Both the Packers and the Eagles faced a lack of depth in the position of the receiver in 2019, so fans of each team expected to make aggressive runs on widespread outs this season.
Instead, Green Bay signed Devin Funchess and did little else to address the weakness, while Philadelphia chose Jalen Reagor in the first round of the NFL Draft 2020 and signed injury-prone Marquise Goodwin without acquiring a more reliable option.
Funchess and Goodwin each announced on Tuesday that they would serve the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That leaves the Packers and Eagles in a somewhat self-induced bond for the first click of the campaign.
MORE: List of NFL players opting out of the season
Green Bay relied heavily on Davante Adams for good reason last year. Adams made 83 catches in 12 games and scored five touchdowns in the regular season. When he’s healthy, he remains one of the NFL’s best receivers.
Beyond Adams, however, is a disappointing mix of pass catchers. Unleashed Iowa state product, Allen Lazard, secured 35 receptions for 477 yards last year, but his lack of hype in the league gives some fear that he’s just a Rodgers creation. Equanimeous St. Brown did not turn out in 2019 after a decent rookie year, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling has so far had the explosiveness but not the consistency to be effective.
Still, the Packers decided to choose quarterback Jordan Love in the first round despite a talented number of college receivers, a decision Rodgers said led him to pour himself some tequila. Now that Funchess is gone, it could be another tough battle for Rodgers to make the attack, especially since the signal caller is probably past his best years.
Although the Eagles Reagor caught on in the draft, they failed to battle the blockbuster reception transactions of DeAndre Hopkins, Stefon Diggs or Brandin Cooks. Their situation was arguably worse in the offseason as they didn’t have an Adams type # 1 option in their selection, and it hasn’t gotten much better.
It is unclear who will be able to throw Carson Wentz every week. It cannot be counted on to keep Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson healthy. Jeffery was even placed on the PUP list on Tuesday. Reagor is a rookie who shouldn’t be expected to carry a huge burden as he adjusts to the NFL. Goodwin has decided that he will not be playing. Eagles fans want Greg Ward Jr.’s show don’t like to experience again – not because Ward is bad, but because he remains a raw talent like Reagor.
So as Green Bay and Philadelphia prepare for playoff pursuits this year, they’re putting up their quarterbacks to be frustrated. The teams are solely to blame for that.