Packers' Top Trade Candidates Ahead of 2021 Training Camp

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2021

Packers' Top Trade Candidates Ahead of 2021 Training Camp

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    Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

    The biggest storyline surrounding the Green Bay Packers is the uncertain future of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The NFL MVP is unhappy with the franchise, and his rift with the Packers isn't expected to heal anytime soon.

    "Probably not going to happen until the start of training camp," NFL Media's Ian Rapoport said on NFL Network's Total Access about finding a solution to the situation.

    While Green Bay is preparing to learn Rodgers' fate, it also has much to prepare for the 2021 season. The Packers have a championship-caliber roster and should do everything they can to ensure that it can compete with either Jordan Love or Blake Bortles under center instead of Rodgers. That could include acquiring some additional pieces via trade before or during training camp.

    Of course, trades require trade capital, and here we'll examine three trade candidates the Packers should consider heading into camp.

WR Devin Funchess

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    The Packers signed wideout Devin Funchess as a free agent last offseason, and there's a chance he could be a big contributor this year. The big-bodied possession man could be a fine complement to receivers like Davante Adams and Marquez-Valdes Scantling. Green Bay is at least interested in seeing what he has to offer.

    "We are excited about him and just the depth that he adds to that room, the competition that he brings to that room," head coach Matt LaFleur said of Funchess, per Steve Megargee of the Associated Press.

    After opting out of the 2020 season, however, there's no guarantee that Funchess will have a significant place in the receiving corps. Adams is the clear No. 1 receiver, while Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard have emerged as quality options over the past couple of seasons.

    The Packers also have an emerging tight end in Robert Tonyan and used a third-round pick on wideout Amari Rodgers. If Funchess appears to be a luxury the Packers don't need, they could likely get something in return via a trade while also saving $1.2 million in cap space, per Spotrac.

CB Josh Jackson

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    Cornerback Josh Jackson's future in Green Bay is murky at best. The Iowa product was a second-round draft pick in 2018 and appeared in all 16 games as a rookie with 10 starts. However, he has fallen out of favor over the past two seasons.

    In 2019, Jackson played just 10 percent of the defensive snaps. He played 32 percent of the snaps last year but only made five starts. With the Packers using a first-round pick on cornerback Eric Stokes this offseason, Jackson could fall even further out of the game plan.

    With Jackson entering the final year of his rookie deal, he immediately becomes a potential trade or cut candidate. If the Packers don't view him as a long-term piece of the defensive puzzle, parting with him now would make some sense—and Spotrac notes that doing so would save roughly $1.2 million in cap space.

    Cornerback depth is always valuable, so if Jackson ends up on the trade block, some team is likely to come calling with an offer.

QB Aaron Rodgers

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    This is the obvious one. Rodgers wants out, and his stance hasn't changed.

    "Rodgers has told those he trusts that he is done with the Packers, won't play for them again, has no intention of showing up for any of their football activities—voluntary or mandatory," Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote earlier in June.

    Now, to be clear, the Packers should have no interest in moving the reigning MVP unless they have no chance of starting him in 2021. They are a Super Bowl contender with Rodgers under center and more of an unknown without him.

    Yet it's becoming increasingly evident that Rodgers may be content to sit out the season rather than suit up for Green Bay. If he refuses to show up during camp, the Packers should go ahead and begin the Jordan Love era while getting everything they can for Rodgers.

    Seeing as how Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in football and a first-ballot Hall of Famer, Green Bay can expect a lot in return if he is placed on the trading block.

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