Brett Hundley

NFC Notes: Rodgers, Cardinals, Panthers

After playing behind Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, Cardinals quarterback Brett Hundley is looking forward to providing teammate Kyler Murray with some essential wisdom. However, the 26-year-old made it clear that he’s not just going to hand the starting gig to the first-overall pick.

“The knowledge that I have, I’m able to pass it along to [Murray], especially through this journey of his because the NFL isn’t a sprint. It’s a long distance marathon,” Hundley said (via Jelani Scott of NFL.com). “For me, my goal has always been to start, no matter what position it’s in. I don’t play to be second. So I think that’s my number one goal, to get that starting job, and at the same time, it’s a competition for a reason.”

Hundley’s only extended stint as a starter came in 2017, when he started nine of his 11 appearances for the Packers. That season, Hundley completed 60.8-percent of his passes for 1,836 yards, nine touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. He also added another 270 rushing yards and two scores on 36 carries.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFC…

  • With Aaron Rodgers apparently tuning out Mike McCarthy‘s play calls, many pundits wondered how the Packers quarterback would handle a brand-new head coach. Well, Albert Breer of SI.com says the franchise quarterback is working with Matt LaFleur on a compromise. LaFleur’s system is intended to take decision-making off the quarterback’s list of responsibilities, all while allowing the offense to run quickly and more efficiently. The team is planning on using the “double call” method that was made popular by Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan, although they’ll also provide Rodgers with the freedom to adjust from there. As Breer writes, the ideal scenario is “giving Rodgers the option, but not the obligation, to make changes on the fly.”
  • Breer writes that the Panthers had an under-the-radar front office hiring this week when they added Taylor Rajack as their new director of analytics. The 27-year-old previously served on the Eagles’ analytics staff, and Philly has quickly established themselves as one of the NFL leaders in advanced stats. Breer notes that Panthers coach Ron Rivera has previously embraced the use of analytics, while new owner David Tepper made it a priority in his front office.
  • 49ers kicker Robbie Gould isn’t backing off his trade demand, and he provided some insight on the situation earlier today.

Contract Details: Smith, James, Wake

The latest details on deals from around the NFL:

Brett Hundley To Sign With Cardinals

The Cardinals are planning to sign quarterback Brett Hundley, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that it will be a one-year, $2MM pact, with a maximum value of $3MM. Hundley will presumably operate as the backup to second-year signal-caller Josh Rosen, or, depending on how this year’s draft goes, he could be backing up Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray.

As Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets, the Seahawks could turn to Paxton Lynch to back up Russell Wilson after Hundley served as Wilson’s clipboard holder in 2018. That would not be much comfort to Seattle fans, as Lynch, who signed with the Seahawks in January, has busted in a big way since the Broncos made him a first-round pick in 2016.

The Packers drafted Hundley in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. He didn’t see a lot of action at first, but he was called upon in 2017 when Aaron Rodgers was lost to injury. In nine starts, Hundley went 3-6 and threw for 1,836 yards with nine touchdowns against 12 interceptions. The Packers traded him to Seattle last August in exchange for a sixth-round pick.

Hundley will likely never fulfill the potential he exhibited at UCLA, but he may able to churn out a career as a serviceable backup. He did not see any action last year, as Wilson continued his record of perfect attendance.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Glennon, Other QBs Drawing Trade Interest

On Wednesday morning, the Packers traded Brett Hundley to the Seahawks. That deal is unlikely to be the last trade involving a backup quarterback, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Mike Glennon of the Cardinals, Tom Savage of the Saints, and Joshua Dobbs are the Steelers are among the QBs being discussed by teams of need, Rapoport hears. 

The Cardinals signed both Sam Bradford and Glennon in March, but the QB room changed dramatically in April when they drafted UCLA star Josh Rosen. Rosen may not be ready for primetime, but the Cardinals may feel that he is ready to be a capable No. 2 QB. Glennon flamed out in his one month as the Bears’ starter last year, but he would represent a QB2 upgrade for many teams around the league.

Savage has been long rumored to be on the bubble, but he is now firmly on the trade block following the Saints’ acquisition of Teddy Bridgewater. The Saints project to move ahead with Bridgewater and Taysom Hill as the backups to Drew Brees, leaving Savage without a spot in New Orleans. Savage, a former fourth-round pick out of Pittsburgh, entered the 2017 season as Houston’s starter, but he lost the job to rookie Deshaun Watson rather quickly. He finished the year with 1,412 yards and five touchdowns against six interceptions.

The writing has been on the wall for Dobbs ever since the Steelers used a third-round pick on Mason Rudolph in this year’s draft. Landry Jones is locked in as the backup quarterback and Rudolph is locked in as the No. 3, so Dobbs is clearly on the block.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers Trade QB Brett Hundley To Seahawks

The Packers traded quarterback Brett Hundley to the Seahawks in exchange for a sixth-round pick, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets

Austin Davis and rookie seventh-round pick Alex McGough were competing to back up Russell Wilson in Seattle, but it sounds like Pete Carroll & Co. were not completely comfortable with either player. With the season opener just days away, Hundley may wind up as the Seahawks’ one and only backup to Wilson.

The Packers drafted Hundley in the fifth-round of the 2015 draft. He didn’t see a lot of action at first, but he was called upon in 2017 when Aaron Rodgers was lost to injury. In nine starts, Hundley went 3-6 as he threw for 1,836 yards with nine touchdowns against 12 interceptions. Hundley is not a world-beater, but, as the Seahawks have learned, quality backup QBs are hard to find.

After moving on from Hundley, the Packers plan to keep both DeShone Kizer and Tim Boyle as backups on the 53-man roster, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com tweets.

North Notes: Hundley, K. White, Hurst

Although many have assumed that the Packers will keep DeShone Kizer on their final roster — after all, Kizer is just one year removed from being a second-round draft pick, and Green Bay liked him enough to trade for him this offseason — Eric Baranczyk and Pete Dougherty of PackersNews.com believe the Packers should keep Brett Hundley and cut Kizer if it comes to that. Baranczyk and Dougherty say the game has slowed more for Hundley than it has for Kizer, and the fact that Green Bay recently traded for Kizer should not be a factor in the team’s decision (after all, the Packers were likely to cut Damarious Randall anyway if Cleveland hadn’t been willing to deal Kizer for him). Ideally, the Packers would be able to swing a trade for one of Hundley or Kizer, but failing that, the Packers News scribes think GM Brian Gutekunst should stick with Hundley, who did not play very well in relief of the injured Aaron Rodgers last year.

Now let’s take a look at a few more notes from the league’s North divisions:

  • Wide receivers Kevin White and Javon Wims both improved their chances of making the Bears‘ 53-man roster during Chicago’s preseason victory over Kansas City last night, as Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. White, of course, was the No. 7 overall pick of the 2015 draft — and GM Ryan Pace‘s first-ever draft choice — but injuries have almost completely wiped out the first three years of his NFL career. Wims was a seventh-round selection in this year’s draft, and Jahns believes the Bears should keep both players and six receivers overall, including Josh Bellamy.
  • Although Mackensie Alexander is battling an ankle injury, he is expected to start as the Vikings‘ slot corner — and “quarterback of the defense” in head coach Mike Zimmer‘s scheme — if he is healthy, as Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune reports. However, first-round rookie Mike Hughes — who is also battling an undisclosed injury — has been pushing for first-team reps, which is fairly remarkable when considering that he did not play in the slot in college. Hughes could overtake Alexander down the line, but in any case, Minnesota appears to be well-set at the position in the long-term. Alexander, a 2016 second-rounder, has made tremendous strides in his third summer with the club.
  • Though they had been enjoying an injury- and drama-free offseason, the Ravens have been hit hard with unwelcome news over the past few days. They lost rookie TE Hayden Hurst for three-to-four weeks, they saw star CB Jimmy Smith suspended for four games — though they at least knew that was coming — and now Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic has more bad news to report. Zrebiec tweets that emerging third-year defensive tackle Willie Henry will miss several weeks with a hernia, while promising rookie safety DeShon Elliott may be out for the season with a forearm injury. Zrebiec adds that the recent spate of bad luck will impact Baltimore’s initial roster construction, because while the team will likely carry Hurst and Henry on the 53-man roster until they are ready to return, the Ravens may need to keep an extra tight end and defensive lineman until that happens (Twitter link). Elliott, meanwhile, is an IR candidate. Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com reports that Henry had surgery for his hernia and Hurst has had surgery for the stress fracture in his foot (Twitter links).
  • Browns head coach Hue Jackson wants to keep six wide receivers on the team’s regular-season roster, as Steve Doerschuk of the Akron Beacon Journal writes. Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway, and Rashard Higgins make up four of those six wideouts, while sixth-round rookie Damion Ratley also stands a good chance. That means veteran Jeff Janis and relative unknowns Derrick WilliesDa’Mari Scott, and C.J. Board could be fighting it out for the last spot.

NFC Notes: Packers, Kizer, Rams, Donald, Redskins, Guice

Like most years, the success of the 2018 Packers will depend on the health of Aaron Rodgers. But unlike last year, who the Packers might turn to if Rodgers were to go down isn’t clear. The team was reportedly high on Brett Hundley, and was seen by most around the league as having some trade value before he was forced into action when Rodgers broke his collarbone last year. Hundley struggled mightily across nine starts, throwing for just nine touchdowns and 12 interceptions with a dismal 5.8 yards per attempt.

The Packers showed their dissatisfaction with Hundley by trading for DeShone Kizer this offseason. Now the once hot commodity finds himself in a battle just for his roster spot. The Packers’ upcoming three day minicamp is expected to be a big development in the battle for the backup quarterback spot, according to Michael Cohen of Packers News. Cohen notes that Hundley is heading into the final year of his rookie contract, and will have to show out this summer in order for the Packers to bring him back next year, especially with Kizer waiting in the wings.

With Rodgers expected to be excused from the minicamp, Cohen states that Hundley is “expected to take the majority of first-team reps” but that Kizer “will have ample opportunity to show his progress.” Whatever happens, it’ll be an interesting situation to keep an eye on as Kizer seeks to revive his career in Green Bay.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Cohen reports that Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is expected to be in attendance for the mandatory minicamp. The 2014 first-rounder is heading into the final year of his rookie contract after the Packers exercised his fifth-year option last year. Clinton-Dix has missed all of OTAs for undisclosed reasons.
  • The Rams are uncertain whether or not Aaron Donald will show up for their mandatory minicamp, which starts tomorrow, according to Lindsey Thiry of ESPN. Donald is angling for a contract extension that will make him the league’s highest paid defensive player as he enters the last year of his rookie deal. Donald held out of all of training camp and ended up missing the first game of the season last year due to unhappiness with his contract, although he did show up to minicamp last year to avoid being fined.
  • The Redskins coaching staff “loves what they’ve seen” from Derrius Guice this offseason, according to Albert Breer of SI.com. Breer says “murky rumors” are the only reason Guice fell to the Redskins in the second round of this year’s draft, and that the Redskins think they got a great value. The Redskins have a crowded running back room, but Breer thinks Guice “should be a factor” in his rookie season.

NFC North Notes: Bears, Hundley, Lions

Although John Fox is known for his conservative tendencies, the Bears coach wanted to pull the trigger on starting the Mitch Trubisky era earlier than the team ended up going through with the quarterback switch. Fox raved about the No. 2 overall pick’s upside and was open to the team replacing Mike Glennon earlier than Week 5, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports. However, ownership and management, due to Trubisky’s inexperience and the investment the team recently made in Glennon, halted the switch before finally agreeing to turn to the rookie after Glennon’s rough outing in Green Bay. Trubisky picked up his first career win as a starter Sunday, with the Bears beating the Ravens in overtime.

Here’s more from the NFC North, shifting to the division’s highest-profile quarterback situation.

  • Mike McCarthy doesn’t sound ready to explore outside solutions to replace Aaron Rodgers after the perennial MVP candidate broke his collarbone Sunday. The Packers coach said postgame (via Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com, on Twitter) Brett Hundley is his starting quarterback and Joe Callahan, who hasn’t played in a regular-season game yet, is the backup. A 2015 fifth-round pick, Hundley entered Sunday with 11 career pass attempts. The UCLA product threw three interceptions in the Packers’ loss to the Vikings. Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III and Matt McGloin are among the UFA options. Wisconsin native Tony Romo has stood out as an analyst in his first season, and the 37-year-old recently retired passer reportedly would only consider a return to the NFL if the Cowboys needed him. However, this would be quite the special circumstance, given the Packers’ recent track record.
  • The Lions continue to wait for left tackle Taylor Decker to return to action, and Greg Robinson has yet to prove a capable replacement. But it’s likely the former No. 2 overall pick will continue to function as the Lions’ starter on the left edge due to his experience advantage over Brian Mihalik and Emmett Cleary, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com writes. However, Rothstein notes Decker might be ready to play by the time the Lions return to action in Week 8. A late-October return gels with the last update that emerged on Decker.
  • Teddy Bridgewater received good news on multiple fronts. Eligible to come off the PUP list on Monday, the Vikings quarterback is said to be ready to go. Bridgewater’s contract situation also looks to be breaking in a favorable fashion after previously residing in a murky place.

NFC Rumors: Unger, Saints, Howard, Bears

While Max Unger recovers from surgery, the Saints could fill the gap from within and use center/guard Senio Kelemete as the starter in the middle, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) suggests. Center Jack Allen is also on the roster, but Rapoport seems to think that Kelemete would have the leg up.

Here’s more out of the NFC:

Packers Nearly Traded QB Brett Hundley

The Packers put backup quarterback Brett Hundley on the trade block during the draft, and nearly made a deal to during Day 2, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Instead, Green Bay will likely retain Hundley for another season, but the club is expected to trade him before his contract expires after the 2018 campaign. The Packers believe they can recoup “much more” than the fifth-round pick they used to initially draft Hundley, per Demovsky.Brett Hundley (Featured)

This isn’t the first time a potential Hundley trade has been mentioned, as Demovsky reported earlier this month that the Packers intend to deal Hundley at some point in the next calendar year. Any club interested in acquiring Hundley would largely be relying on its predraft analysis of Hundley and his preseason tape, as the former UCLA signal-caller hasn’t gotten much of an opportunity thus far in the NFL. With Aaron Rodgers firmly entrenched under center, Hundley has attempted just 10 passes during his pro tenure.

Green Bay was reportedly eyeing Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer with the No. 33 pick at the top of the second round, and the team could have dealt Hundley had they selected Kizer in Round 2. Ultimately, the Packers drafted Washington cornerback Kevin King with the pick. But Green Bay could aim to draft another quarterback in 2018 if they hope to trade Hundley, as the only other signal-caller on the roster aside from Rodgers and Hundley is 2016 undrafted free agent Joe Callahan.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.