GREEN BAY — While last year was his first end-of-training-camp roster reduction as a general manager, Brian Gutekunst has been part of the Green Bay Packers’ scouting staff for two decades. So he knows that the old cliché about it being the worst part of the job is true.

“Cutting guys is never easy,” Gutekunst said last week. “It’s always painful, regardless. I’ve been here the whole time. So, they’re all ours.”

Gutekunst was responding to a question about whether the dynamic changes for him when it comes to cutting one of predecessor Ted Thompson’s draft picks as opposed to one of his own from the 2018 or ’19 drafts. For instance, among Gutekunst’s final cuts last year was ex-University of Wisconsin outside linebacker Vince Biegel, who’d been a fourth-round pick in 2017 and spent most of his rookie season battling foot injuries. Biegel caught on with the New Orleans Saints, played in 14 games last season and is expected to make their roster again this year.

This year, though, Gutekunst faces the prospect of cutting some of his own picks. He’s already moved on from 2018 seventh-round pick Kendall Donnerson, and several other members of that draft class (fourth-rounder J’Mon Moore, fifth-rounder Cole Madison, sixth-rounder Equanimeous St. Brown and seventh-rounder James Looney) went into last Thursday night’s Canadian preseason game against the Oakland Raiders in Winnipeg, Manitoba on the roster bubble.

“You do have to earn your keep,” Gutekunst explained. “At the same time, to me, there’s a short term and a long-term thought process to it, that sometimes can pull at each other. But, you’ve got to earn your right to be in that locker room. And if you haven’t done that, it’s hard to keep you around.

“Obviously, past history is probably the thing we study the most for future success. So, what guys have done in the past does factor in. But this is a changing league and it changes fast. So, it’s really where those players stand now that matters. But there’s guys that have played a long time in this league and have done some good things, and just because they had a bad week or a bad practice, you’re not going to write them off.”

As the NFL’s mandatory cutdown to 53 players looms on Aug. 31 at 3 p.m. Wisconsin time, Gutekunst and his staff will have to weigh all those things, along with new head coach Matt LaFleur’s new offensive scheme, which utilizes some offensive position groups that his predecessor, Mike McCarthy, didn’t use as much. For instance, how many tight ends or fullbacks LaFleur requires might mean keeping fewer wide receivers or only two quarterbacks instead of three.

“It’s a lot of communication between Matt and I,” Gutekunst replied when asked how LaFleur’s needs will influence his decisions. “I think the beauty of his vision and his offense is that he can kind of do anything. So he can kind of tailor it to the personnel that we have. And I think that’s really important. Wherever our best players lie, I think he can kind of move in that direction. And those are some of the conversations we’ve had and will continue to have as we get down to this final cut.

“Because, you’d always like to keep the best 53 that you have, and not feel like you’re locked into something just because of a number.”

With that in mind, here’s a look at where the Packers’ 88-man roster stands entering the preseason finale Thursday against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field: