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12/03/2020

Cobb Was Never Replaced


Brian Gutekunst was named general manager of the Green Bay Packers on January 8, 2018. He’s made over 100 personnel moves since that time – some good and some not so good. I listed his 12 best moves earlier this month, and now I’ve spent the past few weeks counting down his worst moves. Here’s No. 3:

I thought Gutekunst’s decision to let free agent Randall Cobb leave was the correct one – even if he were willing to accept the same $5 million contract he agreed to with the Cowboys on March 18, 2019. The fact that the veteran wide receiver went on to have a productive season (55 catches for 828 yards and 3 touchdowns) didn’t change my opinion. Cobb benefitted from playing the majority of his games on a fast track and being surrounded by a bevy of very talented skill players. Neither of those things would’ve been the case had he remained in Green Bay.

Gutekunst’s mistake was not acquiring an adequate replacement. Given the opportunity to sign free agent Jamison Crowder or draft A.J. Brown, he instead decided to hand Cobb’s job to Geronimo Allison. It made little sense at the time – something I pointed out ad nauseam for months. Allison, who became a favorite of the coaches and the beat writers based on four good games to start the ’18 season, had none of the attributes needed to play in the slot. His thin build allowed him to be knocked off route, and his limited burst out of breaks made it difficult to separate against even mediocre cornerbacks. And while his snaps began to dwindle a bit by Thanksgiving, he was still on the field too much considering his glaring lack of production.


Shockingly, Gutekunst still hasn’t replaced Cobb. He had plenty of chances in April’s draft but instead chose a quarterback, a running back, a fullback, and a couple of guards – none of whom will help Aaron Rodgers when pass rushers overwhelm the leaky right side of the O-line, and he needs to get rid of the ball in a hurry. That’s when a QB’s best friend is a quick-as-a-hiccup slot. Instead, Rodgers will be looking at a double-teamed Davante Adams and a bunch of basketball-sized receivers who have yet to get out of their breaks.

#8 – Lowry Regressed After Payday
#7 – Moore Was Less Than Expected
#6 – Turner Needs To Be Better

#5 – Graham Added Little To Offense
#4 – Jackson Faces Make-Or-Break Season

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2 Responses “Cobb Was Never Replaced”

  1. NP40
    08/04/2020 at 6:22 pm

    Signs two big contract FA OLB’s and then incredulously drafts another one to sit the bench for years with the no. 12 pick in the draft. Uses his 1st rd pick the next yr on a guy that won’t start for a couple years, if ever. All this while having a HOF QB. If you set out to intentionally worsen the team in the short run you’d do exactly what Gutekunst has done.

  2. Tom Moshier
    08/05/2020 at 7:42 am

    For those that think Brian Gutekunst is a terrible GM. They’ll cite two themes over and over again. First, he hasn’t done enough at the WR position. And secondly he paid too much for Jimmy Graham. While I’ll buy some of what your selling, fixing the run defense and being precariously thin at tackle are far more glaring needs in my view.

    For me, it’s do you want Aaron Rodgers the stat whore or Aaron Rodgers the super bowl winner? Cuz we’ve had both. In 2011 we went 15-1, Rodgers threw for 45 TD’s and about a million yards and we were bounced out of the playoffs in the divisional round because we couldn’t play defense. Or the 2010 season, when we went 10-6, actually played defense, and won a SB.

    Gutekunst has put his priority on fixing the defense first and has made great strides. When is the last time our defense actually won games for us? I can think of two off the top of my head from last year. On the road in Chicago and Minnesota.

    Gutekunst made FA offers to both Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins who both declined. He tried to trade up this year for a top tier WR in the 1st round. Also in the 2nd round presumably for Denzel Mims. Finding no takers. You can find 3rd and 4th WR on the street or off the practice squad. See Allan Lazard. You can’t find a starting OT or DT. Which seems to me, more the priority.

    And for the record, John Dorsey was an awful GM. I would not bring him back in any capacity. How do you have the first and fourth pick in the first round of the 2017 draft and not draft either Sam Darnold or Saquon Barkley? A good GM gets both. Instead Dorsey drafts a small QB and a small CB. Trades for OBJ, the Antonio Brown of his generation. Then hires Freddie Kitchens as head coach who makes Ray Rhodes look like a task master. Last year the Cleveland Browns made the Oakland Raiders look like a well disciplined team. And don’t get me started on the over rated John Schneider…..

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About Michael Rodney

Packers Notes is the creation of Michael Rodney, who has been writing about the Green Bay Packers for close to 30 years. His first blog, Packer Update, hit the internet in 2006. Before becoming a public educator, Rodney worked as a journalist for a couple of newspapers in his home state of New Jersey. He's had numerous articles on the Packers published and he's been featured on both television and radio over the years.