Julio Jones

Eagles Designate G Cam Jurgens For Return, Promote WR Julio Jones

The Eagles could have their offensive line intact when they face the Cowboys this week. While that is not yet certain, Cam Jurgens received a return designation Wednesday morning.

Winning the right guard job following Isaac Seumalo‘s Steelers defection, Jurgens started started four games before a foot injury shut him down. The 2022 second-round pick will return to practice when first eligible, providing a good sign for his near-future availability. The Eagles have used just one of their injury activations this season.

Philadelphia has used Sua Opeta in Jurgens’ place. Opeta has been with the team since 2020, working as a backup. This has marked the former UDFA’s most extensive run of playing time. Third-round rookie Tyler Steen had competed with Jurgens for the starting RG gig, but the rookie spent the first four weeks of the season inactive. The Eagles dressed Steen following Jurgens’ injury and used him for a bit in Week 8 when Opeta went down. But the latter returned to action during the second half of Philly’s win over Washington.

Jurgens is viewed as the Eagles’ Jason Kelce heir apparent, but that future is on the back burner for the time being. When Philly opted not to give Seumalo a third contract, the team turned to Jurgens at guard. The Nebraska alum worked as a center during his college career. Kelce has contemplated retirement, but the 35-year-old mainstay is in his 13th season and still going strong. For now, Jurgens’ place will be at guard.

In addition to opening Jurgens’ practice window, the Eagles made Julio Jones‘ roster spot official. The future Hall of Famer had seen game action as a weekend elevation, with the 2020 CBA bumping teams’ gameday roster totals from 53 to 55. Jones, 34, took that route to Eagles action but is now a part of the team’s 53-man roster. In two games with the Eagles, Jones has two receptions for 11 yards and a touchdown.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/28/23

Here are the gameday elevations and other minor moves made around the league in advance of Week 8:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Wilkinson’s loss will be notable for the Cardinals, given his status as an entrenched starter at the left guard spot. The 28-year-old joined Arizona on a one-year deal worth the veteran’s minimum in free agency after stints in Denver, Chicago and Atlanta. Trystan Colon replaced him in the starting lineup in Week 7, and that will likely continue for the time being. Wilkinson will be out for at least four weeks as a result of the IR move.

Ridgeway has been out since Week 1, his Texans debut. The former 49er joined the Texans in a move which allowed him to continue working under head coach DeMeco Ryans. Ridgeway ended last season on IR, so he will be looking for an extended run of availability in his new home. A veteran of 78 games (and 19 starts), he will aim to carve out a rotational role up front.

Peters was brought in by the Seahawks while they were dealing with injury problems at both tackle spots. Blindside blocker Charles Cross has since returned, so Peters’ most familiar spot will not be available if he is to make his Seattle debut on Sunday. The fact the latter is healthy and in game shape does mean, however, that he will be eligible to play in a 19th NFL season.

Eagles Sign WR Julio Jones

OCTOBER 21: To little surprise, Jones will make his Eagles debut on Sunday. The team announced he (along with cornerback Mekhi Garner) is a game day elevation for Week 7. Jones will thus revert back to the taxi squad after the contest, allowing two more game day call-ups before a signing on the active roster will be required. It will be interesting to see how large of a role he plays within an already capable Eagles offense during Sunday’s primetime matchup against the Dolphins.

OCTOBER 17: Already rostering one of the NFL’s top wide receiver tandems, the Eagles will add an All-Decade player to the mix. The team agreed to a deal with Julio Jones on Tuesday.

Jones, who has not played since his Buccaneers one-off in 2022, signed a one-year contract with the Eagles, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. This will be Jones’ age-34 season. Jones will reunite with ex-Titans teammate A.J. Brown and former Falcons sidekick Olamide Zaccheaus.

This is a practice squad deal, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. Since the league expanded P-squads to 16 players in 2020, teams have used the increased flexibility to stash veterans and provide ramp-up periods. The Eagles did this recently with Bradley Roby, who joined the team on a P-squad agreement before moving up to the 53-man roster days later. Jones should be expected to be on Philly’s active roster soon, with CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones indicating a real chance exists this transaction will happen before Week 7.

The Eagles are adding Jones not long after placing their No. 3 wideout, Quez Watkins, on IR. Watkins has missed three games this season and landed on IR ahead of Week 6 because of a hamstring ailment. The 5-1 team brought in Marquez Callaway and Dezmon Patmon for workouts Monday, Schefter adds, but will go with one of this era’s best receiving options. Jones is obviously well into his post-prime period by this point, but the 6-foot-3 target supplies tremendous experience — both as a lead target on a Super Bowl team and a supporting-caster on playoff-bound squads.

Philly has shown a willingness to bring in accomplished veterans near the end of their careers, doing so in 2022, when they aided their run defense by signing defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph midway through last season. Both vets stayed on the team through Super Bowl LVII. Jones, who played in Super Bowl LI with the Falcons, will sign on to chase a ring in what could very well be his final season.

Jones authored the most statistically productive five-year run by a pass catcher in NFL history, totaling 7,994 receiving yards from 2014-18. That stretch produced two first-team All-Pro nods, and Jones ripped off three second-team All-Pro seasons during his lengthy peak, one that effectively concluded with the 2019 season. That 15-game Atlanta slate represents a line of demarcation of sorts for Jones, who saw injury trouble wrap his prime during the 2020 slate. He has missed 21 games due to injury over the past three years.

The initial months of the Terry FontenotArthur Smith Falcons partnership led to a Jones trade to the Titans. Brown had pushed for the Titans to acquire Jones in 2021, and while the duo played together for a team that booked home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs, both missed time due to injuries. The hamstring trouble that slowed Jones in 2020 followed him to Tennessee. He finished the ’21 season with 34 catches for 434 yards and one touchdown. Signing with the Buccaneers last year, Jones worked as an auxiliary target alongside Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The 12-year veteran tallied 24 catches for 299 yards and two scores for a Bucs team that cratered offensively, though a porous NFC South kept the Tom Brady-fronted team afloat en route to a playoff berth. Jones missed games but did not land on IR during his Tampa stay.

Returning this year will delay Jones’ Hall of Fame induction, though given the waits receivers regularly endure en route to Canton, the former No. 6 overall pick may not be a lock for first-ballot enshrinement. Nevertheless, the surefire Hall of Famer will join an Eagles team that endured an ugly loss to the Jets. Brown and DeVonta Smith are coming off a 1,000-1,000 season, and Zaccheaus finished with 533 yards for the 2022 Falcons. Though, the diminutive Philly native has just 74 yards this year. Watkins cannot return until Week 12, leaving a bit of a void behind Brown and Smith. Howie Roseman will see if Jones can help fill it for the Super Bowl-contending squad.

Injury Notes: Mac, Williams, Julio, CMC

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones has decided to seek a second opinion on his high ankle sprain, according to Mike Giardi of NFL Network. After sustaining the injury on the final offensive play of the team’s loss to the Ravens this week, Jones underwent an MRI to determine the severity of the sprain. It is expected, with the resulting diagnosis, that Jones will have to miss some time.

Jones will go to Dr. Martin O’Malley of the New York Hospital for Special Surgery. O’Malley is the team orthopedist for the Brooklyn Nets, the Team Physician for USA Basketball and Iona University Athletics, and the foot and ankle consultant for the Giants and the New York City Ballet. He notably worked recently on cornerback J.C. Jackson‘s ankle surgery, as well as basketball star Kevin Durant’s Achilles surgery in 2019.

Here’s a few more injury rumors from around the league, starting with an update on one of the Jets’ top defenders:

  • Jets linebacker Quincy Williams has also been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post. Williams’ high ankle sprain appears to be a bit less severe than Jones’, as head coach Robert Saleh reported that Williams is currently week-to-week.
  • Buccaneers wide receiver Julio Jones was reportedly a game-time decision to play this past weekend, but ended up spending the game on the sideline. It appears that Jones could have contributed, but Tampa Bay decided to hold him out, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic. Head coach Todd Bowles broke the news, saying, “I just know he could have played (but) we held him out. We want to make sure he’s healthy and he’ll probably be back out there next week.”
  • Fantasy football managers of Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey have resumed sweating. The star weapon for Carolina missed practice today with a thigh injury. According to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports, the injury has caused a bit of concern for the Panthers, more so than the “previous nicks” that have been reported throughout the season. He’s been able to play through every injury so far this year, but Jones makes it seem like his Week 4 status could be in jeopardy. McCaffrey hasn’t played in all of Carolina’s regular season games since 2019, appearing in 13 games total during the three seasons since. Rumors of an injury being “concerning” is the last thing the Panthers want to hear about McCaffrey. Chuba Hubbard is likely to fill McCaffrey’s role for any potentially missed time, while D’Onta Foreman would serve as the primary backup.

NFC Injury Updates: Bucs, Packers, Smith

Tampa Bay knew it would be without two of its bigger playmakers in wide receiver Chris Godwin and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks this week. That is no surprise, as Godwin missed last week with a hamstring ailment and Hicks is predicted to miss a month with a foot injury. The Buccaneers were hoping to get back offensive tackle Donovan Smith this week, but he is doubtful to appear this Sunday against the Packers, according to Cameron Wolfe of NFL Network.

Smith suffered a hyperextended right elbow in Tampa Bay’s Week 1 victory over the Cowboys. Last week, the Buccaneers slotted Josh Wells in to start for Smith, but, after Wells suffered a calf injury that landed him on injured reserve in the team’s matchup with the Saints, they’ll likely turn to Brandon Walton who replaced Wells last Sunday.

It was also reported, by Buccaneers staff writer Brianna Dix, that wide receiver Julio Jones is expected to be a game-time decision, according to head coach Todd Bowles.

Here are a few other Sunday game statuses we heard about today, starting with two top receivers in Green Bay:

  • The Packers‘ top returning receiver from last year had to miss Week 1 while dealing with an ankle injury. While they got Allen Lazard back last week, he was seen limping at points of the game. Regardless, Lazard “is optimistic about playing” this week versus Tampa Bay, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. The Packers have been cautious with him in practice this week, but it’s likely been precautionary. On the other hand, quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be without one of his top targets as Sammy Watkins has been ruled out with a hamstring injury, according to Field Yates of ESPN. Rookie wide receiver Christian Watson is also dealing with hamstring issues but is listed as questionable going into the weekend.
  • Vikings safety Harrison Smith is expected to miss his first game due to injury since 2016, according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Smith did sit out two games last year on the COVID-19/reserve list and took a rest day in the 2019 season finale, but a concussion suffered in Monday night’s loss to the Eagles will likely hold him out against the Lions this week.
  • Tyler Kroft has been the man for the 49ers at tight end, starting twice to begin the season in place of the injured star, George Kittle. He has never been a strong receiving threat, but his ability to run block has made him a valuable asset to the San Francisco offense. In the team’s Week 2 win over the Seahawks, though, Kroft suffered a sprained MCL. He’s expected “to miss several weeks” because of the knee injury, but, due to new injured reserve rules, the veteran will not be placed on IR, according to David Lombardi of The Athletic. The new rules this year dictate that only eight players can be designated to return from IR, so, even though Kroft will be eligible to return after several weeks, the 49ers are choosing to save their designated to return IR spots for more valuable players who may end up sustaining injuries later on in the season. The timing of Kroft’s injury is not the worst it could possibly be as Kittle is set to return this week from injury. Kittle is mostly known for his receiving ability but is a decent run blocker in his own right and will help to vacate any deficit resulting from Kroft’s absence.
  • The Lions will be down one of their rotational defensive linemen when they play the Vikings and, according to Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, a recent surgery will hold him out for a while. Defensive lineman John Cominsky is dealing with a wrist injury that required the surgery. Cominsky may not be a household name, but, when he was put on waivers after three years of playing with the Falcons, Cominsky drew the interest of one-fourth of the league, as eight teams were intrigued enough to put in claims on the former Golden Eagle out of Division II Charleston in West Virginia. The Lions were second in the waiver order and were granted the 6-foot-5 lineman, but the Commanders, Colts, Browns, Texans, Cardinals, Vikings, and Bengals all attempted to bring him in. With Cominsky out, Lions head coach Dan Campbell suggested that the starting four defensive linemen will be backed up by the likes of Austin Bryant and undrafted rookie Demetrius Taylor.

Buccaneers Notes: Rudolph, Jones, Linebackers

The Buccaneers signed Kyle Rudolph about a month after Rob Gronkowski hung up his cleats, but Rudolph’s path to Tampa Bay started before his peer’s retirement. According to Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times, Tom Brady recruited Rudolph to the Buccaneers before Gronk announced his retirement.

Speaking to reporters today, Rudolph acknowledged that Brady’s presence and the Buccaneers’ winning culture influenced his decision to join Tampa Bay. While he’ll likely replace Gronk atop the Buccaneers’ TE depth chart, the veteran made it clear that he’s got a long way to go to replace the future Hall of Famer on the stat sheet.

“Those shoes are way too big to fill, and I’ve got pretty big feet,” Rudolph said. “I feel like there’s so much ground to make up, and I don’t have 10 years of experience with Tom to make it up. We play the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1 in September, and my goal is to go out there that week and be on the same page with Tom like we have been playing together for 10 years.”

Head coach Todd Bowles shared a similar sentiment. While he noted that there’s no replacing Gronkowski’s spot on the field, he anticipates Rudolph playing an important role on this squad.

“He brings intelligence, he brings toughness, he brings savvy, and he’s played the game for a while,” Bowles said. “You’re not going to replace Gronk. We’ve got to do that in a variety of ways, whether it’s running back, the other tight ends, the receivers. … But he brings us a veteran presence, understanding the ball game and he learns fast, so he’ll help us on Sundays.”

More notes out of Tampa Bay…

  • Speaking of Rudolph, the tight end’s one-year contract contains a base pay worth $2MM, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. Rudolph can make another $1.5MM in incentives, bumping the maximum value to $3.5MM. The deal includes $1.5MM in guaranteed money, and considering the commitment, Florio thinks it’s pretty clear that Rudolph will ultimately make the 53-man roster. Greg Auman of The Athletic shares details (on Twitter) of Rudolph’s incentives, which includes $375k in 46-man roster bonuses, $375k for 30 receptions, an additional $250k for 40 receptions, an additional $250k for 50 receptions, and $250k for a Pro Bowl selection.
  • Julio Jones‘ contract with the Buccaneers also contains a number of incentives. According to Auman (on Twitter), the wideout has 10 bonuses worth $200K: bonuses for each of 50/60/70/80 receptions, bonuses for each of 600/700/800/900 receiving yards, a bonus for an NFC title, and a bonus for a Super Bowl victory. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Field Yates tweets that the Buccaneers included four void years on the receiver’s contract, a tactic the front office has used frequently in recent years. As a result of this move, Jones has a cap number that’s barely above $2MM.
  • Auman speculates that the Buccaneers could add an inside linebacker and an outside linebacker before the start of the season. At ILB, the team is hoping that Devin White and Lavonte David will stand out at the position, but both players have their fair share of question marks and the Buccaneers lack depth behind the duo. At OLB, the team is still seeking a replacement for Jason Pierre-Paul. 2021 first-round pick Joe Tryon-Shoyinka could ultimately be the answer opposite Shaq Barrett, but similar to the other linebacker position, Tampa Bay lacks depth behind their two starters.

Packers Pursued Julio Jones; Colts Did Not Show Interest

Julio Jones‘ Buccaneers agreement — a one-year, $6MM deal — became official Wednesday morning. The future Hall of Fame wide receiver joined a team that already carried one of the NFL’s best receiving groups, but he was linked to teams with question marks at the position.

The Packers were another team to pursue Jones, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). While other teams are believed to be involved here, Tampa Bay and Green Bay represent Jones’ known suitors. The Colts were not involved, with GM Chris Ballard indicating the team was not planning to add the former Falcons and Titans target (Twitter link via the Indianapolis Star’s Joel Erickson).

Green Bay represented one of Odell Beckham Jr.‘s most prominent pursuers last year, and the Jones situation unfolded similarly. After Beckham joined the Rams, Jones is set up to help another Packers NFC rival. The Pack offered Beckham the veteran minimum; the Rams came in with a better proposal to snare the talented wideout last November. It appears likely the Packers’ Jones offer came in south of the Bucs’, sending the All-Decade pass catcher to a team flush with receiver options.

The Packers are attempting to regroup at wideout, having lost their top two options from recent years — Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. They did add Sammy Watkins in free agency and North Dakota State’s Christian Watson in Round 2, before also drafting Nevada’s Romeo Doubs in Round 4. But the team’s receiving corps is light on dependable players and noticeably lacks a No. 1-type option — barring Watson breaking out quickly. Green Bay has been linked to OBJ again this offseason, but Los Angeles has shown far more consistent interest.

Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb represent the Packers’ top holdover options, with the former having an opportunity to make a major climb in Aaron Rodgers‘ aerial hierarchy ahead of a potential 2023 free agency bid. Beyond Beckham, veterans like Emmanuel Sanders, T.Y. Hilton, Cole Beasley and Will Fuller remain unsigned. But Jones moves a key piece off the board.

Linked consistently to the Colts this offseason, Hilton remains on the team’s radar. Ballard confirmed the team has not ruled out a reunion with the third-leading receiver in team history (Twitter link via Erickson). The Colts lost Zach Pascal to the Eagles in free agency and are counting on second-round rookie Alec Pierce to be a key auxiliary piece in their Michael Pittman Jr.-fronted receiving cadre. Beyond Pittman, the Colts are thin on known commodities at the receiver position. Parris Campbell remains in the team’s plans, but injuries have defined his career through three years. Second-year player Mike Strachan underwent knee surgery this summer, per The Athletic’s Zak Keefer, who adds (via Twitter) the 2021 seventh-round pick may be sidelined until the final days of training camp.

Buccaneers To Sign WR Julio Jones

Although the Buccaneers have two Pro Bowl wide receivers and gave former Falcon Russell Gage a $10MM-per-year deal this offseason, they are not stopping here at wide receiver. A rather notable ex-Gage teammate is coming to Tampa.

The Bucs reached a one-year agreement with Julio Jones on Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. He will team with Gage, his Atlanta teammate of three seasons, along with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin in what will be another decorated Tampa Bay receiver stable. Jones committed to the Bucs for $6MM, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The deal can be worth up to $8MM.

This news comes shortly after Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times noted Godwin will not start camp on the Bucs’ active/PUP list (Twitter link). It would certainly have been understandable if Godwin, who suffered a torn ACL in December and underwent surgery Jan. 3, eased into camp work. But the former Pro Bowler will not require a roster move to begin practice. Coupled with the Jones addition, the Bucs will have one of the most accomplished wideout groups in modern NFL history.

While Tampa Bay signing an All-Decade wideout to pair with Tom Brady is not exactly new, given the team’s multiyear partnership with Antonio Brown, Jones brings none of the off-field baggage Brown does. That said, Brown displayed a higher performance level than Jones last season. Jones has seen hamstring trouble sidetrack his career, leading to an absence-laden Titans season and a several-month free agency stay — after Tennessee made the 2021 trade acquisition a cap casualty in March. The Bucs will still take a flier on the player who ripped off the most prolific six-year stretch by a receiver in NFL history.

Jones’ 9,388 receiving yards from 2014-19 are the most in a six-season span ever, but in the 2020s, the former perennial Pro Bowler has missed 14 games. Most of those absences came because of hamstring trouble. Jones’ hamstring issues led him to Tennessee’s IR list in 2021, a season in which he finished with 31 catches for 434 yards and one touchdown. Those were easily career-worst totals for the future Hall of Famer, but the Bucs will attempt to coax a bounce-back effort in Jones’ age-33 season.

The Bucs are making this signing despite rostering Scotty Miller, Breshad Perriman, 2021 fourth-round pick Jaelon Darden and 2020 fifth-round pick Tyler Johnson as well. Miller’s rookie-contract contributions notwithstanding, he is not a lock to make Tampa Bay’s roster. The same can probably be said for Jones, who will need to show — at least during camp and the preseason — he can submit a stretch of healthy work to be part of this talented receiving corps. Jones staying healthy during the preseason should all but assure him a spot on this roster.

Nine Teams Gain Cap Space From Post-June 1 Cuts

Although early June no longer serves as a stretch in which a wave of veterans are released for cap-saving purposes, June 2 still serves as an important calendar date for certain teams annually. Nine teams qualify as beneficiaries this year.

Eleven players were designated as post-June 1 cuts this year, via CBS Sports’ Joel Corry. Due to a longstanding CBA provision, teams that designate players as post-June 1 releases see the dead-money burden lessened for that year. Teams can designate up to two players as post-June 1 releases each year.

Here are 2022’s post-June 1 cuts, along with the belated cap savings the teams picked up Thursday:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Las Vegas Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

As detailed in PFR’s glossary, post-June 1 cuts spread dead-money hits over two years. These teams will be taking on dead money this year and next. A few of the 2023 hits are substantial, but the league’s cap-space hierarchy changed significantly Thursday as well.

Because of multiple restructures, Raiders will carry $9.9MM in Littleton dead money next year. The Cowboys will take on $8.7MM in 2023 for cutting Collins, while the Titans will be hit with $8.4MM for their Jones release. Cleveland, which just gave David Njoku a $14.2MM-per-year deal, will carry a $7.5MM dead-money cost next year due to shedding Hooper’s eight-figure-AAV deal early. The Eagles will be tagged with $11.5MM for their Cox cut, with Corry noting that is the net difference because of a $3.2MM salary cap credit regarding Cox’s 2022 bonus proration. Philadelphia re-signed the perennial Pro Bowler on a one-year, $14MM deal.

Hooper’s release pushes Cleveland’s cap space to beyond $40MM; the Browns’ overall cap-space edge is now a whopping $15MM. That should help the team address multiple needs ahead of training camp. Other teams have more options now, too. As of Thursday, the Raiders hold the NFL’s third-most cap space ($22.5MM, per OverTheCap). The $10MM the Cowboys saved moves them up to fourth in cap space ($22.49MM), while the Bears ($22.2MM), Commanders ($18.4MM) and Seahawks ($17MM) now sit fifth, sixth and seventh.

A handful of this year’s post-June 1 cut crop joined Cox in taking advantage of the modern setup, which allows these cap casualties to become free agents immediately — rather than waiting until June to hit the market. In place since the 2006 CBA, this adjustment let veterans loose early while keeping their cap figures on teams’ payrolls through May. Collins quickly joined the Bengals, while Littleton landed with the Panthers, Hooper signed with the Titans, and Phillips returned to the Bills. The remainder of this group remains unsigned. The savings this lot of teams inherited Thursday may help some of these players’ causes in free agency.

Packers Eyeing Veteran WR Addition?

The initial waves of free agency, as well as the draft, have come and gone but there are still teams looking to add at the receiver position. One of those teams, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, is the Packers. 

When speaking on The Pat McAfee Show, Rapoport predicted that “the Packers are going to be involved in this [receiver] market” (video link). Brand-name players such as Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones and Jarvis Landry are all still available as post-draft free agents, but attention should increasingly be turned towards them in the coming days and weeks. On that point, the latter has recently been named as a target of the Ravens.

Green Bay was able to keep a number of core pieces in place on both sides of the ball this offseason. Two of their most notable departures, though, were of course Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. While they did sign Sammy Watkins in the build-up to the draft, many expected Green Bay to be aggressive in adding further to the position. With the top options off the board by the time of their pair of first-round picks, however, they bolstered their front seven, waiting until Day 2 to trade up for Christian Watson. The following day, Romeo Doubs was selected as well.

Those three join returnees Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Amari Rodgers. Sitting towards the bottom of the league in terms of cap space, Green Bay likely wouldn’t be able to win a bidding war for any of the top remaining options; as Rapoport notes, however, the team would represent an attractive destination on a short-term, incentive-laden deal. As they try to keep their Super Bowl window open as long as possible, then, the Packers will likely still remain a team worth watching at the position.