The Packers are reportedly signing Tavon Austin.
He would most likely be brought in for kick/punt return duties but could also see time on the field as a gadget player.
This signing is big for a few different reasons, of which I will outline.
Reason #1: Austin adds depth at both receiver and returner
With the injury issues with Tyler Ervin and the lack of explosiveness from the wide receivers not named Davante Adams or Allen Lazard, the Austin signing definitely helps the return game as a whole.
In his career, Austin has averaged just over 18 yards per return (18.4). This would add an element of surprise for Green Bay as Austin’s speed in the open field is nearly impossible to slow down, let alone stop completely. Not to mention the jet sweeps/jet motion plays he can help run effectively as well.
Reason #2: Austin adds another weapon for Aaron Rodgers to utilize
Along with being an excellent returner, he also has experience as a wide receiver, although he hasn’t been utilized correctly since leaving the Rams back in 2013. During his last stint in Dallas in 2019, he only caught 12 passes for 144 yards and one touchdown, with an average of 9.3 yards per catch.
Now though, with Aaron Rodgers throwing to him, Austin can be utilized to his full potential in Green Bay.
Reason #3: Austin as a gadget guy under LaFleur
The final reason why this is a big-time signing for Green Bay is the fact that Austin can come in and get used right away as the gadget guy on offense. He’s proven both on the Rams and Cowboys that he can gain positive yardage when used properly and what better way than on quick screens, fly sweeps, and jet motion plays.
He has elite speed both in the open field and on the edge. He fits absolutely perfectly within Matt LaFleur’s system. Overall, this was an excellent signing made by Brian Gutekunst and the Packers’ front office.