Trade Pitch Flips Packers $84 Million Star for 2 First-Round Picks

Brian Gutekunst, Matt LaFleur

Getty Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst (left) speaks with head coach Matt LaFleur (right) during an OTA practice session in May 2023.

The Green Bay Packers aren’t shopping any of their top players ahead of the NFL trade deadline, but sometimes an offer comes around that is impossible to refuse.

Green Bay has some studs on its roster, including cornerback Jaire Alexander. The 2018 first-round pick signed a four-year, $84 million contract extension in May 2022. He is still just 26 years old and rated consistently among the top five defensive backs in the NFL.

So why give him up? The franchise probably won’t even consider it unless it sees an offer with the potential to bring more total value over the next few seasons. A trade like the one Sayre Bedinger of FanSided’s Lombardi Ave proposed on Wednesday, October 18, might accomplish that.

This Dolphins team seemingly has everything [it needs], except the cornerback position is a bit of a question mark. They lost Jalen Ramsey before the season to an injury, and a player like Jaire Alexander could really boost this team’s chances at winning its third title in franchise history. What if they were to offer the Packers two first-rounders and cornerback Cam Smith?

Again, we’re talking about offers the Packers would not be able to refuse. I think this would qualify. This would probably qualify as a significant overpay for the Dolphins, but … this is a win-now move.

Jaire Alexander Worth at Least 1 First-Round Pick

GettyCornerback Jaire Alexander of the Green Bay Packers.

It is hard to imagined the Dolphins offering the Packers so much for Alexander, even despite a resumé that includes two Pro-Bowl selections (2020, 2022). However, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell supports the notion that Alexander is worth at least one first-round pick.

“Injuries are the only concern with Alexander, who missed most of 2021 because of a shoulder injury and has sat out two games this season because of a back issue,” Barnwell wrote on Thursday. “When he’s right, few corners are as capable as him. Although, Alexander typically doesn’t travel with the opposing team’s wideout and stays on one side of the field.”

The Packers aren’t inclined to give Alexander up because he’s still young enough to fit with the timeline of the youngest offense in the NFL. If he’s worth a first-round pick in a vacuum, then a contender like the Dolphins will have to offer more.

Two firsts is too high. However, a first-rounder and a future second or third along with a player like Smith might be something the Packers consider. Green Bay’s considerations are likely to grow stronger if the front office doesn’t see a path to playoff competitiveness for a couple more seasons.

Green Bay More Likely to Buy Offense than Sell Defense at Trade Deadline

Jordan Love, Packers

GettyQuarterback Jordan Love of the Green Bay Packers.

While there might be a pathway to Green Bay trading a top player like Alexander, the greater likelihood is that the Packers attempt to buy ahead of the October 31 deadline.

If the Packers look to make a move, it will probably be to add experience to their pass-catching corps. Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs are the resident veterans in the wide receiver room in the middle of just their second NFL seasons.

An experienced tight end, like Zach Ertz, playing on a team going nowhere, like the Arizona Cardinals, is a potential value add for quarterback Jordan Love. Love has struggled to push the ball down the field and a player like Ertz can help an offense that has scored fewer than 17 points per game over its last three outings.

Green Bay plays at the Denver Broncos (1-5) on Sunday before hosting the Minnesota Vikings (2-4) on October 29 — two days ahead of the trade deadline. The Packers are a 1-point favorite in Denver and should be favored at home against the Vikings, who play the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7 and could be looking at selling roster pieces themselves before the month is out.

Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions (5-1) play road games against the Baltimore Ravens this weekend and the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 9. If the Lions let up and Green Bay takes care of business as favorites in back-to-back weeks, the Packers may be incentivized to compete for a division title.

And regardless of the Lions’ play, Green Bay can play its way into the Wildcard mix in a weak NFC. In any case, winning games ahead of the deadline is more likely to push the Packers toward buyer status than render them sellers.

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