Another Green Bay Packers defender will not be returning for the run-it-back campaign in 2021.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Wednesday they had signed Packers free-agent safety Raven Greene for the 2021 season, ending his three-year run in Green Bay after he initially signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2018.
Greene, 26, played 20 games over his three seasons with the Packers, functioning as both a free safety and dime linebacker in former defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s defense. He was also a key contributor on special teams, but injuries in each season prevented him from establishing a consistent on-field presence.
Greene had been one of the Packers’ top unrestricted free agents still on the market, but there are several other notable names among the unsigned, including veteran defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison and return specialist Tyler Ervin.
The latest Packers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Packers newsletter here!
Join Heavy on Packers!
Greene’s Injuries Foretold Departure
Greene’s three seasons with the Packers were at times hopeful but more often paved with potholes. His first real chance at playing time came in 2018 when the Packers traded away Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and he was promoted to backup safety, but Greene’s opportunity was cut short about a month later when he sustained a season-ending ankle injury.
Greene got right in the 2019 offseason and rolled into his second training camp looking like an exciting and versatile piece for the Packers secondary, which had added veteran safety Adrian Amos and first-round rookie Darnell Savage Jr. during the offseason. After a strong camp, he earned a role as the Packers’ dime linebacker to begin the 2019 season, but injuries struck again in the second game of the season and landed him on injured reserve for the rest of the regular season; though, he did return to practice in early January and was activated for their NFC Championship Game in San Francisco.
The longest stretch of healthy play for Greene came in 2020 when he played 324 defensive snaps over 10 games, recording his first-career interception in Week 9’s win over the San Francisco 49ers and tallying with 44 combined tackles, 1.5 sacks and five pass deflections. Greene also contributed 121 snaps on special teams before injuring his shoulder trying to stop Jalen Reagor’s punt-return touchdown in Week 13’s win over the Philadelphia Eagles. He was placed on IR for the third time a few days later.
The Packers could have rolled the dice on Greene again and re-signed him for an affordable, minimum-dollar contract, but three seasons of unreliability likely played into them not offering him a new contract. Beyond Amos and Savage, the Packers also re-signed safety Will Redmond earlier this offseason and have a safe room stocked with young pieces, including Vernon Scott (2020 seventh-round pick), Henry Black (2020 undrafted free agent), Christian Uphoff (2021 UDFA) and Innis Gaines (2021 future/reserve signing).