Packers trade QB Hundley to Seahawks

By Blake Froling

The Green Bay Packers traded backup quarterback Brett Hundley to the Seattle Seahawks for a 2019 sixth-round draft pick, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Rob Demovsky.

Hundley was forced into duty last year when Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone in week six and struggled, going 3-6 as a starter. He threw nine touchdowns and 12 interceptions and completed just over 60 percent of his passes.

So far this preseason, Hundley is 23/37 passing for 263 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Former Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer is now the presumptive backup to Rodgers. He was acquired via trade early in the offseason for cornerback Damarious Randall.

Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images

Packers’ defense, RB race should take shape in training camp

Rob Demovsky, ESPN Staff Writer

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers open training camp July 27 at their regular practice facility across from Lambeau Field. Here’s a closer look at the Packers’ camp:

Top storyline: The Packers’ revamped defense under new coordinator Mike Pettine will be under examination during each and every practice. The early returns in OTAs were strong; during one of the public practices, it picked off Aaron Rodgers twice. Granted, those were not padded practices. Certainly there will be days when Rodgers and the offense pick apart the defense, but once the pads go on, the real evaluation of the unit begins in earnest. It will be worth watching where the pass rush comes from considering that beyond Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, there are no proven outside rushers. Perhaps the addition of defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson will improve the interior rush. The cornerback position also has been revamped with the signing of veteran Tramon Williams and the addition of the top two draft picks, Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson.

QB depth chart: For now, it’s still Brett Hundley behind Rodgers. But don’t be surprised if at some point during training camp DeShone Kizer emerges as the No. 2. Hundley will get his chances to prove he’s better than what he showed last season when he made nine starts after Rodgers broke his collarbone, but the trade for Kizer (who started 15 games as a rookie last season for the Browns) showed a clear intent to upgrade the backup spot in case something happens to Rodgers again. Undrafted rookie Tim Boyle is the No. 4 entering camp.

Bubble watch: This isn’t so much a bubble watch but rather an injury watch that could turn into a major roster decision on Bryan Bulaga. The veteran right tackle probably won’t be on the field for the start of training camp; he’ll likely start on the physically unable to perform list while still rehabbing a torn ACL suffered in November. It also might be a long shot for him to be ready to start the season. If the Packers feel good about the addition of veteran Byron Bell and the depth Jason Spriggs and Kyle Murphy provide, then perhaps they’d move on from Bulaga even when he’s ready to go.

This rookie could start: Either Alexander or Jackson had better start. That’s why new general manager Brian Gutekunst used his first- and second-round picks, respectively, on the pair of cornerbacks. If Kevin King and Williams man the outside positions, then perhaps Alexander could start in the slot in the nickel package.

Running back by committee: The great thing about having three capable running backs is that if one runs into trouble or gets injured then there are options. The flip side is it could take away from the rhythm of the offense if the back changes every couple of series. So Packers coach Mike McCarthy will have to sort out how he plans to use Ty Montgomery, Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones, all of whom played the No. 1 role at different times last season.

The Philbin effect: Training camp should shed some light on what the return of offensive coordinator Joe Philbin means for that side of the ball. Philbin, during his previous stint in that job, was the perfect muse for McCarthy when it came to deciding what’s good — and more important, what’s bad — about the offense and play selection. He has the respect of Rodgers, who has already raved about Philbin’s impact.

Photo: Jim Matthews/USA TODAY NETWORK


Packers lack potential young stars outside of Kenny Clark, RBs

Rob Demovsky, ESPN Staff Writer

GREEN BAY, Wis. — They have a 34-year-old quarterback in Aaron Rodgers whose most proven offensive weapon (Jimmy Graham) is 31, their best pass rusher (Clay Matthews) is 32, and even their kicker (Mason Crosby) is well into his 30s.

No wonder the Green Bay Packers didn’t land a single player on ESPN’s best NFL starting lineup of players under the age of 25.

That’s essentially limited to the past three draft classes, and it could be a byproduct of former general manager Ted Thompson’s decline.

It’s probably too early to include any of the Packers’ 2018 draft picks in the conversation, although Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, made the list over Ezekiel Elliott.

With that in mind, here’s a look at the Packers’ starters (and potential starters) under 25 at each position on offense and defense:

DeShone Kizer

Age: 22

One coach familiar with Kizer called the former Browns starter a “total rebuild” after he went winless in 15 starts for Cleveland. He’ll have to show marked improvement to challenge Brett Hundley for the backup job. The Packers unloaded a headache — cornerback Damarious Randall — to get Kizer in a trade.

Running back
Jamaal Williams/Aaron Jones

Ages: 23

At this point, it’s a tough call between the two. Williams looked more capable of handling workhorse duties, but Jones showed more explosiveness. Jones can’t play the first two games because of an NFL suspension, but by midseason, perhaps he could overtake Williams.

Geronimo Allison

Age: 24

The former undrafted free agent will have to fend off competition from Michael Clark, a former college basketball player whose 6-foot-6 frame makes him an intriguing prospect, and the three receivers picked on Day 3 of the draft this spring. But Allison looks like the best bet to open the season as the No. 3 receiver behind Davante Adams (who doesn’t qualify for this list because he’s already 25) and Randall Cobb.

Tight end
Emanuel Byrd

Age: 23

This is a veteran position group with Graham, Lance Kendricks and Marcedes Lewis. But Byrd looks like a developmental project. He was promoted from the practice squad for the regular-season finale and caught two passes for 31 yards.

Kyle Murphy/Jason Spriggs

Ages: 24

One them could start at right tackle to open the season if Bryan Bulaga’s rehabbed knee isn’t ready. Both finished last season on injured reserve. Murphy, a sixth-round pick in 2016, might have the edge over Spriggs, a second-round pick in the same draft.

Lucas Patrick

Age: 24

The former undrafted rookie started two games last season — one at left guard and one at right guard. He has also worked at center, although he has not had any games reps there.

Defensive line
Kenny Clark

Age: 22

He’s the closest thing the Packers have to an under-25 star. He was only 20 when the Packers picked him in the first round in 2017 and won’t turn 23 until a month into his third NFL season this year. Clark had all 4.5 of his sacks last season in December and was perhaps the team’s most impactful player on defense late in the season.

Outside linebacker

Even potential up-and-comers Vince Biegel and Reggie Gilbert already have exceeded the age requirement — they’re both 25 — and they’ve hardly played. They’ve combined for one career sack; Gilbert got it in last year’s regular-season finale. Same with Kyler Fackrell, who is already 26 even though he was in the same draft class as Clark.

Inside linebacker
Blake Martinez

Age: 24

All the 2016 fourth-round pick did was tie for the NFL lead in tackles last season while ranking second on the Packers’ defense in snaps played. He figures to be a cornerstone in the new defensive scheme.

Kevin King

Age: 23

Big things are expected from last year’s top pick now that his ailing shoulder has been surgically repaired. The Packers expect to see the real King this year. Throw in this year’s top-two picks — Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson — and new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is flush with young cornerback talent.

Josh Jones

Age: 23

Morgan Burnett, 29, left in free agency, which opens the door for Jones, who made seven starts last season as a rookie second-round pick.

Photo: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentine