Getty Green Bay Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur speaks with Aaron Rodgers #12 during the fourth quarter of a game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 19, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Green Bay Packers are still looking for a wide receiver who fits Matt LaFleur’s description of a “legitimate guy who can get the top of coverage” for next season, and some don’t think they should wait until the NFL draft. the 2022 NFL to achieve it. His homework
Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon recently called the Packers the “best option” to sign former Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller V in free agency, arguing that the high-threat veteran would inject some speed and talent. into your recipient body to help. make up for the loss of Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling from their 2021 roster.
“The ugly truth is that, right now, the Green Bay Packers are severely lacking in explosiveness in the receiving corps,” Kenyon wrote on April 8.
Fuller averaged 14.7 yards per catch during his first NFL season and will only turn 28 on April 16, but he also comes with an extensive injury history that has forced him to miss at least five games every season since he’s played a career. high 14 as a rookie in 2016. Most recently, Fuller suffered a broken thumb in the fourth week of the 2021 season and ended up missing the rest of the year, in part due to a late-year setback with the injury.
The Packers, however, have linked with Fuller several times in the past and may finally be in a position to establish a true partnership. Here’s why Kenyon sells out on the matchup:
Will Fuller can provide that desperately needed item. In 55 career games, he had 49 such receptions, including 14 in 2020 with the Houston Texans.
Exactly how much the Packers are willing to pay is a real question, considering Fuller only appeared in more than 11 games in a season as a rookie in 2016. But the Packers are certainly the go-to for Fuller’s skill set.
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Fuller would boost the Packers’ deep passing game
The Packers wouldn’t just get a replacement for MVS if they signed Fuller; they’d be adding an even faster receiver: He ran a class-best 4.32-40 during the 2016 NFL Combine, with a stronger record that could give Aaron Rodgers a new No. 1 passing target.
Although injuries are an obvious knock against him, Fuller has consistently put up good numbers when healthy and touts a per-game average of more than 50 receiving yards. He had 53 receptions for 879 yards and eight touchdowns during his best season in 2020, and even then, he was only Deshaun Watson’s second-favorite receiving target, just behind Brandin Cooks. If the Packers brought him in and let him stretch the field more often with a four-time MVP throwing the ball to him, the sky might be the limit.
The Packers also have some prior ties to Fuller. According to Aaron Reiss of The Athletic, they were one of the teams that approached the Texans and inquired about Fuller before the trade deadline during the 2020 season. The Packers were looking for a quality No. 2 receiver to pair with Davante Adams and they needed to consider their options, even though a contract like Fuller’s would have been extremely difficult to justify for half a year’s rent. If there was interest once before, there’s no reason to think the Packers haven’t at least explored whether he could still fit into their system.
Fuller could be a low-risk, high-reward signing
It’s hard to say for sure how high Fuller’s asking price might be right now. A year ago, he signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins that guaranteed him more than $10 million, but that was before his season-ending injury made the investment seem silly. While other receivers have been paid well this offseason, Fuller will likely have to settle for a higher price to show he can still be the deep threat he once was.
If that’s the case, then the Packers should be on him.
The Packers are big fans of bargain signings. Sometimes the risk just isn’t worth it and money is wasted on guys like Christian Kirksey or Rick Wagner. Other times, though, a forgotten man like De’Vondre Campbell joins the roster in June and becomes an All-Pro fixture on their defense over the course of a single season. Who knows where Fuller might fall on that spectrum, but it’s worth a shot given how exhausted the reception room is from him.
The connection also makes sense from Fuller’s perspective. He’s an injury-plagued veteran in his early 20s trying to avoid going out of style, so what better way to stay current than to catch passes each week from the league’s reigning MVP while chasing a Super Bowl? There are a few other destinations that could have similar appeal, including Cleveland, where former quarterback Watson now plays, but the Packers can at least make a compelling offer.
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