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.