Green Bay Packers' Jamaal Williams, Lane Taylor tough cuts in this year's Roster Builder
With so much uncertainty surrounding the upcoming Green Bay Packers season, there is one thing anyone can do for sure — the PackersNews.com Roster Builder.
Any armchair quarterback or beer fridge general manager can try and outdo each other building the best possible 53-man roster, plus 10 player practice squad, while sticking to the NFL salary cap.
The goal is to whittle down the Packers' offseason roster to what fans could reasonably see come September, or just have a wild roster with two running backs and eight receivers. There’s almost no scenario not possible.
Could the Packers actually cut quarterback Aaron Rodgers and fit the associated dead money under the salary cap? Would you rather see Lane Taylor starting at guard over Billy Turner?
It can all happen using Roster Builder.
For this exercise, I tried my hand to as realistically as possible craft what I could see the final roster looking like to start the regular reason.
I made some hard cuts but will explain my decisions and give some reasoning as to why some fan favorites aren’t on the team.
With training camp, should it be held amid the COVID-19 pandemic, still months away there’s no telling what type of injuries or churning the back end of the roster may look like.
For the 2019 season, Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst kept 25 players on both offense and defense plus three special teamers, so I decided to stick to that formula.
I was nearly virtually identical in terms of position numbers as last year's Week 1 roster, with two slight changes I’ll explain later.
A complete breakdown of my 53-man roster, practice squad and cut players are below a breakdown of my most water-cooler worthy cuts.
It’s curtains for the Tim Boyle Laser Show.
In keeping with recent tradition of only two quarterbacks on the roster, it was an easy decision to cut Boyle, who is ineligible for the practice squad.
Running back reduction
This is the only change in terms of last year’s position numbers: going with one less running back to instead gain an extra offensive lineman.
Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are locks to make the roster, while I gave the edge for the final spot to Tyler Ervin over Jamaal Williams based solely on his value as a return man.
It was tough to release the player affectionately known as Swaggy P, and this is one decision I think least likely to occur.
Dexter Williams, a late-round pick last season, also is let go, and I didn’t add him to the practice squad because I think another team would sign him before that happens.
Offensive line au revoir
The other position group which saw a major turnover was the offensive line.
I decided to keep 10 lineman overall, one more than last year, with two centers in addition to four guards and tackles each.
Billy Turner was close to the chopping block as a way to trim salary, but I just didn’t see it happening in the second year of a large multiyear free-agent contract.
Instead, Lane Taylor and his nearly $6 million salary was sent packing along with former 53-man/practice squad staples Cole Madison and Lucas Patrick.
With three offensive lineman selected on Day 3 of the draft it seems like a youth movement is coming.
Here's my team
Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love
Running back: Aaron Jones, Tyler Ervin, AJ Dillon
Tight end: Jace Sternberger, Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis, Josiah Degura
Wide receiver: Devin Funchess, Allen Lazard, Davante Adams, Equanimeous St. Brown, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Jake Kumerow
Guard: Simon Stepaniak, Elgton Jenkins, Jon Runyan, Billy Turner
Center: Corey Linsley, Jake Hanson
Offensive tackle: David Bakhtiari, Rick Wagner, Yosh Nijman, Alex Light
Defensive line: Treyvon Hester, Dean Lowry, Kingsley Keke, Kenny Clark, Montravius Adams, James Looney
Linebacker: Curtis Bolton, Oren Burks, Ty Summers, Rashan Gary, Kamal Martin, Za'Darius Smith, Christian Kirksey, Jonathan Garvin, Preston Smith
Cornerback: Kevin King, Jaire Alexander, Ka'Dar Hollman, Josh Jackson, Chandon Sullivan, Marc-Antoine Dequoy, Kabion Ento
Safety: Raven Greene, Darnell Savage, Adrian Amos, Vernon Scott
Kicker: Mason Crosby
Long snapper: Hunter Bradley
Punter: JK Scott
Contact Tom Dombeck at 920-686-2965 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Tom_Dombeck.