The Funchess Move Made Sense for Many Reasons

 

Contrary to some opinions, the Devin Funchess signing made plenty of sense. The Green Bay Packers potentially added a solid perimeter option to the offense, and they did it at very little cost.
 
The contract details took a little while to surface, but it is was worth wait. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, it is a base total of $2.5 million for one year with a maximum total of $6.25 if Funchess hits all of his incentives. Last year, he signed a deal worth $10 million with the Indianapolis Colts after having a down year in 2018. His current deal is a good bargain, especially in the present-day wide receiver market for a guy that is still just 25 years of age.
 
Funchess didn’t have a chance to live up to his contract with the Colts after a broken collarbone limited him to one game. However, if he can stay healthy and produce average numbers, say 600 yards and five touchdowns, Green Bay will be ok with that, and so should the fans.
 
A lot of people may argue against this, but Funchess could already be the number two option for Aaron Rodgers. Yes, I am counting golden boy Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Equanimeous St. Brown. For Lazard homers, this a tough pill to swallow, I know.
 
Lazard is solid, and he could go on to have a better career than Funchess. The same goes for Valdes-Scantling and St. Brown. However, all of this remains to be seen. 
 
Funchess is a former second-round pick with great size (6’4”, 225 lbs) and has at least two seasons of 500 yards and four touchdowns. No current Packers’ receiver outside of Davante Adams can say they have a better body of work. And please, spare us your comments about his speed. There’s a lot more to being a wide receiver in the NFL.
 
No one is saying Funchess has the job locked up, that he is going to ignite the offense or anything like that. However, the ones who hate the signing need to see the reasoning behind it because it epitomizes low risk, high reward. Green Bay paid almost nothing for a player that can emerge as the second option or at least serve as a security blanket.
 
Not to mention, the Funchess signing also opens up their possibilities during the draft. GM Brian Gutekunst doesn’t seem like a guy who would feel pressured into making a pick, but with the Funchess deal now official, he may feel like he has a little more wiggle room in a deep wide receiver class.
 
Basically, any way you cut it, the Funchess move was a good call.   

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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Comments (92)

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 30, 2020 at 06:18 am

I think Funchess is something of an unknown to a lot of Packer fans; I suggest you go to YouTube and watch a few of his highlight videos. Unlike Valdes-Scantling, Funchess is a great contested-ball receiver, who uses his size like a basketball player. He's huge for a WR, and a good blocker, which Lafleur clearly values, but he also is a good deep threat on posts, etc. Highlights don't show his drops, but they show his considerable talents and potential (as he's only 25),
There will be some very good WRs picked in rounds 4-7 in this draft, and I'd be fine with the Packers not taking any until 5 or later, because I think the Adams/Funchess/Lazard/Kumerow/Begelton/St Brown room is already pretty good for this offense, and the team could really use OT, DL, ILB, TE and even CB and S/LB hybrid and Center as much as WR in my opinion.

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Cheesey51's picture

March 30, 2020 at 06:44 am

Great reply. He is iffy coming off collarbone injury. If he can return to using his size and blocking abilities and to the way he was unstoppable against the packers in the first meeting with Carolina ,I'd see this as a steal of a signing. Still need another weapon from this deep draft class TE

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Guam's picture

March 30, 2020 at 08:28 am

I also like the Funchess signing, but the Packers still need one more really good WR for two reasons: (1) Funchess is a one year rental and the Packers will likely not be able to afford him next year given everyone else they need to resign and (2) Kumerow/Begelton/ESB are unproven, MVS is questionable and Lazard has one decent season under his belt. I see the Packers adding another WR at #1 or #2.

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dobber's picture

March 30, 2020 at 08:35 am

I'll add...
3) Davante Adams' contract expires after the 2021 season (he'll turn 30 mid 2022) and they'll need to start grooming another WR in case he starts to lose a step or the cap won't allow a re-sign (his cap number in 2021 is $16M). Even if they extend Adams (which could still happen to cut his cap numbers), they need to have a better runningmate because Adams has taken some monster hits. IMO the Packers were fortunate to go 4-0 without him in 2019.

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Coldworld's picture

March 30, 2020 at 10:50 am

Absolutely, now is the time to invest in WR. In doing so, it’s important that we do not overreach though. Early round talent is needed for the future though.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 30, 2020 at 10:47 am

I don't disagree that the Packers could use a great receiver, but look at our DL and ILBs and I see VERY little quality/depth. It's possible that the non-starter OL on the roster have shown potential in practices, but I'd be surprised if Gute is thinking that the DL or ILB are comfortably set. If a very good OT, C, DL, or ILB is there at 30 or 62 I'm taking them over an equivalent WR.

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hobowilly's picture

March 30, 2020 at 04:48 pm

Amen. Agree. Let's not forget GB has a new WR coach in Jason Vrable so IMHO, that is a factor as well; Key thing here is believing in Gutey and his team to land 2-4 players that can contribute next season. Kind of obvious to most their key need is to strengthen up their middle defense and i don't think Burks is no where close to the answer. I'm hoping Kirksey can start/be @ least as productive as Blake but more impactful.
--i trust Gutey to select (particularly this draft) BPN (best player of NEED) so let's watch and it may not be his first selection guys.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 30, 2020 at 12:26 pm

You don't pass over a WR from this class in the high rounds. You have to get a blue chip if available. I would bag TWO.
After Funchess and Lazard, not much on the shelf. Hopefully Equan comes back healthy. He can battle for the three spot.

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murf7777's picture

March 30, 2020 at 03:41 pm

I think you are passing on MVS too quickly. Yes, he had a down year, but he is young. Many passed on Adams and Nelson after year two and look how they developed. You can even add Driver to the list. Not saying he will but another year and who knows.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 30, 2020 at 06:57 pm

There is no way MVS compares to Adams as a second year player. Adams came in as a rookie and contributed. His second season he was playing with a bad ankle. You have Adams , Lazard, Funchess, #1 ,or #2 draft pick , #4 draft pick and Equan making this squad.

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The_Justicar's picture

March 31, 2020 at 11:43 am

Adams first two years....88 catches for 929 yards and 4 touchdowns
MVS first two years...64 catches for 1033 yards and 4 touchdowns

Yes, Adams came in and contributed as a rookie. So did MVS. Adams had more tds as a rookie (3 vs 2) but had less yards and less yards per catch

Yes, Adams was Impacted by an injury year 2. So was MVS. And had similar stats year 2.

If I recall pretty much every fan site nicknamed devante ‘dropvante’ after year 2. I recall more posts wanting him cut vs waiting on him to improve.

Will MVS turn the corner? I don’t have much faith that he will. But to say no way MVS compares to Adams first two years is flat out wrong.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 02, 2020 at 07:44 pm

Footwork, burst off the line, route running, three seasons with Carr at Fresno State dominating that conference.

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Bure9620's picture

March 30, 2020 at 09:14 am

Yes he is, he also has the massive catching radius and as a result Cam tried to lead him into many difficult catches as well. Many are pointing to Funchess' drop rate. His drop rate is high because the degree of difficulty for his catches were also very high. Lower percentage throws many of which were off target throws from Cam. I like this signing lot. He is a steal for the money. I think Funchess earns a larger contract after this year but it will not be in Green Bay. He is a one year rental any way you slice it. Aaron needs to make use of those services.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 31, 2020 at 02:59 am

I disagree with the concept. These sites don't count contested passes as drops: most of them are very conservative. Most sites listed Adams and Cobb with 6 drops each in 2015, the year of the dropsies. McGinn assigned 14 drops to Cobb and IIRC 10 or 12 to Adams. Note that NBC listed Adams and Allison with 3 drops each, whereas PFR listed Allison with 5 and Adams with 7 (see link). Cam Newton is a good reason why Funchess' catch rate isn't good, but I don't think he is an excuse or even a reason for his drop rate.

The drops have plagued Funchess since college. He has a NFL career drop rate of 12.3%. That's awful. That is one out of eight passes.

In 2018 when Newton played 14 games, the rest of the receiving corps had perfectly good drop rates: DJ Moore (5.17%), Curtis Samuel (4.8%), Torrey Smith (5.55%), Jarius Wright (6.5%), TE Greg Olson (3.6%), with the lone outlier, Funchess, at 13.72%.*

GB fans might not notice. Allison had drop rates of 12.8% and 13.04 in 2019 and 2018, respectively, followed by MVS at 10.3%/11.62%, and ESB at 8.69% for 2018, and Lazard at a perfectly acceptable 5.4% in 2019. Davante Adams has at best so-so hands, with a drop rate of 7.78%/4.31%, and 10.7% in 2015.*

* All stats per Pro Football Reference.

http://scores.nbcsports.com/fb/leaders.asp?range=NFC&type=Receiving&rank...

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John Funchess's picture

March 30, 2020 at 10:55 pm

Not sure I agree with you on not taking a receiver until round 5. Round 2 at the latest for a receiver. People need to watch his film and he is not slow. In a foot race I think him and Davante are about the same, and his tape suggest that.

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Coldworld's picture

March 31, 2020 at 07:33 am

I could see a receiver anywhere in rounds one to three. In the first round I don’t see an IDL with first round value getting close to us. As has been said, an OT at that position could be something we can’t pass up.

From what I can see, WRs with touted potential will be there into the 4th round, but no superstars are projected near 30. Overall, that would seem to suggest that WR in the first may not have value. If another need position player they like falls, take him otherwise try to trade out.

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 02, 2020 at 07:47 pm

I would take Reagor, Higgins or Aiyuk at the #30 spot.

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NickPerry's picture

March 30, 2020 at 06:25 am

"the Funchess signing also opens up their possibilities during the draft."

This is the case with EVERY one of Gute's FA signings so far this offseason. All of them have been of the low risk, high reward variety. All of them addressed a certain need for the Packers, and most importantly, all of the signings allow the draft to come to Gute where he doesn't have to reach or chase a player or position.

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greengold's picture

March 30, 2020 at 07:06 am

Count me as one who likes this signing a lot, but think adding Funchess will have zero bearing on the possibility of the Packers adding a WR at 30, and possibly 62 as well.

Gutekunst added TWO top pass rushers in FA 2019 and still selected another in Rashan Gary at 12 last draft.

This draft is about the future, and guiding Aaron Rodgers to the most successful ending to his career as QB of the Packers as possible. This draft is the most talent rich group of WRs I’ve ever seen on more than 3 decades of fervently following the NFL draft. Gutekunst will load up on weapons for Rodgers in this draft. Funchess was merely an economical, low risk, high reward one year insurance policy.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 30, 2020 at 08:35 am

No. There won’t be any loading up on weapons for Rodgers. We need starters on defense...that’s what we’ll do at the draft.

Funchess will split snaps with Lazard. We will pass less and run more.

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dobber's picture

March 30, 2020 at 08:41 am

I hope the Packers will take the best player on their board in rounds 1 and 2 (realizing that's often shaped by holes in the roster). But there's significant work to be done in the trenches. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Packers take as many as 4 OL/DL in this draft.

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Guam's picture

March 30, 2020 at 09:35 am

I see the double up on OL Dobber, but I just don't see the talent in this draft at IDL for a double dip there unless they are late round developmental prospects that won't help much this year. I expect #1 to be an OT and #2 to be a WR.

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dobber's picture

March 30, 2020 at 09:46 am

I think they could take as many as 3 OL: I think they take an OT early, a C in the mid-rounds, and a OT/OG conversion project later.

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Guam's picture

March 30, 2020 at 09:55 am

You could be right on the OL - certainly is enough OL depth in this draft to do that.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 30, 2020 at 12:39 pm

They had a chance to get a big body in free agency, but stayed on the sideline. OT is a necessity and a guard later in 4th to 5th. The DT/DE would be a target in rds three to five also. If they want to hold on to Montravious and start Lancaster there will be trouble in Bay City.

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Coldworld's picture

March 30, 2020 at 10:52 am

I do think you will see a tackle prospect and a guard/center later. I think a DL is likely too. I don’t think the need on the outside is a lineman. I could see an OLB somewhere to replace Fackrell, but likely later if so.

I think the greatest needs on D are ILB/Hybrid and run-stuffer IDL. We have one experienced ILB and one hybrid, Greene, who looked up to the job. That is no depth at all!

Unusually, I’m pretty sanguine at CB. Sullivan, Ento and Holman together represent enough promise to cover both inside and outside positions between them. I expect a number of UDFAs in the backfield. I think Jackson projects as a safety who can play in the nickel or dime. Redmond was fine as a backup S last year and still likely has upside after a year at the position.

So that leaves offense. At least one WR if they see Begelton as a slot type with a mid draft equivalent, maybe, but I think 2. If nothing else that covers against injury and fosters competition.

Finally, I think Dexter Williams is going to have to prove he has matured. I don’t think with contracts up next year that the team will want to rely on him as a replacement. Therefore I see an RB being drafted.

1 DL
1 ILB
1 Hybrid ILB
1 OLB
1 Tackle
1 Guard
2 WR
1 RB
TOTAL 9. 4 on D and 5 on O.

The last pick is trade bait or best available at the end. I am assuming Taylor is trade bait or will be released before the season, but not that he gets us a pick in the draft. Also not assuming net pick gain from trading.

That’s my best guess as to ideal mix. I know the like Leglue as a versatile type with potential for the O line. He or another dark horse may offset (they have Greg Roberts whom they signed as a medical redshirt UDFA effectively at OLB, so must like him).

Probably way off what really occurs and I don’t advocate reaching for players to tick off positional boxes .

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 30, 2020 at 10:58 am

Good analysis Coldworld. I'd just get rid of the OLB completely (unless a ridiculous BPA is there) because the Smiths and Gary are all young, and there are some decent-potential guys who were on the PS.
On the other hand, I'd be fine-to-great with a high pick used on RB. I think the team needs a starter-level RB by next year; this offense NEEDS great backs, and the top 3-4 rounds of this draft will offer some great quality if it falls the way "experts" (and I use that term VERY loosely...) are predicting. Dobbins or Taylor at 30? Swift or Edwards-Helaire or Dillon at 62? I'd be FINE with those guys on this roster.

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dobber's picture

March 30, 2020 at 11:22 am

OLB defensive snaps in 2019
Z. Smith 83.9%
P. Smith 83.7%
Fackrell 39.0%
Gary 23.5%

This position group was remarkably healthy in 2019--after CMIII and Nick Perry, that was a revelation. The Smiths and Fackrell are all NFL players who have stayed mostly healthy over the course of their careers. While Gary will pick up more snaps in 2020 (presumably), it's hard to know if he will be ready to pick up the off-ball snaps that P. Smith and Fackrell would play. A limited camp will make that all harder. Maybe Roberts (PUP list this year) can do that. Maybe they think Tim Williams can do that (not really his gig, either). So they really need an OLB who can fill the Fackrell/P. Smith role.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 30, 2020 at 12:44 pm

They will be after an Edge guy if one shows up from three to six.

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flackcatcher's picture

March 30, 2020 at 07:33 pm

Only will add, we don't know how the Packers evaluated their young developmental talent. With the extremely short OTA and training camp, most of their growth as NFL players will come in season. That's got to factor in who and what positions Gute drafts for. Depth is a critical issue for this team across the roster. And how many picks does Gute keep on the roster vs experience NFL ready players on the current roster from 2018-2019. This is still a soft rebuild in progress...

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jannes bjornson's picture

April 01, 2020 at 05:40 pm

Then package picks and move up to pull in better players. They don't need to litter the field with guys that will be cut in August.

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greengold's picture

April 02, 2020 at 12:05 pm

Hey Coldworld. I agree with much of what you're saying here.

I want to share a thought on this notion of "drafting for need." Historically, it is considered taboo amongst draftniks, and I've been one for decades. However, looking back on most drafts, even the best GMs draft for need, including Ron Wolf, Ted Thompson, and Brian Gutekunst.

That takes me to where we are picking, the BACK END of nearly EVERY round. Hard decisions are to be made regarding use of 10 picks of draft capital to move around to pinpoint players, oddly enough, of "need." Especially so with multiple team needs calling out for either upgrades (NT, DE, ILB, WR) or roster bolstering for 2021 (RB, NT, OT) with a number of key players hitting FA, and GB will not be able to afford to keep them all, possibly struggle to keep half of them, really.

With that in mind, is it wise to spend picks this year with so many real team needs in the 2020 draft? If not, then maybe it is a change of mindset, forgetting "Player X carries a R1 draft value, or a R2 draft value, mid-low R3 value," etc. Maybe you get exactly who you want and need, the players that will best fit your team by "over drafting..." (Truly, another ridiculous notion to me in some cases, not all).

If you just let the draft come to you, and, say, you want a top WR to add to the Packers arsenal, one who would perfectly complement Davante Adams and be a reliable target, but not considered by pundits to be R1, but rather, mid R2, TAKE HIM AT 30!!!!

You want a NT who will offer top RUN STOP. You need that. The guy you want and need is slotted Mid R3... TAKE HIM at 62!!!!

GET YOUR GUYS. Don't settle for less than what you want, and don't be distracted from your plan to make your team better and a true contender.

Case in point, few might consider the Packers adding a RB at 30. Are we going to need an RB next year? Damn straight we will. Would it be great to get one of the best of the best at 30? Allowing him a full year in system when both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams' contracts are up? Damn straight!!!!

WR is indeed a top need, but incredible talents can be had later, ones with size, speed, toughness, hands, route running gods, slot gods, possession gods... the draft is deep at one of our top need positions, thankfully.

Just wanted to offer an alternative perspective on how this draft may be approached by Gutekunst. I've assembled a number of different mock scenarios for myself where, "What if they take DE, RB at 30, 62?" kind of stuff... and you wouldn't believe how easily it might be for them to still add instant starters at WR, both dynamic, fast, tough, hands, split ends, slot, flankers... they are there in droves.

As an example, would Packer Nation COMPLETELY freak if they took Blacklock & Chinn at 30 & 62??? Probably. But, work through and you'll see they would still be able to add phenomenal, reliable, dynamic talents at any WR specialty you might wish. This is a deep RB draft pool too, as is CB and OL.

Conversely, say the Packers add WR Denzel Mims and WR KJ Hamler at 30 & 62. Does that mean we won't be able to add the beef we need at DE/NT or the talent we crave at ILB??? No. There is a ton of great talent to be had. Just gotta dig for it to find the right fits for your Packers team. They are there to be had going way back into Day 3. I've studied it, and feel pretty confident in saying this. Of course, gotta be smart about position depth in this draft. Not all of it is loaded to the gills.

The closer we get to draft day, the more I am hoping GB doesn't make a single trade, and just adds the best players to fit their needs and their team. All that other stuff of "don't draft for need" and "over drafting" is complete garbage, for the most part. I'm not advocating being stupid with it ala Khyri Thornton.... but, rather adjusting the "how" in getting the talent you need and want specifically, without making a single trade.

It is essentially like -pretending- the first 29 players chosen in this draft do not exist... Now, this is a creative approach I'm advocating here. Your Pick #30 is now Pick #1. - POOF! - There goes all the stigma of those throw away tag lines used by draft pundits and "experts." Adjust your board accordingly after pick 29 is made, and go to town. Get the players you want to add to your team, as best as you can. Hold your powder. If a phenomenal talent is there to be had in R3, you've got the draft capital to move as you wish. But, save it for that. There is BIG TALENT to be had R2-R5/6. Very deep draft.

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Leatherhead's picture

March 30, 2020 at 10:24 am

Every thing is driven by the contracts of Gute and Rodgers. We have them for three more seasons.

Winning in 2020 means keeping Rodgers healthy, since there is no scenario without that. IMO, I think the Packer brass understands that means running more and throwing short more. Every move they’ve made over the last two years on offense supports that.
We
And of course, that means you also need a serious defense and I think we’ll use our early picks there.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 30, 2020 at 12:33 pm

They had the past ten years to figure out the defense and generally whiffed on their selections. Keep the offense dynamic and score more points. Add a power running back that understands how to win the 3rd and two.

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Coldworld's picture

March 30, 2020 at 03:23 pm

Gute and LaFleur in particular haven’t had ten years. It seems clear that Pettine is still rebuilding in his desired image. We will see how good the D is. That’s said, I believe offensive inadequacy magnified the pressure on our D for most of the season, not just in the playoff exit.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 30, 2020 at 03:27 pm

I agree, a prove it year for Pettine.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

March 30, 2020 at 11:05 am

I too have been a draftnik for a long time (almost 50 years), and I agree that this is one of the better groups of WRs in a draft, HOWEVER, that doesn't mean WR #8 is better than RB #2 etc. For me it works the opposite: great depth means you can get one (or more) later.
I'd much prefer a quality DL or OL or even RB at 30 and 62. Get the big guys before they're gone. People complain the Packers haven't been using high picks on WRs, but that's also the reason the DL only has Kenny Clark!

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PeteK's picture

March 30, 2020 at 03:43 pm

BPA at ILB, RT, WR and if they don't get a RT high they should sign Veldeer as insurance because it doesn't matter who's running or catching if you don't have a solid OL.

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greengold's picture

April 02, 2020 at 12:15 pm

You're speaking my language, PackEyedOptimist! Depth at certain positions is not great in this draft. Sure, there are players who will suffice, but greats can and will be had by the many runs we will see early at WR, dropping top talents at other positions we need.

Is Green Bay the team who will benefit from this? I'm hoping so.

I'll be happy with whatever they decide is best, but really want them to stay put, and let the talent fall to them where they are, making best use of their picks to complete a CHAMPIONSHIP roster in GB. Solid playmakers with solid depth at every position. For once, I believe this scenario is possible. They just have to draft smart, and to not be deterred from their goal to address all of their need positions. Fortunately, they have the draft capital to move around for an extra day 2 pick if they so choose.

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egbertsouse's picture

March 30, 2020 at 07:08 am

It makes sense to me. GMO signed with the Lions. Now, we have GMO 2.0, a slightly upgraded version but basically the same player.

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Coldworld's picture

March 30, 2020 at 08:23 am

I think Funchess is a lot better than Allison 2019. I also like the idea of many Graham Routes falling to him. I do not see him streaking up the sidelines like MVS or high pointing peripheral passes like Lazard if used to his strengths.

Frank Reich of the Colts was reported as saying this when asked about signing Funchess last year:
“Loved the fact a big, "physical monster" has the feet he does & runs routes like he does ... Funchess was absolutely OUTSTANDING (80% success) on the 2 routes Luck threw the most last year under Reich: curls & outs.

The Colts were aware of his drops having been an issue, particularly in 2018, when playing through back issues, when he had one of the highest drop rates in the league. Their analysis is interesting in terms of usage:

The Colts openly intended to use him more in the slot instead of in a classic outside receiver role. According to Evan Silva at the time, Funchess had not dropped a single pass on 55 career slot targets. All 23 of his drops have come on 246 outside targets.

I hope that we intend to utilize him for his strengths and, doing so would target not Lazard or MVS but a significant subset of Allison/Graham responsibilities last year.

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dobber's picture

March 30, 2020 at 08:42 am

I like your analysis CW. This signing takes some of the pressure off Sternberger/Tonyan. Funchess isn't a TE, but I'd like to see a breakdown of where Graham ran most of his routes. I expect he was a big slot/WR more than a TE.

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Coldworld's picture

March 30, 2020 at 10:02 am

Funchess is not an nfl TE. He wasn’t really a true TE in college. But nor was Graham really (despite what the NFL said). Funchess is more receiver than Graham perhaps but he isn’t as big. Tonyan can now focus on the more move TE stuff in between and Sternberger develop as a true TE.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 30, 2020 at 12:49 pm

If Reich liked him so much, why was he cut loose?

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Coldworld's picture

March 30, 2020 at 03:29 pm

One year 10 million deal. Players emerged in the time he was out, other priorities for money. At least that’s my guess based on reading, but you would have to ask Reich really, but hardly proof of much as you imply.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 30, 2020 at 07:04 pm

O.K. I didn't realize they dished that much cash for a one year payout on his original contract.

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dobber's picture

March 30, 2020 at 08:29 am

People want to profile Funchess and Allison the same way--and, yes, both have a reputation for dropped balls--but Funchess is a much bigger guy with experience as a TE and WR. Remember Allison goes 6'3" and about 205. Funchess has an inch and 30 pounds on him. Depending on whether you buy his Pro Day or Combine 40-time, he's a step or two faster than Allison. Funchess's track record with a lesser passing QB (Cam) is still meaningfully better than Allison. I'm not a fan of Funchess, but by most objective measures, Funchess > Allison, and it's not terribly close.

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murf7777's picture

March 30, 2020 at 03:52 pm

Also dobber, no need to look at combine numbers after you have 4 years of NFL experience. His film speaks more then numbers. As you know, playing speed and agility can be far different then what the numbers showed. Of course that is why the draft is a crapshoot.

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Tundraboy's picture

March 30, 2020 at 04:01 pm

Finally some realism.

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John Funchess's picture

March 30, 2020 at 11:00 pm

Sorry but Gmo doesn't have the resume of Funchess. No where near the same player. I think Adams and Funchess are 1&2 then we draft a slot guy and Lazard, MVS, EQ, Kumerow, and the rest can battle for the other spots.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

March 30, 2020 at 07:35 am

I didn't like it at first but saved my complaints until saw the cap numbers. Now that I see he's that affordable, I like the move a lot.

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stockholder's picture

March 30, 2020 at 07:53 am

If they go Queen or Murray it makes sense. But my response is, it's a finger in a leaking Dike. You'll never fix a team/position with a finger. There is no switching of gears here. He's not a fast player. The separation just won't spread the field. The long term outlook Bleak. This isn't about winning or development. It's not about building blocks. How do we trust In Gute, when he's ignoring what he drafted? Funchess got money that could be used elsewhere. Rodger's Head just increased in size. It never was his play but his Wrs Fault now.

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stockholder's picture

March 30, 2020 at 08:34 pm

Go listen to Nagler talk about Graham and Rodgers trusting his Receivers. #2 Most were against Gary selection and several of Gute's other picks. This draft; I still expect Gute to take the opposite of what everybody wants again. And if Gute would have replaced Daniels, they wouldn't have been last against the run. The blind are leading the blind again. Gute's got you guys believing in Free Agency, and not the draft.

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Coldworld's picture

March 30, 2020 at 11:49 pm

Daniels was never great against the run. He was disruptive. If I recall you wanted him kept. Given what he gave the Lions, we were better off with Lancaster. I think Gute had the better of your argument on this one

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stockholder's picture

March 31, 2020 at 06:45 am

Nah

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Coldworld's picture

March 30, 2020 at 08:00 am

Funchess is actually much better away from the perimeter. I’m not saying he hasn’t played that role, but he is not a straight down the sidelines type and his best routes don’t use him that way. He is not an MVS type and I think Lazard also has different strengths.

I see him as more likely to take over Allison/Graham routes. We still need a true speed threat and, I think a lithe slot option.

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dobber's picture

March 30, 2020 at 08:45 am

"I see him as more likely to take over Allison/Graham routes."

As long as they don't throw him those WR screens they seemed to like throwing to Allison. Split out Jones or Ervin and get those guys in space. I cringed every time they threw that ball to #81.

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Coldworld's picture

March 30, 2020 at 09:58 am

True, I forgot about those. Never understood that one. I completely agree.

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PeteK's picture

March 30, 2020 at 09:27 am

I thought we lacked a receiver that could make those consistent move the chains catches, so if he becomes that player I would be happy. I wish we knew what the incentives are because if he gets another 2 mill by being active for 17 games , 40 catches and 3 TDs then the the acquisition is terrible.

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Coldworld's picture

March 30, 2020 at 10:00 am

I believe that those would qualify as likely to be earned and thus count against the current cap year. But I’m not completely certain.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 31, 2020 at 03:33 am

No, it is based entirely on what he did in 2019. Funchess caught three passes in 2019 (dropped the fourth pass). So as long as the incentive is for catching at least 4 passes, it is NLTBE. Ditto for snaps and yards - practically any incentive based on any stats or honors will be NLTBE.

He has a Game Active bonus of $250K, but only one game (~ $15K) is considered likely to be earned. Unlike many other incentives, GB's cap space will decrease by that $15K or so immediately (not at the end of the season) when Funchess is active for his 2nd game and each game thereafter.

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JFoyt41's picture

March 30, 2020 at 09:03 am

This article was more than defensive. I was kind of surprised by the writer's tone. Prior to the Packers signing him, heard of him but not much else. My son who lives in North Carolina and has the Panthers as his #2 team, right away said "Dad the guy sucks. Can't run (oh we're not ALLOWED to say that according to the writer) and he drops way too many passes." As for 600 yards and 4 touchdowns, with the studliness of Aaron Jones and emergence of Lazard, maybe that will be all we need from him. Offense is different now. The days of 350 week to week passing yards are gone. Nelson, Cobb, & Adams.....oh well

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Mike Rossmeier's picture

March 30, 2020 at 09:42 am

250 lbs.? Really? No wonder he can't run.
If true, wouldn't he be a tight end?
Everywhere else says 225 or 227.
I hope they dusted off Eddie Lacy's weight clause.

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Coldworld's picture

March 30, 2020 at 10:07 am

He was 233 at the combine (coming of a leg injury), has been listed at 225, but it appears 228-230 was about his playing weight heading into last season from references I came across.

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Point-Packer's picture

March 30, 2020 at 10:21 am

Nah, we just needed to let that "fringe NFL player / JAG" WR corps (minus Davante Adams) play. Why utilize FA to bolster your pass catchers when you can march at Geronimo Alison, MVS and Jake Kumerow as your 2,3,4 options? "They just need to play" - Aaron Nagler

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Leatherhead's picture

March 30, 2020 at 05:50 pm

Those guys caught a lot of passes last year.

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BoHunter's picture

March 30, 2020 at 10:48 am

Lazard catches everything and Funchess couldn’t catch Covid-19, maybe I’m wrong but time will tell who will be the #2.

Cheers,
BoHunter

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 30, 2020 at 01:09 pm

Remember, the think tank started Lazard on the P-squad.

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Coldworld's picture

March 30, 2020 at 03:36 pm

Lazard didn’t drop many but he didn’t catch that many. A good receiver gets a lot of targets and gets under them and makes catches. Takes all three. Lazard did well, but he wasn’t close to demonstrating that he is a starter at this point. And a bona fide starter is what we need.

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PeteK's picture

March 30, 2020 at 03:56 pm

35 catches in 11 starts is at least a solid #3 on any team.

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Packer_Fan's picture

March 30, 2020 at 11:09 am

He may be of some use. Perhaps he will be a Graham type and be like a TE in the TE sets. A veteran presence that may be consistent. But it is a wait and see. And let's face it, the money isn't there to get a better FA WR. So it just seems the our first pick, where ever it is (If Gute trades down) will be a WR. Lot of depth in the draft.

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Point-Packer's picture

March 30, 2020 at 11:37 am

250? Apparently Funchess likes his munchess.

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Archie's picture

March 30, 2020 at 12:33 pm

The DL only has KC because TT blew so many picks at all defensive positions. TT was an A drafting offense and an F drafting defense. Unfortunately, Gutey started his GM career by blowing top picks on Josh Jackson and Oren Burks. Maybe defense is tougher to draft, I don't know.

With all that said, Gutey can go in any direction he wants in this draft but I think he will continue to focus on needs. Our needs are:

1 - DT to complement KC;
2 - Another ILB;
3 - A top WR;
4 - OT; and,
5 - RB and maybe TE/FB.

Neville Gallimore could be the DT. Or Ross Blacklock.
Zack Baun at ILB or several others.
Which WR falls to 30???
Ezra Cleveland is the OT
RB - take your pick depending on how long you wait.

There is so much value at the end of R1 that a small trade down looks like a no-brainer.

I'd rather pick at 38 and 48 than 30 and 62.

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dobber's picture

March 30, 2020 at 02:11 pm

"The DL only has KC because TT blew so many picks at all defensive positions. TT was an A drafting offense and an F drafting defense. "

Two years out from his ouster, TT only has three of his draftees starting on defense (King, Clark, Lowry).
The offense has 5 (Adams, Bakhtiari, Linsley, Rodgers, Jones).

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PeteK's picture

March 30, 2020 at 04:03 pm

He was good enough to draft an ILB in the 4th that just got 30 mill, free agent CB in Williams, and another starting corner in King. I would give him a c+

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Lphill's picture

March 30, 2020 at 02:36 pm

So this off season we got 2 guys who’s description starts with. “If he can stay healthy “ and another that starts with “ if he can bounce bounce back” not very positive at all . I don’t expect the Packers to be anything more than a wild card team if even that.

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Coldworld's picture

March 30, 2020 at 03:40 pm

Well we could be just chilling while we wait for someone to draft and develop. Maybe we could have kept Bulaga and hoped elsewhere?

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greengold's picture

April 02, 2020 at 01:02 pm

Seriously, look at the cap, the positions he addressed, and the value added, all with outs that won't kill the team.

Gutekunst essentially added to ILB, RT and WR for less than what Bryan Bulaga got with the Chargers. Of course, injuries played a part in the equation. That's what made them available, and what makes them to be potential steals from a pure "value" perspective. All of them young, talented, who have proven records of not missing games for full seasons prior to their injuries. That's the risk Gutekunst took on.

Guessing you would have rather we added Sanders at WR? For Bulaga money? And, then what? Do you deny there might have been more risk w Sanders, who got $10M per for 3 years, and he's a dinosaur? All that money for a guy on the downside of his career... while gaping holes remain at ILB and RT?

Seems Gutekunst assumed risk, but it was what he deemed the lowest risk, with much higher possible returns, as all 3 players added are young and talented.

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mbpacker's picture

March 30, 2020 at 04:18 pm

It's a performance-based league- they are professionals. We all have our favorites, but the players will decide who plays where and how much. Plus competition brings out the best in everyone.Go Pack Go!

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Lphill's picture

March 30, 2020 at 04:35 pm

So in an interview in New York of Blake Martinez he said the way the Packers used him was as a cleanup tackler not a gap filler, he said I don’t think the Packers value the inside linebacker position, that’s exactly how I feel , now watch Blake be a pro bowler on the Giants and a playmaker. While we watch Oren Burks getting run over .

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hobowilly's picture

March 30, 2020 at 06:50 pm

Hill: IMHO, Martinez was a tackling machine and played beyond his draft position; it's possible GB just couldn't and can't figure out how to get a decent ILB who can cover/be disruptive consistently (that individual would be virtually an all-pro, or pretty darn near); Hawk certainly wasn't any better.....Burks not even close and thus far has only shown the ability to be a decent special teamer when healthy. Perhaps Kirksey might work, or, some new guy they draft. GB's best LB for the past decade was CM3 and he came to play right out of the box although mgmt let him go probably at the right time. Thx.

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Lphill's picture

March 30, 2020 at 08:10 pm

I agree that Clay was the Packers best inside linebacker in awhile but there were free agents like Nick Kwitnikowski that could have fit that role but Murphy snd Gute just keep overlooking the most important position on defense forget the draft so expect more of the same this season . Until they take inside linebacker seriously nothing is gonna change.

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The_Justicar's picture

March 31, 2020 at 12:05 pm

Quick, name the middle or inside linebackers that dominated for the super bowl winning chiefs this year? Oh, right, there wasn’t one. I’m guessing you can’t even name a starting ILB for the chiefs. Yet they somehow won the super bowl without a ray lewis at ILB.

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MarkinMadison's picture

March 30, 2020 at 04:43 pm

Umm, Lazard had almost 500 yards last year in 11 regular season games. And I think he has better hands than Funchess. Really, I think they are pretty interchangeable, with the upside going to Lazard. I can both like the Funchess signing AND not see him as being better than Lazard, and he's not.

I also agree that Funchess' one-year deal should have zero impact on the draft. He's an insurance policy. That's all.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 30, 2020 at 07:13 pm

As Coldworld stated, Funchess should get some inside routes that Graham ran. Could see the use of more tandem wides and TEs on the same play. High /Low and inside /out to scramble the LBs and CBs. Big component from this draft is speed at WR, two of them.

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Coldworld's picture

March 31, 2020 at 07:45 am

I hope they employ the approach you suggest.

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NoNonsense's picture

March 31, 2020 at 01:54 am

I really like the Funchess addition personally. At WR I want size and strength or speed and quickness. I dont mind silky smooth either, if that's available. Its not like hes just big and strong though because hes plenty fast for his size.

With the offense they are building here I think hes gonna be a real good fit. Having played with Newton, hes no stranger to the scramble drill or off timing plays that are required to play with Rodgers and hes no stranger to blocking. If Funchess just replaces Allison I think hes a big upgrade over him, if he steps up as a quality #2 then it will have a been a great signing for the money.

When making a prediction about any player one should always start with "if he can stay healthy" because its football, injuries happen. The only reason we signed any of these guys to decent contracts is because they are coming off injuries or in Wagners case poor performance in an offense that lost its starting QB and RB for a good portion of the season.

Sometimes you have to take a few calculated risks to save some money for the guys we cant easily replace like Bak and Clark and to a lesser extent Lindsey, King or Jones. I'm just glad the cupboard isnt left bare and at least Gute is trying to plug some holes with these kinds of signings rather than wait for the draft or dig in the coffers for higher profile guys. Not to mention the added bonus of saving comp picks when picking from the discard bin instead of off the shelves.

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ShooterMcGee's picture

March 30, 2020 at 06:04 pm

For all the draftniks and wannabe GMs Pro Football Network has a really good mock draft simulator. It's free, fast, and you can make trades. It's my new favorite.

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Since'61's picture

March 30, 2020 at 08:04 pm

I’m thinking that Gute drafts a WR in round 1 or 2 and expects that pick to move into the #2 WR position. That makes Funchess our #3 receiver and suddenly we have significantly upgraded our WR group with Lazard #4, ESB #5 and MVS #6 if he can make the team. In any case we have a better 1,2,3 with just one early WR pick. We’ll see. Thanks, Since ‘61

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 30, 2020 at 09:54 pm

Lazard may give Funchess a fight for that spot, '61.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 31, 2020 at 03:46 am

If Gute decides not to draft a WR in the first two or three rounds, he had better turn out to be correct or twitter might explode.

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