11 Wide Receivers the Packers could Trade for to Boost Offense

Sep 19, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks (13) runs the ball for a first down against the Cleveland Browns during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 19, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks (13) runs the ball for a first down against the Cleveland Browns during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /

The NFL trade deadline is quickly approaching, and as is often the case, a lot of eyes are on the Green Bay Packers.

However, unlike in years past when a wide receiver addition could help put them over the top as a Super Bowl contender, this year, the move would be made to help salvage a season that is quickly deteriorating.

Green Bay’s offense is currently averaging just 18.3 points per game, which includes a total of 24 points over their last 10 quarters of action. Far too often, even getting a first down feels like an impossible task, and while there is a myriad of reasons why, a big factor is the play of the receiver position.

As Aaron Rodgers pointed out following the loss to Washington, there are still too many mental errors, which includes running the wrong routes, stems, and releases. The proper route adjustments aren’t always being made either, which can simply be a product of the lack of experience that this unit has.

By no means does the addition of one wide receiver turn Green Bay into an immediate contender, as there will still be plenty of other issues that have to be corrected. So one could argue that trading for a receiver in a season where the Super Bowl seems out of reach isn’t the prudent decision to make.

However, if Brian Gutekunst wants to do everything he can to try and right the ship, here are 11 receivers the Packers could target before Tuesday’s trade deadline.

KJ Hamler – Denver

The 2020 second-round pick just hasn’t been able to find playing time in Denver for the last two seasons. During that span, Hamler has caught 10 passes on 22 targets for 184 yards per PFF ($$). Hamler can play both out of the slot and on the boundary and would provide a downfield threat.

With Hamler still on his rookie deal, he comes with a reasonable cap hit of $1.94 million in 2022 and is under contract in 2023.

Jerry Jeudy – Denver

With Denver off to a worse start than the Packers, would they be willing to trade Jerry Jeudy? Of the receivers on this list, Jeudy has the most upside. Jeudy totaled 856 yards during his rookie season in 2020, but this year he has caught just 52% of his 46 targets at 16.1 yards per catch with two touchdowns.

Like Hamler, Jeudy is still on his rookie deal and has a cap hit of $4.14 million this season while still being under contract next year as well.

Elijah Moore – New York Jets

Supposedly the Jets don’t have any interest in trading Moore, who is no longer happy with his role, but I suppose you never know. Moore has hauled in 16 of 27 passes at 12.7 yards per reception this season. He totaled 538 yards as a rookie in 2021.

Moore’s cap hit this year, and next is again affordable for the Packers at $2.4 million and $2.8 million, respectively.

Denzel Mims – New York Jets

Another member of the Jets looking for a way out. After seeing only 19 targets in 2021, Mims has just two this season and has often been inactive on game day. Coming out of Baylor, he was someone who very much fit the mold of the prototypical big-bodied receiver that the Packers typically covet.

Including 2022, Mims has two years left on his rookie deal, and relatively cheap cap hits each year under $2 million.

Kenny Golladay – New York Giants

Golladay has fallen out of favor with the new Giants’ coaching staff, seeing action in only four games this season with just six targets. Packers fans will remember Golladay from his time in Detroit, where he was a home run threat and had two seasons with over 100 targets.

After receiving a massive deal from the Giants, trading for Golladay makes little sense for the Packers from a salary cap perspective. He has cap hits north of $21 million in each of the next three seasons–a lot of money for this level of production.

Marquez Callaway – New Orleans

Callaway averaged 15.2 yards per catch in 2021 on 81 targets but has only 11 receptions this season. He has the potential to add some needed playmaking to the Packers’ offense.

As a 2020 undrafted rookie, Callaway is playing on a one-year deal and has a cap number of less than $1 million.

Brandin Cooks – Houston

It’s not officially an NFL trade deadline without Brandin Cooks’ name being out there as a possible trade candidate. Cooks would provide Aaron Rodgers with a much-needed reliable target in the passing game–someone he could lean on in high-leverage situations.

With that said, after just signing an extension with Houston, Cooks’ cap hit in 2022 is $26.6 million, and $24.6 million in 2023. Unless the Texans are going to take on a large portion of his contract, this is a move that doesn’t make sense.

Chase Claypool – Pittsburgh

Claypool is a player that ESPN has suggested that the Packers acquire for some time. He has big play ability and would give Green Bay a true deep threat, something that this Packers offense very much needs right now.

Claypool is still on his rookie deal, so his cap hit of about $2 million can easily be fit into this Packers team, although he may be looking for an extension wherever he ends up.

DJ Moore – Carolina

DJ Moore has been a focal point of the Carolina offense for several years, and in terms of providing the most immediate impact for the Packers, he is at the top of the list. Moore has caught 27 of 48 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns this season. He has eclipsed the 1,100-yard receiving mark in each of the previous three seasons.

As I wrote recently, the Packers could squeeze Moore’s $6.11 million cap hit for 2022 onto the books, but the issue would be in the coming years. In 2023, that cap hit balloons to $25 million and then just under $21 million in 2024 and 2025.

Kendrick Bourne – New England

Bourne would be a very good fit for the Matt LaFleur offense with his ability to line up just about anywhere, along with picking up YAC. He would add a new element to this offense. This season, Bourne has just 11 receptions on 14 targets but had 70-plus targets in each of the previous two years.

Bourne is under contract through 2023 and has cap hits of $6.4 million in 2022 and $6.9 million next season.

AJ Green – Arizona

Green was available for most of last season and totaled 848 receiving yards. However, now at 34, he has struggled to find targets and has caught just 10 passes this season and for only 56 yards. At this stage of Green’s career, this addition does not move the needle, although his cap hits in 2022 and 2023 are at least minimal at a few million dollars.

All contract info via Over the Cap