And any name the brass came up with would surely leave most scratching their heads. to rookie? An 11-year veteran who made one Pro Bowl nine years ago? A dude playing on a one-year, $4 million deal with 14 career touchdown catches?
That reality aside, it’s hard to argue that any of the names left on the free agent market are healthy and/or good enough to step into a No. 1 role in Green Bay. But they are, nonetheless, names that even the casual football follower recognizes. And in the arena of pro sports, a big name will always mean something — even if that something is sometimes a false or inflated sense of hope in a player whose best days are well behind him.
Still, there is talent enough among freelance NFL pass catchers this offseason to potentially help a Packers’ roster rather bereft of the elite brand of it at the wide receiver position, despite 11 players already on the depth chart vying for the three starting spots.
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Hilton Coming Off Injury-Plagued 2021 Season With Colts
Hilton is 32 years old and coming off the least productive season of his career, in which he caught just 23 passes for 331 yards and three touchdowns. However, health issues including a back injury, a toe injury and a concussion played significant roles in that, as the wideout appeared in just 10 out of 17 regular season games.
Walsh laid out her argument for Hilton landing with the Packers, including in the context two other big name wide receivers — one still navigating free agency and the other potentially available via a trade.
Green Bay’s current top receivers are Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Sammy Watkins and Amari Rodgers. Adding either [Deebo] Samuel or Hilton to that group would be ideal for the franchise this offseason.
That said, it’s hard to imagine the [San Francisco 49ers] trading Samuel to another NFC Super Bowl contender, which means [Julio] jones or Hilton is probably the most realistic option. However, it could end up being Aaron Rodgers’ choice for which receiver the franchise potentially picks up.
Packers May Hold Fast at WR Even After Losing Adams, MVS
His two top options at wide receiver gone and tight end Robert Tonyan coming off of a torn ACL, Rodgers’ list of targets has grown thin, even as the number of wide receivers on the preseason roster has ballooned. Still, it is entirely possible that Green Bay does not make a move to add another wideout.
Trade speculation has persisted around Samuel and D. K. Metcalf of the Seattle Seahawks but as it looks now, both appear likely to remain in the NFC West Division. The only other high-end player the Packers have been linked to in recent weeks is Raiders tight end Darren Waller.
Green Bay reportedly wanted Waller back in the deal that Adams sent to the desert, but that arrangement did not comply with league rules. The Packers continue to pursue the Pro-Bowl tight end, though Waller has said publicly he does not believe the Raiders plan to trade him.