3 worst free-agent signings under Packers GM Brian Gutekunst

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2. Sammy Watkins

The year is 2022. Despite signing Aaron Rodgers to a new contract—a move intended to lower his cap hit and allow the Packers to build a Super Bowl roster—they traded Davante Adams and let Marquez Valdes-Scantling depart in free agency.

Wide receiver became an urgent need, especially considering the Packers had serious Super Bowl aspirations with Rodgers late in his career. There were opportunities. The free-agent market included Allen Robinson and Christian Kirk, while the Philadelphia Eagles traded for star receiver A.J. Brown.

Instead, Green Bay signed Sammy Watkins to a one-year, $1.85 million contract. Watkins had been a solid WR3 in Kansas City, but he was now tasked with becoming a go-to target along with Allen Lazard while the Packers eased in rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs.

Watkins only played nine games in Green Bay, catching 13 passes for 206 yards. The Packers released him in December 2022.

It was a head-scratching decision from Gutekunst. Why keep Rodgers only to trade Adams the same week? And while they were supposedly all-in to win a championship with Rodgers, why didn't they make a big move for a wide receiver following Adams' departure?

Predictably, expecting Watkins to play a featured role didn't go to plan.