The Green Bay Packers have five wide receivers under contract for next season. Three of them are last year’s draft picks: Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Samori Toure. The other two are Bo Melton and Jeff Cotton. While Watson and Doubs had promising rookie seasons, the Packers will undoubtedly be looking to the free agent market to bring in a veteran wide receiver. Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb are both free agents themselves, but their futures are unknown. Aaron Rodgers wants them back, that is, if he decides he wants to come back and the Packers do not decide to trade him.
No matter who is under center, whether it be Rodgers or Jordan Love, the Packers must sign a free agent wide receiver. They did so last season, signing oft-injured Sammy Watkins, who did not even make it through the season with Green Bay.
Now, the Packers may currently be $16 million over the 2023 salary cap, but do not think for a moment that they will not figure out a way to have enough money to sign a free agent or two. Once they do, given their history, they will likely look at low-risk high-reward free agents. That is, players who may be coming off of injury or down years that they hope bounce back. On such player, Sterling Shepard, just became a free agent after the New York Giants voided his contract.
When Sterling Shepard took a pay cut last offseason, his new contract included an automatic void three days after the Super Bowl. So he becomes a free agent today. The Giants will carry a $4.3M dead money charge for Shepard in 2023.
— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) February 15, 2023
Sterling Shepard Would Be a Typical Green Bay Packers Free Agent Signing
Like Sammy Watkins last offseason, Shepard is coming off of consecutive years in which he failed to even play half of his team’s games in either season.
- 2021: seven games, 36 receptions, 366 yards, one touchdown
- 2022: three games. 13 receptions, 154 yards, one touchdown
Also like Watkins, he has had a couple of seasons in which he has proven to be a highly reliable pass catcher.
- 2016 (rookie season): 16 games, 65 receptions, 683 yards, eight touchdowns
- 2018: 16 games, 66 receptions, 872 yards, four touchdowns
Shepard did not play a full season’s worth of games in any of his other three seasons in the NFL (11 in 2017, 10 in 2019, and 12 in 2020).
Due to his injury history, he will not command a huge contract on the free agent market. However, if he stays healthy, he will be more than worth whatever he makes. This is the same gamble the Packers made with Watkins, and it is more than possible that they try it again with Shepard.
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Will the Green Bay Packers Make the 2023 NFL Playoffs?
According to sportsbooks, the Green Bay Packers are currently ninth overall (+3000) to win the 2024 Super Bowl. This is the highest among 2022 non-playoff teams, signaling they’ll be playoff-bound.
Who Do the Green Bay Packers Play in 2023?
Aside from their divisional opponents (Vikings, Lions, and Bears), whom they place twice, the Packers play the Saints, Buccaneers, Chiefs, Chargers, and Rams at home in 2023. They’ll travel on the road to face the Falcons, Panthers, Broncos, Raiders, Giants, and Steelers.
Who Owns the Green Bay Packers?
The team is owned by Green Bay Packers, Inc., a publicly owned and traded non-profit. There are currently over 360,000 stockholders. Mark Murphy currently holds the role of Packers president and CEO, with plans to retire in 2025.
How Many Super Bowls Have the Packers Won?
The Packers have won four Super Bowls. These victories include Super Bowl 1 and Super Bowl 2 after the 1966 and 1967 seasons. Their next title came in Super Bowl 31, following the 1996 season. Their most recent championship was Super Bowl 45, crowning them the winners of the 2010 season.