Let’s knock one point out right away.
The Green Bay Packers build their teams through the draft, not via free agency or trades. They’ll trade back in a draft to gain more assets, but it’s not in their nature to make a splashy trade to for a quick fix.
However, when a solid player is made available, it’s fun for a moment to imagine that Ted Thompson would make a move to trade for them or to sign them via free agency. Think back to 2010, when Marshawn Lynch was made available and the Packers were thought to be heavy favorites to land Beast Mode. Seattle ended up getting him for a 2011 fourth-round pick and a conditional 2012 pick. The Packers were rumored to be in the market for a package like that to acquire Lynch from Buffalo.
This year, that same team that offered up Lynch is making several moves to clear out its roster. There’s a fire sale in Buffalo, and draft picks appear to be the currency. Here’s a list of who they’ve dealt so far, and what they got in return:
- LB Reggie Ragland (second-round pick in 2016) to Kansas City for a 2019 4th round pick
- WR Sammy Watkins (fourth overall pick in 2014) to the L.A. Rams for CB E.J. Gaines and a 2018 2nd round pick
- CB Ronald Darby (second-round pick in 2015) to Philadelphia for WR Jordan Matthews and a 2018 3rd round pick
- QB Cardale Jones to the L.A. Chargers for a conditional 7th round pick
While they acquired a couple players in these deals, the real value chips were the draft picks that Buffalo is gathering to put in their war chest. Notably, though, are that these aren’t just borderline practice squad guys. They are players that have been selected in recent years to be foundational pieces of this team. This team appears to be tanking without actually throwing games.
Can the Packers get in on this?
There are a few players the Packers could benefit from having on the team either as key pieces, or to help shore up the depth. Let’s iron out a few options.
Shaq Lawson, DE
Lawson was the first-round pick of the Bills last year and it’s hard to tell whether or not he’s still going to be a foundational piece moving forward given that Buffalo has traded other young players. If something happened to Clay Matthews, or if Nick Perry’s injury is far more serious than initially estimated; the Packers have a pass rush problem. Lawson adds youth and depth to the position. He can put his hand on the turf or play as an outside linebacker in the Packers’ scheme.
Cordy Glenn, T
Yes, Cordy Glenn has had some recent injury issues, but if those can be kept under control then Glenn would be a solid addition to another Packer unit that’s one injury away from breaking entirely. The Packers are fairly set at the starting tackle positions, but if Bakhtiari gets injured, then Green Bay fans will have nightmares of Jason Spriggs protecting Aaron Rodgers’ blind side given his struggles this preseason. Glenn also played 28 games at left guard and four at right guard in college so he has positional flexibility along the offensive line.
Marcell Dareus, DT
Can you imagine Mike Daniels and Marcell Dareus anchoring the Packers’ defensive line? Dom Capers could get creative with this one! Dareus is a double-team consuming force on the line and he’s one of the better sack producing tackles in the league. Dareus a blue-chip talent, but he’s also probably the next player on the Bills’ chopping block. He’s disliked his playing time in Buffalo and more recently, hasn’t been in the good graces of the organization. It’s not like the Packers to add a guy that may have an attitude problem, but sometimes a change of scenery and playing for a consummate winner can do wonders for a players attitude.