Whether the Green Bay Packers are in full rebuild mode or in a post-Aaron Rodgers restructuring, the reality is that the team that takes the field this season will be very different from the one that played last season.
A big part of the new-look Packers will have to come via trade as the team has chosen to be quiet in the free agent market this offseason. And there are plenty of holes that need to be filled for this team to be playoff-viable.
The Packers, though, could be one phone call away from having a veteran impact player in the person of Houston Texans defensive end Jerry Hughes.
Among the biggest needs for the Packers this offseason is the need to improve their pass rush. Losing Rashan Gary to injury last season was a big blow and it left Preston Smith as the only defender consistently getting to the quarterback. Upgrades are definitely needed.
Adding an impact pass rusher to play opposite Smith is a must. Jerry Hughes would be an ideal addition to the Packers and, best of all, it probably wouldn’t take all that much in terms of trade compensation to acquire him. Realistically, he could probably be had from the rebuild-minding Texans for as little as a Day 3 pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
Hughes, a 13-year veteran and first round Indianapolis Colts pick from TCU in 2010, will be turning 35 in August and is entering the final year of his contract. He’ll likely be trade fodder for the Texans, who finished 3-13 last season. It certainly doesn’t make much sense to keep a fairly high-priced veteran around when he’d have more value to the franchise as a vehicle for acquiring young talent.
Although definitely not in his prime anymore, Hughes notched 9 sacks last season and is still proving himself to be a valuable asset on defense. Regarded as a hard worker and an on the field leader with a high football IQ, he can be an impact player, especially on a team not so deep in rebuild mode as the Texans. Even as a one-year rental of a player, he should still have significant trade value and the Packers would be wise to get to him before other teams come knocking and his trade value goes up.