DJ Pettway's possible departure clears the way for Dee Liner to get into the mix. Pettway was going to push Pagan for Square's old spot...I thought Pettway had a shot at winning it too.
We are champions. We can prove it! *counting 15 championships*
"I don't know what class is but I can tell when one has it, you can tell from a mile away"
-- Coach Bryant
"We always talk about playing 60 minutes but this is a 60-10 game: the 60 minutes of the game and the 10 minutes in the locker room after the game that you remember for the rest of your life."
-- Nick Saban day after beating Clemson
Assuming the worst happens to these guys all this does is give a few more guys reps this year. Time to hot the weight room and be ready.
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"It's not luck, it's random bursts of talent." - Gage Robinson
Don't think the dismissal of Pettway, Williams, and Hayes has any meaningful impact on the depth chart next season.
Of those three players, Pettway was the only one receiving snaps on defense this past season, and even he was only seeing time as a situational player following an injury to a younger player (Devall). Williams didn't factor in at all, and Hayes was solely a special teams player, notwithstanding some garbage time snaps on defense. None of those three guys were likely going to be significant contributors next season, and the only one who had much of a realistic chance of doing so -- Pettway -- was publicly called out by Saban or his inconistent play near the end of the season. Not exactly the best sign of meaningful playing time being imminent.
Pettway was a situational pass rusher last season, and that was his only role. He could have seen snaps next season on that basis, but even so in that regard he was behind, at a minimum, Hubbard, Dickson, and Devall. He would have been competing with guys like Ryan Anderson, Jonathan Allen, and others to be the fourth guy in that situational rusher rotation.
Now, obviously, "meaningful" playing time is a fluid concept, and individual interpretations may vary. I'm sure he would have seen some playing time next season, but barring him suddenly becoming a far more complete player, I doubt he would have averaged more than 7-10 meaningful snaps per game. Clearly you would prefer to have him around nevertheless, but that's far from a major loss.