The Green Bay Packers find themselves in a good news-bad news situation. The bad? Davante Adams, the best wide receiver in the NFL, is no longer a Packer. Green Bay traded him to the Las Vegas Raiders for a first and second-round pick in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft.
The good news? The Adams trade plus several other moves have taken a team that was at one point $50 million over the salary cap and has actually put them in a good position. As of the time of this writing, Green Bay all of a sudden has $22 million in salary-cap space.
The Packers can and should look to replace Adams’ production in the first round of the draft, but there are a few free agents Green Bay must reach out to as well.
The Packers, now without Davante Adams, need to call Jarvis Landry
It should be noted that Jarvis Landry isn’t the player he once was. A five-time Pro Bowler, Landry hasn’t been at that level since the 2019 season.
Still, Landry has proven over the past two seasons that when he’s healthy and on the field, he can be a dangerous target. He’s also one of the more respected veterans in the league, and the Packers could use more of that with Adams now in Vegas.
Landry played in 12 games last season, notching 52 receptions for 570 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged a healthy 11 yards per catch and averaged 47.5 yards per game.
While the stats don’t pop off the page, he did this with Baker Mayfield or Case Keenum at quarterback, mind you. Imagine the type of career revival he could experience catching passes from Rodgers instead.
At the very least, he’ll be a player defenses have to worry about every down, and right now, the Packers don’t have much of that.
JuJu Smith-Schuster could be a nice fit with Aaron Rodgers
It’s always hard to bet on a player coming off a season-ending injury, but in the case of Juju Smith-Schuster, perhaps that will play into the Packers’ advantage.
For of all, he’s still available, and that’s half the battle for the Packers right now. The fact that he’s still available and on the market means that Green Bay may be able to pick him up at a reasonable rate. The Packers have made some cap room, but it’s not like they’re made out of money.
Smith-Schuster played in only five games last season, but the season before, he put in a complete 16 games and came away with 97 receptions for 831 yards and nine touchdowns.
If the Packers can get even 75% of that player on a short-term, inexpensive deal, he’d be worth kicking the tires on as a veteran wideout with big-time potential.
Does A.J. Green have one more good season in him?
Many thought A.J. Green was cooked in his final season with the Cincinnati Bengals. It was his ninth year in the league, and the former superstar notched just 523 yards and two touchdowns.
His production in one season with the Arizona Cardinals wasn’t a ton different (848 yards and three touchdowns), but the expectations have changed. Green is no longer the player who tore up the league from 2011-2017, notching 1,000-plus yard seasons in five out of six years.
He’s no longer a premier player, so it’s not as if the Packers can sign him and expect him to take over Adams’ role in the offense.
What Green is at this point in his career is a reliable veteran who still put up nearly 1,000 yards in his 10th NFL season, though. There’s always room on an NFL roster for a 6-foot-4, 207-pound wideout with the experience and DNA to make big plays.
Green was effective with Kyler Murray, a talented yet inconsistent quarterback throwing him the ball.
Now imagine pairing Green up with the four-time MVP. That’s not to say the Packers can turn back the hands of time with the former Georgia Bulldog, but if he still has some gas left in the tank, he’d be worth bringing aboard.
His contract last season was worth $6 million for one season. If the Packers can get Green on a similar deal, he’d be a great addition to a suddenly rebuilding wide receiver room.