Both the Packers and Eagles suffered from lack of depth at the receiver position in 2019, leading fans to expect each team to make aggressive runs at wideouts this offseason.
Instead, Green Bay signed Devin Funchess and did little else to address its weakness, while Philadelphia picked Jalen Reagor in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft and signed injury prone Marquise Goodwin without acquiring a more dependable option.
Funchess and Goodwin each announced Tuesday they would sit out the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That leaves the Packers and Eagles in somewhat self-inflicted binds before the first snap of the campaign.
MORE: List of NFL players opting out of season
Green Bay leaned heavily on Davante Adams last year for good reason. Adams made 83 catches in 12 games and scored five regular-season touchdowns. When healthy, he continues to be one of the NFL’s best receivers.
Beyond Adams, though, is an underwhelming mix of pass catchers. Undrafted Iowa State product Allen Lazard secured 35 receptions for 477 yards last year, but his lack of hype entering the league provides some fear he’s merely a Rodgers creation. Equanimeous St. Brown didn’t suit up in 2019 after a decent rookie year, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling has so far possessed the explosiveness but not the consistency to be effective.
Yet the Packers decided to pick quarterback Jordan Love in the first round despite a talented crop of college receivers available, a decision Rodgers said led him to pour himself some tequila. With Funchess gone, it could be another uphill battle for Rodgers to make the offense click, particularly because the signal-caller is probably beyond his best years.
While the Eagles did nab Reagor in the draft, they failed to enter the fray on the blockbuster receiver trades of DeAndre Hopkins, Stefon Diggs or Brandin Cooks. Their situation was arguably worse entering the offseason because they didn’t have an Adams-type No. 1 option on their roster, and it hasn’t gotten much better.
It’s unclear who Carson Wentz will be able to throw to on any given week. Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson can’t be counted on to remain healthy. Jeffery, in fact, was placed on the PUP list Tuesday. Reagor is a rookie who should not be expected to shoulder a huge load as he adjusts to the NFL. Goodwin has decided he won’t play. Eagles fans are not keen experiencing the Greg Ward Jr. show again — not because Ward is bad, but because like Reagor he remains a raw talent.
So as Green Bay and Philadelphia gear up for playoff pursuits this year, they are setting up their quarterbacks to be frustrated. The teams only have themselves to blame for that.