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Point of Veau: Jordy Nelson's Payday is Coming ... Soon

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Point of Veau: Jordy Nelson's Payday is Coming ... Soon

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson. Photo by Corey Behnke of CheeseheadTV.com.

For years, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson has been one of the biggest bargains in all of professional football.

Coming on the heels of his big Super Bowl performance in which he had nine catches for 140 yards a touchdown, Nelson received a contract extension in the midst of his breakout 2011 season.

At the time, Nelson was awarded a four-year extension worth $12.6 million, good for an average of $3.15 million per season. It made him the league's 27th highest paid wide receiver in the NFL, according to an article at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Nelson has far out-performed his pay grade, averaging 67 catches for 1,108 yards and 10 touchdowns in each of the past three seasons.

His latest campaign was capped off with a career-high 85 catches for 1,314 yards in 2013, and all this despite quarterback Aaron Rodgers missing half the season due to injury. Nelson also led the NFL with 19 catches of 25-plus yards this past season.

Despite impressive numbers, Nelson was only named an second alternate to the Pro Bowl this season and probably wasn't helped by playing in the same division as two of the best wideouts in the NFL––Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions and Brandon Marshall of the Chicago Bears.

At the time of his last extension, Nelson accepted the security of four-year deal before reaching free agency in return for lower payday than he probably deserved. But at the same time, Nelson was also part of a receiving corps that still included Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and James Jones, considered to be perhaps the best in the NFL.

All the while, Nelson has never publicly complained of being underpaid, playing the part of good soldier as well as a visible ambassador of the team, and indeed, the state of Wisconsin.

Nelson gained publicity this past season for being featured in a Wisconsin tourism television commercial produced by Jerry Zucker that was a spoof on the Wizard of Oz, a nod to Nelson's Kansas heritage.

With Nelson a year away from free agency in 2014, it's very likely the Packers will reward Nelson's loyalty and goodwill in the form of yet another contract extension this offseason, one much more handsome than his last.

By doing so a year before he's set to become a free agent, the Packers will be locking up Nelson at a time when he's still relatively young at 28 years old and conceivably saving money by not waiting until he hits the open market.

What Nelson deserves and will eventually get is open to debate, but it wouldn't be surprising if makes somewhere in the neighborhood of double what he's making now, or a deal averaging approximately $6 million per year, give or take.

Factoring into the decision about how much to give Nelson are the Packers' many other decisions to make this upcoming offseason with 20 players scheduled to become free agents, including cornerback Sam Shields, defensive lineman B.J. Raji and center Evan Dietrich-Smith.

One other candidate for a contract extension is fellow wide receiver Randall Cobb, whose rookie contract is also set to expire following the 2014 season.

With receiving targets like James Jones and Jermichael Finley expected to hit free agency in March, the Packers can ill afford to allow core players like Nelson and Cobb get away.

There's always the ever-present challenge of fitting all new contracts into the team's salary-cap structure, eaten up in large part by big-time deals for quarterback Aaron Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews.

Thanks to being able to carry over nearly $10 million in unused salary-cap space from 2013 to 2014, however, there's plenty of room under the cap for the time being, although it will be gobbled up quickly once free agency starts.

And it wouldn't be surprising if the Packers extend Nelson in the next month, so they have a clearer picture of how much money they'll have left over to sign their own player, and potentially those from other teams.

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email carriveau@uwalumni.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (128) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I expect to see both Nelson and Cobb getting extensions this year.

I would think that Nelson would get the bigger contract since he has been around longer and has accomplished more.

I think both of these guys will be signed before this time next year.

FITZCORE1252's picture

If anyone has earned a raise, it's Jordy.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

I'm sure both Jordy & Cobb will get Nice contracts. Am I wrong?? Didn't Jordy take less than what he could have got the last time, to stay in GB?

cLowNEY42's picture

Here I go being negative again...
2014 will be Jordy's last in GB.
In this day and age - you can't afford 2 premier WR's.
Cobb is younger and has a higher ceiling.

Our $100,000,000.00 QB should be able still thrive with Cobb and a couple of reliable WR's.

A WR will be drafted high (RD2 or 3).

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

cLowNEY, At this point, I'm going to disagree with you. I believe Jordy will stay in GB.

Stroh's picture

Thompson won't make the same mistske Wolf did. He'll get Jordy signed and make sure Ridgers has enough weapons. Wolf always lamented not having better WR for Favre. Thompson will get Jordy extended in the next few months or during the '14 season. My guess is about training camp or later after FA and draft picks are all signed. Otherwise during next season.

cLowNEY42's picture

And yet it was the Packer defenses that kept Favre from winning another SB (along with his looseness with the ball).... they scored more than enough points with Walker and Schroeder, and Franks, and Brooks, and Driver, and Freeman, and Green.

But, yeah - you're probably right because TT is like a Wolf clone... except for the whole trading and FA thing (enter the whole "CAN'T COMPARE THE WOLF AND THOMPSON ERAS" argument... yeah, yeah we all know they were playing with different rules).

4thand1's picture

Alright Ted hater. Its apparent you don't like him. Funny how you bring up Favre. Blow your nose in either your Jets #4 or Vikes #4, take your pick.

cLowNEY42's picture

I hate Favre.
I was 100% behind TT at the start (when rebuilding).
I feel that now that the team is in a different situation (young HOF QB) he should tweek his MO.

Brian Carriveau's picture

That might be your method of team-building, Cow, but you can name the price and I'll bet you that doesn't happen.

cLowNEY42's picture

So you're 100% positive that they resign Nelson AND Cobb?

Brian Carriveau's picture

Your comment was that 2014 would be Jordy Nelson's last in Green Bay. And the only way that's going to happen is if he suffers a career-ending injury. He's going to get an extension whether you think he should or not.

Arlo's picture

Jordy doesn't know this. TT doesn't know this. No fan knows this.

But Brian does ---- Rrrright. (rolls eyes)

cLowNEY42's picture

" ...whether you think he should or not."

I'm not saying they Packers SHOULDN'T extend him... I'm saying I don't think they WILL extend him.

There's a difference.

P.S. Way to jinx Jordy. I was wondering who next season's inevitable crippling injury was going to hit. You just sealed the deal, bro.

Nice.

Phatgzus's picture

Supremacy issues much, ARLAMO?

mark's picture

You're a special breed of pessimist if you don't think the Packers are going to extend 87.

JLeu's picture

Rodgers will lobby hard to keep Nelson. Double the half season Jordy had this year with AR at QB and he's a top 3 receiver stats wise. So, not quite sure why anyone thinks Cobb has a higher ceiling. Help me out here. They have some similarities in their mental approach (ex QBs maybe) to the game but they are different animals.

I say TT signs both to extensions. Jordy seems to like GB and is close to Rodgers. He will give them the family discount. But, he deserves a good payday.

He's a special talent, and those who believe he can easily be replaced are a little too optimistic. Big, fast guys with great hands and character don't come around often. I say keep him.

Arlo's picture

Agree with pretty much everything you've said except the "family discount" portion. Nelson's next contract or extension will be his last opportunity to maximize his NFL earnings. Playing with AR or in GB will have zero to do with Nelson's value.

It's naive to think that someone who grew up outside of Wisconsin will forego millions to stay in Wisconsin.

Phatgzus's picture

Yeah but Jordy has family in Green Bay as well, if he gets anything near around $8M I'd bet Vince Young's lawyer fees he stays. Speaking of, not every player is a greedy profligate who needs a max contract to make ends meet.

cLowNEY42's picture

I also want him to stay.
Just don't think they'll be able to afford him AND Cobb.

And Cobb's younger, probably cheaper (because you'd be paying him for future performance as opposed to past performance), and more multi-dimensional.

Mikeh2's picture

This really should be why you don't spend money on over-priced Free Agents.

I'd much rather pay Nelson and keep a guy like him who has chemistry with the team, fits in , produced and been a team man than sign a Free Agent for (probably) an overpriced contract.

Being able to sign Cobb and Nelson would vindicate the 'don't overpay Free Agents approach'. If we can't keep Nelson and we don't see Free Agents either then the questions have to be asked.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

cLowNEY, I have to agree. Favre didn't get the defenses either. 4th & 26, It still kills me. Favre took the bullet for the Championship game, but Crosby's missed FG, & Al Harris being completely outmanned by Burris, is what cost us that game, & another spot in the SB.

4thand1's picture

He zeroed in on Driver and the Giants knew he would. I'll never forget, he had Dorsey Levens running wide open across the middle for a huge gain . Also, I think the Giants missed 2 FG's in that game.

cLowNEY42's picture

I know they missed one for sure because I kissed my aunt on the lips when it happened... and she's a nun.

True story.

And, yes - Dorsey was wide open. I remember checking a still-photo of that play... pretty much everyone EXCEPT Driver was open.

Bastard.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

You might be right on the 4th & 26, but I still think Favre carried GB a long way on his own, which they paid him to do. I do however think Favre got better as a QB in his last few years as a Packer, & I hate to say it, but pretty much showed it at Minn, his 1st year. None of this has anything to do with the fact that GB needs to fix it's defense. I'm afraid ARod's going to have to carry the same load.

4thand1's picture

And it may get worse. How can we pay out big bucks to Cobb and Jordy? The salary cap is a bastard when you have an elite QB.

Hank Scorpio's picture

You got the wrong #25. Levens was long gone. It was Ryan Grant wide open on the check down.

He might have gone far enough to get into FG range. If he makes one or two guys miss (or gets a block downfield), he scores.

That was the game where I finally gave up on Favre.

cLowNEY42's picture

Oh yeah - Grant DUH!

Mojo's picture

According to a recent television spot that had something to do with how magical Wisconsin is - Jordy likes it there. He even say's "but I don't want to go" and "it's great here".

It's obvious his affection for the cheese state will convince him to sign a seven-year veterans minimum contract.

cLowNEY42's picture

Clearly, this is fact.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

I admit, that I don't know exactly how the Salary Cap works?? Green Bay has a lot of $$$ in the bank, or am I wrong? Don't other teams with Billionaire owners find some way to get around the Cap, by spending $$$ upfront somehow? If GB wanted to, couldn't they do the same?? Maybe restructure some contracts?? How do other teams do it??

4thand1's picture

That what the front office does. GM, president, accountants. Its a business. Big money business. Some teams don't and get penalized for it. It can cost draft picks and huge fines. Currently the Packers are sitting 10 mil under the cap. A hell of a lot will change between now and draft day. These guys put in long hours.

Hank Scorpio's picture

I thought I read they were rolling $10 mil of unused space from 2013. And they were another $10 mil under the cap before they did it.

Evan's picture

Plus about $30 mil coming off the books.

Nopainnogain's picture

how much money you have in the bank is irrelevant to the salary cap. you could be a trillionaire and you'd only be allotted the same $123 million in cap like everyone else. unlike the MLB & NBA, the NFL has a hard cap so there is no way to get around it and spend more. I don't see any advantage to paying more money up front either since the new CBA allows teams to carry unused cap space from one year to the next.

restructuring contracts would give you more space in the present but would takes away cap space in future. teams that restructure contracts make themselves a limited window to contend after which they are forced to "cut & gut" the roster because they have crippled cap space and can't pay everyone. base salaries are not guaranteed so you can cut expensive underperforming players to save cap space. restructuring converts base salaries into signing bonuses (ie. guaranteed $) so you can have a situation where it would actually cost you cap space to cut an underperforming player, taking away flexibility

Hank Scorpio's picture

The one simple thing to remember about the cap is that every dollar that goes from team to player is eventually counted. So teams that use cap tricks to make room are robbing from the future. The bill always comes due.

Signing bonus is where teams make cap space. SB is divided by the years of the contract to count evenly for its duration.

Some teams in the outer years of contracts will convert roster bonus or salary (all of which counts in the year received) into signing bonus to defer the cap hit over multiple years. The fans make a big fawning deal over the star "taking one of the team" and helping make cap room. But the reality is the player doesn't get any less and gets most of it sooner than contractually scheduled. And the team just kicked the can down the road.

The Packers have avoided this under TT. They also will pay some of the upfront money on new contracts as a roster bonus to sort of "pay as you go", at least to some degree. I strongly support that approach but it is the crux of the matter in the debate over TT with Packer fans. I'd rather take 5 shots, even if all start on WC weekend, than load up for 1 or 2 as a bye team followed by 2 or 3 awful years while you catch up to spending and rebuild from the inevitable player losses. The folks that are a bit more critical of TT's approach to FA often lean more toward the loading up side of the debate.

redlights's picture

That's how I see it,too.

jeremy's picture

This is a great explanation that I agree with, except for when you have totally failed to develop a position like Safety that is not highly paid. The franchise tag for a safety right now is ~7.5 mil so that's the average of the top five. This years FA safety group is loaded and there is no reason not to pursue a young talented guy with 3-4 experience like TJ Ward, or Donte Whitner. Either could probably be had for 5-6 mil per. The Packers will easily have enough cap room to pull it off.

Ryan's picture

5-6 million at what expense? If Casey Hayward rebounds, he could be asking for 3-4 million next offseason. How about Mike Daniels, that 5-6 million would be nice to have around.

This debate is so much like last year when everyone wanted Stephen Jackson signed. We would have never drafted Lacy, and had 6mil tied up in a washed up RB. That 6m might be the 6m, we will eventually give to Jordy and Cobb. Point being, patience. A lot happens between the roster now and the roster Week 1.

jeremy's picture

I don't think your points stick Ryan. Hayward and Daniels are both on four year deals. TJ Ward and Whitner are both young guys. Jackson is old and plays at RB where careers are really short and rookies can make an impact. That's very different from the Safety position in most respects.

THEMichaelRose's picture

An average of $6m a year seems like a bargain, again.

IMO, he's worth more than Greg Jennings and Mike Wallace. Wallace is younger and faster but he's not nearly as complete or consistent. Jennings got all that money he did at an "advanced age," similar to where Jordy will be.

If Jordy's agent has any killer instinct at all, he'll convince Jordy to push for more. It's his last shot at a big payday, he honestly shouldn't let loyalty cloud the bigger picture, especially given how he's been underpaid recently.

Phatgzus's picture

Greg Jennings and Mike Wallace are grossly overpaid. Let's not also forget Wisconsin has one of the highest income taxes in Amurrica; no idea why the NFL doesn't alter salary caps based on regional tax variances.

Stroh's picture

WI may have higher taxes, but the cost of living is substantially lower too. My guess is that level the variance quite a bit.

Jesse's picture

I don't think cost of living is a big factor when you make millions. It is a bigger factor for us Joe Blows where our expenditures on things that vary regionally (like gas and groceries).

That said, I think state income tax variance is biggest when you are looking at TX or FL where they have none, not necessarily a few % difference between states.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Washington also has no state income tax. I'm moving to Oregon next month... not looking forward to that 9% coming out.

Phatgzus's picture

And that's why I think a flat tax is a bunch bull pucky, but I digress, this is not the apropos forum.

Phatgzus's picture

At least you usually get some (the equivalent of a tater from a steak dinner) of that income tax back, unlike with food tax.

TommyG's picture

Hey Fitz, you will have a 9% income tax but zero sales tax. Washington is zero income tax but about a 8-9% sales tax; varies by county.

Phatgzus's picture

Valid point.

THEMichaelRose's picture

To your point about grossly overpaid - I agree with you. Most unrestricted free agents end up "overpaid" in the minds of people who try to assess their value. But, it's a bidding war when you're a free agent, and the player usually goes to the highest bidder.
My point was, $6m, or even $7m or $8m for that matter, would not be the highest bid if he got on the open market.

Phatgzus's picture

Yes indeedy.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

4thand1, I get that part, what I don't get is how the salary cap works?? Some $$$ counts against the cap, & some $$$ doesn't.
I'm sure there is a legal way around the cap, if a team is willing to spend the money, but I'm not sure how it works?? I (Think)??? it has to do with paying a player Cash $$$ upfront. I'm sure there is more to it than that? If there is a way, GB better think about doing it.

Phatgzus's picture

I'm going to throw my parents' favorite quote to me as a child at you-"If you don't understand it, then go LOOK IT UP."

Sir Cheese's picture

Any money paid in the form of a signing bonus is amortized over the length of the contract. When people start reconstructing contracts and pushing money into the future, it will eventually catch up with you. The Cowboys are a prime example, they are always restructuring deals to stay under the cap but eventually it's just not feasible anymore. TT is a good GM. Perfect? No. But one of the things he does best is maintain a healthy salary cap.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Sir Cheese, Ok, Thanks for being respectable. That's more than I can say for a lot of folks on this post, most of whom probably never got closer to a football field than the 1st row of bleachers.
I wasn't bashing TT or MM. I didn't realize upfront money eventually catch's up. It makes sense, not to extend $$$ out, if at some point it's going to hurt your cap. Thanks for the explanation.

Sir Cheese's picture

No worries, I also responded to another of your comments before reading this response reiterating my thoughts.

TheClaw's picture

Tom
Use this link to download the latest CBA (2011). It's over 300 pages of all the NFL's rules & regulations. Has over 50 pages on the salary cap.

https://www.nflplayers.com/About-us/CBA-Download/

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

TheClaw, Thanks for the info!!

4thand1's picture

Vegas, I'm as confused as you. nopainogain explained it good.

Nopainnogain's picture

yea sometimes an example helps:

say a player is signed to a base salary of $12 mil/yr for 4 yrs plus $8 mil signing bonus. he gets paid the signing bonus immediately, but the corresponding $8 mil cap hit is spread over 4 years ($2 /yr).

yr 1=$12 base + $2 signing bonus= $14 mil cap hit
yr 2=$12 base + $2 signing bonus= $14 mil cap hit
yr 3=$12 base + $2 signing bonus= $14 mil cap hit
yr 4=$12 base + $2 signing bonus= $14 mil cap hit

the total is $56 mil

say the team wants to cut the player at the beginning of year 2. the $12 mil base salary for the remaining years disappear from the cap since that money was never paid to the player. however the rest of the cap hit from signing bonus ($6 mil) is immediately applied to that year. Still, the team got out of the contract having only used $20 mil of cap space on the player.
--------------------------------------
on the other hand, if it was a restructured contract, it might look something like: year 1 base salary=$2 mil, yr 2 base=$8 mil, yr 3 base=$10 mil, yr 4 base=$12 mil, plus $24 mil signing bonus.

yr 1=$2 base + $6 signing bonus= $8 mil cap hit
yr 2=$8 base + $6 signing bonus= $14 mil cap hit
yr 3=$10 base + $6 signing bonus= $16 mil cap hit
yr 4=$12 base + $6 signing bonus= $18 mil cap hit

notice, the total is still $56 mil.

now the team gets $6 mil more cap space in first year, but less space in the following years. now, say they want to cut him in the beginning of the second year like in the first scenario. as before, the base goes away and remainder of signing bonus ($18 mil) hit moves up. not only would they actually lose $4 cap space in the current year by cutting the player, but they will end up having spent $24 mil of cap space on the player vs. the $20 mil in the first scenario.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Good example No Pain. For Las Vegas, all GUARANTEED money plus whatever the player earns by actually playing is going to count against the cap, sooner or later, depending on how it is structured. Another example (an extreme one to make the point: Same parameters, 4 yrs total amount $56M:

Y1:$31m Roster Bonus,$1m Base 32 Cap
Yr2: $8m base Cap $8m* (*if he plays
Yr3: $8m base Cap hit =$8 million
Yr4: $8m base Cap Hit =$8 million

Here, if the player plays all 4 years (and isn't forced to take a pay cut down the road) he earns all $56 million. But the GM can cut the player in yr 2 or later and doesn't have to pay the base salary and there will be no cap hit because the base salary was not guaranteed. This also protects the team (but can hurt the player) from having to take a cap hit in year 4 if the aging veteran loses his physical skills. The GM just cuts him or resigns him to a lesser contract. Note that I put in a base salary of $1 million in yr 1 because under the CBA (union contract) all veterans must be paid a minimum base of roughly $834K per year.

There are other ways too, such as workout bonuses that are paid each year and count in the year in which they are earned. There are split contracts in which the player might have a base salary of $8 million but it is reduced to $4 million if the player is put on injured reserve. Note that unless guaranteed, roster and workout bonuses are a risk to the player. Simple case is that the player gets hit by a bus and dies. He can't earn the work out or roster bonus and he (or his family) won't receive that money and it won't count against the cap. Players like signing bonuses for that reason.

So, it doesn't matter whether the owner is a trillionaire or not. GB has more than enough money to pay players large signing bonuses and such. TT generally spends 90 to 95% of the salary cap each year. It is always prudent to leave some salary cap in case you have to sign some players mid-season, like TT did with Dujuan Harris, and since the unused cap rolls over, to save some for increases in salary for players already signed like Arod and CM3 or for extending players like Nelson and Cobb.
(Disclaimer: I do not profess to be an expert on this. I think what I wrote above is right, as far as it goes, anyway. Eg.: I believe that once a player is injured and placed on IR, he can't be cut and therefore his full base salary counts against the capz; thus there are injury settlements, which I know nothing about.)

Phatgzus's picture

Yeppers, your post was spot on; Helluva a simple case, Mr. Poe.

Stroh's picture

No way around the salary cap. Every $ paid at some point is accounted for sooner or later. The biggest thing is that Signing bonus is prorated over the length of the loan. But Roster bonus is paid and counts immediately once its paid.

Its really not that complicated until you start doing it over every contract every year. An individual players contract is relatively easy to figure the cap hit in any given year.

Read up on it a little or just pay attention to how a player gets paid and he cap number each year.

xuyee's picture

I love Jordy. He's more valuable than Cobb. But does Tom Brady's success this year devalue the WR position? I mean Kembrel Thompkins and Julian Edelman aren't exactly elite receivers.

Hank Scorpio's picture

It is easier for a QB to make a WR look good than the other way around, that's for sure. Greg Jennings is case in point on that.

Given TT's track record with WRs and Rodgers under center, I think WR is a place the Packers can conserve cap resources. I love Nelson and Cobb. I hope both stay a while. But neither are elite WRs and neither should be paid like one.

Evan's picture

Cobb is elite.

4thand1's picture

Cobb is elite

Stroh's picture

Cobb is very good but he's not elite. In fact I would say Jordy is more elite than Cobb. Cobb is a Welker type, while Jordy is a Andre Johnson type. Which would you rather have? Welker types get drafted in the 2nd or later. The Johnson's go very early. Cobb and Jordy are each playing above their draft status.

GrnMachine's picture

Guess you missed the sideline catch against the 9ers to start the season :/ And you certainly ignored the 85 catches, 1000+ yards and the fact that he lead the league in receptions over 25...WITHOUT Aaron Rodgers. True, it's hard for a WR to make a qb look good, but Nelson snatches interceptions from DB's and turns them into scores. Nelson is a top 5 wideout. Elite.

Hank Scorpio's picture

Grnmachine,

If that comments was directed at me, you guessed wrong. I watched Jordy Nelson have an elite year in 2013. He made some amazing catches and put up outstanding overall numbers, especially considering the QB situation.

But I made the mistake of thinking one amazing season made Javon Walker into an elite WR. I thought it was a mistake to not offer him the contract that Denver did. Fortunately, TT did not see things my way. That mistake adjusted my thinking. Like Cobb, Nelson needs to put more skins on the wall to move into the elite level.

THEMichaelRose's picture

Cobb should become elite, but he won't be paid like he's elite, yet.

His injury saved the Packers a bunch of money, as he hasn't yet had the opportunity to put together a huge 16-game season.

Phatgzus's picture

Stats aren't everything, Sir Scorpio;'if Jordy was the only decnt receiver on the team, he wouldn't be all that far off of Megatron numbers.

Hank Scorpio's picture

I disagree. He's not yet posted a single 1200 yard season. He was at 954 in 2012. If you extrapolate his 6 games in 2013 to a full 16, he would have been around 1150, good enough for 17th in NFL receiving yards. As it actually happened, he was at 433.

Don't get me wrong. I am very glad he's a Packer and hope he continues to be one. He's got great football awareness and can chip in yardage out of the backfield. He can return. That kind of versatility is valuable. He's a threat to score any time he gets his hands on the ball. But he's got to put more skins on the wall to qualify for elite status and payday, IMO.

Phatgzus's picture

Jordy is Elite, Cobb has Elite talent-if he stays healthy, be will become Elite.

Phatgzus's picture

Edelman's pretty good, Wes Welker light.

4thand1's picture

A wise Gm once said, GM's and coaches that listen to fans, end up among them in a year or two.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

4thand1, I think you missed my point, but that's ok. Everyone should play by the same set of rules. Whether you want to accept it or not, you have to spend $$$ to win Championships. GM's that want to sit on it, probably will wind up as a fan. If there is a way around the cap, GB
should use it, if it will help the team win.

4thand1's picture

I just read that the Packers are currently 26 mil under the cap. Seems like it changes. Thought it was 10.

Stroh's picture

It was about 10M, the 26M is after Raji, Pickett, Finley come off the books. That frees up almost 20M alone.

Sir Cheese's picture

As I stated before, you can only circumvent the cap for so long before you won't even have the money to retain your own core players. TT will resign Nelson, Cobb, and Shields because he had the foresight to carry over extra money, knowing these contracts were coming up. Rodgers and Matthews deals are actually pretty cap friendly, I think Rodgers cap hit is about 17.5 million next season, even though his average annual salary in 22 million.

Pushing money into the future will only make it harder to sign our young talent when the time comes. This is why TT chooses to extend his own core players before they hit free agency, most of the time it works, sometimes it doesn't (Burnett)but it's few and far between. It's also why he chooses to let other teams overpay for his aging veterans, you can't break the bank for everyone when you are paying Rodgers, Matthews, and hopefully Shields, Nelson and Cobb top dollar. You have to draft well and find value in free agency ( T. Williams, Shields, Picket, Woodson, EDS are good recent examples)

4thand1's picture

Spot on.

cLowNEY42's picture

"You have to draft well..."

And there's the problem, right there (the last 3 years, anyhow).

4thand1's picture

When D. Jones and Perry are really good this year, I'll be looking for you. And Hayward.

cLowNEY42's picture

When D. Jones is invisible (again) and Perry is injured (again), I'll be looking for you. And Hayward's luck runs out (qb's throwing the ball right at him - see J. Cutler) and Off. Coor. recognize the fact he's too slow.

Hank Scorpio's picture

I'm not sure how you can say last year was a bad draft with a straight face.

Lacy is a strong candidate for RoY. He helped transform the Packer offense from the pass-only one we've seen for the last several years. That's huge. Hyde and Bakhtiari both played key roles. Boyd was coming on as the season progressed. Franklin had a 100 yard game before he went on IR. Sure he had fumble issue but lots of rookies do. I'll grant you that Jones was not very productive but lots of 1st round DL have unproductive rookie years at the start of productive careers. There are a few more bottom of the roster types that could always surprise in year 2.

Sure seems like TT got things back on track in the draft to me.

BTW--I acknowledge the lack of production from the 2012 draft but don't grant that it will ultimately be a poor one.... yet. Daniels was perhaps their best DL last year. It is way premature to suggest Hayward is injury prone. He certainly can play when healthy. I'm not giving up on Perry & Worthy just yet. I think there is a chance they hit the "4 solid contributors" mark with the 2012 class at the end of year 3. That is sort of my benchmark for a particular draft. Anything more is good. Anything less is bad.

And while 2011 was a bad draft for sure, they still added Randall Cobb.

Sir Cheese's picture

Eddie Lacy, David Bakhtiari, Micah Hyde, and Josh Boyd all look like very solid picks from this years draft, I expect Datone to make a jump in year 2 and 3 as is typical with defensive lineme. Casey Hayward and Mike Daniels are solid picks, Nick Perry has the talent, just needs to stay healthy as does Hayward. The 2011 draft was not that great, but Cobb is a rare talent and I still hope Sherrod can make an impact next year. We haven't hit gold on every pick but no one does. We do however consistently find talent and value in the draft which keeps us cap healthy and competitive every year.

cLowNEY42's picture

So you guys are supporting TT's last couple drafts by listing players such as...

Boyd
Perry
Worthy
D. Jones
Hyde
Bakhtiari
Franklin

...guess my bar is set just a bit higher.

Hank Scorpio's picture

You forgot to mention Eddie Lacy, Clowney. He is the biggest part of the 2013 draft. I do think drafting the rookie of the year is something that really helps a draft a lot. "Forgetting" or discounting TT's successes seems to be a quite common feature among his detractors.

But yeah, Hyde, Bakhtiari, Franklin and Boyd all showed something as rookies to one degree or another. All need to improve but plenty of guys do from year 1 to year 2.

Phatgzus's picture

Hayward had the lowest Passer Rating Vs.-it was in the teens-that doesn't just happen because the QB throws the ball directly at you about 8 times out of hundreds of plays; you usually have to put yourself in position to make the play to begin with, then you gotta make the play (Hyde *shakes fists menacingly*). let's not forget the dude can tackle as well.

Phatgzus's picture

Maybe your bar isn't higher, you're just shorter, that would explain the constant air of frustration and general Eeyoritude.

You do realize that over half the players on that list were drafted in Rd. 4 or later, don't you. BTW Perry had 3 strip sacks this year, i believe 2 last year (and was robbed of 1 vs. Indy)-the dude crushes QBs and makes plays when healthy. Now he's gotta figure out how to stay healthy, maybe he should sleep in a hyperbaric chamber for the rest of his days, who knows.

Phatgzus's picture

Yeppers, though I would like to add the caveat that Burnett's face-lifted contract is only in it's second year, inauspicious beginning to say the least but it could get better (it could also get worse, but it's gotta get better, it's just gotta).

Stroh's picture

Thompson just spend 100M to keep the Franchise in GB for another 6 yrs and he spent another 10M per on Matthews! That's spending ALOT of money! Spending foolishly on overpriced FA doesn't win SB's!!

redlights's picture

I don't want to sound mean, but seriously, do you really think the Packers' don't know the tricks to the cap? The front office is paid well to run a multi, multi million dollar business. They're not high school dropouts.

Phatgzus's picture

News to me, coulda sworn Murphy went to hamburger U and TT got degrees in Mixology and Ghost Riding.

4thand1's picture

SF and Seattle are in good shape because they don't have to pay Wilson and Kaepernick shit. But both will due a huge payday so they'll be in cap hell with all their young talent.

Evan's picture

Kap is entering his last year. Likely he'll get extended this off-season for around $18+ mil a year. Should be interesting. They have very little cap room.

Wilson has another year before Seattle is even allowed to renegotiate.

Phatgzus's picture

Bye bye Frank Gore-hello Kendall Hunter and Marcus Lattimore.

Sir Cheese's picture

Exactly. San Fran will most likely have to extend Kaep this offseason, around 17-18 million per year is my guess. Wilson should earn a similar contract. At that point they will have some tough decisions to make as Aldon Smith, Willis, Bowman, Crabtree, V Davis, Sherman, Chancelor, Irvin, Earl Thomas, will all have to be resigned. Can't keep em all when you are paying "The Man"

The TKstinator's picture

Agreed. The cap forces every team to make choices. Contract maturity is a big issue for every team.

WKUPackFan's picture

Just my opinion, but there's no way I'd pay CK 17-18 mil. He's just not a great passer, and the legs don't make up for that. Don't care that he put 400+ on the Pack, other factors were involved. Hate to be so critical of someone, but I just don't think he's at that level.

Evan's picture

I'd agree with you. I don't think he's elite, at least not yet.

I'm just parroting the figure I saw projected in a recent spotrac article.

http://bit.ly/KsMKAC

cLowNEY42's picture

So the "non-elite" player is 3-0 vs or $100,000,000.00 guy.

Sweet.

(Yes - it's a team game... but he's outplayed Rodgers in all 3 games).

Xuyee's picture

You might be right, but the real question is what the Jets or Bills or Bengals or Browns or Texans or Vikings or Bucs or Jags be willing to pay him. At least Flacco money? You better believe it.

Sir Cheese's picture

He doesn't have to be elite to make 18 million. Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco all make more than that and none of them are "elite" in my books. It's a matter of what the market says he's worth. I say he is currently a in bottom end of the 2nd tier of QB's with a high upside so you have to pay him as such in order to keep him. I doubt they want to let it go til he hits free agency it will undoubtedly cost them more to keep him at that point. All it takes is one team to overpay your guy and he's gone.

Evan's picture

Might have something to do with the respective defenses each QB was playing against?

GrnMachine's picture

Hey. Clowney. Have them swap Defenses and then tell me who u think would have a better game. You said it right the first time - TEAM GAME! Unless of course, you're suggesting Kaepernick is an elite qb and/or better than Aaron??! (Take the bait, oh plleeaassee take the bait...)

cLowNEY42's picture

I'll give you that Rodgers is a better QB... in the regular season.

But I'll take Kaepernick in the playoffs.

Rodgers has looked more like Eli Manning in the playoffs the last couple years.... that may even be too kind.

Hey - when you make a bazzilion dollars, you better play like it when the games are most important... no excuses.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

cLowney, I wouldn't call CK an elite QB. I think he's better than a good QB on a Very Good team. For what this might be worth, (probably nothing), It is true. When GB was searching for a QB to replace ARod, people in California were saying that when Smith was still with SF, Tolzien nearly beat out CK for the back up spot. True or not, that's what was said.
With regard to Scott Tozien, he always was a confidence type of QB.
I haven't given up on him for the back-up spot. I think he did a Great job for us, & had a few Bad Breaks, that turned things around for him. I believe if given the chance, he's more than capable. JMO

Evan's picture

I'll take Kap in the playoffs against the Packers defense of recent years. That's about it.

But playing well against the Packers defense of recent years is hardly enough to be considered elite.

Phatgzus's picture

Hook, line, and sinker, GRNMACHINE-ya gotta a whopper, Old Man and the Sea status.

Phatgzus's picture

Eli Manning, in the Playoffs? You mean the dude who has 2 SB rings in the past five years? Swell analogy, brother.

Jordan's picture

They may not be in cap hell if they replace their free agents or retiring players through the draft. As long as they draft well.......or get lucky in the draft.
SF just replaced their safety who left in free agency with a nice draft choice safety. Seamless. And much cheaper.

Ted Thompson has had mixed results. Cobb more or less replaced Jennings. Even though Cobb, is primarily slot and Jennings played both. Al Harris was never really replaced through the draft. They had high hopes for Pat Lee (2nd round pick), but he was a borderline bust. If it weren't for shear luck with undrafted Shields......packers probably don't even make playoffs in 2010.
Raji was supposed to replace Pickett. Hasn't/didn't happen. Who knows what would have happened in SF game if packers had walden.

Hank Scorpio's picture

The Packers replaced Al Harris before he even left. Tramon Williams stepped in to Harris' spot and they barely missed a beat. Call it lucky, good or something in between. Either way, it happened.

For good measure, they replaced Woodson before he left with Shields. I won't say they barely missed a beat because Woodson was special. But it sure wasn't a weak spot.

Top if off with Casey Hayward to step in for Williams or Shields when they move on.

Bagging on the Packers for the way they have handled CBs seems a little odd. It is the one strength of the D. Maybe talk about replacing Nick Collins. That is a legitimate failure that has hurt the team.

Sir Cheese's picture

I truly think they had drafted Hyde in the hopes to have him play safety. The injury to Hayward put that plan on hold. I do think they should draft a safety in round 1 or 2, Burnett and Ha Ha Clinton Dix or Calvin Pryor with Hyde as a rotational 3rd safety/CB and competition for Burnett. That is provided we resign Shields and Hayward returns to form when healthy.

Jordan's picture

Well sorta. Woodson, Harris and Williams were the Packers three "main" corners that took most of the snaps. Capers did/does a lot of nickel/dime.

In 2010, Woodson, Tramon, and shields took most of the snaps and were the three "main" corners.

I won't pretend to know or remember how many snaps pat lee, underwood, or Jarrett bush took at dime since I don't remember. Or how many they took at nickel after Harris was injured.

Al Harris was injured in late November 2009, and their was no suitable replacement for him (or no suitable replacement for tramon Williams) depending on your perspective. Bottom line is packers did not have a suitable 3rd corner on the roster until shields emerged. (Luckily).

Keep in mind, Williams only played a few games in Harris spot. He moved to Woodson spot and shields, bush, and pat lee, etc battled it out at Harris' old spot. So technically Williams took Woodson spot. Not Harris's spot.

Hank Scorpio's picture

I agree they struggled at nickel for a time after Harris went away. But Harris was a starter who they replaced quite effectively. Nickel plays a lot but not as much as starter. So saying they failed to replace the starter is misleading.

And those nickel issues don't apply anymore. Even with Hayward having a lost 2013 season, they were ok at the spot with Hyde. Heck, for that matter Jarrett Bush looked ok as a dime. At least he delivered big-time in the Atlanta game this year covering Tony Gonzalez, who is a decent player I hear. Which is amazing, IMO.

Given what TT inherited at CB, I can cut him some slack for needing time to build a reserve of 4 or 5 guys that can play while dealing with normal roster turnover. When he came to GB, they had an older but still effective Harris and a bunch of rejects.

It was a fun stroll down memory lane, tho. Should we talk about Adrian Klemm and Will Whitticker for our next foray into "former TT problems that have been fixed"?

4thand1's picture

Favre asked, what's a dime package?

Phatgzus's picture

Please explain how finding Shields was "lucky". In the same manner that finding Tramon was "lucky"? I.e. Teddy did his homework and just as he is with WRs, he's awesome at finding CBs.

Phatgzus's picture

Well, 4th, that depends on where you live.

4thand1's picture

had Walden last year. His head was on a swivel looking for CK.

Phatgzus's picture

That safety played very well this season, but he cost his team the winning TD and a ticket to the SB.

Jordan's picture

Yeah, it's not an indictment against TT. I'm one of his biggest supporters. But TT has had some bad luck at corner...ie will Blackmon (4th round pick) and flat out missed a couple in secondary, (pat lee, Aaron rouse). Tramon Williams wasn't being groomed to slide in there. Pat lee and Blackmon were being groomed. Tramon Williams was acquired in 2006 and didn't start his first game til 2008. And even then, he wasn't a full time starter, so he wasn't exactly thrown in to the fire. The packers knew what they had pretty much in Williams by the time his opportunity came and he was able to slowly blossom nicely. Shields on the other hand was thrown in to the fire immediately because they had no choice, because their 2nd rounder pat lee stunk and 4th rounder Blackmon was.......So that's the difference between Williams and shields. And why they got lucky with shields.

Anyway, the history flashback is besides the point. The point is, if you have a draft and develop philosophy like TT, it sure is a lot easier if you nail your 1-4 round picks the first time around and don't have to go back and have do-overs like Alex green,etc. especially if you're trying to deal with players leaving in free agency or dealing with salary cap.

But like I said, it's not me picking on TT, it's just stating the obvious facts. Now, would we be playing in New York in 10 days if TT had a little better luck in draft? That'd be pure speculation on my part.

Bill Billicek has had much worse drafts than anything TT has done since '05. Coincidentally, they'll be watching the Super Bowl too from their living rooms. But Billicek will go to free agency if he screws up in draft. TT tends to keep his mistakes for too long. Cutting Alex green and McMillan may be a nice jnew trend for TT.

Anyway, I've noticed some of your guys blaming capers. The defensive problem isn't capers. The problem is TT's bad luck in the draft. Don't get me wrong, he's had a lot of good luck. But it seems like he's in a dry spell. It'll be three years since he snagged the gem Cobb. And the reason he over paid Burnett is because he had no choice. TT will not overpay anybody if he's got leverage. In fact, he'll underpay them if he's got leverage. He had no leverage at safety.

all you can do is cross your fingers in draft hand hope the current 1st and seconds year players make the major jump. ie datone jones perry etc.

4thand1's picture

Well spoken

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Neither Nelson nor Cobb is elite. They are both a cut below elite receivers like Calvin Johnson, Fitzgerald (in his prime), and a couple of other receivers. Both Nelson and Cobb are very good. As an outside receiver, Nelson has more value than Cobb, who plays the slot. Slot receivers get no love in the NFL. Cobb has extra value as a returner and I suppose as a running back on occasion. I would expect Nelson to earn closer to $8 or $9 million average with more than half guaranteed, and Cobb to be more in the $6 to $7 million, again with a lot guaranteed. Both are young enough for TT to sign, probably for 4 year length. I expect TT to extend both players.

redlights's picture

I can agree to that

Phatgzus's picture

Jordy IS elite, plain and simple-the only WRs better than He are Megatron, Green, Fitz, Bryant, and maybe Gordon and Jeffrey.

4thand1's picture

I knew cow was a Favre lover. All he does is bash Rodgers, and praise the 9ers. SF has the better D by miles and he gives CK all the glory. Typical trollishness. Maybe you should kiss that nun again.

Point Packer's picture

Cow is a tard. Both Jordy and Cobb will get their $ from the Pack.

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