2. Not having a long-term plan at wide receiver
But it goes beyond not paying Davante Adams. Gutekunst completely failed to make a long-term plan at wide receiver.
Ted Thompson was the master of this. He regularly restocked the wide receiver room, ensuring there was always a steady flow of new talent joining the team.
Thompson drafted Greg Jennings when they had Donald Driver. He added James Jones the following year and Jordy Nelson the offseason after that. By the time Driver's numbers began to decline, Jennings had emerged as the new WR1, Jones was a veteran, and the Packers had Nelson developing behind them.
When Green Bay moved on from Jennings and Driver in 2013, Nelson was entering his sixth season and was ready for WR1 duties. Jones remained one of Aaron Rodgers' top targets, and the Packers had Randall Cobb entering his third season, developing behind the veterans.
Jones departed in free agency following the 2013 season, at which point Cobb was ready for an increased role. The Packers then drafted Davante Adams, allowing him to develop as the WR3 behind Nelson and Cobb, who each had 1,000-yard seasons. As Nelson's career winded down, Adams emerged as a superstar ready for the WR1 role.
Thompson had an excellent track record for scouting receivers and constantly restocked the team's depth. When a veteran left, a young player was ready to fill their shoes.
Gutekunst has failed to do the same. For years, the Packers desperately needed to add another receiver alongside Adams. He swung and missed on J'Mon Moore, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Amari Rodgers. Marquez Valdes-Scantling was a solid player but didn't land a second contract in Green Bay.
In Aaron Rodgers' first season as a starter in 2008, he had veteran Donald Driver to throw to, who was coming off four straight 1,000-yard seasons. Greg Jennings was a third-year player coming off a 920-yard, 12-touchdown season.
Love has second-year receivers Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Samori Toure, and rookies Jayden Reed and Dontayvion Wicks. The upside for this group is huge, but they are inexperienced players without a veteran leading the way.