Packers Named Top Destination For 4-Time Pro-Bowl Wide Receiver


    Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers reacts during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on October 28, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Packers defeated the Cardinals 24-21.

    If the 2022 NFL season started today, the Green Bay Packers would be pressed to tell their fans who the top option for MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers is in the passing game.

    And any name the brass came up with would surely leave most scratching their heads. A rookie? An 11-year veteran who made one Pro Bowl nine years ago? A dude playing on a one-year, $4 million deal with 14 career touchdown catches?

    That reality aside, it’s hard to argue that any of the names left on the free agent market are healthy and/or good enough to step into a No. 1 role in Green Bay. But they are, nonetheless, names that even the casual football follower recognizes. And in the arena of pro sports, a big name will always mean something — even if that something is sometimes a false or inflated sense of hope in a player whose best days are well behind him.

    Still, there is talent enough among freelance NFL pass catchers this offseason to potentially help a Packers’ roster rather bereft of the elite brand of it at the wide receiver position, despite 11 players already on the depth chart vying for the three starting spots.

    Erin Walsh of Bleacher Report suggested that one free agent name Green Bay might take a flyer on is T.Y. Hilton, a four-time Pro Bowl selection over 10 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts.

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    Hilton Coming Off Injury-Plagued 2021 Season With Colts

    Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton

    GettyWide receiver T.Y. Hilton of the Indianapolis Colts reacts after catching a pass in the fourth quarter of a game against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 20, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

    Hilton is 32 years old and coming off the least productive season of his career, in which he caught just 23 passes for 331 yards and three touchdowns. However, health issues including a back injury, a toe injury and a concussion played significant roles in that, as the wideout appeared in just 10 out of 17 regular season games.

    Walsh laid out her argument for Hilton landing with the Packers, including in the context two other big name wide receivers — one still navigating free agency and the other potentially available via a trade.

    The Packers … drafted Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs in this year’s draft, but neither player will make up for the loss of Davante Adams, who was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders.

    Green Bay’s current top receivers are Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Sammy Watkins and Amari Rodgers. Adding either [Deebo] Samuel or Hilton to that group would be ideal for the franchise this offseason.

    That said, it’s hard to imagine the [San Francisco 49ers] trading Samuel to another NFC Super Bowl contender, which means [Julio] Jones or Hilton is probably the more realistic option. However, it could end up being Aaron Rodgers’ choice for which receiver the franchise potentially picks up.

    Packers May Hold Fast at WR Even After Losing Adams, MVS

    Marquez Valdes-Scantling Packers

    GettyRandall Cobb (left), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (center) and Allen Lazard (right) of the Green Bay Packers work out during training camp at Ray Nitschke Field on July 29, 2021 in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

    The Packers didn’t just lose Adams via a trade with the Raiders, they also let Marquez Valdes-Scantling get away in free agency after he signed a multiyear deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.

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    His two top options at wide receiver gone and tight end Robert Tonyan coming off of a torn ACL, Rodgers’ list of targets has grown thin, even as the number of wide receivers on the preseason roster has ballooned. Still, it is entirely possible that Green Bay does not make a move to add another wideout.

    Trade speculation has persisted around Samuel and DK Metcalf of the Seattle Seahawks but as it looks now, both appear likely to remain in the NFC West Division. The only other high-end player the Packers have been linked to in recent weeks is Raiders tight end Darren Waller.

    Green Bay reportedly wanted Waller back in the deal that sent Adams to the desert, but that arrangement did not comply with league rules. The Packers continue to pursue the Pro-Bowl tight end, though Waller has said publicly he does not believe the Raiders plan to trade him.

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