Spackle with trade?

It’s nail-biting time for guys on “the bubble.” The 53-man roster limit needs to be reached by this coming Tuesday. It’s not fun when people lose their jobs, or their dreams. But every pro-athlete knows the risks and competition for roster spots.

Some of the players released will surprise no one.  I’ll never forget when Forrest Gregg released QB Lynn Dickey, or when Ted Thompson shocked us by releasing Guard Josh Sitton. This year, my surprise cut prediction is Josiah Deguara, already one of many questionable Packer 3rd round draft picks.

TBA Packer

Who cares about fringe roster spots anyway? The curiosity should be on players not on the roster, yet.

Packers GM Brian Gutekunst should be looking to shore up a weak position from a position of strength. That means, deal an offensive tackle in the interest of landing a safety or tight end.

The Packers have, arguably, 5-offensive tackles that could start on 15-20 teams across the NFL. While quality tackles are in short supply the Packers boast David Bakhtiari, Zach Tom, Yosh Nijman, Rasheed Walker and Caleb Jones.  Although he’s less proven, Walker appears to have jumped Nijman on the depth chart. If the Packers could get value, trading Nijman makes the most sense.

Thin TE

The Packers future at tight end looks bright. The present looks a bit shaky. Off-season losses of Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis, combined with a season ending knee injury to Tyler Davis leaves the Packers thin at tight end. Draft investments made in Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft are great, but rookies are notoriously slow contributors at the position. The current 3rd TE, Austin Allen, is just a guy, likely suited for the practice squad.

There are too many possible trade targets to guess, but trading for one feels quite possible. They need to replace Davis’s blocking and special teams reliabilty so I wouldn’t expect a big name. If Gutey doesn’t trade, expect a free agent signing like they did last year with Rudy Ford at Safety.

Safety looks unsafe

Speaking of dumpster fires, there’s the safety position.  Darnell Savage will start at one safety spot, due to marginal alternatives. After that you could throw a dart at the others and might hit a guy who will start or get cut. Jonathan Owens, Rudy Ford, Tarvarius Moore and Anthony Johnson Jr. have all looked forgettable, unless your idea of memorable is missed tackles and uninspired play. 7th round pick Johnson Jr. seems a roster lock, as Gutekunst is known to hang onto his picks. But after Savage, there is no obvious second starter.

Yosh Nijman re-signed as a restricted free agent, at a 2nd round tender, which means he’d be low risk at a manageable cost. So many NFL teams are starved for legit left or right tackles, it seems like moving Nijman could return value. I think it’s a move they can and will make. The only question: do they want a better safety, tight-end or to just bank some draft capital?

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