As is an element with any professional sports team, offseason drama and issues are common fodder. The NFL, however, seems to be running rampant with it, and while that gives fans the opportunity to make bags of popcorn to follow along, it does not help the sport’s image.
For the Green Bay Packers, their bombshell may be dominated the news wires across the country, as the lone publicly-owned football franchise is not quite as perfect as most had once thought. With former head coach Mike McCarthy and franchise stalwart Aaron Rodgers embroiled in the middle of the whole thing, the situation has left a sour taste in the mouths of Packers truthers everywhere.
But there is a simple fix, one that lies in the lifeline that this franchise has relied on for so long.
In an area that former general manager Ted Thompson prided himself on due to his scouting background and his public lack of interest in the free agency market, new GM Brian Gutekunst has already made his presence known in the draft. Going into his second full season running the team, Gute can capitalize off of his shrewd move last year when he acquired an extra first-round selection by moving down with the New Orleans Saints.
If he is alright with making moves on the first night of the draft that end up immensely helping this team, then he should feel even more comfortable his second time around in handling the draft. He understands the workings more now, and he has every right to explore every option to help get this team out of the rut they are currently in.
By already foraying into free agency and throwing a ton of money at free agents, Gutekunst understands the importance of putting these issues behind the team as soon as possible. If the team is able to move past and forget the issues that made this offseason quite a rocky one, then they are already that much farther ahead of the eight ball.
Hitting on the right prospects and getting as much as possible out of each of the 10 selections that Green Bay has is crucial to helping build this team back up. The 2018 draft was a success in general, and 2019 needs to match, if not jump over, the returns that the team is already seeing.
Players like Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are home runs that Gute hit in his first year drafting, and of the 10 selection, a minimum of six need to be solid contributors this season if not more.
While this current debacle of unnamed sources, massages and sour former teammates has the potential to sour this team, by bringing in new prospects and household names that people recognize and understand their impacts, the thoughts surrounding this team change from negative to hopeful and future-oriented, a must to help this team get back to the playoffs and back to the type of competitor they know they are.
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23