Free Agent WRs (and TEs) in 2023 Discussion...

tynimiller

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He came up in another thread and not to derail that specific thread's purposeful topic I'll make a specific one here to get this no doubt conversation that will be needed in the offseason.

Free Agent WRs next year came up and of course the discussion is going to be thick in Green Bay because we are set to lose all of the following:

Allen Lazard
Sammy Watkins

Randall Cobb

If we throw in TEs...we are losing:

Marcedes Lewis
Robert Tonyan


Now many have said they want us to sign someone next year, but we should not resign Lazard...

Now let's stop pretending Lazard isn't going to get paid and doesn't deserve it. This young man has consistently gotten better over the years and is on pace if healthy rest of the season to finish with around 850 yards, probably 8 TDs or so (only 15 games). That isn't found everywhere, especially from a guy that sees a TON of snaps every game he is in there and is arguably one of the best blocking WRs presently out there in the league. I 100% believe he is of more value than MVS and suspect he at minimum will get around that same figure ($10M/Year). Let's also realize Lazard isn't old truly. He will be only 27 next year. Easily Green Bay could see him as the best FA option to bring back for Rodgers if he is back or Love due to relationships, known in system and proven to have continued getting better every year.....BUT let's play the FA game below....

here is a list of the most of the WRs hitting FA known as of known in 2023:

Nelson Agholor
Sterling Shepard
DJ Chark
Randall Cobb
Olamide Zaccheaus
Deonte Harty
Marvin Jones
Julio Jones
Byron Pringle
Allen Lazard
Jakobi Meyers
JuJu
AJ Green
Mack Hollins
Sammy Watkins
Breshad Perriman
Parris Campbell
Rashard Higgins
Equanimeous St Brown
Deandre Carter
Darius Slayton
Mecole Hardman
Zach Pascal
OBJ (depends on what or if he signs this year)

Now I get it, some don't think Lazard is an answer....BUT truthfully look over that list. If you don't recognize one of them truly look them up and see their production (I know one on here that may surprise you)....how many of these FA WRs are in your opinion CLEARLY a yes over Lazard? I get to three...maybe... and it gets tough and the 4th one is OBJ who is unknown at this time.

To me here are some of my thoughts...the first three are my three before Lazard, but there are some truly thought provoking options after them.

OBJ - I'll take him over Lazard at this stage in his career far more than before. I don't feel the diva mentality as much and feel this is a move ONLY to do if Rodgers is here in 2023, I don't want him if it is Love's team however - WR like that can be hell mentally on a young QB.

Cobb - Hear me out. This is far more situational and positional than saying he is better than Lazard. IF Rodgers is back I think bringing Cobb back isn't going to cost a lot, and it offers that experienced slot guy that lets' be honest when in still 100% is a contributor in all aspects of the game. I could argue signing Cobb back cheap is a move to do prior to deciding if you can work out something with Lazard.

Darius Slayton - Yes he is a smaller receiver (194 vs Lazard's 220+) but Slayton is a receiving threat IMO with a ceiling still not quite reached. He came into the league and in his rookie and sophomore year put up 740 and 751 yards amassing 11 TDs in that two year stretch. The third year he didn't quite see the field every game and just didn't get the targets or such as normal, seeing his snap counts drop from over 80% of snaps first two years to less than 50%. This year he is back up near 60% of snaps and has 566 yards and 2 TDs right now. It's somewhat of a gamble trying to project which Darius you get...but he is not far from being a SOLID WR2 option and he has to still be or close to the 4.39 forty timed guy in the combine IMO. Some sites estimate his value to be in that $3.5M-$4.5M a year range most likely for a two or three year deal. I really like the concept of a two year deal for him, but wouldn't be against a three to pair with Doubs and Watson through their rookie deals but not beyond.

Mecole Hardman - (caveat is Cobb is not signed back for me) KC took MVS...we take back a guy this offseason to serve our slot/speedy in seams option in Hardman. There is just too many reasons I don't envision KC getting him resigned and I also don't think he is going to demand even the money Lazard gets and could be a real option for that motion small slot guy if Cobb isn't signed back especially. With a speed of 4.33 as well, I like the pairing of him with Watson and Doubs... he has a solid set of hands for a speedier guy at a career percentage of 68.6%.

JuJu - This is arguably to me the only WR on the list of guys that IMO is worth battling Lazard for spending near or above the $10M mark...but IMO comes with higher ceiling than Lazard in the yardage production field. Like Hardman I just don't know if the Chiefs will be in the game for him...and the fact Hardman is going to be cheaper I see more of a chance that they find the money for him before JuJu. JuJu this year however is proving there is still some of the JuJu that produced big stuff in Pittsburgh in his game. In Just 11 games he has 688 yards, a couple TDs and a catch percentage flirting with his highest ever at 73.2%. He has a similar body type to Lazard and has proven over the years to be a willing blocker (albeit even dirty at times). If Lazard wants out or takes a contract elsewhere...I truly think JuJu is worth serious consideration. He is still YOUNG enough to provide some prime years honestly (he is 26 and 15 days as I type this). Sign him to a three year deal or two, help bridge the year or so gap before Watson and Doubs truly are ready hopefully...but be the back up plan if they aren't.

I also am curious about what it might take on Jakobi Myers from NE if they let him leave to FA...He has been quite productive, is still younger and proven production... he is similar size but slightly smaller to Lazard...step slower, but has proven production. Parris Campbell...is 2022 when we are finally seeing what he could be after three abysmal years due to missing games for multitude of reasons? No doubt he would LOVE a one year prove it for a payday contract maybe with Rodgers.

Two guys with significant recent injury issues to consider IF healthy could have massive upside IMO - *BEFORE ANYONE FLIPS A LID, THIS IS OF COURSE COMES WITH THE LOW COST CAVEAT GIVEN ALL THIS:

Sterling Shepard - This would be a Sammy Watkins type signing gamble with injuries now two years in a row....I feel bad for this guy and I'm a toss up between he and Lazard actually. I do strongly feel Shepard is at worst a solid WR2 in the NFL for a season or two more when he comes back from injury. You're talking about a cat that even in 2019 when he only saw 10 games put up 576 yards and 3 TDs, 2017 seeing 11 games he still put up 731 yards and 2 TDs. I personally had him pegged for a big year in NY this year until his injury. I expect the NYG not to offer Sterling anything with the emergence of Darius Slayton production if they offer either it will be him.

DJ Chark MAYBE...BIG health concerns but this dude is still sub 27 years old right now...is just three seasons removed from 1,000 yards, two seasons from 700 yards in JAX. When healthy and out there this cat produces. Lions with drafting of Williams and already having St. Brown most likely are out on resigning Chark. IF Watson is fire in a bottle and Doubs is as good as Rodgers and company believes he may be adding Chark is both low risk but VERY HIGH chance you have a three headed monster when he is out there.
 
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tynimiller

tynimiller

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I'll say this here as well...IF Gute is planning on signing Lazard, now could be the best time to do so. We have nearly $7M of space, and a restructured extension I believe could have some of that used and hit us this year for a cost which could potentially reduce his future hits if Ball does his magic wand waving. I want to see this or similar thought applied to a deal with Jenkins.

Shoot I'm for restructuring Lazards space right now carrying $2.4M of space now, voiding that amount over four years to hit in 2023....that is nearly $10M in space now to make a deal on Jenkins more affordable or if we do nothing with it, we now carry forward $2.4M and that negates the voided years of the restructure.
 

Firethorn1001

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I see absolute no free agent WR acquisition of note other than a body in the $3M range like Watkins is.

Guess I'm not enamored with Lazard at $10M plus and at this time, I'm not sure where the heck they would find $10M in space.
 

Schultz

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I made my list of guys I liked comparatively to Lazard before I read your list.
1. Paris Campbell
2. Darius Slayton
3. Mecole Hardman
 

JKramer64

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I'm all for re-signing Lazard. I don't see a true #1 on that list. Plus, Rodgers likes and trusts him. Hartman would be an intriguing prospect as a slot receiver. He's great in space. Very quick and elusive. He's also dangerous on reverses and jet sweeps. Plus, he has experience returning punts.
 
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tynimiller

tynimiller

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I see absolute no free agent WR acquisition of note other than a body in the $3M range like Watkins is.

Guess I'm not enamored with Lazard at $10M plus and at this time, I'm not sure where the heck they would find $10M in space.

If we do nothing this year we will carry forward nearly $7M. That however will QUICKLY be hit with contract escalations (JONES alone) and Jenkins clearly will be resigned I'd imagine.

I think if Lazard isn't resigned it isn't because there is someone better coming, I think it will be the fact we will be bargain shopping.
 
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tynimiller

tynimiller

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I made my list of guys I liked comparatively to Lazard before I read your list.
1. Paris Campbell
2. Darius Slayton
3. Mecole Hardman

All three of these are VERY intriguing to me...I truly think Darius has the ceiling of that WR1b type like James Jones was (he isn't the same type of WR, just referencing role Jones was).
 

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OBJ - I'll take him over Lazard at this stage in his career far more than before. I don't feel the diva mentality as much and feel this is a move ONLY to do if Rodgers is here in 2023, I don't want him if it is Love's team however - WR like that can be hell mentally on a young QB.
His diva mentality is off the charts. He was just on a parade around the NFL and one in which he was being shown the town by the Cowboys. I don't want him regardless of who the QB is in Green Bay. OBJ is also a beat up story line. That guy will never be in Green Bay.
 

lambeaulambo

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My top 3 acquisitions include:

Don Beebe
Bad Moon Rison
Desmond Howard

AR12 trying to get Marshawn out of retirement. How about these guys? Worked for Ron Wolf.:cool:
 
D

Deleted member 6794

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He came up in another thread and not to derail that specific thread's purposeful topic I'll make a specific one here to get this no doubt conversation that will be needed in the offseason.

Free Agent WRs next year came up and of course the discussion is going to be thick in Green Bay because we are set to lose all of the following:

Allen Lazard
Sammy Watkins
Randall Cobb


If we throw in TEs...we are losing:

Marcedes Lewis
Robert Tonyan


Now many have said they want us to sign someone next year, but we should not resign Lazard...

Now let's stop pretending Lazard isn't going to get paid and doesn't deserve it. This young man has consistently gotten better over the years and is on pace if healthy rest of the season to finish with around 850 yards, probably 8 TDs or so (only 15 games). That isn't found everywhere, especially from a guy that sees a TON of snaps every game he is in there and is arguably one of the best blocking WRs presently out there in the league. I 100% believe he is of more value than MVS and suspect he at minimum will get around that same figure ($10M/Year). Let's also realize Lazard isn't old truly. He will be only 27 next year. Easily Green Bay could see him as the best FA option to bring back for Rodgers if he is back or Love due to relationships, known in system and proven to have continued getting better every year.....BUT let's play the FA game below....

here is a list of the most of the WRs hitting FA known as of known in 2023:

Nelson Agholor
Sterling Shepard
DJ Chark
Randall Cobb
Olamide Zaccheaus
Deonte Harty
Marvin Jones
Julio Jones
Byron Pringle
Allen Lazard
Jakobi Meyers
JuJu
AJ Green
Mack Hollins
Sammy Watkins
Breshad Perriman
Parris Campbell
Rashard Higgins
Equanimeous St Brown
Deandre Carter
Darius Slayton
Mecole Hardman
Zach Pascal
OBJ (depends on what or if he signs this year)

Now I get it, some don't think Lazard is an answer....BUT truthfully look over that list. If you don't recognize one of them truly look them up and see their production (I know one on here that may surprise you)....how many of these FA WRs are in your opinion CLEARLY a yes over Lazard? I get to three...maybe... and it gets tough and the 4th one is OBJ who is unknown at this time.

To me here are some of my thoughts...the first three are my three before Lazard, but there are some truly thought provoking options after them.

OBJ - I'll take him over Lazard at this stage in his career far more than before. I don't feel the diva mentality as much and feel this is a move ONLY to do if Rodgers is here in 2023, I don't want him if it is Love's team however - WR like that can be hell mentally on a young QB.

Cobb - Hear me out. This is far more situational and positional than saying he is better than Lazard. IF Rodgers is back I think bringing Cobb back isn't going to cost a lot, and it offers that experienced slot guy that lets' be honest when in still 100% is a contributor in all aspects of the game. I could argue signing Cobb back cheap is a move to do prior to deciding if you can work out something with Lazard.

Darius Slayton - Yes he is a smaller receiver (194 vs Lazard's 220+) but Slayton is a receiving threat IMO with a ceiling still not quite reached. He came into the league and in his rookie and sophomore year put up 740 and 751 yards amassing 11 TDs in that two year stretch. The third year he didn't quite see the field every game and just didn't get the targets or such as normal, seeing his snap counts drop from over 80% of snaps first two years to less than 50%. This year he is back up near 60% of snaps and has 566 yards and 2 TDs right now. It's somewhat of a gamble trying to project which Darius you get...but he is not far from being a SOLID WR2 option and he has to still be or close to the 4.39 forty timed guy in the combine IMO. Some sites estimate his value to be in that $3.5M-$4.5M a year range most likely for a two or three year deal. I really like the concept of a two year deal for him, but wouldn't be against a three to pair with Doubs and Watson through their rookie deals but not beyond.

Mecole Hardman - (caveat is Cobb is not signed back for me) KC took MVS...we take back a guy this offseason to serve our slot/speedy in seams option in Hardman. There is just too many reasons I don't envision KC getting him resigned and I also don't think he is going to demand even the money Lazard gets and could be a real option for that motion small slot guy if Cobb isn't signed back especially. With a speed of 4.33 as well, I like the pairing of him with Watson and Doubs... he has a solid set of hands for a speedier guy at a career percentage of 68.6%.

JuJu - This is arguably to me the only WR on the list of guys that IMO is worth battling Lazard for spending near or above the $10M mark...but IMO comes with higher ceiling than Lazard in the yardage production field. Like Hardman I just don't know if the Chiefs will be in the game for him...and the fact Hardman is going to be cheaper I see more of a chance that they find the money for him before JuJu. JuJu this year however is proving there is still some of the JuJu that produced big stuff in Pittsburgh in his game. In Just 11 games he has 688 yards, a couple TDs and a catch percentage flirting with his highest ever at 73.2%. He has a similar body type to Lazard and has proven over the years to be a willing blocker (albeit even dirty at times). If Lazard wants out or takes a contract elsewhere...I truly think JuJu is worth serious consideration. He is still YOUNG enough to provide some prime years honestly (he is 26 and 15 days as I type this). Sign him to a three year deal or two, help bridge the year or so gap before Watson and Doubs truly are ready hopefully...but be the back up plan if they aren't.

I also am curious about what it might take on Jakobi Myers from NE if they let him leave to FA...He has been quite productive, is still younger and proven production... he is similar size but slightly smaller to Lazard...step slower, but has proven production. Parris Campbell...is 2022 when we are finally seeing what he could be after three abysmal years due to missing games for multitude of reasons? No doubt he would LOVE a one year prove it for a payday contract maybe with Rodgers.

Two guys with significant recent injury issues to consider IF healthy could have massive upside IMO - *BEFORE ANYONE FLIPS A LID, THIS IS OF COURSE COMES WITH THE LOW COST CAVEAT GIVEN ALL THIS:

Sterling Shepard - This would be a Sammy Watkins type signing gamble with injuries now two years in a row....I feel bad for this guy and I'm a toss up between he and Lazard actually. I do strongly feel Shepard is at worst a solid WR2 in the NFL for a season or two more when he comes back from injury. You're talking about a cat that even in 2019 when he only saw 10 games put up 576 yards and 3 TDs, 2017 seeing 11 games he still put up 731 yards and 2 TDs. I personally had him pegged for a big year in NY this year until his injury. I expect the NYG not to offer Sterling anything with the emergence of Darius Slayton production if they offer either it will be him.

DJ Chark MAYBE...BIG health concerns but this dude is still sub 27 years old right now...is just three seasons removed from 1,000 yards, two seasons from 700 yards in JAX. When healthy and out there this cat produces. Lions with drafting of Williams and already having St. Brown most likely are out on resigning Chark. IF Watson is fire in a bottle and Doubs is as good as Rodgers and company believes he may be adding Chark is both low risk but VERY HIGH chance you have a three headed monster when he is out there.

Wow, I didn't realize the free agent class at wide receiver completely lacks top end talent next year. Taking a look at the list I'm not convinced there's anyone available presenting a significant upgrade over Lazard.

I might have to change my opinion about signing an expensive veteran based on it. With that being said I probably won't feel confident in offering Lazard $10 million a season anyway.

Shoot I'm for restructuring Lazards space right now carrying $2.4M of space now, voiding that amount over four years to hit in 2023....that is nearly $10M in space now to make a deal on Jenkins more affordable or if we do nothing with it, we now carry forward $2.4M and that negates the voided years of the restructure.

With Lazard playing on a tender I don't think the Packers are allowed to extend him until after the season ended.

But even if it was possible the team could only save minimal cap space as Lazard has already been paid close to $2.9 million of his base salary this season.

That however will QUICKLY be hit with contract escalations (JONES alone) and Jenkins clearly will be resigned I'd imagine.

I'm not convinced the Packers will re-sign Jenkins, especially if he ends up asking for tackle money.
 
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tynimiller

tynimiller

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Wow, I didn't realize the free agent class at wide receiver completely lacks top end talent next year. Taking a look at the list I'm not convinced there's anyone available presenting a significant upgrade over Lazard.

I might have to change my opinion about signing an expensive veteran based on it. With that being said I probably won't feel confident in offering Lazard $10 million a season anyway.



With Lazard playing on a tender I don't think the Packers are allowed to extend him until after the season ended.

But even if it was possible the team could only save minimal cap space as Lazard has already been paid close to $2.9 million of his base salary this season.



I'm not convinced the Packers will re-sign Jenkins, especially if he ends up asking for tackle money.

The WR FA pool is weak…now what I want to do is look around the league and see if there is ANY guys with contracts set to explode like Jones that could be cuts…otherwise Darius I think might be the only guy I strongly feel is a better threat than Lazard but who knows if that equals better for fit.

Gotcha on Lazard, I think we missed saving as much, I just know we did a restructure of Tonyan on his tender year and figured we may do it again here.

Agree on Jenkins - if he wants Tackle money he won’t be back.
 
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The WR FA pool is weak…now what I want to do is look around the league and see if there is ANY guys with contracts set to explode like Jones that could be cuts…otherwise Darius I think might be the only guy I strongly feel is a better threat than Lazard but who knows if that equals better for fit.

I would definitely prefer to take a look around the league at possible cuts than sign Slayton in free agency. I don't think he would be an upgrade over Lazard anyway.

Gotcha on Lazard, I think we missed saving as much, I just know we did a restructure of Tonyan on his tender year and figured we may do it again here.

The Packers restructured Tonyan's deal in June. As far as I know there's no way to do it with a player signed under a tender after July 15th though.
 

McKnowledge

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My top 3 acquisitions include:

Don Beebe
Bad Moon Rison
Desmond Howard

AR12 trying to get Marshawn out of retirement. How about these guys? Worked for Ron Wolf.:cool:

Andre Rison trade midseason in '96 is absurdly underrated.

He needed redemption, Green Bay needed a replacement for Brooks.

Offense went crazy!!!
 
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I’m not opposed to Lazard staying. I like continuity at the position and he’s put in his licks. However he’s absolutely not a WR1 by any standard. His chance was this season and he had all the prep you could ask for. As our main target he was mediocrity. We can do better.

I’d be a player at resigning for $6-8M annual area. Maybe 9mil tops annual if it’s an easy out or there’s some incentives he has to achieve that are tied to it.
 

Mondio

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Actually the Packers claimed Rison off waivers afrer he was released by the Jaguars.
Yes, which I thought made him a FA? Or did they not have that rule in place yet for vested vets? Or was it during that time of season where everyone is subject to the waiver system?
 
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Yes, which I thought made him a FA? Or did they not have that rule in place yet for vested vets? Or was it during that time of season where everyone is subject to the waiver system?

Rison would have become a free agent if he wasn't claimed off waivers. But with the Packers claiming him he never actually became one.

While I don't know about the rules in place for the 1996 season the move happened after the trade deadline, therefore it's probable all players were subject to waiver after being released at that point.

You are probably right and it was a big mistake not signing him the next year.

While everyone remembers his touchdown catch in the Super Bowl Rison actually didn't put up impressive numbers in his eight games with the Packers. He had 20 catches for 278 yards and three touchdowns in half a season.
 

David Ciembronowicz

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Somewhat OTopic however, watching the Lions-Vikings game, having watched the Bears-Pack game the Packers are in for a difficult next 2-4 years in this division. The Lions have some really good talent at skill positions, Vikings have really good talent, Bears not so much but Fields has progressed a lot as a QB. The lions and Vikes defense are playing real tough, Bears defense with a group of "journeymen" (and lots of draft choices coming up) will improve and are still tough. GB needs skill position athletes at WR, TE and questions abound about QB for the future, not to mention their D is highly suspect and their $$$ situation is extremely difficult moving forward. Overall, this year will end up Vikes #1, Lions #2 (and will beat GB last game IMO), GB #3 and Bears at #4. Next year, Vikes and Lions play for #1, GB and Bears fight for #3 and 4 in the division.
 

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