Is Amari Rodgers a Lost Cause for the Packers?

As a long time fan of this team, I have seen a lot of blunders and missed opportunities by these Green Bay Packers. Brandon Bostick comes to mind, as does Kevin King, and more recently, as does Amari Rodgers. Third round wide receiver from the 2022 NFL Draft, there was a good bit of excitement around Amari Rodgers, since at Clemson he appeared to be a very utilitarian piece of the offense, being able to take snaps at wide receiver, running back, and kick & punt returner. The fans thought that Rodgers may have finally gotten another weapon to pair with Davante Adams. This excitement was quickly stomped out however, as Rodgers’ production was little to none in the receiving game, and his returning skills have been proven to be mediocre at best. The question is then, is he a lost cause to the Packers franchise even so early in his career? I believe that is unfortunately the reality.

Offensive Contribution
Amari Rodgers has recorded the following so far over 148 regular season snaps: Receiving – 12 Targets | 7 Receptions | 73 Yards | 1 Fumble
Rushing – 1 Attempt | 11 Yards

In case you could not tell, this is not a good stat line. Rodgers has had a very difficult time even getting a decent enough snap count in games to be looked at, which is testament enough to his comparative contribution to the rest of the offense. There is an interesting argument to be made about why Rodgers hasn’t seen more rushing snaps, simply because he was widely agreed upon to be a utility player, but at the end of the day there is only so much that people who aren’t in the war room can know. Notably, it has even been addressed by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, that as of this season, “Yeah, he’s returning for us right now.” The uncertainty couldn’t be more obvious. It is clear that Amari Rodgers’ spot on the roster is an attempt by the front office to justify their poor selection, and they are probably trying to simply develop him into a trading piece at this point. That will even pose a challenge now, given Rodgers’ recent special teams performance.

Special Teams
The majority of Rodgers’ snaps have come from special teams, with him often being the return man for the Packers. Unfortunately, if you thought the offensive stats were bad, you may not be ready for the special teams numbers. They go as follows:

Punt Returns – 36 Returns | 279 Yards | 20 Fair Catches | 4 Fumbles
Kick Returns – 17 Returns | 321 Yards | Career Long of 34

Quite frankly, there isn’t much to say here. Amari Rodgers has been at best a spot filler at the returner position, and at worst a game wrecker. Not only has Rodgers not improved in this department in his sophomore year, he has actually gotten worse. Only 1 of the fumbles on punt returns came from his rookie season, with the other 3 coming from this 2022 season, in the span of only 7 games. One of those fumbles came in the Week 7 game against the Commanders, where the defense was only able to prevent Washingron from scoring more than a field goal, as Rodgers muffed a punt on the Green Bay 13 yard line. That game was lost by two points, by the way.

What to do?
Well there isn’t much. The Packers drafted Rodgers in the 3rd round, and right now he is showing UDFA (Undrafted Free Agent) levels of talent or heart. The most the Packers would be able to get with him is either a seventh rounder, or perhaps including him in a trade package to acquire a late fifth or sixth round pick. The NFL is a tough business, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Rodgers was cut before the end of his rookie contract or maybe even before the end of the season. I do, however, wish the best for him whether he remains on the team or not. It sucks to see any player struggling, and it sure has been a trying journey for Rodgers.
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