Green Bay Packers

Don't Expect A Blockbuster Wide Receiver Trade Anytime Soon

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the Green Bay Packers drafted three wide receivers back in April, many still suspected the Packers might shake things up.

Look at all the movement in the wide receiver market, including a host of enticing weapons who are disgruntled with their current teams. Could Green Bay be in the market for a pass-catcher? But we’re approaching July, and the Packers have yet to make a major move. They seem content rolling with the options they have.

On Tuesday, the Washington Commanders took one of those disgruntled receivers, Terry McLaurin, off the market. McLaurin signed a three-year extension worth $23.3 million per year. Money and winning solve most problems in the NFL, and Washington was able to retain their best playmaker.

There are still players who are not happy with their contracts. But thanks to the high costs for wide receivers and Green Bay’s commitment to their current roster, fans shouldn’t expect the Green and Gold to make a flashy trade.

Christian Kirk‘s megadeal with Jacksonville blew up the wide receiver market early in free agency, leading to big deals and big moves. Davante Adams wanted to be paid like the top wide receiver in the league. Although Green Bay made a generous offer, he chose to reunite with his college quarterback in Las Vegas. Tyreek Hill went to the Miami Dolphins for enough money to make catches from Tua Tagovailoa over Patrick Mahomes worth it. As a result, ascending receivers like A.J. Brown, Deebo Samuel, D.K. Metcalf and McLaurin wanted lucrative extensions while the market was hot.

Sans Adams, Green Bay could re-sign players they may not have had the capital to bring in beforehand, including De’Vondre Campbell and Rasul Douglas. In addition, they had some fancy new draft picks they could use to trade for a receiver seeking a new home.

Alas, the Packers used their picks on rookies, while A.J. Brown and Marquise Brown were traded to the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals, respectively. Instead, Green Bay took Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Samori Toure, and they now have an unproven but crowded wide receiver group.

Despite Samuel and Metcalf potentially still available, it’s unlikely to think Green Bay has a Hail Mary offer in mind to steal one of these talented pass-catchers from a rival.

McLaurin’s deal makes the former 2019 third-rounder one of the highest-paid receivers in the league. That $23.3 million a year puts McLaurin just behind Stefon Diggs‘ $24 million as the league’s seventh-highest paid receiver. The going rate for star wide receivers will only go up there, and Samuel and Metcalf may get even more. Deals over $20 million are becoming the norm. While the cap should skyrocket in 2023, that’s still a massive cap number for a receiver.

Green Bay was willing to exceed Davante Adams’ eventual $28 million a year, but that was for a player they’d drafted and developed. He was also Aaron Rodgers‘ favorite target. It doesn’t seem like them to offer that kind of money to a receiver who’s never played for the team, on top of whatever draft capital they’d have to give up.

It’s doubtful that the San Francisco 49ers or Seattle Seahawks would trade one of their best players to the Packers, an NFC rival, in the first place. San Francisco has been the bane of Green Bay’s playoff dreams for years, and they won’t be looking to help one of the NFC’s best teams. Seattle is gonna be bad for a few years now, but they won’t want to give one of their few bright spots to an NFC contender.

The Packers trust that the chemistry Rodgers has with Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard will be enough. Maybe Sammy Watkins can bounce back in Green Bay as Campbell did. And they think Watson, Doubs, and Toure can learn quickly and become reliable weapons for Rodgers. If Samuel, Metcalf, McLaurin, and Brown can become stars after just a few years, there’s no reason Watson can’t develop into one as well. Expectations need to be tempered, especially in Year 1. He just needs the chance to develop.

Green Bay also has one of the best running back duos in the league, an ascending defense, and the league’s best quarterback. Their wide receivers (and tight ends) might not be league-best, but the rest of the team should be solid enough to boost the production of the pass-catchers.

If things look grim in a few months, adding a veteran receiver like OBJ or Julio Jones makes sense. But don’t expect the Packers to make a flashy, exciting trade on a young, disgruntled wide receiver this offseason.

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Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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