Now that Stu is done chronicling the the Packers' Increasingly Lost Season -- an idea the two of us came up with as a means to chronicle Green Bay's slide toward mediocrity and/or bait fans of the green and gold -- there are many months until the next Lost Season. So what do we do in the interim? Well, how about the Increasingly Lost Offseason? Sounds keen.
It’s hard to think of a team that has fallen further faster than the Green Bay Packers, all without playing a single down. But in an increasingly lost off-season, the hits just keep on coming.
After one of the most embarrassing and thorough whippings in recent playoff history, the Packers were tasked with rebuilding an aging group of disinterested thespian-athletes into a team that can compete with their superior divisional rivals in Minnesota and Chicago. Outside of a defense that can only claim All-Pro status in posturing and running around in circles as Colin Kaepernick glides past them, perhaps Green Bay’s greatest area of need is wide receiver. The already unreliable and diminished unit took another blow today, as reports surfaced that Donald Driver will retire.
Driver is well past his sell-by date, but his departure leaves the cupboard ever more bare for wee Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. His two best receivers, Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, can’t stay healthy. Jermichael Finley will either be dropping passes in Green Bay or another city this fall. James Jones is a poor man’s Robert Brooks. The talented, injury-prone Greg Jennings is as good as gone. So, the thin-skinned Rodgers can count on Jones, Jarrett Boykin and Jeremy Ross at wide receiver next year. The only question that remains is which national television news magazine will air his hissy fit about this situation.
Can they find an answer in free agency? Probably not. Perhaps the best receiver available is Jennings, who won’t be back. It makes you wonder just how toxic that Packers locker room is, and if this causes potentially good fits like Wes Welker or Mike Wallace to avoid Green Bay entirely.
Of course, there are a number of intriguing options in the draft, but this team has so many holes to fill (that don’t involve finding time to pitch insurance, deodorant and room decorations), focusing on wide receiver will just mean ignoring the many, many other areas in desperate need of a talent upgrade. Let’s not forget that the Vikings, also looking to bolster their receiving corps, draft ahead of the Packers. You have to trust a proven franchise builder like Rick Spielman over a team that signed Don Barclay.
Green Bay partisans may say that Driver was way past his prime, and that losing him is nothing worth panicking about. In an increasingly lost off-season, I’d ask them if they’re that excited for the Jarrett Boykin Era to begin.
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