The Green Bay Packers are wanting for a handful of traits that make an offense explosive, but chief among them is speed.
Former executive and Heavy contributor Randy Mueller — whose resumé includes stints as general manager of the Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins — wrote Saturday that the Packers front office has crippled its own passing game by ignoring the ever-present need for speed in the NFL.
“Although perimeter options Allen Lazard and Romeo Doubs caught [eight] balls between them with 18 targets [last week], they put no fear into a defense with their speed or ability to stretch the field,” Mueller wrote. “The group is a far cry from the standard the Packers have set at the position over the last few years. I just don’t see anyone who can get away from tight coverage and make a play, much less run by someone with a fifth gear.”
Injuries across the roster have made things even more difficult, as rookie receiver Christian Watson, drafted to add a dynamic element to the passing game, is set to miss his third contest of the season this weekend against the Washington Commanders. The Packers also sent veteran Randall Cobb to the IR for at least the next four weeks with an ankle injury.
The combination of bad luck and bad personnel management have led Mueller to one conclusion: Green Bay must add a dynamic playmaker to its roster via trade or free agency.
“Internally, put all the numbers and analytics aside. I would be questioning if this group was good enough at the end of the day,” Mueller continued. “I have to believe that the Packers front office is beating the bushes of the trade tree for speed of any kind and a playmaking WR. Speed changes the way defenses have to defend you, and the Packers have very little of it currently.”
Giants Golladay Represents Unique Trade Opportunity For Packers
The number of top-end receivers available in the trade market is limited. As such, the Packers may need to take a flier on a player with upside, or one with a Pro-Bowl past who can hopefully recapture his previous level of performance.
“Golladay has barely played this season, [partially] because of a knee injury. He has appeared in four games but has just two catches for 22 yards,” Knox wrote. “If New York will pay some of Golladay’s contract, Green Bay might be able to add a player who led the league in touchdown receptions in 2019.”
A complication exists in Golladay’s deal, in that it includes $31.4 million in dead money. However, the Giants have lost just one game this season despite Golladay playing sparingly. New York has incentive to eat a good portion of the receiver’s contract if doing so allows the organization to add draft capital and cut at least some of the salary burden of a player ready to move on.
“The Giants could trade Golladay to an interested party, and likely the only way it would work is if New York pays the bulk of his contract in exchange for a late-round pick, sources say,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported in September. “That is a possibility.”
Panthers DJ Moore on Trade Block, Logical Target For Packers
Ryan Wood of USA Today suggested on Thursday that DJ Moore of the Carolina Panthers is also a logical trade target for Green Bay. The Panthers have already dealt wideout Robbie Anderson to the Arizona Cardinals and running back Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers, as they transition into rebuild mode.
“If Panthers are open to dealing Christian McCaffrey, no reason #Packers shouldn’t go get DJ Moore,” Wood wrote.
Green Bay may also have a route to pursue a New York Jets playmaker, as Elijah Moore on Thursday asked to be traded. Should the Packers decide to go the free agent route, the most talented option available is Odell Beckham Jr., who is expected to be healthy enough to play by around Thanksgiving.
Beckham has already expressed a desire to play with Aaron Rodgers this season. The Packers quarterback has, in turn, been public about his interest in playing with the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver.