The Green Bay Packers’ disappointing 2022 season nearly had a positive ending. All they needed to do was defeat the Detroit Lions in Week 18 to clinch the final Wild Card spot. The Lions, who had been eliminated less than an hour before kickoff, made sure that the Packers would be eliminated as well.
Detroit won 20-16, capping their season off with a 9-8 record and eliminating their NFC North rivals in the process. Green Bay was lucky to even be in that position as they struggled mightily throughout the campaign.
Arguably the most glaring issue was the lack of impact at the wide receiver position. They knew that trading away Davante Adams was going to hurt, but that loss ended up being a monumental one. After winning the MVP award in back-to-back seasons, Aaron Rodgers’ production fell off without the All-Pro receiver.
This offseason, upgrading the weapons offensively is paramount. With Allen Lazard sounding as if he is moving on, that becomes an even bigger need. Rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs both showed flashes, but an established No. 1 option is needed.
If the Packers are willing to pay the price, the exact kind of experienced, go-to receiver they are seeking has become available this week. The Arizona Cardinals are reportedly going to look into trading star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins this offseason and Green Bay is a logical landing spot.
Hopkins has missed 15 games the last two seasons because of injuries and a suspension, but when healthy, he remains one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Despite playing in only nine games this season, he led the Cardinals with 717 receiving yards, catching 64 passes and scoring three touchdowns.
If the Packers want to entice Rodgers to stick around for at least one more season, acquiring Hopkins is the kind of move that could accomplish that. With a full no-trade clause, it would likely take the presence of Rodgers to have Hopkins even consider Green Bay as his next landing spot.
A strong offer will have to be brought to the table as plenty of teams will line up to acquire him. Some cap gymnastics will have to be done by Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst, but it would be worthwhile to add a talent as good as Hopkins to the offense.