2020 Key Additions: The team was fairly quiet when it came to adding veteran free agents but did add nose tackle Michael Pierce (from Ravens) and wide receiver Tajae Sharpe (Titans). But general manager Rick Spielman saved his best for the NFL draft and his 15 selections set a new record for a seven-round format. The haul included a pair of first-rounders in wide receiver Justin Jefferson (LSU) and cornerback Jeff Gladney (TCU). It’s also worth mentioning that offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski left to become the head coach of the Browns and veteran coach Gary Kubiak now has that title for Mike Zimmer’s club.
Offseason Review: A year ago, the team finished 10-6, captured a wild card berth and upset the Saints in the first round of the playoffs before being pushed around by the 49ers in the divisional round. There are a number of familiar faces no longer with the club in wide receiver Stefon Diggs, defensive tackle Linval Joseph and cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes. But Spielman provided the club with plenty of youth in the draft – the majority (9) of those on defense. The club signed Cousins to a contract extension and will look this season to make consecutive playoff appearances for the first time since 2008 and ‘09.
2020 Key Additions: Opposed to a year ago, general manager Brian Gutekunst was more economical when it came to picking up veteran players. Released prior to free agency, the Packers added linebacker Christian Kirksey and tackle Rick Wagner – late of the Browns and Lions, respectively. The club also picked up one-time Panthers’ wideout Devin Funchess, who played in only one game for the Colts in ‘19. There was plenty of buzz when the team moved up in the first round to take Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. All told, Gutekunst made nine picks and six were dedicated to the offense – three to the line.
Offseason Review: Although Matt LaFleur’s club won the NFC North with a 13-3 record and reached the conference title game, the Packers didn’t feel like one of the best teams in the league by year’s end. A defense built to rush the passer wilted against the run and was pushed around twice by the NFC champion 49ers. A look at the team’s changes on defense and the offensive line along with Green Bay’s approach in the draft seems to indicate that this will be a much more physical offense in 2020. And the biggest beneficiary of a bigger commitment to a balanced attack is veteran signal-caller Aaron Rodgers.