Once again, the Packers approached the NFL trade deadline with expectations that a move would be made to bolster the team’s pass-catching corps. As Tuesday came and went, 2022 marked another season in which the team stood pat.
The Packers have struggled with injuries and inconsistencies in the pass game this season, making them a logical suitor for a trade acquisition. They were in on former Steeler Chase Claypool, offering a second-round pick for the wideout, a price which ended up ultimately being enough for Pittsburgh to part ways with him. It was the division rival Bears, however, who landed him (with their second-rounder projected to be more valuable), adding a young pass-catcher and denying Green Bay a new asset in the process.
Part of the reason the Packers maintained the status quo at the position, as explained by ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, was their reluctance to add a rental player at the deadline. Claypool has one year remaining on his rookie contract after 2022; likewise, veteran Brandin Cooks would not have been a short-term addition had the Packers (who were listed among the teams interested in acquiring him) been able to pull off a deal.
Demovsky confirms that Claypool was Green Bay’s top target, but adds that tight end was another position at which they considered making a move. Only one trade took place in that regard, with an intra-divisional swap sending T.J. Hockenson from the Lions to the Vikings for a swap of Day 2 picks. The Packers may not have been involved in talks for Hockenson specifically, Demovsky notes, but GM Brian Gutekunst “explored” possible additions to complement or upgrade on starter Robert Tonyan.
In the end, Green Bay will head into the second half of the season with a less-than-healthy skill position group as they look to improve on their 234 passing yards per game (20th in the league). Given their 3-5 record, the team sits in a much different position with respect to their status as NFC contenders compared to the consecutive 13-win campaigns which began the Matt LaFleur era. The same questions remain, though, about their offensive firepower.