Packers: 3 veterans who could miss out on 53-man roster


Packers: 3 veterans who could miss out on 53-man roster

Green Bay Packers, Brian Gutekunst
Cent02 7fsabhz2thk1cgwc0hjf Original

Three Green Bay Packers veteran players who could surprisingly not make the 53-man roster.

Slowly but surely, the Green Bay Packers are trimming their roster down to 53 players. With only a couple of weeks to go until the initial roster needs to be set for the regular season, it’s almost decision time.

Some of those tough choices have already been made. On Monday, the Packers released second-year inside linebacker Kamal Martin, a player who had impressed last summer but struggled at training camp this year and in the preseason.

Oftentimes, teams move on from players who many expected would make the roster. That includes cutting a player or possibly trading them if another team is interested in bringing them in. For the Packers, both options will potentially be in play with a few players this summer.

In a couple of weeks, we’ll know Green Bay’s initial 53-man roster in full. How many wide receivers will they keep? Who will win positional battles along the offensive line, linebacker, and safety?

With tough decisions ahead, the Packers will likely make a couple of surprises. We see it every year. With that in mind, here are three veteran players who could surprisingly miss out on the 53, either by being cut or traded.

Packers: 3 veterans who could miss out on 53-man roster

Green Bay Packers, Brian Gutekunst
Cent02 7fsabhz2thk1cgwc0hjf Original

Three Green Bay Packers veteran players who could surprisingly not make the 53-man roster.

Slowly but surely, the Green Bay Packers are trimming their roster down to 53 players. With only a couple of weeks to go until the initial roster needs to be set for the regular season, it’s almost decision time.

Some of those tough choices have already been made. On Monday, the Packers released second-year inside linebacker Kamal Martin, a player who had impressed last summer but struggled at training camp this year and in the preseason.

Oftentimes, teams move on from players who many expected would make the roster. That includes cutting a player or possibly trading them if another team is interested in bringing them in. For the Packers, both options will potentially be in play with a few players this summer.

In a couple of weeks, we’ll know Green Bay’s initial 53-man roster in full. How many wide receivers will they keep? Who will win positional battles along the offensive line, linebacker, and safety?

With tough decisions ahead, the Packers will likely make a couple of surprises. We see it every year. With that in mind, here are three veteran players who could surprisingly miss out on the 53, either by being cut or traded.

Packers: 3 veterans who could miss out on 53-man roster

Green Bay Packers, Lucas Patrick (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Lucas Patrick

Lucas Patrick is far from guaranteed to make the Packers’ 53-man roster, something that would’ve been hard to believe even a few weeks ago. Patrick was excellent as a starter at right guard last season.

He was a starter in 15 games and had the sixth-best pass block win rate among all guards in the NFL, according to ESPN. However, he’s been inconsistent this summer and with strong depth at the interior offensive line positions, he’s now under pressure. He didn’t help his chances by having two costly holding penalties in Saturday’s preseason game.

Rookie guard Royce Newman has potentially overtaken Patrick for the starting right guard spot, and second-round pick Josh Myers looks set to start at center. If that proves to be true, Patrick’s only hope of starting would be at left guard while David Bakhtiari is out, which would mean Pro Bowl guard Elgton Jenkins likely shifts over to tackle.

Newman started ahead of Patrick in the most recent preseason game, and the rookie has been impressive. Ben Braden is also having a good summer and will compete for a starting job.

Patrick is talented enough to finish the summer strong and secure a starting spot, but with talented young players like Newman, Braden, and Jon Runyan Jr. on the roster, his spot is far from guaranteed.

Perhaps GM Brian Gutekunst will pick up the phone to teams interested in trading for Patrick. We’ll see.

Packers: 3 veterans who could miss out on 53-man roster

Green Bay Packers, Devin Funchess – Samantha Madar/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
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Devin Funchess

Much like the Packers have strong depth at guard, it’s a similar story at wide receiver. With five receivers roster locks, it leaves potentially only one more spot on the 53-man roster. And there’s no shortage of competition for the final roster spot.

Veteran Devin Funchess is among the receivers competing. He’s the most experienced and has plenty to offer the Packers offense. Funchess played well in the Family Night scrimmage and was the Packers’ best receiver in the preseason opener with six catches for 70 yards. He didn’t feature in the second preseason game due to injury.

Funchess offers experience but he faces competition from Malik Taylor, Juwann Winfree, and Equanimeous St. Brown.

What potentially hurts Funchess the most is that he hasn’t played special teams often in his career. According to Pro Football Reference, he’s played on six special-teams snaps in six seasons. Compare that to Taylor, who played on almost half of the Packers’ special-teams snaps a year ago.

Maybe the Packers can make room for Funchess even if he doesn’t play on special teams. Rookie receiver Amari Rodgers likely will be featured often on special teams.

If Funchess isn’t set to make the 53, perhaps another team would consider trading for the former Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts wide receiver.

Packers: 3 veterans who could miss out on 53-man roster

Green Bay Packers, Jace Sternberger – Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Jace Sternberger

Third-year tight end Jace Sternberger won’t make the Packers’ initial 53-man roster as he will be suspended for the opening two regular-season games. So this question is pushed two weeks down the line. Will the Packers find room for Sternberger once his suspension is up, or is his time in Green Bay set to end?

The former third-round pick struggled in his first two seasons with the Packers and hasn’t yet made a significant impact this summer.

In two preseason games, Sternberger has caught five passes for 40 yards and a touchdown. He has had two plays of note — a 34-yard catch from Jordan Love in the opener, and his touchdown catch last week. Outside of that, Sternberger hasn’t made many plays.

It’s year three for Sternberger. It can take a few seasons for tight ends to develop, but this is the time for the former third-round pick.

The Packers have Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis, and Josiah Deguara all under contract this season. They will be the team’s top three at tight end, with all three playing different roles. There’s room for another pass-catching tight end to get snaps on offense.

Will that be Sternberger this season? Only time will tell.

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