With the dispersal draft quickly approaching Birmingham continues to bring in borderline NFL talent. The latest name a recent 3rd round pick in the NFL by the Green Bay Packers, Amari Rodgers.
Amari Rodgers in the NFL
Rodgers was selected by Green Bay in the 2021 NFL Draft, as the Packers attempted to appease Aaron Rodgers by addressing the wide receiver position. Rodgers came out of Clemson as a highly touted receiver following an impressive four year run at the program. During this stretch Rodgers amassed 181 receptions for 2,144 yards and 15 touchdowns. When he graduated he was 11th all time in receiving yards, 6th in receptions, and 14th in touchdowns.
Despite these gaudy numbers, Rodgers saw 47.5% of his total yardage, 46% of his touchdowns, and 42.5% of his receptions all came as a senior. Ironically actor three rather run of the mill seasons Rodgers had 104 receptions, for 1024 yards, 8 touchdowns.
Combine, Preseason Rise
Built like a running back at 5’9 212 lbs he had a fairly impressive performance at his Pro Day. Running a 4.52 40 yard dash, 7.07 3-cone drill, and putting up 19 reps in the bench press. Once ranked the 9th best receiver in a deep class of NFL caliber receivers, Rodgers flamed out in Green Bay quickly, but not because of his abilities as a receiver.
After being selected in the third round he joined a Packers that also had Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdez-Scantling, Randall Cobb, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Juwann Winfree competing for snaps. The Packers gave Rodgers every chance to try and win a job during preseason. Seeing 17 targets, Rodgers caught 13 passes for 87 yards and 0 touchdowns. He was credited with zero drops. Then the regular season came.
During the regular season, Rodgers was primarily used on special teams seeing just 8 targets with 4 receptions. He managed 45 yards, and was credited with one drop. Most of his contributions came on special teams as a return man. He played 115 special teams snaps to just 30 on offense. He averaged 8.6 yards per punt return on 20 attempts, while returning 11 kicks for 199 yards as well.
Season two is when it all began to fall apart for the young NFL receiver. In 2022 it began very similarly on offense with Rodgers buried behind quality players, but still being used on special teams. In 2022 Rodgers played a combined 86 snaps on special teams in 16 games split between Green Bay and Houston. In those 86 snaps, he had a combined 26 return attempts; 20 punts, 6 kicks. What led to his release was 5 fumbles on just 30 total touches.
New Chapter in Houston
After being released by the Packers, the Texans came calling and signed Rodgers immediately. In just 6 games with the Texans he was targeted 15 times catching 12 passes, 154 yards, and 1 touchdown playing 170 offensives snaps along the way, with just 1 snap on special teams. This was arguably his most efficient stretch of play, even though he did fumble one more time.
This was the only point in his professional career to this point that he was allowed to focus on playing offense, after being released primarily for his play in special teams. In 2023 he spent some time with the Colts but appeared in just 3 games.
Reviving his NFL Career
He saw two targets catching neither. Perhaps signing with the Stallions and playing in the new version of the UFL, might have been in his best interests rather than waiting and hoping another team comes calling.
This may allow him the opportunity to prove he is past his fumbling issues and ready to contribute to an NFL team in a big way. At very least he is a low risk, high reward signing that could be the latest in a string of impressive signings by General Manager Zach Potter. Much has been said about home field contributing to their Championship Victories, but one thing cannot be argued. Birmingham has been if not the most, among the most talented teams in the league since its inception.
If you’re a fan of the Stallions check out my recent interviews with: