Randall Cobb is back with the Green Bay Packers, and the Houston Texans gave the veteran slot receiver away for basically nothing.
Houston taking on salary and giving away a sixth-round pick is a great deal for the Packers. Cobb is back with Aaron Rodgers, who never wanted to see the receiver go. Green Bay wouldn’t have been able to afford him when he first hit the free-agent market a few years ago, but anything is possible when you restructure contracts in the NFL.
It adds another weapon for Rodgers as well. One that he trusts, admires, and remains very close friends with. Even with Cobb turning 31 this season, he and Rodgers will be able to connect easily and be an important part of the team’s offense.
The only issue the Packers now have is a good one: a crowded wide receiver room. Davante Adams is maybe the best receiver in the game. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is in a contract year and will be playing his heart out to earn his post-rookie contract. Rookie Amari Rodgers was selected in the third round to be the impact slot receiver of the future.
And not to mention the Green Bay’s stacked tight end corps of Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis looking for catches. Behind them are Josiah Deguara (returning from injury), Jace Sternberger (two-game suspension), and Dominique Dafney.
You also have a certain running back named Aaron who will be hawking receptions every game.
So where does that leave everyone else? Which wide receiver(s) will be left off the roster?
If Green Bay were to keep six wideouts on the roster, the last two spots will most likely go to Lazard and Funchess. After opting out of the last season, Funchess took a $750k pay cut to stay in Green Bay and has been very open about wanting to prove his worth and play for the Green and Gold. But he might have some competition in camp to secure a roster spot now, and his previous dropped-passes issue will need to be placed behind him before starting the regular season.
Rodgers is a huge fan of Lazard, who should be on the roster if he can stay healthy. He just signed his free-agency tender contract with Green Bay for $850k and is ready to go for camp and a roster spot. The 25-year-old played in 10 games during the 2020 season. He ended with 33 receptions for 451 yards and three scores. It is an important year for a lot of receivers on the Packers this season. MVS, Funchess, and Lazard will all be battling for playing time, receptions, and contracts after this season.
Cobb’s return places some serious doubts on St. Brown. Before this week, his goal was probably to do the best he can and claim the fifth receiver spot. Now it’s even harder to make the roster.
St. Brown, like MVS, will be entering the last year of his rookie deal. After a rookie season with 21 receptions and 328 yards, he missed his entire second year due to injury. Last year he played in 12 games but only had seven receptions for 117 yards and one touchdown, but he had a reception in each of the two playoff games.
Anything can happen in camp, but St. Brown will need to impress and stay healthy. You may not see him in a Packers uniform when September rolls around. Equanimeous would probably prefer being released and signing with another team over being placed on the practice squad.
Taylor has been mostly a special-teams expert for the Packers. He still has a chance to make the team for that reason alone. But if someone like Amari Rodgers gets reps at the return game, Taylor’s chances might be pretty slim.
The 25-year-old appeared in 15 games and made one start last year. Taylor had five receptions for 66 yards and one touchdown. He also had a carry for nine yards, three tackles on special teams, and nine kickoff returns for more than 160 yards.
Malik was originally a practice squad success story, but he may return there. Barring any injuries, receivers Adams, MVS, Cobb, and Rodgers are basically locks. Lazard, Funchess, and St. Brown are above him on the depth chart. That is a lot to overcome. It’s not impossible but will make for an interesting training camp for sure.
Randall Cobb re-joining the Packers throws a wrench in the receiver depth chart. It also adds a veteran Packers legend who already has a friendship with Amari Rodgers and can help make the rookie great. Putting a smile on Aaron Rodgers’ face as he re-joins the team doesn’t hurt either. Now imagine if the Packers also bring in Jake Kumerow for another chance.