As we close in on the middle of the season and the first NFL head coach is fired, certain yearly rumblings occur within the NFL. They’re the rumblings of the trade season. November first marks the trade deadline, and plenty of contending teams are looking to bolster their rosters. It’s a last-second effort to bolster their roster, save for some possible late-season free-agent signings. Among teams looking to make moves, the Green Bay Packers should be no exception. Looking lackluster on both sides of the ball, here are five moves the Packers should look to make.
1. Chase Claypool
Claypool burst onto the scene in the NFL in his rookie season. He garnered 873 yards through the air while hauling in nine touchdowns as well including a 110 receiving yards and four touchdown performance versus the Eagles. He looked like the next great Steeler wide receiver in a slew of Steelers wide receivers. Fast forward a couple of years, and he is barely a footnote in the offense. The quarterback situation has managed to get worse, a rookie by the name of George Pickens now has the hype Claypool once had, and the team is on the fast track of placing last in their division.
The Steelers will most likely be sellers at the deadline, meaning they’ll be looking to sell some of their current talents for picks, or fresh faces. Claypool falls in a category where the Steelers already have depth at the position and can trade him to get legit assets back for the future under Kenny Pickett. It is no secret that Green Bay needs receivers now, and a new face in a new place may be exactly what Claypool needs to revitalize his season.
2. Jonathan Owens
Probably one of the bigger surprises on this list is safety, Jonathan Owens. Owens currently grades out with a 68.8 rating on PFF due to his above-average run defense and adequate pass defense. He’s playing the best ball of his career and is in the final year of his contract. Why would the Packers be looking at safety? Well, safety Darnell Savage is a far cry away from his 2020 postseason play. He currently grades out with a 37.7 PFF rating. He has less than half of the tackles and nearly doubles the receptions allowed compared to Owens. It is not a stretch to assume the reason the Packers’ defense plays off-ball so much is at least partially due to their porous safety play.
Adding Owens would not only fill a run defense hole but also may allow a more aggressive defensive approach. Being able to be flexible in their packages will be key for the Green Bay defense moving forward so having the correct personnel to do so will be imperative.
3. Terry McLaurin
Terry McLaurin finds himself in a similar situation to Chase Claypool. He too is stuck on a team stuck at the bottom of the division dealing with subpar QB play. McLaurin had just recently signed a three-year extension with the Commanders worth $71 million. At first glance, this would seemingly be an impossible get for the Packers due to cap constraints. However, for the 2022 season, McLaurin’s cap hit is just over $7.3 million, which would be just under the cap space Green Bay has left. This would be on of the more all-out moves for the Packers and GM Brian Gutekunst to make. But the championship window is closing. It may be uncharacteristic, but with the recent injury to Carson Wentz, anything may be on the table for both the Commanders and the Pack.
4. Brian Burns
Edge Brian Burns is finding himself having another solid year while the team he plays for is finding themselves to be a train wreck. Just five weeks into the season, they’ve already fired Head Coach Matt Rhule. This puts them in a prime position to start selling the farm in order to collect draft picks for their future. While only 24 years old, there are rumors that the edge is as good as gone already anyway.
One of the few black and white rules of the NFL is that you can never have enough edge depth. And with the Packers elite edge Rashan Gary coming up with a toe injury, the Packers or no exception. It would not be surprising for them to look for depth at edge for flexibility and insurance. With Burns’s cap hit sitting at $4.3 million, he is in the mix as a potential trade option.
5. Odell Beckham Jr.
As tired as fans probably are from hearing it, it would almost be malpractice to not include OBJ on this list. It is well known Green Bay offered him a contract last year for the vet min, but he ultimately ended up choosing to sign with the Rams. A decision that proved fruitful for both parties. He is still rehabbing the ACL injury he received in the Super Bowl and as a result finds himself in free agency yet again. Reportedly, he wanted a contract extension with the Rams similar to Michael Gallup’s of the Cowboys. The problem is Beckham is on the back end of his career, not approaching his prime like Gallup.
Ultimately, where Beckham signs will most likely require a party acting in at least a light fit of desperation. How desperate are teams for receiver help? How desperate his Beckham to get back on the field and did he overplay his hand? If Beckham ends up settlingfor a “prove it” deal, this could be the more likely moves for the Packers.
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