Though Brett Hundley has only two seasons and 10 pass attempts under his belt, the young signal-caller enters the most pivotal stretch of his NFL career to date. With some strong performances in the Green Bay Packers' upcoming preseason games, Hundley can establish a robust trade market for his services. Conversely, a poor or inconsistent showing could render him an afterthought across the league.
Barring a serious injury to Aaron Rodgers, the only extended action Hundley expects to see in 2017 will come over the next four preseason games. If last year's preseason serves as any indication, Rodgers will only take the field for a series or two in the third exhibition game, yielding the vast majority of the snaps under center to backups Joe Callahan, Taysom Hill, and, most significantly, Hundley. But while the Packers plan to play Callahan and Hill with fellow reserves, Hundley should see significant action with the No. 1 offense. That makes August the most important month in his young career.
While the Packers have not made any public comments regarding their long-term plans for Hundley, it stands to reason the team would like to flip him over the next year rather than see him simply play out his contract. Hundley has stated his desire to become the type of player the Packers could trade for a first-round pick, heavily implying that he doesn't plan to stick around Green Bay after his deal expires following the 2018 season. In a best-case scenario for both parties, Hundley's play meets or exceeds the impressive marks from the 2015 preseason -- 45 completions on 65 attempts for 630 yards, seven touchdowns, and one interception -- leading another team to target him next offseason and part with a significant draft pick in the process.
Of course, Hundley had a similar opportunity last year. The Packers made clear their intention to feature him with the starters and build up his trade value. Those plans fell apart when an ankle injury zapped Hundley's mobility and cost him much of the preseason. Had he avoided the bad ankle and produced during the games, Green Bay might have already moved him in a trade months ago. Even if they hadn't, perhaps Hundley could have interested the Miami Dolphins or Baltimore Ravens who saw starters Ryan Tannehill and Joe Flacco respectively succumb to injuries in recent weeks.
Instead, Hundley's status in the eyes of talent evaluators remains unclear. His physical talent is unmistakable, and the multiple years he has trained under the tutelage of Packers coach Mike McCarthy suggest a bright future. However, until Hundley proves himself on the field, another franchise has little incentive to bet on him as a franchise passer.
Of course, August could change everything, setting Hundley up for the career he desires.