3. Gutekunst putting own stamp on Packers
First, the good: I love the Muhammad Wilkerson signing for the Packers. On a one-year deal that maxes out at $8 million, he's absolutely a risk worth taking. Wilkerson and Mike Daniels can form a devastating inside sub rush, and that can help offset the lack of reliable heat Mike Pettine can bring off his edges.
Wilkerson is only 28, doesn't have a major injury history and won't have the distractions in Green Bay that he did in the Big Apple. Credit rookie GM Brian Gutekunst for getting Wilkerson in the building first and making an enticing enough offer that Wilkerson returned after other visits.
As for betting on Jimmy Graham over Jordy Nelson, arguably both one-trick ponies at the current stages of their superb careers? Color me wary. One of the more frequently cited stats in the wake of Nelson's release — career-low 9.1 yards per carry last season. Why, then, haven't I seen more people pointing out that Graham also had a career-low catch average last season... of 9.1 yards?
Look, Graham can dominate in the red zone, where few NFL defenders can match up with the prolific power forward. I get it. But how long will it take him and Aaron Rodgers to come close to matching the telepathic connection the Packers' passer had with Nelson, also a dominant red zone threat, I'll add?
Gutekunst resisted the urge to let sentiment into a tough decision, which I applaud. But is there also some stubbornness in attempting to acquire the seam-splitting big-bodied TE for a third offseason in a row after the mixed-bag Jared Cook signing and unmitigated disaster that was Martellus Bennett?
Reports indicate Rodgers is excited about Graham and actually played a major hand in his recruitment. So that's good at least, as he didn't hide his frustration with one of the Packers' other offseason changes, the ouster of Rodgers' other BFF, QB coach Alex Van Pelt.
But Gutekunst making the release of Nelson his first major move as Packers GM is one I'm still trying to wrap my head around.