Best free agent acquisitions in Green Bay Packers history: 7. Paul Coffman
Paul Coffman played for the Packers in an era that was unglamorous and one before the dawn of the salary cap. After playing tight end in high school, he walked onto the Kansas State Wildcats football team in the then-Big 8. Kansas State was one of the worst football programs in the country, as it would be years before Bill Snyder arrived in Manhattan.
After exhausting his collegiate eligibility at Kansas State, he would go undrafted and ended up signing with the Packers as a free agent in 1978. Like with his Kansas State journey, Coffman widely outperformed his expectations in Packers uniform.
Coffman played his first eight of 11 professional seasons with the Packers. After playing hardly at all as a rookie in 1978, Coffman became one of the better pass-catching tight ends in his last seven years with the Packers. Though never a 1,000-yard receiver, Coffman made the Pro Bowl three straight years from 1982 to 1984.
While that 1982 season was a strike-shortened campaign, Coffman was routinely a 40-catch for 500 yards and five touchdowns a season type of player for the Packers. Unfortunately, Green Bay was terrible when Coffman played for the Packers. They only made the playoffs once in his eight years with the team, and that came in 1982.
Overall, Coffman finished his Packers career with 322 catches for 4,223 receiving yards and 39 touchdown grabs. He retired after the 1988 NFL season as a member of the division rival Minnesota Vikings. His son Chase Coffman played tight end in the NFL from 2009 to 2016 on six different clubs. Another son of his Carson Coffman quarterbacked the Kansas State football team.
Coffman is firmly a top-10 free agent acquisition of all-time for the Packers. His eight years with the team, as well as making three Pro Bowls certainly helped his cause. However, the Packers weren’t the least bit good when he starred for them. So that is a big reason that Coffman is on the outside looking in at the top-five on this all-time Packers list.