That was the question posed to Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst.
The Packers traded backup quarterback Brett Hundley to the Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday. And despite his poor 2017 performance, he did manage to win three games.
With Hundley out, DeShone Kizer is now clearly the Packers No. 2 quarterback. Kizer has never won a game at the NFL level. He started 15 games with the Cleveland Browns in 2017 and went 0-15.
So if Aaron Rodgers went down with an injury this season, could Kizer step in and win?
While Gutekunst has praised Kizer, he stopped short of saying he could win a game for the Packers.
“I think we’re still working toward that,” Gutekunst said. “I have a lot of confidence in both (Kizer and Tim Boyle). (The fourth preseason game) is going to be another critical step for those guys to continue to progress and earn that confidence. They both have shown the physical abilities to play in this league and are working toward the other part of it.”
So surely you have to wonder, if Gutekunst doesn’t have that confidence in Kizer or Boyle, why trade Hundley? The team only got a sixth-round pick for him.
Surely, a number of factors played into the decision.
Hundley is in the final year of his rookie deal. If your assumption is he’s going to leave as a free agent after the season, why not get something for him now?
Additionally, Gutekunst traded for Kizer early in the offseason. He gave up former first-round pick Damarious Randall in the deal. While Randall had no future in Green Bay, that was a substantial trade. I felt all along that Kizer would get a roster spot simply because of the deal. Why would you give up on a guy you just traded for?
Then there’s Boyle, an undrafted rookie. The Packers reportedly want to keep him around. Who saw that coming? Even on the Packers? Sure, they wanted to take a look at the guy, but I can’t believe even Mike McCarthy thought Boyle was anything better than a long shot to make the final roster. Undrafted from Eastern Kentucky, threw more interceptions than touchdowns as a senior. And yet, he’s played better in the preseason with the Packers than he ever played in college. Go figure.
Finally, the Packers are looking at potential. Kizer simply has all the physical tools you want in a quarterback. The Packers loved him coming out out of Notre Dame and that obviously hasn’t changed. Hundley has some limitations.
Obviously, we hope Aaron Rodgers is healthy all year. But can Kizer win a game if Rodgers does go down?
Not by himself, like Rodgers can. However, the Packers look to have a pretty stout defense this year. I would say yes.
Of course, that’s more of the Packers winning with Kizer than Kizer winning a game. Semantics?