NFL

Aaron Rodgers’ Next Weapon Could Be Matt LaFleur’s Old Friend

If the Green Bay Packers want to satisfy quarterback Aaron Rodgers, they need to give him some help. The Packers front office has failed to do so in recent years and the window is closing. After two straight trips to the NFC title game, the Packers should be in win-now mode instead of drafting for the future as they did a year ago. One move that would help Rodgers and the offense might be bringing in an old friend of head coach Matt LaFleur.

The Packers haven’t helped Aaron Rodgers

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Maybe the Green Bay Packers will learn from their mistake. During the 2019 season, the Packers made their way to the NFC Championship Game. They wound up losing to the San Francisco 49ers as the Niners ran all over them en route to a berth in the Super Bowl.

Three months later, the Packers blew their first two draft picks on players who weren’t going to have much of an impact, if any, on the 2020 season. Green Bay traded up to land quarterback Jordan Love in the first round. They followed it up by snagging running back A.J. Dillon in Round 2 when they already had Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams locked in at the position.

Not only did the Packers fail to get a quality contributor to the 2020 team with their first two draft picks, but they also neglected Aaron Rodgers. Outside of Davante Adams, Rodgers doesn’t have a whole lot of proven talent at the wide receiver spot. Green Bay didn’t take one wide receiver in the draft. The Packers still managed to return to the NFC title game. Maybe the Packers will show some sense of urgency in the 2021 draft.

The Packers need to help Rodgers during free agency

The Green Bay Packers have come so close to getting to the Super Bowl the last two seasons. They’ve reached the NFC title game the last two years and the door was wide open for them in 2020. The Packers had the best record in the NFL, which gave them the No. 1 seed, a first-round bye, and home field throughout the NFC playoffs.

They were clicking on all cylinders until they met the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For the second straight year, the Packers saw their season come to an end one game before the Super Bowl. Instead of being patient and building solely through the draft, the Pack has to make a splash in free agency by filling at least one offensive hole.

Building through the draft is what has made the Packers successful. It might also be what’s kept them from reaching the Super Bowl. When Green Bay has been a player in free agency, it’s mainly been on the defensive side of the ball. Reggie White, Charles Woodson, and Julius Peppers were some of the big names. In 2019, Green Bay made a defensive splash by signing Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, and Adrian Amos – all defenders.

Matt LaFleur can contact an old friend to help Rodgers

The Green Bay Packers could kill two birds with one stone with a single move. They could appease quarterback Aaron Rodgers and make a significant improvement to their wide receiving corps by adding one player who had a breakout 2020 season. That one player also happens to be an old friend of Packers head coach Matt LaFleur.

Sure, it would be nice to pair Allen Robinson with Davante Adams, but the Packers won’t even have to break the bank with this move. Add Tennessee Titans free agent wide receiver Corey Davis to the mix and they would have a very strong No. 2 wideout who would immediately take the pressure off Adams. LaFleur and Davis were together in 2018 when LaFleur was the Titans’ offensive coordinator.

Davis was the fifth pick in the 2017 NFL draft and hasn’t lived up to expectations in his four NFL seasons. Davis, however, came into his own this year with career-highs in catches (65), yards (984), and touchdowns (5) in 14 games. Davis would be an upgrade of Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard and give Rodgers another quality option without spending a fortune.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.