Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Packers named top target for four-time Pro-Bowl wide receiver

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

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

That reality aside, it’s hard to argue that any of the names left in the free-agent market are sane and/or good enough to land a #1 role in Green Bay. But they are still names that even the casual football fan will recognize. And in the pro sports arena, a big name will always mean something – even if that something is sometimes a false or exaggerated sense of hope in a player whose best days are far behind them.

Still, there’s enough talent among freelance NFL pass catchers this offseason to potentially help a Packers roster that’s somewhat deprived of the elite mark at the wide receiver position, despite already having 11 players on the depth chart vying for the three starting spots.

Bleacher Report’s Erin Walsh suggested that a free agent named Green Bay could take on a flyer, TY Hilton, a four-time, 10-season Pro Bowl selection with the Indianapolis Colts.

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Hilton is 32 and has had the least productive season of his career, catching just 23 passes for 331 yards and three touchdowns. However, health issues like a back injury, a toe injury and a concussion played a major role in that, as the wideout occurred in just 10 of 17 regular-season games.

Walsh laid out her argument for landing Hilton with the Packers, including two other big-name receivers – one still navigating free agency and the other possibly via a trade.

Not only did the Packers lose Adams to a trade with the Raiders, they also let Marquez Valdes-Scantling freehand after he signed a multi-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.

With his two top wide receiver options gone and tight end Robert Tonyan saying goodbye to a cruciate ligament rupture, Rodger’s list of targets has thinned even as the number of wide receivers on last season’s list exploded. Still, it’s entirely possible that Green Bay won’t take steps to add another wideout.

Trade speculation continues for the Seattle Seahawks’ Samuel and DK Metcalf, but as it stands now both appear to remain in the NFC West Division. The only other high-end player the Packers have been linked with 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 agreement didn’t conform to league rules. The Packers continue to pursue the Pro-Bowl tight end, though Waller has said publicly that he doesn’t think the Raiders plan to trade him.

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