Green Bay Packers’ wide receiver Devin Funchess has opted out of the 2021 NFL season, and these three free agents could replace him on the roster.
With NFL training camps set to start, many players are forced to face reality and make tough life decisions about whether they should play this season. For Green Bay Packers‘ wide receiver Devin Funchess, that means he’ll sit out the upcoming season due to health concerns.
Funchess was the Packers’ biggest acquisition at their biggest position of need this offseason. His departure makes an already thin unit even thinner. In his absence, let’s take a look at three free agents Green Bay could chase to replace him.
3. Tavon Austin
Tavon Austin isn’t nearly as dynamic as he once was, and is far from a polished receiver. However, he brings a ton of flexibility and creativity to any offense he’s on. His ability to play from the slot, take handoffs or just be dangerous with the ball in his hands would be a welcomed addition to a Packers’ offense that lacks playmakers outside of Davante Adams and Aaron Jones. Austin may not be anything close to a traditional receiver, but he is a better playmaker than a lot of skill players Green Bay currently has.
2. Jordan Matthews
Jordan Matthews is very similar to the receivers the Packers currently have on their roster. He’s tall, long and not very fast. Those may not seem attractive at first glance, but he’s great at using his height to get in between himself and defenders when the ball is in the air. After getting drafted in the second round in 2014, he got off to a hot start to his career and proved himself as an up and coming player. Unfortunately, injuries and the drops have plagued his career since. He’d be a low-risk, medium-reward type player for Green Bay to roll the dice on.
1. Taylor Gabriel
Behind Josh Gordon, Taylor Gabriel is probably the best wide receiver remaining in free agency. After going from the Atlanta Falcons to the Chicago Bears in 2018, he put up career numbers with 67 receptions for 688 yards. Unfortunately, he couldn’t capitalize on his momentum and had a down 2019 campaign which ultimately led to his release.
He’s not as fast as he once was, but he could still bring some much-needed speed to the Packers’ receiver group. At 5-foot-7, he’d also fit in nicely in the slot between Davante Adams and Allen Lazard. He’s not the traditional receiver Green Bay likes, but he could zig where they have otherwise zagged.