Packers release RB James Starks

ByRob Demovsky ESPN logo
Wednesday, February 8, 2017

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Running back James Starks, who did not play after sustaining a concussion in a car accident Dec. 12, was cut by the Packers on Tuesday.

He was released with the non-football injury designation.

Starks, a sixth-round pick in 2010 who started for the Packers as a rookie in Super Bowl XLV, rushed for just 145 yards and averaged just 2.3 yards per carry in nine games last season. He had not cleared the concussion protocol prior to the Packers' loss in the NFC Championship Game.

He also missed four games earlier in the season because of a knee injury.

The Packers signed Starks last offseason to a two-year, $6 million deal to serve as the backup to Eddie Lacy, who is set to become a free agent in March.

According to a Wisconsin motor vehicle accident report, Starks' 2016 Range Rover was struck on the driver's side by a semi-tractor trailer on a Green Bay street at 4:32 a.m. on Dec. 12. Starks was wearing his seat belt and did not receive any citations, and the driver of the 18-wheeler was cited for inattentive driving.

Starks, who could re-sign with the Packers at a lower price, was scheduled to make $2.6 million in base salary plus another $400,000 in bonuses in 2017. Instead, the Packers will be able to wipe the $3 million from their salary cap and will have to count only Starks' prorated signing bonus of $750,000 against the 2017 cap.