Brookins didn't play against the Browns on Monday night.
During training camp, he was switched from halfback to fullback.
Brookins rushed for 551 yards and scored five touchdowns for the Ravens last season. He played collegiately at Lane College.
Thursday, August 29
Brookins cut two days after misunderstanding
By Len Pasquarelli
At least until the telephone rings with a job offer, wayward running back Jason Brookins can stop wandering the interstate highway system, and quit wondering about his career with the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers on Thursday cut Brookins, two days after a misunderstanding caused him to leave training camp unexcused, and just a few minutes before he was to begin the 10-hour drive from Missouri back to Green Bay.
"It's over with Green Bay," said agent Stephen Weinberger, who conferred with NFL Players Association officials on Thursday morning. "The team just called to say they had released him. And I had to hurry to get Jason on the phone, because I was afraid he was on his way back (to Green Bay)."
Based on his conversation with NFLPA officials, Weinberger had ordered Brookins back to Green Bay.
The bizarre odyssey began on Tuesday, the first wholesale roster cutdown day for all teams, when a Packers functionary asked for Brookins' playbook. Brookins interpreted the request to mean that he was among the players who were being released. Instead, the Packers simply wanted to insert some new plays into the binder.
Of course, Brookins didn't know that, because he had already packed his bags and was on the road. When the team contacted Weinberger to query him about his client's whereabouts, the agent was unable to reach Brookins, who was using his grandmother's cell phone.
Two days of conversations between Weinberger and Green Bay officials only muddied the waters. Said Weinberger: "One (official) would tell me they wanted him back and another would say to wait until (coach) Mike Sherman decided what he wanted to do. It just made things even crazier."
Brookins, who played last season for the Baltimore Ravens, signed with the Packers as a free agent earlier this spring. He rushed for 551 yards and five touchdowns for the Ravens in 2001.