It was a surprise to find that the Packers, at the cusp of the Jordan Love Era, spent some time at the end of August delving into the possibility of a major, major NFL trade. It’s been confirmed that they were one of the mystery teams who talked with the Colts about a possible deal for star holdout running back Jonathan Taylor, though those conversations have not yielded a deal or, for that matter, further rumors.
It does seem strange that at team with a double-barreled backfield of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon would be in the market for Taylor—presumably, one or both of Jones and Dillon would wind up elsewhere. Now, a trade for a wide receiver? That is a different story.
“Locked on Packers” host Peter Bukowski threw out an interesting scenario that is not all that far-fetched, not if the Packers get off to a decent start. That scenario: the Packers making a big move for Bills receiver Stefon Diggs, who has publicly settled in with Buffalo after rumors swirled that he wanted a trade.
But there is a catch. “This is all predicated on the Packers being good, the Packers being solid,” he said. “If they go 9-8, 10-7 this year, especially if Jordan Love looks good, you can talk yourself into a world where if you add one more piece, it can take you to that NFC contender status.”
Things Could Go Sideways in Buffalo
Diggs, of course, is an excellent receiver, while the Packers are woefully short on experience at the position. He is a three-time Pro Bowler who had 1,429 yards on 108 catches last year, with 11 touchdowns. That’s 311 yards and 20 catches more than the entire 2023 Packers receiving corps had last season.
If Love plays well in the early going, and if Diggs does want out of Buffalo sooner rather than later, wouldn’t it make sense for the Packers to make the same kind of call they did on Taylor?
Said Bukowski: “Von Miller is going to miss the first four weeks of the season, at least. It is a meat-grinder of a division (AFC East) and (coach) Sean McDermott is not that far removed from saying he was very concerned that Stefon Diggs was not participating in camp. What if that goes sideways, and you have the chance to get Stefon Diggs for a first-round pick?”
The Packers have the Jets’ first-round pick this season, if Aaron Rodgers plays at least 65% of New York’s snaps. If he does not, that becomes a second-round pick. The presumption has been that the Packers would use that added pick to help with the rebuild next year.
But, it could be that Green Bay has some added draft capital to swing around if it wants to land a star.
“What if that extra ammunition actually becomes the key piece in a trade that allows you to add a little more of a veteran player to this young team?” Bukowski said. “Stefon Diggs is not old by any means, he is still certainly in his physical prime, he is still an absolutely incredible No. 1-caliber receiver.”
Trade Is a Longshot, But …
It’s a longshot, no question. The interest in Taylor is a clear indication that the Packers are still looking for ways to build up this roster, that they could see an opportunity to lose Rodgers and still earn a spot in the playoffs without him.
Diggs would address the team’s biggest need on the depth chart. It’s fine to have some confidence in the talent of Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, after both showed promise as rookies last year. But, other than five catches from Samori Toure, the Packers have no one else in the receiving game who has caught a NFL pass before, even at tight end.
Dontayvion Wicks, Malik Heath, Jayden Reed and Grant DuBose are all rookies, as are tight ends Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft.
The Packers could, and probably will, simply sit back and let this young crop of receivers develop. But a hot start in a weak NFC … maybe they could get aggressive on the trade market, after all.