Why the Packers should re-sign Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
The Green Bay Packers have a few key players that are set to have their contract expire after the 2021 season. Players like WR Davante Adams, TE Robert Tonyan and WRs Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are all set to be free agents after the duration of the 2021 season.
I expect the Packers to make amends with Adams and pay him whatever he wants, but I’m not sure about the other three players. I’m specifically unsure if the Packers will attempt to re-sign Valdes-Scantling. MVS has had his ups and downs with the team, but he’s a net positive in the grand scheme of the WR room.
The Packers should make an attempt to re-sign MVS.
When the Packers picked up Scantling in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, expectations were mixed. While the NFL.com scouting profile had him as a backup/special teams guy, Pass2Win.com listed him as having “NFL goods”.
In his first year, MVS was WR3 and had a rollercoaster of a rookie season. He started 10 games and was targeted 73 times – but only brought in 38 catches. Those 38 catches would go for 581 yards and two TDs. MVS’s catch rate was all over the place with it being as low as 28%, but being as high as 85%.
Year two saw a dip across the board for Scantling. Targets were down to 56, while his receptions dropped down to 26. Many Packers fans blamed this on a new offensive system being implemented, so MVS was given a pass.
Last year, MVS made strides in almost all categories. He had a career year in receiving yards, touchdowns, yards per target, catch %, and yards per reception. MVS notably also got better in the pass blocking game, which is a huge factor in why re-signing him would be a net positive. Despite a few key drops, this was easily his best season so far.
To the casual fan a WR’s pass blocking ability might be considered unimportant but in reality, it’s one of the most important things that a WR can provide. Valdes-Scantling’s superb blocking skills contribute to the success of RBs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillion and can help other receivers like Davante Adams, Amari Rodgers and Randall Cobb get more yards after the catch.
MVS also can take the top off a defense and be a great “distraction” on any given play. He is a known deep threat, which directs attention to him and allows other pass-catchers to get open.
While MVS has been inconsistent in the receiving game, I feel like he can take another step this year and potentially be around the 800-yard mark in receiving yards. Throughout three games, Valdes-Scantling has ZERO drops and is on track for 90 targets. He also seems to be well-liked by his fellow teammates, which is always a bonus.
Overall, MVS would be a great re-signing for the team in the grand scheme of things. Along with being a great pass blocker and somebody who can provide distraction, I truly do see him improving in the receiving game more and more as the year goes along.
His performance in the NFC Championship game last year was memorable and awe-inspiring, especially given the magnitude of the game. If Valdes-Scantling doesn’t come with an expensive price tag, I don’t see why he isn’t worth a two- or three-year extension.