Packers: What Kellen Winslow Jr. Visit Might Mean for Jared Cook

The Green Bay Packers, who are normally averse to bringing in veteran free agents, are reportedly bringing in tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. for a visit Sunday.

The news, which was reported by NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, was a bit of a surprise seeing as Winslow Jr. has been retired for the past two seasons and normally, the Packers aren’t one to seek out older veterans this late in the process.

It’s is interesting that the Packers would bring in Winslow Jr., for a visit, considering he hasn’t played in the NFL since 2013. During that season, which was played with the Jets, Winslow Jr. caught 31 passes for 388 yards and two touchdowns.

The former top 10 pick recently just turned 33 last month, so wondering what he still has left in the tank is a legitimate question. The former Miami product certainly had plenty of talent at one time and while he probably still has good hands, it will be interesting to see if he can still run.

While there is nothing wrong with adding a veteran to your team, the timing of this move is a little curious and raises possible questions about the status of first-year Packer Jared Cook, who Green Bay signed as a free agent this offseason.

Cook started training camp on the PUP list due to a foot injury and he hasn’t made it off yet. There is still plenty of time before the season starts and the Packers haven’t indicated there is any concern about his health for Week 1, but this news makes you wonder if that concern is starting to creep into their minds.

Yet, the other possibility is that the Packers are disappointed in the performance of Kennard Backman and are looking for another reliable target in the passing game to pair with Cook and Richard Rodgers.

Obviously, Winslow Jr.’s workout will be a big factor in the final decision that is made, but it raises questions in my mind about Cook. However, it’s not a bad thing to see Ted Thompson change his ways a bit and exploring other avenues of player acquisition to improve the team.

Hopefully, though, Cook will be ready to go and the Packers won’t be relying on Winslow Jr. to come in and fill his role.

 

chris peterson

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