Devin Funchess is a Piece to the Puzzle, Not the Answer

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 14: Devin Funchess #17 of the Carolina Panthers makes a catch over Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins at FedExField on October 14, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 14: Devin Funchess #17 of the Carolina Panthers makes a catch over Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins at FedExField on October 14, 2018 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

The signing of Devin Funchess isn’t going to fix the Green Bay Packers’ need for a WR, but it’s a low-risk move for a player that has shown he can produce.

We all know that the Green Bay Packers need an infusion of speed and playmaking ability at the receiver position, but with NFL free agency nearly a week old at the time, many had wondered if they were ever going to make a move or not.

Big names like Robby Anderson and Emmanuel Sanders, that many fans had hoped were brought in, instead signed elsewhere as the wide receiver market began to thin out.

However, when it seemed like Green Bay may just stay put and wait for the draft, they reportedly made the under the radar addition of Devin Funchess, who up to this point, has had an up and down career as many will point out.

After signing a one year – $10 million deal in 2019 to play in Indianapolis, he would appear in just one game before injuring his collar-bone and missing the remainder of the season. On top of that, drops have been a huge issue for Funchess as Pro Football Focus (subscription required) credits him with 23 over his first four seasons and he has a career catch rate of just over 50 percent.

Additionally, he doesn’t create much separation, the drops have made him largely inconsistent over his career, and at 6’4″ – 225 pounds, he’s another big receiver when most will agree that what Green Bay needs is speed.

So given all of that, it’s easy to ask the question: why did the Green Bay Packers sign him?

Well for one, while of course we all want a high-profile addition, Funchess is a depth signing. Leaving the draft with at least two wide receivers and selecting one within the first two rounds still remains a priority. It’s hard to envision Green Bay going into the 2020 season with Funchess as their No. 2 option.

Now, we all hope that he turns into that and I think the potential is there, but it shouldn’t be expected. And if it is, well, that’s how you end up with the issues that we saw in 2019.

It’s also worth pointing out that despite Funchess’ shortcomings, behind Davante Adams he is the most accomplished receiver on this roster right now. During his first four seasons in Carolina, Funchess hauled in over 2,200 receiving yards at nearly 14 yards per catch with 21 touchdowns. His best individual season came in 2017 when he totaled 840 yards and eight touchdown receptions.

And with his big frame, Funchess gives Aaron Rodgers another red zone target, especially from the slot. Of his 21 career touchdown receptions, 16 have come in the red zone.

So with all of that said, was this an exciting move made by Green Bay? Not at all, but most aren’t going to be. However, at just 25-years-old Funchess should still have his prime years ahead of him and he has shown that he can produce in the NFL. Which is more than what most of the current Packer receivers can say.

Not to mention that he isn’t going to break the bank as it was mentioned by Tom Silverstein of Packers News that he could be signing for the veteran minimum exception. And this is important for Green Bay who is low on spendable cap space at the moment.

If early on in the draft the Green Bay Packers can add Denzel Mims, Jalen Reagor, or Brandon Aiyuk, for example, one of those players coupled with Adams, Funchess, Allen Lazard, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling has this receiving corps certainly looking better than what it was.

Next. Pros & Cons to Signing Devin Funchess. dark

In the end, the addition of Funchess doesn’t solve Green Bay’s lack of playmaking ability at receiver, but he is a piece to the puzzle and ultimately, this is a low-risk move for the Packers. And keep in mind, with the addition of the Smiths and Adrian Amos last offseason, along with David Bakhtiari, Corey Linsley, Kevin King, Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, and Kenny Clark all free agents after 2020, Green Bay isn’t in the best position to be spending a ton of money in free agency right now.

All stats and info courtesy of Spotrac, Pro Football Reference, and Pro Football Focus