Packers 2021 free agency profile: Curtis Samuel

Curtis Samuel (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Curtis Samuel (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

Should the Green Bay Packers sign Curtis Samuel in free agency?

Earlier this week, I wrote about free agent defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson and, despite what he could bring to Green Bay’s defense, a move is unlikely given the Packers’ lack of cap room.

What could Samuel add to Matt LaFleur’s offense and what deal could he look to get this spring?

Why the Packers could have interest

Often talked about as a potential trade target, the Packers could now get an opportunity to sign Samuel as he’s set to hit free agency.

Samuel is coming off a career-year with the Carolina Panthers. He finished with 77 receptions for 851 yards and three touchdowns, as well as 41 rushing attempts for 200 yards and two touchdowns.

Samuel has great speed (4.31-second 40-yard dash) and yards-after-catch ability (332 YAC in 2020).

Whether he’s lined up in the slot, in the backfield, or used on jet sweeps, Matt LaFleur could find so many ways to get the ball in Samuel’s hands and create mismatches for opposing defenses.

Samuel is exactly the type of wide receiver the Packers need. Get the ball in his hands and he’ll make defenders repeatedly miss tackles in the open field.

Still only 24 years old, Samuel could be an explosive player in Green Bay’s offense. He could be a home-run addition in free agency but the biggest issue is the contract.

The contract

Get used to hearing this. The Packers likely can’t afford what Samuel will make in free agency.

Spotrac’s projections see Samuel earning $12.4 million per year, which is slightly higher than what Emmanuel Sanders makes with the New Orleans Saints. Samuel definitely deserves it, but whether the Packers have the cap room to make a move like this is another question entirely.

Brian Gutekunst might instead have to opt for one- or two-year deals that are manageable on the salary cap.