Packers should trade for Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 12: Martavis Bryant /

The Green Bay Packers are in need of at least two new receivers before the start of the season. With the free agent market completely dried out, the team should look to acquire Martavis Bryant from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

After Jordy Nelson‘s departure, the Packers have been left with Davante Adams and Randall Cobb as their only experienced pass catchers. With Jimmy Graham arriving as the team’s new starting tight end, the Packers need to pursue help on the outside to offset the attention that Graham will get down the middle of the field.

Adams earned himself a new contract after he had his best season of his career in 2017, despite Aaron Rodgers missing nine games. Adams has developed himself enough to be the team’s true number one receiver going forward and has matured into a solid all-around player.

Adams’ weakness is still his outside speed. He has improved drastically as a route runner and as a dependable deep threat but lacks the speed to be used on gadget plays or screens. Cobb has also lost a step or three, leaving the team in need of a faster receiver immediately.

With speedsters John Brown and Paul Richardson off the market, the Packers will have to turn to the trade market to help improve their depleted receiving corps before the draft. Brian Gutekunst has gotten off to a good start in his first year in Green Bay, but he still will have to find his offense a significantly more athletic set of receivers.

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This is where the Packers should turn to Martavis Bryant. The Clemson product has voiced his disgruntlement towards the Steelers for not making him as involved as he would like to be in the offense and would like a bigger role in 2018. A free agent next year, it does not appear at the moment as though the Steelers will be in a position to re-sign the 26-year-old receiver.

Bryant’s attitude towards his current team has in all likelihood depressed his trade value. The Packers should part ways with a fourth-round draft choice for Bryant, who could instantly step in and provide the Packers with an athletic, rangy receiver. At 6-foot-5, Bryant is long enough to make some contested catches against lanky corners, but is fast enough at only 200 pounds to separate from defensive backs.

One may wonder why Bryant would be thrilled to join a Packers offense as the second or third receiver after voicing his displeasure playing the same role in Pittsburgh. The answer is that Bryant would get far more targets than he will from Ben Roethlisberger, considering the Pittsburgh offense doesn’t even consider Bryant until the first three options have been taken away by the defense.

If Antonio Brown isn’t open, then Le’Veon Bell becomes the check down threat. If he is blanketed, rookie phenom JuJu Smith-Schuster then becomes the next viable option. Bryant would instantly be one of Rodgers’ favorite targets on the outside and would further open the door for Jimmy Graham to exploit the seam.

Bryant is a free agent after this coming season, and could use his contract year to earn himself some considerable dollars once he hits free agency. Cobb will hit the market after next season as well, further helping along the gradual transition of receivers from old and slow to athletic and skilled.

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With a humongous hole at the cornerback position only widening by the hour, the Packers should focus their draft assets towards their secondary. But a chance to nab Bryant for a fourth-round pick is an important opportunity to take advantage of. This type of move might finally loosen up the Packers offense and help them return to the years when their receivers would break open on schedule.