Despite missing many key starters on both sides of the ball, the Green Bay Packers obliterated the Houston Texans and sit atop the golden throne of the NFC. A 5-1 record is a fantastic place to be at this point in the season, and the Packers look to be a true Super Bowl contender.
Yet there are always areas to improve on, and the rest of the competition in the NFC isn’t waiting idly. The NFL trade deadline is November 3rd, meaning failing teams are selling, and winning teams are buying. Could the Packers be buyers before the deadline?
The popular refrain of “adding a wide receiver” especially rears its head, as many rumors claimed the Packers were calling around the league looking for help at the position. There are a few enticing options if the price is right. Texans WRs Will Fuller and Kenny Stills and Jets WR Jamison Crowder could be interesting pickups. Both teams have grim futures and could be having fire sales.
The Packers already signed one receiver this week, Seth Roberts, recently of the Carolina Panthers (via Rob Demovsky). Despite a less-than-stellar 2020 campaign thus far, Roberts is an experienced player with past flashes of talents. The team likely wanted to sign a veteran on the market before spending draft capital. The Packers lack a true slot receiver, so Roberts fills a niche that the team lacks. Roberts is projected to start on the practice squad, but there is a strong chance for him to make the 53.
The signing of Roberts shouldn’t stop the Packers from looking into bigger names like Fuller, Stills, and Crowder, and adding a new toy would be fun for the fans and the team alike, but Allen Lazard will be back in the lineup sooner rather than later. The Packers may get more value from a different position group.
J.J. Watt has been a popular wishlist target from fans. A Wisconsin native will always be a popular desire, and Watt has been one of the best defensive players of the last decade. Watt was clearly frustrated during Sunday’s game between Houston and Green Bay. The camera made sure we could see it. Watt is aging and has had injury concerns but is still scary enough to give offenses pause. He could be cut next season without any dead money, but if the Packers want a long-term investment they probably need to look elsewhere.
Rumors that Jets’ Quinnen Williams, a 2019 third-overall pick, is available for trade are circulating. Despite a slow start to his professional career, Williams was one of the best prospects in the 2019 draft. An interior defensive lineman on a rookie deal with that high of a ceiling sounds like a dream scenario for the Packers. Are the Jets dumb enough to trade him? They’ve kept Adam Gase around this long, so probably?
The biggest challenge with any big-name trade target will be the teams limited cap space for next season. Aaron Jones, David Bakhtiari, Corey Linsley, Kevin King, and Jamaal Williams are all free agents after this season, and the decision on who and how to resign them is going to be a tough decision as is. Any potential season-altering target may mean losing out on one of the above players in the future.
But the 2020 Packers are the real deal. The window is wide open, and if there is someone the Packers truly believe can help get the team to the Super Bowl, they should pull the trigger. Russ Ball is a much better money guy than I’ll ever be, and if he can find a way to balance the books, the Packers should absolutely be in the market for an impactful addition. It’s easy to be a couch GM, but the 2020 Packers are a truly special team, and if there’s any chance to make it even better, it’s hard to say no.Matt Hendershott is a Packers fan and Miller High Life enthusiast from Northwest Ohio. He has a Master of Arts in Media and Communication from Bowling Green State University. You can follow him on Twitter @MattHendershott.