Funchess Agrees To Pay Cut

Wide receiver Devin Funchess, who opted out of last season due to the coronavirus, has agreed to a $750,000 pay cut and will return to the Green Bay Packers in 2021.

Funchess hasn’t played a snap in the NFL since fracturing his clavicle on Sept. 8, 2019, while a member of the Colts. Prior to signing a one-year deal worth $10 million with Indianapolis, the former Michigan star spent the first four seasons of his career in Carolina.

The Panthers selected Funchess 41st overall in the 2015 draft, but he’s never had more than 63 catches, 840 yards, or 8 TDs in a season. While blessed with terrific size (6-4, 225), strong hands, and the spatial awareness to pick apart zones, his lack of speed (4.65) keeps him from being much of a threat down the field. He’s caught only 15 passes over 20 yards in 62 games. For the sake of comparison, Marquez Valdes-Scantling has 22 receptions over 20  yards in 48 games. And Funchess’ yards per target of 7.2 is well below Allen Lazard’s career number of 9.4.

Agreeing to a pay cut will likely get Funchess to training camp with the Packers, but he’ll have to fight just to make the roster. Valdes-Scantling, Lazard, and All-Pro Davante Adams are locks to be part of the final 53, so Funchess will be competing with returnees Equanimeous St. Brown, Malik Taylor, Reggie Begelton, Juwann Winfree, Chris Blair, and any other receivers acquired between now and the end of August for what figures to be two or three jobs.

By reducing Funchess’ salary by $750K, the Packers now find themselves about $8.7 million above the salary cap. They have until next Friday to figure out a way to get under the cap. Extending Adams, restructuring quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and moving on from outside linebacker Preston Smith are all distinct possibilities in the coming days.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. It’s tough to count on a guy who has missed two consecutive seasons. That being said, the risk is low. I guess I’d rather see a quicker player take his spot, but obviously GB is continuing to put an emphasis on size and blocking at the wideout position.

  2. There’s no downside to letting him compete in camp, but I agree about needing at least one quicker receiver. Hopefully, Gutekunst will draft a player like that next month.

  3. The wide receiver room will look like an NBA team. The smallest receivers are like 6 foot 2. I get why big receivers are desirable, but so are receivers like Randall Cobb. Also, a smaller and quicker receiver could help out on returns.

  4. I think it’s a smart move. One that could have a really big impact on our team. Either way though, this is a move that doesn’t seem to have any major downside.

    Thanks for your insight and hard work.

    Take care of yourself and have a wonderful evening.

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Packers Notes is the creation of Michael Rodney, who has been writing about the Green Bay Packers for over 30 years. His first blog, Packer Update, hit the internet in 2004. Before becoming a public educator, Rodney worked as a journalist for a couple of newspapers in his home state of New Jersey and covered the Philadelphia Eagles for WTXF-TV. He's had numerous articles on the Packers published, and he's been featured on both television and radio over the years.
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