The Green Bay Packers made a surprise signing on the waiver wire earlier this week. After initially taking just three tight ends on their 53-man roster, the team claimed Ben Sims who had been waived by their NFC North rival Minnesota Vikings. Of course, Sims is not the first player waived by Minnesota that Green Bay has picked up.
Back in 1993, the Vikings made the decision to cut their third round pick (79th overall), defensive tackle Gilbert Brown. Of course, the rest is history as Brown went on to have a long, successful career with the Packers, one that ended with him immortalized in the team’s Hall of Fame.
While the two players saw their situations between the two players are 30 years apart, and their draft status was different, there is an eerie similarity in how both found themselves on the Packers’ roster.
The Green Bay Packers Claimed Ben Sims Off of Waivers from the Minnesota Vikings
Sims was waived by the Vikings as they trimmed their roster down to 53. An undrafted free agent, the Vikings were planning on giving him the chance to find a spot on their practice squad. In fact, he was in a, meeting with Vikings personnel and other practice squad candidates when he was pulled out of the room.
According to Bill Huber of Sports Illustrated, Sims was told he had to leave because he had been claimed. He asked where he was going and was told Green Bay.
Sims packed his bags, hopped in his truck and started traveling west.
“They said, ‘When can you get here?” Sims said. “I mapped it on my phone and I said, ‘I can be there in 4 hours.’ Coach (Matt) LaFleur goes, ‘Great. See you then.’”
And Sims arrived in town four hours later, true to his word. He is on the Packers’ 53-man roster and will wear number 89.
It has yet to be seen what role Sims will have on the team, but it is interesting to note that Green Bay has been interested in him for a while. They hosted him for a pre-draft visit and attempted to sign him as an undrafted free agent following the draft.
Gilbert Brown Tells the Story of How He Ended up with the Green Bay Packers After Being Cut by the Minnesota Vikings
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Gilbert Brown is such a legend in Packers history that it is sometimes easy to forget that he was originally drafted by the Vikings. Minnesota drafted him 79th overall in the third round of the 1993 NFL Draft. Earlier this week on The Earl Ingram Show, Brown recounted how he ended up in Green Bay:
“I was with them up until the first week, the first game. What happened was a running back got hurt, and they wanted to keep him on the 58-man roster. So, they had to make room for another running back until the other guy got healthy because they didn’t want to put him on IR.
“So they chose me to come on back to the room and be on the practice squad for a week or two. And then 10 minutes into my drive I was a Green Bay Packer.”
As one can see, the stories are not exactly the same, but they are eerily similar. In both cases, neither player last long for the Vikings once they were kept off the 56/58-man roster.
Hopefully Sims can have just as storied a career with the Packers as Brown did, because that would insinuate another long period of success for the team (that includes a Super Bowl win).