The Green Bay Packers have released veteran outside linebacker Nate Wayne, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced Monday.
The 28-year-old Wayne, a three-year starter, led the Green Bay defense in tackles during the 2002 season with a career-high 132 stops, including 2.5 quarterback sacks, and ranked third on the team in interceptions with 3. He also had a career-best 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries and 6 passes defensed while playing in all 16 games for the second time as a professional.
"The decision to release Nate Wayne was a business decision," Sherman said. "We tried to work out a situation that would work for both parties but were unable to come to agreeable terms. He has been a contributor to our success over the past three years and he will be missed by the team, the coaches and staff."
Wayne, a five-year veteran, started 15 games last season, his lone non-start coming when the Packers opened in their 'dime' defense against the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 8.
Along the way, the 6-foot, 237-pound University of Mississippi alumnus equaled his career high with 16 tackles in a 30-9 victory over the Washington Redskins Oct. 20.
A former Denver Bronco, Wayne came to the Packers in a 2000 training camp trade (Aug. 15) after spending two years as a backup for the Broncos and a season with the Barcelona Dragons of the NFL Europe League. He finished second on the team in tackles while starting 13 games that season and third overall in 2001, a season in which he missed four games because of injury.
A seventh-round selection of the Broncos in the 1998 NFL draft, Wayne had been a two-year starter and four-year letterman at Ole Miss as a collegian.