The Green Bay Packers would be better off selecting a receiver with a high draft pick in April than signing one as a free agent.
The NFL’s new league year began on Wednesday, meaning teams were officially permitted to sign new players. The start of free agency kicked off with a bang, with notable players finding new teams, which included the Green Bay Packers.
Green Bay wasted no time getting in on the action in NFL free agency, notably signing linebacker Christian Kirksey and right tackle Rick Wagner earlier this week. The signings filled two major needs after the simultaneous departures of Blake Martinez and Bryan Bulaga. Kirksey garnered a two-year, $13 million contract, while Wagner signed a two-year, $11 million contract.
Also of note, the Packers tendered the contracts of receivers Allen Lazard and Jake Kumerow, both of whom were exclusive rights free agents. Green Bay hasn’t shown interest in other free-agent receivers, however, even with some interesting names still available on the open market.
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In case you haven’t been paying attention to the build-up surrounding the upcoming NFL Draft, the depth at wide receiver is the deepest it’s been in several years. For the Packers, waiting to address the receiver position until the draft may be the best option.
The Packers hold the 30th overall selection in the first round and 62nd overall selection in the second round in the 2020 NFL Draft. Based on current projections, Green Bay could realistically get a legitimate difference-maker at wide receiver with either of their first two picks.
Notable names who could be available when the Packers are on the clock in the first round include Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk, Clemson’s Tee Higgins, TCU’s Jalen Reagor and Colorado’s Laviska Shenault. Because of the depth at the position, there’s bound to be a talented receiver who falls to the late second round, as well.
Let’s not forget the Packers’ past success at drafting receivers in the second round, either. Greg Jennings, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams were all selected in the second round of their respective draft classes.
Additionally, the Packers only have around $2 million in spendable cap space at the moment, according to Spotrac. The team has roughly $12 million total in cap space, but will need around $10 million to sign players drafted in April.
The Packers could elect to sign a veteran receiver before the draft, but based on who’s currently available in free agency, and the likelihood that the team could get a player of similar talent for a more cost-effective contract through the draft, Green Bay should stand pat for the moment.