In a recent ESPN article, Jeremy Fowler lists the Green Bay Packers’ signing of Devin Funchess as one of the more underrated moves of the offseason.
As exciting as the 2019 offseason was for the Green Bay Packers with four big free agents signings and two first-round selections, this offseason was quite the opposite.
With big money spent in 2019 and several key free agents in 2021, Green Bay had limited spending power this time around and the result was a few inexpensive, short-term deals. On top of that, in a loaded wide receiver class the Packers would leave the draft with no additions at the position other than Darrell Stewart, an undrafted free agent signee.
As a result, many fans in Packer Nation were quite underwhelmed with how this offseason went. Especially considering that Green Bay was 13-3 last season and ended up just one game shy of the Super Bowl.
However, if you’re looking for a reason to be excited, in a recent article by ESPN (subscription required), Jeremy Fowler lists the Devin Funchess free agent signing as his most underrated moves of the offseason. Here is what Fowler had to say:
“The Green Bay Packers actually did get some receiver help in signing Devin Funchess, whose broken collarbone spoiled his season in Indianapolis. Funchess should be healthy now, and if he can regain his form from 2017, when he posted 840 yards and eight touchdowns as a primary option for Cam Newton in Carolina, his prove-it deal of $2.5 million in Green Bay will be a worthwhile investment.”
Funchess spent the 2019 season in Indianapolis where he was on IR for most of it with a broken collar bone. Prior to that, he was a former second-round pick by the Carolina Panthers where he spent the first four seasons of his NFL career.
During that four year span, Funchess would appear in 61 games totaling 2,233 yards at 13.9 yards per catch with 21 touchdowns. His best individual season came in 2017 where he posted 840 yards and eight touchdowns.
Believe it or not, Funchess is now the second most accomplished receiver on the Green Bay Packers’ roster behind Davante Adams and he will likely compete with Allen Lazard right away for the WR2 role on this team.
While the Funchess addition adds another big receiving target to the mix for Aaron Rodgers, there is also no guarantee that he steps in and produces for this offense either. Funchess is coming off a season where he played in just one game and his best season to date is now three years ago. Additionally, he isn’t the most athletic receiver and drops have plagued him throughout his career.
With that said, as Fowler points out, if Funchess can regain his 2017 form – or close to that – at just $2.5 million for 2020, this signing will look like a steal and he would provide Green Bay with a much-needed boost at the receiver position. And of course, having Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball doesn’t hurt his chances of producing either.