The trade deadline came and went. No reinforcements are coming to jumpstart a struggling Packers team. If the Packers want to try and salvage the season, they will have to do it with internal changes. Aaron Rodgers hinted at this last week when he said that if someone is regularly missing assignments, they shouldn’t play. There are three internal ‘trades’ the Packers need to make immediately to try and jumpstart their team.
Trade Sammy Watkins for Samori Toure
The Sammy Watkins gamble has not paid off. The Packers hoped that he could put his injury history behind him and be a productive veteran addition to their offense. However, it’s clear at this point that injuries have robbed him of any ability to separate and his route running seems unmotivated. Too often he’s watching a play unfold instead of being a part of it. Against Buffalo, he ran 52 routes, without even a single target. To not even have a single pass thrown in his direction is frankly, pathetic.
The Packers need to trade in 7th round rookie Samori Toure. Pressed into action Sunday, he made the most of his 12 snaps, with 4 targets and a huge touchdown catch where he kept the play alive for Rodgers. His route running looks crisp and he’s a willing blocker. Rodgers himself has repeatedly said that Toure is ready for a bigger role. The Packers need to give it to him, in the form of Watkins’ snaps as soon as possible.
Trade Darnell Savage for Rasul Douglas
The phrase ‘only will get better’ gets thrown around a lot in the NFL. That definitely doesn’t apply to Darnell Savage, who is having an atrocious season thus far. For a 4th year player, he looks completely lost in the deep 1/3 of the field and does not look interested in making any type of reasonable tackle in the open field. Too often he half-heartedly tosses his body in the general direction of the ball carrier. If the Packers want to shore up their defense, it is going to start with safety play.
The trade being proposed is an interesting one, which is to trade Rasul Douglas to safety and bring Savage closer to the line of scrimmage to play nickelback, where he seems more comfortable. This moves both players in a way that maximizes their skillsets. In Douglas, the Packers gain a ball hawking, assignment sure player on the backend. He is at his best with the ball in the air and has enough speed to not be beaten over the top. Additionally, he’s a sure tacker. This is an easier adjustment where both players are still on the field, but helps put two players in a position to succeed.
Trade Dean Lowry for Devonte Wyatt
During the offseason, the Packers chose to keep Dean Lowry, believing that they had finally found an effective role for him in Joe Barry’s defense. This belief has turned out poorly to say the least. Lowry is consistently the defensive player teams looks to exploit. He is frequently blown off the line and is leaving gaping holes for teams to run through. He doesn’t seem to have the ability to consistently hold up at the point of attack anymore.
Admittedly this is a riskier trade. Rookie Devonte Wyatt has had extremely limited snaps so far this season, but as the year has progressed he has looked better and better. Additionally, nobody can question his motor or desire to impact a play. Multiple times this season he has been the guy chasing down a running back or receiver downfield, even as a 300+ pound man. Both Wyatt and veteran Jarran Reed deserve some, if not all, of Dean Lowry’s snaps. Lowry can be the man that spells guys across the line, but his days of starting need to be over.
Jordan is a lifelong Packer fan who grew up in Idaho and now lives in Seattle, Washington. You can follow him on twitter at @jordantwolf.