Brian Gutekunst has shown in his first year at the helm as the Packers general manager that he's not afraid to make big calls.
He cut Jordy Nelson this offseason. He traded Damarious Randall to the Browns for DeShone Kizer. He traded Brett Hundley to Seattle on Wednesday.
As the 53-man roster cutdown deadline loomed Saturday at 3 p.m. CT, reports surfaced Gutekunst initially cut the likes of 2017 fourth-round draft pick and Wisconsin product Vince Biegel, fullback Aaron Ripkowski and second-year running back Devante Mays.
Reports also suggested the Packers have been shopping kick returner/receiver Trevor Davis as the cutdown deadline approached.
The Packers announced Saturday afternoon they released 32 players and sent three to injured reserve. Their initial roster released at 4 p.m. CT Saturday listed 26 offensive players, 24 defensive players and three specialists.
Aaron Jones is suspended for the first two games of the season, which opened up another spot on the initial 53-man roster. With fellow second-year back Devante Mays (hamstring) heading to IR, the Packers thus begin 2018 with just two running backs: Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery.
Green Bay kept eight receivers for the first time on the initial 53-man roster in 10 years: Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, Geronimo Allison, Trevor Davis, J’Mon Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown and Jake Kumerow.
Kumerow, who sustained a shoulder injury scoring a touchdown in the second exhibition game against the Steelers, had a standout camp and drew praise from Aaron Rodgers for his consistency. He put up 190 receiving yards in the preseason despite missing the last two preseason games with that shoulder injury.
The team also kept three quarterbacks: Rodgers, Kizer and rookie Tim Boyle. That's the fourth time in the last five years Green Bay has done so.
Boyle tweeted a thankful message Saturday afternoon:
Unbelievably Blessed 🧀
— Tim Boyle (@timboyle_7) September 1, 2018
Boyle was one of four undrafted rookies to make the initial roster.
The Packers also parted ways with two of their seventh-round draft picks, outside linebacker Kendall Donnerson and defensive lineman James Looney. Green Bay kept its other seventh-rounder, long snapper Hunter Bradley, and released the other long snapper, Zach Triner.
Green Bay also held on to its four top tight ends: Jimmy Graham, Marcedes Lewis, Lance Kendricks and rookie Robert Tonyan, who spent the last four weeks of 2017 on the practice squad and had a solid preseason.
Tonyan was one of five 2017 Packers practice squad members to make it onto this 53-man roster, along with LB Reggie Gilbert, S Jermaine Whitehead, CB Herb Waters and Kumerow.
Meanwhile, corner Quinten Rollins was placed on IR with a hamstring injury, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.
Another injury could complicate the Packers' final cuts: CB Quinten Rollins is dealing with an injury that could jeopardize his availability for Week 1, a source said. It's a hamstring that he suffered in Thursday's preseason finale at Kansas City. https://t.co/EuqL6mmJXi
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) September 1, 2018
The Athletic's Michael Cohen initially reported that OL Kyle Murphy would also be put on injured reserve after sustaining an ankle injury last week.
The release of Biegel along with fellow OLB Chris Odom means Green Bay's depth at outside linebacker just got even more precariously thin with just Nick Perry, Clay Matthews, Reggie Gilbert and Kyler Fackrell.
That the #Packers released Biegel with only these four players remaining tells you how much the former fourth-round pick has struggled. Expect Gutekunst to search the waiver wire for OLBs.
— Michael Cohen (@Michael_Cohen13) September 1, 2018
This roster, though, is not final. Waiver claims can be made through Sunday afternoon, with corresponding 53-man roster moves. Once the waiver period expires, teams can begin establishing 10-man practice squads.