The Green Bay Packers appear to be still looking for an upgrade at the wide receiver after plans to host two free-agent wideouts were revealed Friday.
The Packers are planning to work out Devin Smith, a 2015 second-round pick who played last season with the Dallas Cowboys, along with former Indianapolis Colts starter Chester Rogers this week, according to separate reports from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Adam Schefter.
🏈Free-agent. WR Chester Rogers is visiting the Packers.
🏈Eagles have released veteran cornerback Trevor Williams.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 4, 2020
The New York Jets took Smith with the No. 37 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft and got some early use out of him before injuries hampered his next few years. A torn ACL in his right knee landed him on the injured reserve list at the end of his rookie season and kept him on the PUP until Week 10 of his second season. Smith then tore his ACL again in the same knee prior to his third year and missed the entire 2017 season, getting cut the following July with no teams picking him up for 2018.
Smith found a new start with the Cowboys in 2019 and caught three passes for 74 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown, in their Week 2 win over Washington, but he was declared inactive after the first four games of the season and didn’t play another live snap.
Rogers has been more productive with 111 receptions for 1,221 yards and five touchdowns over his first four seasons with the Colts. According to Pro Football Focus, he also ran 90% of his receiving routes from the slot over the past two seasons, collecting 63 catches on 89 targets for 615 yards and two touchdowns from the spot.
Chester Rogers for 6! 🙌🏈 pic.twitter.com/xlKQuH1wIH
— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) November 12, 2017
The Dolphins signed Rogers to a one-year deal in August to boost their receiving corps after wide receivers Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson both opted-out of the 2020 season, but he was released Thursday ahead of the 53-man roster cutdown deadline at 3 p.m. CT. on Saturday.
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Top 3 Emerges in Packers WR Corps
Nearly every move the Packers made this offseason reaffirmed their comfort with the current personnel in their receiving room, from taking no wideouts in the 2020 NFL draft to making Devin Funchess their only free-agent signing at the position. Even the recent acquisition of Malik Turner seemed more designed to ramp up competition at the back end of the roster with the top of the depth chart coming clearer into focus.
There was never a question that Davante Adams, one of the most surgical wideouts in the NFL, would remain the top passing target for quarterback Aaron Rodgers in 2020, but who would step up behind him was still unclear prior to the start of training camp. Several weeks later, the Packers are flying high on third-years Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling and could have a solid three-man rotation with Equanimeous St. Brown and Jake Kumerow supplying some talented depth behind them.
Five receivers — all returning from last year’s roster — might not sound like much to fans who wanted big-name additions for the Packers this offseason, but it is important to remember how often the Packers make use of their running backs and tight ends in the passing game. Aaron Jones came one reception short of 50 last season with Jamaal Williams adding another 39 catches, including five for touchdowns.
Matt LaFleur and now RBs coach Ben Sirmans specifically mentioned improvement from Jamaal Williams as a receiver in the passing game.
— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) August 26, 2020
Expect to see Jones and Williams in the mix for passing opportunities again in 2020 along with rookie rusher AJ Dillon, return specialist Tyler Ervin and all four of the Packers’ tight ends — Jace Sternberger, Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis and Josiah Deguara. At the same time, don’t be surprised if the Packers stash some other wideouts, such as Reggie Begelton and Darrius Shepherd, on their 2020 practice squad with looser roles about call-ups this year.