Brian Gutekunst was named GM of the Packers on January 8, 2018. He’s made over 100 personnel moves since that time – some good and some bad. I’ll be listing his best moves over the course of the next few weeks. Here’s No. 7:
After watching Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Kentrell Brice and Jermaine Whitehead take turns blowing coverages and missing tackles during the ’18 season, Gutekunst was determined to upgrade the safety position. He started on March 13, 2019, by signing Adrian Amos to a four-year contract worth over $37 million. The deal made the former Penn State star one of the highest-paid safeties in the league – not too shabby for a player who didn’t make an All-Pro team or even play in a single Pro Bowl in his four seasons with the Bears.
Amos’ first season in Green Bay wasn’t quite as productive as his last in Chicago, but he provided a young secondary with the veteran presence it very much needed. While the 27-year-old didn’t make many big plays, his reliability helped reduce the number of big plays the defense allowed. It was a welcome change from the season before when wide receivers were running through the Packers’ secondary on a weekly basis.
I’ve been tough on Gutekunst for many reasons – one of which is the haphazard way he’s put together the roster – but he deserves credit for how he rebuilt the safety position. Pairing Amos with Darnell Savage is close to perfect, and if last year’s No. 1 pick develops as expected, this duo has a chance to be among the best in the NFL. Amos is physical and reliable, and Savage is athletic and daring. And while Gutekunst had to overpay to begin the rebuilding process at safety, it’s hard to argue he didn’t get exactly what he paid for.