You don’t have to like everything the Packers have done this offseason.
Just know that the Green Bay front office has done a lot.
In January, the Packers were $40 million over the salary cap with plenty of work to do.
Preston Smith turned his 25 sacks the past three years into a four-year, $52.5 million extension to stay in Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers has signed a three-year, $150.8 million deal to keep the four-time MVP at Titletown. Inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell has been rewarded for being one of the best linebackers in the game with a five-year, $50 million deal. Cornerback Rasul Douglas proved he could be a regular contributor in this league and the Packers believed him too with a three-year, $21 million deal. And last, but not least, tight end Robert Tonyan is back on a one-year, $3.75 million deal.
Each of these movements occurred in the month of March. While you were all busy filling in parentheses, General Manager Brian Gutekunst and Director of Football Operations Russ Ball were hard at work.
If you want to criticize them for trading the best receiver in football, that’s fair. However, I would say the Packers have done pretty well in this trade. The Packers got a first-rounder and a second-rounder in 2022 — a ripe draft with plenty of NFL-ready receivers.
“There were dominoes that were important to us and, if we continued on the road that we were on, it was going to be difficult to put the team that we wanted to put around Aaron (Rodgers) and everybody, so I think two different situations,” Gutekunst said at NFL owners meetings.
None of this is easy because there are legions of people like us who like to guess just about anything.
Look, the Packers have gone 39-10 the past three years, but what do they have to show for it? Three Division titles from a fairly shaky starting Division, two NFC Title Game losses and one NFC Division Playoff loss.
That’s why I like what Gutekunst and Ball did. They knew what they had wasn’t good enough and they knew they needed a change. There is nothing worse than being content with what you have. You have to evolve and grow as an organization.
“I will be leading in my own persona and probably a bit more aggressive in some areas,” Gutekunst said during his introductory press conference on January 8, 2018. “I don’t think we’ll leave a stone unturned as far where each player acquisition path.
Adams’ trade was aggressive, there’s no getting around it. But I would rather have an aggressive general manager than a general manager who always goes with what he has. I want people in the front office who are always looking for ways to improve.
This is happening right now at 1265 Lombardi Ave. Gutekunst scours the depth charts and searches for possible trade partners to add a veteran receiver and looks to the college strip to add a rookie wide. Packers coach Matt LaFleur said he wanted someone to get the better of a defense. Gutekunst has had a draft-day trade every year since he started as the Packers’ general manager in 2018.
And even though Gutekunst bucks the trend and stays at 22 and 28 in the first round, North Dakota State’s Christian Watson meets that height (6-foot-4), speed (4, 36 dashes of 40 meters) and versatility while playing the race. fullback and special teams as well as wide receiver. Drafting Watson to either of those two spots would give the Packers another shot at another point guard.
The work Gutekunst and Ball have done to put together a roster while magically slipping it under the salary cap is nothing short of amazing. It shows that the front office is definitely all-in and regular season wins just aren’t enough.
Packers Project Watch
NDSUWR, Christian Watson.
Watson is a versatile player with experience at WR, RB and PR/KR. He would thrive in Lafleur’s offensive.
– 105 receptions
– 2,140 yards
– 14 TDs
– 20.4 YPC
– 4.36 40 yard dash
– 9.96 RAS
YES or NO on Watson? pic.twitter.com/a39CpTTH1p
— Eli Berkovits (@BookOfEli_NFL) March 31, 2022