Oct 23, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos tight endJulius Thomas
(80) during the game against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Bring in a tight end
Tight end is already a position of need for the Packers, with Andrew Quarless and Richard Rodgers the only two established players at the position. Without Cobb, the need for a talented pass-catcher at tight end only grows.
Dec 7, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins tight endCharles Clay
(42) runs against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. Ravens won 28-13. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
If Cobb and Bulaga return, it’s highly unlikely Ted Thompson will make a splash in free agency.
However, should both walk, maybe there will be some money burning a hole in his pocket and he will make an exception.
According to The Denver Post, Broncos’ tight end Julius Thomas is likely to test the market in free agency and won’t return to Denver.
Now, Thomas is likely to command a big salary, and it ‘s unlikely Thompson will want to splash out at the position.
Other pending free agents include Miami’s Charles Clay and Cleveland’s Jordan Cameron. Both could be attractive options for Thompson, should Cobb and Bulaga depart giving him room to spend money.
Turning the attention to the draft, an intriguing prospect is Michigan’s Devin Funchess.
Funchess is labeled as a wide receiver, but he can also be an effective tight end.
He stands at 6-5 and is 230 pounds. His size can create a mismatch for a number of defenders, and he can be used in a hybrid role.
Funchess can line up outside or inside as a receiver, but the Packers would also be able to use him as a tight end.
He would be a great fit for the Packers as they would be able to move him around the field and create mismatches against opposing defenses.
Versatility is something head coach Mike McCarthy likes to have with his receivers, and Funchess definitely possesses that.
The only problem?
Sep 20, 2014; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines wide receiver Devin Funchess (1) jumps to make a catch in the first quarter against the Utah Utes at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Many draft boards have Funchess taken in the first round, possibly even before the Packers get their turn with the 30th-overall pick.
To draft him, Thompson would likely have to be willing to use a first round pick and there may simply be more important needs to address on day one.
It’s also possible they would have to trade up for him, and Thompson may not feel there is enough value in the move.
The Green Bay Packers will certainly be hoping that both Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga return to Green Bay this offseason, but in a nightmare situation where both walk, the Packers would have some options to still have one of the NFL’s best offenses next year.
While losing Bulaga would be a major blow, they have talented options in Don Barclay and J.C. Tretter and may wish to draft an offensive tackle late in the draft.
If Cobb goes, maybe Ted Thompson will dip into free agency and sign a top-tier wideout or tight end. Maybe he will draft a pass-catching running back or a dangerous threat like Funchess.
Or, maybe Cobb and Bulaga just re-sign …
Follow Freddie on Twitter: @freddieboston
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