The Green Bay Packers have reportedly been in multiple trade conversations centered around veteran wide receivers. Most trades in the NFL happen when teams in different situations have complementary needs, so it becomes realistic to make a deal. That might be the case regarding 25-year-old receiver DJ Moore.
On Monday, the Panthers were the first team to fire its head coach this season — Matt Rhule was relieved of his duties, alongside defensive coordinator Phil Snow and special teams coordinator Ed Foley. And, because of several of questionable moves, the Panthers have only nine picks in the next two drafts.
The Packers are in need of a difference-maker at wide receiver. Romeo Doubs has been a good piece, especially for a fourth-round rookie, but the lack of weapons has turned the Packers into the 18th team in the league in dropback EPA to start the season. If they can add a young receiver, it makes sense for the short- and long-term.
You trade for a contract as much as you trade for the player. And, in DJ Moore’s case, it’s a pretty much affordable deal. He signed a three-year, $ 62 million extension this offseason, but his $ 19.5 million signing bonus would be absorbed by the Panthers.
If the Packers traded for Moore during week 6, his cap hit for this season would be mere $ 670k — the Panther gave him the minimum base salary in 2022 for cap purposes. The only guarantees left would be his $ 19.965 million 2023 base salary, plus $ 1.11M of his 2024 salary. Moore is under contract through 2025.
- 2022: $ 670k (or whatever is the share of his total base salary of $ 1.035 this season)
- 2023: $ 20.165 million
- 2024: $ 16.050 million
- 2025: $ 16.050 million
DJ Moore has been a productive young wide receiver, with three consecutive seasons of at least 1,000 yards. At the same time, he’s never scored more than four touchdowns in a year, which could depreciate his value a litle bit. As the trade comes in a time where the Panthers are rebuilding, it probably would cost the Packers more than a second-round pick. The Packers have been hesitant to part ways with high picks, so it’s fair to think Brian Gutekunst wouldn’t want to trade his first-rounder. If there is a deal to be done, it could be a for 2023 2nd-round pick and a 2024 4th-rounder.
First the DJ Moore highlight against the Falcons where he turned on the afterburners
Now one where he stiff arms a Falcon to hell pic.twitter.com/MQqjySn77y
— Edgar Salmingo, Jr. ✌️ (@PanthersAnalyst) October 30, 2020
Moore was a glorified gadget player in his first NFL season, back in 2018. He had 55 receptions for 788 yards, plus 13 rushes for 172 yards. Later, he developed into a more precise route-runner and better receiver overall, with high capacity to generate yards after the catch. As his receiving role grew in Carolina, his number of rushes diminished. However, he is still capable of doing damage as a runner in a Matt LaFleur-system. He’s versatile enough to play as an outside receiver, which has been the Packers most-pressing need.
The Packers probably would be more than happy trading for DJ Moore, even though general manager Brian Gutekunst has been conservative to trade future capital. The Panthers, however, might not be as inclined to make a deal. Even if they are probably go through a rebuild, DJ Moore is exactly the kind of player a rebuilding team wants: he is young, productive (even with a decline in production this year, mostly because of the quarterback play) and is under contract for three more seasons. The Panthers will probably be more willing to trade veteran pieces, like Robbie Anderson. Therefore, Packers fans shouldn’t hold their breath — nonetheless, the front office must be on alert mode to what may be a great market opportunity.