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Aaron Rodgers Could Be Vocal in Keeping Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb

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Aaron Rodgers Could Be Vocal in Keeping Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb

-- It's no secret that having a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers at the helm of your franchise is a pretty strong component to attracting outside free agents to playing in your city.

But for players whose time and effort has already been invested in that city -- Green Bay, Wisconsin -- for the last several seasons, having Rodgers could be enough to keep them in town, too.

On Friday, Jason La Canfora of published a column that headlined the difficult decisions facing all 32 NFL teams this offseason. In that column, La Canfora listed receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb as two potential cuts facing the Green Bay Packers in the coming months, however, said he "wouldn't bet on it."

According to La Canfora, an executive with ties to the Packers' organization listed Rodgers as one of the primary reasons why the two veteran receivers aren't going anywhere in 2018.

"Rodgers is back healthy, he got the G.M. in the seat that he wanted, and he loves both of those receivers," the executive said. "He'll make it clear that he doesn't want to lose them. I don't think they're going anywhere."

Nelson and Cobb both have a potential out option in their contracts in 2018, but that's for the team to decide. Nelson's would cost $2.3 million worth of dead cap space and Cobb's would amount to $3.2 million. Both of Rodgers' top-producing targets over the course of the last seven seasons are entering the final years of their respective contracts.

Much of the talk of the duo being outcasted from the team has stemmed from last season's play in which backup quarterback Brett Hundley led the offense for nine starts, leading the team to a 3-6 record. With Hundley, the play of the receivers -- sans Davante Adams -- dipped significantly.

Nelson failed to record a touchdown for the rest of the season after Rodgers suffered his broken collarbone and Cobb only had more than five catches in a game once: eight against the Cleveland Browns, but only tallying 39 yards.

Prior to Rodgers' injury, Nelson was leading the league in touchdown receptions (6) much like the note he had finished 2016 on, and Cobb was averaging 9.4 yards per reception and 54.5 yards per game as the Packers' slot receiver. He's also been renowned over the last few seasons as one of the most dependable slot receivers in the NFL.

From 2011-2016, Cobb had the fifth-highest catch percentage (70.1 percent) amongst active wide receivers. After registering 71.7 percent in 2017, tying his mark set in 2014, his career rate is upped to 70.4 percent. Rodgers has also been vocal in the past about how much more efficient the offense runs when Cobb is on the field.

If the reports are accurate, there's a good chance he'll be vocal this time around about keeping two of his biggest playmakers because it isn't like the Packers have a plan at wide receiver outside of their top trio of Nelson, Adams and Cobb.

Jeff Janis is set to be a free agent and has never shown as much promise at his skill position as he has as a special teams gunner. Trevor Davis is best suited as a return man and evidently lacks the mechanics required to be a serviceable receiver on offense. Geronimo Allison isn't someone who can make whoever is lined up across from him think twice about his assignment. Ex-basketball player, Michael Clark, is still very raw.


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV and a contributor/analyst for the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (44) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Censored's picture

Cut them both. sign a WR with speed at a cheap deal, put Ty in the slot, and draft another.

OrganLeroy's picture


DD's picture

Keep both and restructure at 7 mil each. Cut Davis, Geronimo, Janis; plus cut R.Rodgers and trade Hendricks too. New blood needed!

dobber's picture

Don't have to cut Janis or RRod...they're both FAs.

Chuck Farley's picture

I can live with that. Jordy should retire or take pay cut, he ain't running away from people anymore at 34. Love the guy but father time has set in. Cobb is dime a dozen guy. Easily replaced.

croatpackfan's picture

Yeah, good idea. Like to buy the top Mercedes for peanuts... Good luck with that!

OrganLeroy's picture

I'm expecting both to be back, with a couple of WR's and a top TE drafted, and a starting TE added in FAgency, maybe a FA speed WR. That all makes sense to me if the money works out but we also need to address Right Tackle. A FA TE, WR & RT shouldn't be cost prohibitive but Matthews & Jordy need to be extended for cap space and Cobb needs to be asked to restructure IMO.

Zachary Jacobson's picture

I'm really, really, really confident that they'll both be in Green Bay next season.

holmesmd's picture

Letting TE Cook go was one of the dumbest things I’ve seen this organization do! The dude crushed it with the most players we fail to retain. SMH. Cook really enjoyed being a Packer and Rodgers really seemed to as well. Total mystery as to why he was not brought back IMO.

Bure9620's picture

Not always necessarily on the organization. It sounds like Cook's agent may have over played his hand. His contract in Oakland and his offer by the Packers are evidence of that.

fastmoving's picture

Dude was not bad, but nothing special. Missed a lot of games too......
Hardly a dumb thing not to overpay for an TE over 30......

While he played not bad in OAK, he did not set the world on fire either. Had the same stats like in St Louis before he came here. right decision, nothing to freak out about..........

Spud Rapids's picture

" most players we fail to retain. SMH."

Get over your recency bias... yeah Hayward, Cook, and Hyde had nice seasons after getting let go but you can't sign everyone. Also, look at Jennings after he left GB, or James Jones, Eddie Lacy. For every player we let go that was successful elsewhere there are 3 that stunk. Plus I don't think you are considering what the contract each signed was I would argue that many don't play up to the contract they were awarded for leaving Green Bay. I think your comment is unfounded.

John Kirk's picture

That always goes well when a QB GM's the team. Ugh. There's no question he's going to lobby for both of these guys. He's already done it for RC18 and spoke to juicing up Jordy last year at Carolina.

Who can forget this famous quote from 12 from

After calling him a "star in the making" and a "big-time" player last October, Rodgers told WAUK-AM that Cobb likely would go down as "one of the best picks in Ted Thompson's career, if not the best."

Aaron thinks he can win with these guys, I'm sure. I don't believe our first year GM is strong enough to go against Aaron. Sadly, I fear they'll both be paid their full amounts or be extended to lower the hit for the next year or two.

Does anyone really question who runs this organization? It isn't Mike McCarthy or Brian Gutekunst, and it certainly isn't Mark Murphy. Has a team ever had a player/owner? Tack on CEO duties to Aaron's job description, pay him whatever he wants as CEO, and give him a cap friendly deal, as our QB. Problem solved.

I would hope that if the organization can't figure out a fiscally responsible way to pay Aaron what he wants and keep him happy with roster decisions that they just move him in trade.

Too bad Tuesday's with Aaron is over. I'd love for him to just publicly tell all of us what he wants done, so we'd know what's coming.

OR...Is the Alex Van Pelt move a sign that the org won't let Aaron dictate terms to them? Did he really get the GM he wanted, or did he just get the GM he didn't want out of the big chair?

Most exciting time to be a Packers fan since the Favre drama and Super Bowl 45.

fastmoving's picture

Just right, like I said a couple of times already. Letting your QB rule is the fastest way to tearing this team down.

AR can not have everything he wants, thats for sure.
He can not have 35 millions and his favorite (expansive) WRs or a new, costly tight end.
He can not get a top 5 D with 30 millions combined for all of them.
He can not have the QB coach he wants, or his favorit HC or his buddy OC.
He got already his GM, so this should be enought.

for that kind of money he will get.......and there is no doubt about it, he will........ he should make everyone around him look much matter who it is.......

CheesyTex's picture

You hit the nail on the head, Fast.

Chuck Farley's picture

He can if he takes less money. Brady is low paid so the team can bring in talent as needed. He wants rings not money. I read Ted t gave the farm away to Mathews and Rogers giving them 66% of the total salary allowed. That's why no free agents no money

dobber's picture

"I read Ted t gave the farm away to Mathews and Rogers giving them 66% of the total salary allowed. "

Huh? You must've been reading "The Encyclopedia of Incorrect NFL Data".

Tundraboy's picture

Still laughing at that one.

Lphill's picture

Both will be back I have been saying it all along , they will accommodate with team friendly contracts.

Michael Hughes's picture

Aaron wants to be the highest paid player in the league - fair enough he deserves it.

Aaron wanted us to pay adams - fair enough, we cant afford to lose an ascending player.

Aaron presumably wants us to keep paying top dollar for a stud LT. Fair enough, protect your superstar.

Aaron wants us to start playing championship calibre defence. Can see his point but if we are keeping all the above, how do we pay for it.

Aaron wants to keep his veteran receivers on over-priced contracts. Aaron needs to google the salary cap and start living in real world.

HankScorpio's picture

Aaron needs to understand he's the QB, not the GM or VP of Football Operations. His concerns are how to defeat opposing defenses, not build the team. He should shut up and play.

I'm not sure if all the BS allegedly from Rodgers about wanting this and that is a media creation or real. But the last time a QB thought he was something more, it ended poorly for both him and the team---an event Rodgers witnessed up close and personal. I would have thought Rodgers was smart enough to take the lessons to heart.

Bure9620's picture

Aaron Rodgers should not be dictating perssonel decisions of any kind, that is what general managers are for. Of course Rodgers is going to lobby for Cobb and Jordy. Will he really be able to give a non-biased assessment of their performance? No he cannot, it's not possible. BG is responsible for putting the best roster together as he possible can as efficiently as he can. Belichik is not letting Brady dictate whom his receivers are, this I can promise you.

4thand1's picture

Ok to be clear AR isn't dictating anything. As the heading states, "could be" may mean nothing. Football can be ugly, ask Joe M and Jerry Rice. Terry Bradshaw didn't go back to Pitt for years. The Packers could lose 2 fan favorites and could not lose them. There is a bond and friendship between Cobb, Jordy and AR, hopefully deals can be worked out where they all stay.

Since '61's picture

I believe this will get worked out and that Jordy and Cobb will both be back. The Packers need good players and Jordy and Cobb are good football players. In fact, 2 of the best players the Packers currently have. There is no reason to expect that FAs or draft picks will as effective as Cobb and North in their first season in GB. Keep Cobb and Jordy, chuck Janis, Davis and maybe Geronimo. Draft a speed WE and sign a vet FA for depth. We still have Monty as well.
AR will likely speak to keep Jordy and Cobb if he gets the chance. Whether or not the Packers can restructure their contracts to do it will be up to Gute. Time will tell. Thanks. Since '61

flackcatcher's picture

I agree '61. There is no real reason to restructure either one of their contracts. Next year after the season, then the front office can make their moves depending on how that position group develops. Right now, folks need to take breath. Packers are probably still deep in self evaluation. As you say, "Time will tell".

John Kirk's picture

No reason to restructure their contracts? If we don't we're paying over 35 million to our Top 3 WR's. That's insanity.

Chuck Farley's picture

Not happening

fastmoving's picture

there is a better chance than most of us may believe that Janis is by the end of next season the more productive wideout compared to Jordy.
It may be somewhere else, but IMO it could very well be the case.

Michael Hughes's picture

Not only that but we are expecting to make rodgers the highest paid player in the league. if you dedicate that much money to the passing game then it absolutely must carry the team on its own ... no excuses or whining about the defence

croatpackfan's picture

"... 2 of the best players the Packers currently have. ..."
Hmmm, so you think they should cut Davante Adams or trade him? Keep Jordy and Cobb over him?

Jordy and Cobb are not 2 best players Packers have. They belongs to upper eshelon, but they are not the best!

nigrivasilayesrej's picture

The problem isn't overpaying 2 declining WRs. The problem is not drafting worth a crap over the last 7 years, & having no depth or playmakers at critical positions, including WR. Holy damn, did ole Teddy leave the cupboards bare. No TE, question marks on the entire right side of the OL, need at CB despite investing huge amounts of draft capital over the last several years, no playmakers at LB, no depth at WR, & no viable backup QB. When you draft poorly, & decide your fossil of a DC isn't the problem & let the few good players leave via FA (hayward, hyde) you are forced to overpay talent like matthews, perry, cobb, nelson (hopefully not Burnett). If Pettine can bring the DEF back to the middle of the pack, & Gute spends wisely in FA (WR, TE, CB) & drafts well, #12 will lead GB back to the SB next year & nobody will care if Jordy/Cobb are overpaid for the last year of their respective contracts. I didn't hear people bitching, when Jordy was outperforming his contract(s) for years, that we need to pay him more money. Why the hell are people so concerned with these two? My concern is with the guy calling the plays, the weird organizational restructuring, & having a respectable freakin DEF for the first time since 2010.

Nick Perry's picture

Hmmm...Not sure WHY we would pay more money to a guy who's under a contract he signed less than a year ago for 3 more years.

dobber's picture

...on a rookie contract at a position with a notoriously short shelf life...

stockholder's picture

The kid should be traded. He's not Barry Sanders. No matter how stacked we are at a position. Always draft better, and trade the guy that is going to sit the bench. Package Davis, Jones, williams, even Spriggs. Monty is the starter. Draft Better! You want the All-pro.

Finwiz's picture

Monty's not the starter, and may never see a start at RB again.
Times are changing.

fastmoving's picture

organizational restructuring is actually pretty cool! and did we not think at last years TC that we had way to much WRs??????


nigrivasilayesrej's picture

We all feel better about the restructure now that you've informed us that it's "pretty cool". And no, we didn't all feel that GB had TOO MANY WRs.


snowdog's picture

Please stop

fastmoving's picture

that means good, right!
but at least you are funny..................
its clear that you are on top of every organizational restructuring, if you know what it means.....

keep your sharp brain dry

nigrivasilayesrej's picture

Either English is not your primary language, or you're slow. I'll go with the latter.


marpag1's picture

"it isn't like the Packers have a plan at wide receiver outside of their top trio of Nelson, Adams and Cobb."

And how do we know this, exactly?

Bure9620's picture

Can someone give an example of a franchise QB influencing a perssonel decision, and that decision having been the correct one?? Perssonel decisions need to be made with zero emotion at 30k feet. Each player going through the same evaluation process and the GM assesses that players value to the team, and their market value. Period.

Fordham Ram's picture

Aaron knows these guys, he knows their tendencies and has confidence they can still produce. The chemistry is there It takes time to develop that. Why chuck away all that experience. I'm telling ya if Cobb stays healthy he's gonna have a monster year. The man has something to prove, is in a contract year and will go all out sacrificing his body for the betterment of the team and is only 28. As for Jordy, he may have lost a step but throw anything near him and he will catch it. He still has the best hands of any receiver in the league. Aaron wants these guys to remain not because they are buddies but because they are still damn good.
Watch out what you wish for, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Bure9620's picture

I don't think the issue is if they are still good or not. The question is can this position group be even better for less cap space? I agree Cobb is open a lot and not thrown to. Can these $10 mil plus guys make defenses worry about getting behind them and force safety help and/or bracket coverage over the top? Jordy does not.

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