Skip to main content
Powered by

Inbox: Lots of youth blended with that experience

It’s always a collaborative effort here


Jeff from Los Feliz, CA

I cannot recall "cut day" being so difficult getting down to the 53 active. Maybe that is a good thing?

If it's easy, that 90-man roster wasn't worth much.

Tom from Grafton, WI

With all the work you do around cuts and the initial 53, are you given any lead time on who the initial 53 are? I recall you saying you get a heads-up on the schedule before the official release so you can prepare the stories to be posted. Is it the same with the roster cuts, where you may get the list a couple hours before 3 p.m. CDT so you can prepare the release and any other articles or analysis?

Nope. Not with this. We were just following what other reporters were posting on social media throughout the day as they heard from (mostly) agents, and then we got the official word on everything internally right before posting.

Paul from Lexington, KY

Man, I like this team! Seemingly no drama, no distractions, pure effort! Youth blended with experience…and we now can proceed to the next era.

Lots of youth blended with that experience. I counted 19 of the 53 players having never played in an NFL regular-season game, and 11 others with seven or fewer starts in their careers.

Bruce from Lakewood, CO

Greetings Gents: What was the most surprising move (in or out) with the 53?

Keeping only four corners is definitely different, and I read the No. 3 running back spot wrong. I thought when LaFleur made public comments about Emanuel Wilson needing to work on his pass protection and conditioning, they were going to keep Taylor and try to get Wilson through to the practice squad.

Jordan from Virginia Beach, VA

In the pass-heavy 2023 NFL, I'm surprised that we only kept four CBs. With five safeties, we must be going into the season with at least Ford taking some snaps at CB until Eric Stokes gets back. Who else at safety can move outside or into the slot against WR heavy packages?

I think it's more likely a cornerback on the practice squad will be elevated for gameday until Stokes returns. Otherwise, amongst the safeties, Darnell Savage would be the most experienced option to slide into the slot.

Douglas from Bemidji, MN

Glad to see some underdog stories! How many years in a row have the Packers kept an undrafted free agent on the 53 and what team has the current longest streak?

All I know, thanks to Wes’s meticulous notes, is the Packers' streak is now at 19 years with Malik Heath, Brenton Cox Jr. and Wilson all making it.

Nathan from Williamstown, MA

I didn't realize Tarvarius Moore's injury was bad enough to be season-ending. Will he then become a free agent next offseason? And I bet other concerned readers are asking this too, but Matt Orzech is not subject to waivers, correct?

Moore's injury probably isn't season-ending. They'll possibly do an injury settlement with him, which would open the door to bringing him back (or allow him to sign elsewhere) when the settlement period expires. That's what they did with Innis Gaines last year. After an injury settlement on his hamstring, he came back, but he was initially placed on IR in order to work out the settlement. On Orzech, you're right. He's a vested veteran not subject to waivers, so he can just wait for the Packers to re-sign him after they make other roster moves. I had to do some digging to clarify, because Orzech is listed on our roster as a fourth-year player, which in most cases would make him subject to waivers. But in 2020, he spent four games on Miami's active roster, which was enough to get a "credited season" toward free agency, but not enough for an "accrued season" as it relates to other player data for service time, union benefits, etc. It's confusing, I know, but that's the rundown.

Mark from Carlsville, WI

If I'm not mistaken, Orzech signed a multi-year contract before training camp. Since he is cut, does that mean his contract is now void and if GB re-signs him, a new contract would have to be agreed upon?


Matt from Boston, MA

Holy jars on the shelf Batman. Thoughts?

Keep reading. That line just made me smile. I've gotta start using that more.

Adam from Toronto, Ontario

A wise man once said, "It might be the toughest commodity to find in this league." Indubitably responded the GM B.G., deciding to retain 17 big men on the initial 53-man roster! Also ensure to keep the jars on the shelf, the winter is coming. I certainly believe any of these 17 players that make their living in the trenches would have been picked up on the waiver wire. I love the move of having plenty of competition and options up front. How do you gents like the moves of keeping 17 big men?

Draft 'em early, and if they can play, keep 'em when you've got 'em. That said, the O-line might drop from 11 to 10 if Luke Tenuta is headed to IR to make room for Orzech's return, but if that's the case they wanted to maintain control of keeping Tenuta and not risk losing him.

Mitchell from Edmond, OK

Wes highlighted this in his initial 53-man roster notes, and I thought it was an amazing stat – all 2022 draft picks made the roster. And not just that, but all of them have developed so quickly and become an integral part of the team. Credit the Packers organization for Watson, Doubs, Tom, Q. Walker, Enagbare, Wyatt, Rhyan, J. Ford, R. Walker, Toure and Carpenter. Just wow.

The Packers asked a bunch of those guys to play as rookies, and the ones who didn't made major strides in their development heading into Year 2. Outside of the QB transition, what that draft class does this year will have an outsized impact on the upcoming season.

Ron from Waukesha, WI

Having the lead provides a distinct advantage for the defense. Looking back to the 2022 season, I don't remember the Packers having the lead that often. Can you tell me how many total season game minutes where we had the lead last season?

I took a look at the losses, and I can tell you in the nine defeats, the Packers never had a lead in five of them, and against Philly, they only led for a little over three minutes. As for the rest, they had a lead for roughly three-quarters of the Giants game in London, for about 25 minutes at Washington, and for around 40 total minutes in the finale vs. Detroit.

Erik from Holstebro, Denmark

Hi guys, could you please explain how the waiver wire works this time of year, with many players getting released at the same time? Is it like another version of the draft, or does the team at the top of the list keep on having the right to claim any player before other teams?

The league will publish the waiver wire at 4 p.m. ET today listing all players available. Those on waivers remain on waivers until noon ET today (it's one of the only times players are on waivers less than a full 24 hours). So teams have until then to put claims in, and once the deadline passes, the league awards the claims based on the waiver order. Once a team is awarded a player, it must submit the corresponding roster move to make room, if needed, on its 53. Then any of those released players who are not vested veterans are on waivers until the following day.

Darrel from Pueblo, CO

II, I'm reasonably sure that there is a lot of conversation between Gute and ML on players, but in the end, which one has the final say on the roster? I suspect that it is Gute, but if a coach really wanted to keep a particular player, would Gute still win that argument?

The roster is the GM's purview, but it's always a collaborative effort here. When there's a good working relationship, a GM isn't going to force a player on a coach he really doesn't want, nor is he going to cut a player the coach feels he can't live without.

See headshots and action shots of the complete Green Bay Packers 2023 roster.

David from Germantown, TN

With cuts done, but waivers not, are Tuesday AND Wednesday the smallest practices of the year in terms of total players? Does that mean they are more like walk-throughs or conditioning type of days?

Tuesday's practice would've been the smallest, with just the 53. Before today's late-afternoon workout, the practice squad will be established so all those guys should be out there.

Scott from Allen, TX

When I saw Pat O'Donnell was the holder for the 57-yard field goal, I figured that meant he was leading the punting competition; Monday he was cut. Do you think this was mostly about money and potential, or might it have something to do with a younger guy being able to relate more with the other younger guys?

As Wes said, we'll wait to hear what Gutey has to say later today, but my read is the Packers believe they might have found a guy who can be their punter for the next five, maybe even 10, years. No guarantees of course, but if that's their evaluation they're going to give him a shot. Several readers submitted questions about the holding, particularly with a rookie kicker, and cold weather. I have to believe Daniel Whelan has proven to be an adequate holder in the evaluators' eyes, because I can't imagine them taking a huge risk there after what occurred in '21 with the most veteran of veteran kickers. As for the cold weather, that's a major unknown. We'll all find out together.

Matt from Bloomington, IN

In response to Joshua from Milwaukee, Justin Fields was a pure pocket passer at Ohio State and look what has happened now! I'm not saying Jordan Love will be a running quarterback (I don't think he will), but you never know exactly what will happen when a player is thrown into the fire. If the opportunity for scramble yards is there, I hope he takes it.

I believe he will. Love certainly indicated after last Saturday's game that he won't hesitate to take off, with the understanding he has to be smart about it.

Don from Somerset, WI

It seemed in previous years when Aaron Rodgers was our QB, we did not seem to use the middle of the field, such as slants, crossing routes, seam routes (TE). Do you think with Jordan Love, and younger, faster, bigger TEs, we will see more use of FULL field, rather than what seemed to be so much sideline routes/passes?

I think this narrative about ignoring the middle of the field got a little blown out of proportion due to Rodgers' penchant, particularly on third downs, for targeting one-on-one matchups on the outside. Those plays stick in the memory banks more. That said, I don't disagree with the premise entirely, and I think spending premium draft capital on tight ends and a slot receiver who all seem to fit this offense very well speaks to it.

Mark from Westminster, CO

Malik Heath and Jayden Reed sure seem like they belong. If I didn't know they were rookies, I'd swear they've been playing in the NFL for several seasons. I'm most interested in how this team is going to look after they have 4-5 games under their belt.

Double that for me, 8-10.

Scott from Tukwila, WA

Greetings II. It was asked about where Barry will be during games, and that he is undecided. Would he discuss this with his players and consider their preferences? Especially with those wearing the communication helmet. Thanks.

Good question. We'll try to find out next time we hear from him.

Greg from Westerville, OH

Zounds! Punter Pat O'Donnell is cut! Break out the pacifiers and the baby strollers! The Pack is definitely totally embracing the team's youth movement going forward in every aspect of the team. Given his young age, I think that Wesley's job is safe, but Spoff is getting up there in years, so that is a concern.

Tell me about it. But as long as there are writers out there who put definitely and totally back-to-back in the same sentence, I think I'll be good.

Dale from Prescott, WI

Mike, I know we are in full football mode but are you gonna be able to make a home Brewer game on their brief homestand or are you just too busy?

It looks like some time off could be coming this weekend, so we'll see.

Nate form Edwards, CO

This is going to be an entertaining year. I feel that the defense has the most to prove. If they can fulfill their potential the offense will be good enough to surprise a lot of people with a decent won-loss record. And … I think the offense could be even better than just good enough, especially as they gain traction and improve over 17 games. Believe it or not, I'm not even worried about special teams. Last year put that demon in the closet.

Works for me. Happy Wednesday.

Insider Inbox

Insider Inbox

Join writers as they answer the fans' questions in Insider Inbox