Packers: The significance of mandatory minicamp at wide receiver

Green Bay Packers, Christian Watson - Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers, Christian Watson - Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /

Arguably the most intriguing position heading into the second half of the offseason for the Green Bay Packers is wide receiver.

Tuesday marked the first day of mandatory minicamp for Green Bay. The team technically had every single player that has been signed or recently drafted by them at practice.

However, arguably their best receiving option in Allen Lazard, who has not signed his restricted free agent tender, was absent. The belief is that Lazard will join the team later in the week.

So for all of Packers nation out there, R-E-L-A-X.

Focusing on the WR corps, the team had Randall Cobb, Sammy Watkins, Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Amari Rodgers, Samori Toure, Juwann Winfree, and Malik Taylor all out there at practice Tuesday.

This is going to be an important offseason stretch for this position group. From now until the end of training camp.

After practice Tuesday, QB Aaron Rodgers said that it is important to temper expectations with this group.

Fans and media members should realize that this won’t become the No. 1 WR room in the league overnight. It will take time for Rodgers to build up chemistry with receivers not named Cobb and Lazard. That should go without saying.

To be great at something, you have to put the time in. Nobody understands that better than Rodgers, Matt LaFleur, the Green Bay receivers, and the rest of the team.

Especially for the rookies, this will be something they have never experienced. Catching passes from Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers will be hard on them because that is what a great leader, great mentor and all-time great QB does. But remember, if GM Brian Gutekunst and HC Matt LaFleur come together after OTAs and think they need some more help, they will have their fair share of options.

There is still plenty of WR talent left on the free agent big board.

Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr., Emmanuel Sanders, Will Fuller, DeSean Jackson, and T.Y. Hilton are all available veterans that can help this team if need be.

The team has roughly $17 million in cap space. That is plenty of room to sign one of those players. If it came to that, they would have one of the deeper WR corps in the league.

LaFleur knows there needs to be some time for chemistry to develop between his first-ballot Hall of Fame QB and new receivers. But he and Gutekunst also know they have some other options if they feel like they need to go in that direction.

Developing the young receivers while also keeping with the “win-now” strategy is where the Packers currently stand.