Packers: 3 free agent targets at slot receiver

Green Bay Packers

After another disappointing season the Green Bay Packers find themselves in the midst of a mini-rebuild and if GM Brian Gutekunst hopes to accelerate the process, he needs to bring in an experienced slot receiver from the free agent pool.

This Green Bay Packers’ offense was a far cry from what it has been in years past with Aaron Rodgers under center. While there was a myriad of issues, plenty can be attributed to the wide receiver position.

For starters Geronimo Allison was placed on IR, while Randall Cobb appeared in just nine games totaling 383 yards, two touchdowns and often times wasn’t even a factor on the field. Many feel Cobb hasn’t lived up to his four year, $40 million contract and may have played his last game in Green Bay.

Although talented, for much of the season Rodgers struggled to find a connection with his rookie receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown. Whether it was due to a lack of trust, the rookies being out of position or a combination of the two, the results were inconsistent at best.

As we look ahead to the 2019 season, it is clear that Rodgers needs a consistent weapon to join Davante Adams and a new slot option to replace Randall Cobb.

Golden Tate

Green Bay Packers’ fans have some poor memories of what Golden Tate has done to this team as an opponent, but he is a player that could come in and make an impact from day one.

Tate has been a reliable option for Russell Wilson and Matthew Stafford over the years as a crisp route runner and his ability to break tackles. In 2018 Tate finished seventh among all receivers in yards after catch with 281.

Overall this past season, Tate recorded 795 yards on 74 catches for four touchdowns and hauled in nearly 68 percent of the passes thrown his way.

Perhaps Tate’s best attribute over the years has been his availability for the three teams he has played for. Since 2011 he has missed just two games and one of them came this season after being traded to Philadelphia in order to give him extra time to become acclimated to the new system.

At 30-years-old, Tate still holds a high value on the market but has recently stated that he is looking to play for a winner in his remaining years. According to Spotrac, Tate’s market value could command approximately $10.2 million per year.

Adam Humphries

Drafted out of Clemson in 2015, Adam Humphries had a breakout season in 2018 during the final year of his contract.

On a Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense that had many ups and downs this year, Humphries was one of the constants and received high praise from former head coach Dirk Koetter.

Koetter said of Humphries that he is “one of the steadiest and most consistent players on the team”. Exactly the kind of player Rodgers can do a lot of damage with.

Humphries is known for his speed and shiftiness in the open field making him very tough to tackle and similar to Golden Tate, racks up a lot of yards after the catch averaging 6.4 on the season.

He also has very reliable hands dropping just 1.7 percent of his passes, one of the lowest in the NFL. On the year Humphries totaled 816 yards receiving on 76 catches for five touchdowns.

At 25, Humphries will be looking for a big pay day and the Bucs may not let him hit the open market. His projected value on the open market is a four year contract worth roughly $41 million according to Spotrac.

Cole Beasley

Since Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott entered the league, Cole Beasley has been a safety blanket for him when he needs to make something happen or the play breaks down. This was something that eluded Rodgers the Packers offense last season.

Beasley is one of the quicker slot receivers in the league relying on his excellent footwork and his football acumen to create problems for opposing defenders. He knows when to extend his route or to sit down in the zone, making life for his quarterback much easier.

Even though he received less targets once Dallas traded for Amari Cooper, Beasley was able to have one of the better seasons of his career.

In 2018, Beasley hauled in 65 receptions which was the fifth most amongst slot receivers for 672 yards, three touchdowns and catching 74.4 percent of his passes.

This was the final year of a four year, $13.6 million contract and at 29-years-old, Beasley will command a higher salary on the open market.

There are a number of free agent options at receiver that could be brought in for the 2019 season but the three discussed above should absolutely be on Gutekunst’s radar until they are no longer an option.

Currently the Green Bay a lot of potential talent on the roster at receiver but what they need now is someone to take over the role at the slot position and make an impact on day one.

 

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