With the draft still months away and free agency peeking around the corner, it’s hypothetical season! The best time of the year for us delusional football addicts who think we can do what GMs on the highest level of professional sports get hired and fired over every year. And before you go and say “Wait I’m not a football addict…” realize you’re reading a fantasy draft article in February and come back to earth.
You have $10 to spend on free agents. Who are you signing? pic.twitter.com/OBu4WuLVPk
— PFF (@PFF) February 20, 2020
As you can see from the tweet above, the rules of the game are simple: you have $10 to spend on free agents…and that’s pretty much it.
So- playing the role of Brian Gutekunst here’s how I would attack the board:
Players Definitely Not Interested In Even Having In For Workout –
Dak Prescott, Derrick Henry , Jadeveon Clowney, Byron Jones, Tom Brady, Melvin Gordon, Nick Thuney, Chris Jones, Chris Harris Jr., Jameis Winston, Ryan Tannehill, Tre Waynes, Tre Boston.
All too expensive and/or not in positions that the Packers currently have a need for in free agency.
Wide Receivers and Skill Players
Here’s where the fun begins since anyone with two eyes and a brain in between knows that the biggest area of need for the packers is offensive roles players to fill in the supporting cast outside of Aaron Jones and Davante Adams.
The trick here is to avoid spending too much too early when in reality, the Packers have a ton of needs and realistically don’t need to drop too many dimes in this bucket to see major improvements. So with that being said- I’m going to start out conservatively and spend $3 on Hunter Henry (improvement on the soon-to-be-departed Jimmy Graham) and sit on this for now… will definitely come back to this once we’ve gone through the rest of the board.
Spent: $3 (H. Henry)
Offensive and Defensive Linemen
I may be in the minority online but I still think Bryan Bulaga (IOWA) has some tread on his tires and would be worth bringing back for another year or two. He was probably the best tackle on the team last year and when healthy, and absolutely give some of the best defensive players in the world a hard time- a relatively easy call.
As far as the defensive side of the ball, there’s a lot of talent listed here but is it worth taking away the remainder of the cap? I’d argue no, considering the value buys that the Packers were able to find, pay, and play last season. Guys like Shaq Barrett and DJ Reader would be disruptive but not clear cut upgrades over current players which is why they aren’t in the final tally. Something to be noted also- I think that middle linebacker will be one of the areas that the packers will need to address either early in the draft or in free agency but there are no savory options listed here.
Spent: $2 (B. Bulaga)
Am I saying I want to move on from Aaron Rodgers? No I am not. However, I was a kid fresh out of college during the Oregon Ducks run to the National Championship back in 2015 and I had a HUGE crush on Marcus Mariota that has withstood the test of time. Do I think that he’s capable of leading a franchise to the Superbowl? Not likely, but in terms of value and experience you look for in a veteran backup QB, I certainly think he’s worth the $1 tag attached to him here- the easiest decision I’ll have made all day.
Spent: $1 (M. Mariota)
So with $4 left and a bevy of strong free agents on the board, here’s where I would circle back to wide receivers and offensive skill players. Cooper and Derrick Henry are now affordable but AJ Green sitting there at $4 seems verrrrrrry tempting. In general, I am not in love with the idea of spending FA cap on 31-year-old WR coming off a rough injury-laden season, but AJ Green is not typical.
One of the biggest hindrances to the Packers offensive flows early in the year would be between Rodgers and his young WRs who still were learning the finer points of route running and diagnosing the defense. There was visible frustration on 12’s face when he would miss a receiver behind because he had read a zone coverage and wanted his guy to sit on his route in the middle of defenders, while the wideout would be running the pre-snap route call without an adjustment. It didn’t seem like there was a massive disconnect with the offense early in the year but these kind of mistakes would be total drive killers.
Adding a veteran like Green (or ideally Robbie Anderson) would help the Packers out on 3rd and long distances as well as more vertical plays, as Green can still scoot.
Given I have $4 left and Green is still up there, I’m going to make the call and wrap this bad boy up.
Spent: $4 (A. Green)
——————Joe Kelley is a lifelong Packer fan born in Wisconsin and currently living surrounded by Patriots fans in New England- please send messages of support to @Jkelleylol on Twitter or @j.k.lolz on Instagram.