It’s Official: Packers Cut Chmura
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) _ Mark Chmura was released by the Green Bay Packers today as he awaits trial on charges he sexually assaulted his 17-year-old baby sitter.
General manager Ron Wolf said the Packers ``greatly appreciate″ Chmura’s contributions the last eight seasons.
The move by the team was expected. By releasing the star tight end after June 1, the Packers save $900,000 in salary cap room.
Chmura announced the Packers’ decision Saturday at a news conference from the driveway at his lawyer Gerald Boyle’s Milwaukee office.
He helped lead the Packers to consecutive Super Bowl appearances in 1997 and 1998 and was named to the Pro Bowl three times. He missed all but two games last season after a neck injury.
Chmura, a sixth-round draft pick out of Boston College, finishes his career in Green Bay 16th on the team’s career receiving list and third among tight ends with 188 receptions for 2,253 yards and 17 touchdowns in 89 games.
He had hoped to play this season. He participated in the Packers’ first minicamp in March before his arrest.
The girl testified at a preliminary hearing last week that Chmura called her into a bathroom at a party after a high school prom April 9. She said he and locked the door, moved her onto the floor and had sex with her without her consent.
The encounter lasted a minute before her friends pounded on the door, she said. Chmura was ordered to stand trial on a charge of third-degree sexual assault.
Chmura has denied the accusations and is expected to enter a plea June 23.
Chmura’s friend and lawyer, John Drana, said Saturday that Wolf did not mention the criminal case when he told him of Chmura’s release.
Chmura said Saturday he hopes to play again, although he has not been able to rehabilitate his neck since the case broke. Drana said Chmura, listed at 6-foot-5 and 255 pounds, has dropped 20 pounds since his arrest.