Welcome to the prediction section of the offseason. Over two weeks here at Acme Packing Company, we will be presenting our overall roster predictions for the Green Bay Packers’ 53-man roster as it will be constituted immediately following final roster cuts. Today we begin with the quarterbacks.
The Green Bay Packers have a puzzle to solve in training camp, and for the first time, Brian Gutekunst is the one putting the pieces together. As Ted Thompson’s successor as the team’s general manager, Gutekunst has already made a handful of un-Ted-like moves to put the 90-man roster together. Could he do the same when cutting down to 53?
We begin as always with the quarterback position. Brett Hundley is on notice after his less-than-impressive stint as the starter when Aaron Rodgers was injured. The acquisition of DeShone Kizer all but assured him of a roster spot this fall; the question now is whether Hundley can do enough to stay squarely ahead of Kizer on the depth chart.
If Kizer beats Hundley for the backup job behind Rodgers, there’s little reason to keep Hundley around — financial or otherwise. Here is our prediction for how the battle will shake out.
Starter: Aaron Rodgers
Obvious things are obvious. Rodgers probably won’t play much this preseason; then again, he hasn’t needed to do so recently. As our Jason Hirschhorn pointed out on Twitter, the Packers have lost just a single game through the first five weeks of the season each of the past two years; they also started 6-0 the year before that, in 2015. Rust won’t be an issue for Rodgers even if all he gets is a few series in the third preseason game.
With that in mind, all eyes can be on Hundley and Kizer.
Backup: DeShone Kizer
That’s right — APC is predicting that Kizer will be the only other quarterback on the 53-man roster after the deadline, meaning that Hundley will be cut loose. It was an overwhelming opinion, as well, with nine of our 12 contributors keeping just the two quarterbacks. Kizer is not the athlete that Hundley is, but his arm is stronger and he got a full season of starting experience a year ago (even if his team didn’t win a game).
Perhaps it’s frustration with Hundley’s disappointing performance that sent us in this direction, or perhaps it’s the desire for another roster spot to be used at another position. Regardless, we’re giving Kizer the nod.
Released: Brett Hundley, Tim Boyle
Cutting Hundley would add just $55,000 in dead money to the Packers’ salary cap this season, an easily-absorbed hit. Boyle, meanwhile, would be an obvious candidate to land on the Packers’ practice squad if he impresses the team enough in training camp.