Per Adam Schefter, WR Allen Hurns has been cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars after just two seasons playing under the massive four-year, $40 million contract extension he signed in the 2016 off-season. That contract was the product of Hurns blowing up in 2015 with 64 catches, 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns.
In the subsequent seasons, however, Hurns was plagued with hamstring and ankle injuries that caused him to miss 11 of a possible 32 regular season games. Hurns had cap hits of $6.9 million, $7.9 million and $9.55 million over 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively, but none of that money was guaranteed.
Along with those big cap hits for Hurns, the Jaguars saw Marqise Lee emerge last year, they signed former Colts receiver Donte Moncrief, and they have promising youngsters Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole waiting in the wings. Therefore, the decision to release Hurns seemed like an easy one for the Jags.
It makes me wonder, though, would a healthy Allen Hurns be the boundary wideout the Packers need?
With the release of Jordy Nelson, the Packers depth chart would likely slot Geronimo Allison opposite of Davante Adams. That’s probably fine because Aaron Rodgers has the Midas touch when it comes to making receivers look like real NFL players, but Allison’s career numbers aren’t very inspiring. In three seasons, Allison has 455 yards and two touchdowns.
To be fair, Allison is just 24 and he’s played behind Adams and Nelson to this point in his career, but Hurns has already proved that he can be a legitimate WR2 option.
He’s a big target, listed at 6-foot-3, and has put on weight since he came out of the University of Miami (the good kind of weight). He fights hard after the catch and can break through the weaker tackles of corners. He also has a knack for making athletic catches and a few of his best highlights suggest he understands situational football.
I’ve said it about Allen Robinson and I’ll say it with Hurns too: imagine what he can do with a quarterback not named ‘Blake Bortles.’ He probably does less body-contorting to catch bad throws, but it’s nice to know he has that ability.
I imagine the Packers are still trying to address the cornerback position in some way, but that doesn’t mean they should take an eye off the offense. At this point it’s essentially Adams and a bunch of slot guys, and that includes new addition: Jimmy Graham.
It’s worth noting that the 2015 Jaguars finished 5-11 and there’s an argument to be made that a lot of Hurns’ (and Robinson’s and Bortles’) production that year came in garbage time. Looking closer at the numbers, however, Hurns posted 64 receptions for 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns in 15 games (starting 14), posting a 61% catch rate and 16.1 yards per catch. In just his second season, those numbers feel less “flukey” and more of a sign of things to come.
The Packers have the cap space, though, to build a contract that pays big up front, but also one they can escape from later if necessary. The Packers’ NFC North rivals in Minnesota look more poised to take a step forward on defense than backwards, so Green Bay might as well start loading up on firepower.
The true King in the North needs more weapons.