James Jones Says WR Jordy Nelson Was "Low-Balled" by Packers

-- Entering this offseason, it was no secret that something needed to be financially addressed with the Green Bay Packers' wide receivers, preferably with the goal of keeping both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb on the roster.

But after the team made their decision and Nelson was released on Tuesday, details began -- and continue -- to emerge regarding the veteran receiver's departure and just what the front office offered him in terms of a restructured deal.

According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel who spoke to former Packers receiver James Jones, the pay cut offered to Nelson was borderline disrespectful.

"I'm not going to say what they offered him, but they really, really low-balled him," Jones said on Thursday. "It wasn't even anything you would consider. Even with all that, he was still considering taking it."

It made sense for Nelson to explore other options after putting in 10 seasons in Green Bay. He had the Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints reaching out for his services, so not testing the market would've been a poor business move.

Even so, the 32-year-old Nelson wanted to stay with the Packers. They just weren't interested and had clear intentions of moving on.

"You always feel you've got more in you, especially one more year. You think to where you were and what you've done. He was having a great season and then "12" got hurt."

Nelson was leading the league in touchdowns by the time Aaron Rodgers broke his right collarbone in the week 6 game against the Minnesota Vikings, picking right back up where he left off in 2016 when he won the Comeback Player of the Year Award. He wouldn't catch a single touchdown for the rest of the season with Brett Hundley as Rodgers' replacement at quarterback.

Rather than taking the visits with other teams, Nelson signed a two-year deal worth $15 million with the Raiders on Thursday. Reuniting with his former receivers coach, Edgar Bennett. Other Packers connections in Oakland include G.M. Reggie McKenzie, who was an executive in Green Bay for eight seasons and head coach Jon Gruden, who was the Packers' receivers coach for two seasons in the 90s.

Nelson, who turns 33 in May, could have had more gas in the tank to put together a successful season with Rodgers at the helm if brought back for another season. Now, he'll catch passes from Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who connected with current Packers No. 1 receiver Davante Adams for 38 touchdowns at Fresno State.

Without Nelson in the mix, the Packers lack a true No. 2 to pair with Adams on the opposite perimeter. It's likely they'll attack that need within the first three rounds of April's draft.

"He's going to retire as a Packer," Jones said. "You'd like to stay with one team your entire career. It's hard. It's too bad he has to go through this. But I'm happy for him going to Oakland. He's going to show he can play at a high level."

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (45)

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Lphill's picture

March 15, 2018 at 08:13 pm

Yes if they offered him the veteran minimum that was a slap in the face , I hope he lights it up for the Raiders .

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worztik's picture

March 15, 2018 at 08:15 pm

So do I!!!

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GBPDAN1's picture

March 16, 2018 at 12:17 am

He "considered" the 1M offer? So he would have stayed for a 1 year 3M contract? That seems like it would have been worth it.... just ask Rodgers and Packers fans ... SMH

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worztik's picture

March 15, 2018 at 08:14 pm

I understand the offer was a bit over the 1 million mark... that’s disrespectful, mean and bullshit!!!

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worztik's picture

March 15, 2018 at 08:16 pm

And don’t say “It’s just business!”...

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The TKstinator's picture

March 15, 2018 at 08:18 pm

Oops. I just did!

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worztik's picture

March 16, 2018 at 08:27 am

That’s ok TK... we’re just 14 ships passing in the night. Maybe 17. As long as the Packers win, that’s all this site’s about! We care naught about each other’s feelings here, as long as we get agreement thumb ups! I refuse to participate on social media because no one has anything to say that I’m interested in hearing. Call me a snob or a dick or an ass or whatever... I’m fine with whatever! I enjoy the banter here, usually, because it’s basically about the Packers... should be... has to be! It’s about freedom of speech and it’s being abused terribly these days. Why not eliminate these fricking thumbs and be free to say what we want? I’m sure we all see who’s posting what and choose to read them or not based on their handle. I was ripped the other day for using too many !!! or ... by some nimrod that it annoys! Too bad!!! Really backwards Al’s a virgin... this posts for you... dipshit!!! TK... I enjoy your posts whether or not I agree all the time. Remember, opinions are like... you know the rest!!!

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The TKstinator's picture

March 15, 2018 at 08:17 pm

Why can’t we just thank him for his great years and wish him well as he moves on?
Great character guy, very productive, injured, aging, slowing down. It’s a business, and this was a business decision. Doesn’t mean we don’t (or didn’t) “love” him or appreciate him.

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stockholder's picture

March 15, 2018 at 08:21 pm

With Nelson getting the $$$ in Oakland. The packers are lucky to get any Free -Agent. The Low Balling must stop! Either they want to be contenders, or Gute is a pretender! Smart decisions come with respect.

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Johnblood27's picture

March 15, 2018 at 09:00 pm

This^^^

Dont tell me a restructured deal with a 3 - 4 mil AAV wouldnt have been good for both sides.
Jordy would have taken it and stayed.

We will regret this move.

Play hardball with FA's who havent ever done anything for your franchise... yet...

Respect those that have given their all for you and been productive.

I just lost an awful lot of respect for Gutey here.

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cuervo's picture

March 16, 2018 at 07:28 am

And thank goodness you and other bleeding hearts here aren't running the team. This isn't old home week where everyone sits around and sings kumbaya.

Nelson doesn't have it anymore, plain and simple. I'm glad he got paid by the Raiders, but that contract is commonly called "stupid money". Glad it's their GM making decisions like that and not ours.

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stockholder's picture

March 16, 2018 at 08:06 am

Bleeding hearts is a plant. Comes up every year. Just like the cap. And every year we seem to have these holes before we enter the draft. Gute isn't spending for the FUTURE! So the difference in signing Nelson or Graham is still short term. GB policy has been draft and develop and take care of their own. Sorry you seem to miss the boat on that. But Nelson stats would have still been better than Grahams. And this was about Nelson and A-Rod chemistry. Plus retiring a Packer. When a veteran player offers to renegotiate and you slam the door in his face, it's bad business. Gute failed!! And now you get fall out! Being a fan is wearing your heart on your sleeve. It clashes with common sense. Spending money Is hind site. The super-bowl is the goal. Not how your roster shakes out. The packers hurt their own legends. Breaking hearts for money is a bad trade off!

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Spud Rapids's picture

March 16, 2018 at 09:38 am

They didn't low ball Jimmy Graham...

This was a smart decision... the old saying goes it's better to release a guy one early than one year late. Every fan loved Jordy and everyone is emotional about the loss. Here's they way I look at it. They have multiple weapons at receiver but they had nothing at tight end. They reallocated that cap money from WR to TE and improved the overall talent at the skill position.

What's a better Lineup:
WR1: Adams
WR2: Nelson
Slot: Cobb
TE: Richard Rodgers

vs.

WR1: Adams
WR2: Allison
Slot: Cobb
TE: Jimmy Graham

It makes all the sense to me.

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stockholder's picture

March 16, 2018 at 11:01 am

Yes it makes sense. But it's not better. Allison is not better than Nelson. But Nelson had to move for Adams! Cobb is there till next year. RR would have been OK to resign. And TT could have taken Butts last year. But what did Graham really solve. The fan base still wants a TE drafted. With speed. You have this idea Graham replaces everyone and will give us Finley back. If I don't see separation from the line , Graham was not a good buy. And aren't you just a little nervous after Bennett. (And it still cost 4 mil. that they got from Nelsons pocket.) Long term = 3 New Wrs must be taken now. Janis, Nelson, and Cobb next year. The Wrs are a mess. And everyone knows it.

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Finwiz's picture

March 16, 2018 at 11:59 am

Doesn't make sense when you consider Allison a starter when he won't be.
They will draft the no 2 guy or bring in a free agent, but I highly doubt Allison will be anything more than the 4-5 receiver.

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Bure9620's picture

March 15, 2018 at 09:06 pm

I'm not sure contract negotioations are intended to be "respectful." This is not how business works, take a look how any corporation operates!!! The best GMs operate with zero emotion as does any corporate executive, anywhere. BG made Jordy an offer based on current perceived value and Jordy declined the offer. It's business. As much as I like Jordy, he is not even close to a $12.7 mil receiver at this point, and not a $7 mil reciever.

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Savage57's picture

March 16, 2018 at 08:23 am

As a guy who's negotiated Teamsters contracts, handled M&A projects and real estate deals with values north of $100M, negotiations are about nothing but being respectful. Adversarial negotiating stances, where one party takes a belligerent position, typically wind up adding nothing more than acrimony to the process. And they usually fail. Negotiate from an 'all for me' stance, as Gute and Ball did, and you have what happened to the Packers.

"And not a $7M receiver". Oakland disagrees, as probably Seattle would have.

All Gute and Ball had to do was make an effort to find a mutual middle ground with a guy as reasonable as Jordy. With all the money the Packers piss away on guys like Bennett, Cobb, Perry and Matthews, they couldn't have found another $4-5M to toss to the guy who actually produces something?

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Bure9620's picture

March 16, 2018 at 10:31 am

BG really does not have an obligation to reach middle ground with any player. BG's only responsibilty is to put together a roster that gives the Packers the best chance to win a Super Bowl within the guidelines of the Salary cap. Period. I am glad he is able to make these tough decisions and frankly, I am glad he made it known to the media he informed Aaron AFTER the decision was made. BG's job is on the line as well to put together a winner. How many receivers has Brady been through? Belichik throws players away like kleenex, go ahead and take a look at the salaries of Patriots receivers.

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Savage57's picture

March 17, 2018 at 06:56 am

If the player in question is a productive member of the roster, one of your franchise QB's security blankets, and aside from a freak ACL tear, a guy you could count on week in and week out, you find middle ground.

When the 2018 season wraps up, and Jordy once again outperforms a grossly overpaid and typically nicked-up Randall Cobb, you'll be able to reflect on the value of taking a hard line stance of all or nothing.

For a guy who talks a lot about the negotiating process, you seem to know little about how you find ways to say 'and' instead of 'or'.

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marpag1's picture

March 17, 2018 at 09:05 am

"If the player in question is a productive member of the roster..."

Yeah, so there's the rub, huh? If, If, If.

You are free to disagree with the Packers' assessment of Nelson's value if you want to. You may even be right about Nelson's value while the Packers are wrong about it.

But it is never, under any circumstances, a good idea to give an employee more than his or her value. That would be dumb.

If the GB front office is firmly convinced in their own minds that Nelson is worth no more than 'X' amount, then they would be stupid to "find middle ground" and pay him 2X.

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scullyitsme's picture

March 15, 2018 at 09:48 pm

If we could of kept Nelson for say 4-5 million, it was a mistake not too. That’s a big mistake, should of cut Cobb. Not sure what the point was in offering a million. Hard to believe that happened. Something just doesn’t seem right. Hope the truth comes out right from jordy, I’d believe him.

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Lphill's picture

March 15, 2018 at 09:51 pm

Cullen Jenkins, Charles Woodson , and many others the Packers didn't want to pay and losing them hurt , hell even Frank Zombo has had a decent career. How much better would the Packers secondary had been with Hayward , Hyde and Williams? Always looking for a bargain.

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Samson's picture

March 15, 2018 at 10:16 pm

Not sure JJ has all the specifics. --- Not sure the media has all the specifics. --- Too many assumptions without any verifications. --- Don't believe everything you read --- especially on the WWW.

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John Kirk's picture

March 15, 2018 at 11:36 pm

Where did James Jones used to play football? Do you think he might be connected to Jordy directly and many other guys on the team whom Jordy may have spoken to about what happened? The fact James Jones reported this makes it more believable than from some other disconnected source.

Either Jordy is really hot about what happened and spilled directly to James or Jordy spilled to a teammate and that teammate, who is likely just as hot, spilled it to James.

This is one of the most believable reports I've ever read because of who it came from.

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Bert's picture

March 15, 2018 at 10:47 pm

I guess we'll find out in a few months whether or not Gute made the right call. In any case I wish Jordy all the best in Oakland and I hope he has a great season, not to spite the Packers but because he is a class act and was a great Packer.

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JohnnyLogan's picture

March 15, 2018 at 11:22 pm

Jordy is better than any receiver who will play opposite Adams this season. Who are they going to put there?... no one in FA better than Jordy as evidenced by the rush by other teams to sign him... and any rookie will have a hard time trying to get in rhythm with Rodgers. Always takes receivers a couple years to develop. As for the jags we have in waiting... Davis, Clark... can't even remember the names of the rest... So what's Gute's plan? Save money. The idea is to give Rodgers a better receiver than Jordy. Just being fast doesn't qualify. Where does Gute think he's going to get a #1 or a #2 receiver with Jordy's football acumen, instincts and experience? Add in the fact that he's got great rapport with Rodgers and it's baffling. Damn I hate Hundley. He turned a great receiver into someone MIA. Hope they rid of that gum chewing idiot before the season starts. Just the sight of him... sorry, but cutting Jordy was a big mistake.

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Bure9620's picture

March 16, 2018 at 02:39 am

Hundley?? It's his fault the Packers drafted him, failed to develop him and failed to find a competant alternative backup??

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Finwiz's picture

March 16, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Interesting comment, and I like it for the Hundley reference.
Ultimately it cost Jordy his job, but then again the body language I saw out of Jordy, being the honest person he appears to be, tells me he knew he didn't have it anymore. The smile was gone, and the body language said he wasn't into it anymore. I saw too many times where he caught a pass and went right down with no attempt at YAC. Like his heart wasn't in it.
I think the Packers saw all this, almost like he quit on Hundley, but ultimately the team, in the final analysis. Tough things to say about such a class act.

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John Kirk's picture

March 16, 2018 at 12:48 pm

It's funny to me how Hundley affected things. I was almost certain Adams was going to lose money due to Hundley taking over in his contract year. Adams ended up getting crazy paid and Jordy got sent packing. Did not work the way I thought it would.

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Oppy's picture

March 16, 2018 at 12:50 am

James Jones didn't break the story, Jason Wilde did.. like, yesterday.

I really don't care either way. I'm pretty sure what it came down to was, the Packers decided they needed the cap space clearing jordy provided to sign Graham, Wilkerson, and whatever other moves they see on the horizon.

My guess, they said, "We need at least X amount of space, We feel okay at WR, Jordy is the guy who's cap number and future makes him expendable, that would give us about 1.5 mil extra space.. I guess if he would stay for that, we could keep him". So they offered, probably not expecting him to take it, but you ask because you never know. If he would have said yes, everyone would be lauding Jordy for being an amazing team player, and patting the Packers on the back for deftly clearing space to bring in other players while somehow miraculously keeping nelson.

I don't think it's a jerk move, rude, insensitive. etc. I think it's business, and you explore all options. Jordy Nelson is a great all-time Packer and I wish him well. I don't care if he didn't like the offer to stay, he wasn't going to like being cut regardless (How'd things go with Mathieu? Same type situation, except he was offended by ANY drop in his pay). I certainly won't hold it against the Packers front office or Gutenkunst.

Sometimes, I think people just want to find reasons to be mad at the Packers GM.

Lastly, why is everyone even mad at Gute to begin with? I thought Ted Thompson, Russ Ball, and Mark Murphy were running the show? lol.

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John Kirk's picture

March 16, 2018 at 01:21 am

I didn't say James broke it. He may have been Wilde's source, too. If James is saying this is what happened, I believe it. Anytime Wilde makes any news at all, I immediately think it came from Aaron as they used to do a show together. If Aaron was Wilde's source, he had to be pretty upset to take it to Wilde.

Business is business...that goes without saying. There is good business and bad business. Business is thrown around as an all encompassing term as if what Enron did was "just business"...or what goes on at many used car lots to steal from you. :) It's not good business to ask someone with Jordy's built up good will to take an 80% plus pay cut. Back during the Favre fiasco, he just wanted his release and many agreed with him. I loved that the org stuck it to him because I felt Brett deserved it for who he really was. Jordy, by all accounts, has never transgressed the way Brett did. There are no "he's really an awful guy" stories about him as there was with Brett. Why do that to Jordy? Just release him and tell him if he can't find a better offer that you'll take him back but it won't be to his liking without even saying a disrespectful number.

It's over now, but it could've and should've been handled much better than it was. We got a unique bit of info we normally wouldn't have gotten and it changed the dynamic of this story a bunch. Had the report not surfaced, I'm sure Brian would've said that it was between him and Jordy about whether they talked about a reduced rate. Now, we have a pretty good idea they did offer him an embarrassing amount and that all could've been avoided by just releasing him.

I do understand your side...If they said we'll give you a million bucks with no signing bonus and he took it, that makes Brian look like a genius. He got Jordy for 1 million! Great job, Brian! As you noted, Nelson would be lauded, again, for taking much less to finish as a Packer. What a team guy! Hail Jordy! One thing we do know and I do like...Brian is about the Green Bay Packers. The Packers before any player, well, except maybe Aaron whom he called.

We now know Jordy being a team guy had it's limits. Not saying he should've taken the insulting offer but we see that loyalty is a two way street. Jordy didn't feel that loyal to the Packers and neither did the Packers to him. #business

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fastmoving's picture

March 16, 2018 at 05:28 am

You understand business even better than football.........thought this is impossible

like always you make a lot out of nothing and use a lot of words for it. dont know if Jordy needs just guys like you to talk for him. for all I see he seems like the opposite to you and all you posts here. at least for me.................

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John Kirk's picture

March 16, 2018 at 11:21 am

I appreciate your harsh critique of me as a person considering you don't know me but can judge my character by Packers takes you don't like.

You're far far greater than I.

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A Pickled Packer's picture

March 16, 2018 at 06:07 am

I knew a team would pay Jordy more. Gutekunst gave him a shot to earn more and he did. We get Wilkerson and Graham in exchange. Now that good ole boy Jordy cashed in I see this as a win win. WR in the first round? If so I would call that a Gute move.

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Donster's picture

March 16, 2018 at 07:12 am

Jordy Nelson deserved, no, earned to be respected. By offering him a veterans minimum take it or leave it deal is bullshit. A slap in the face, almost to the point of trying to embarrass him. Just cutting him wouldn't of been as bad because he probably figured either he or Cobb was going to get cut.

How about if you worked for a company for 30 years. And your boss asked you to take, let's say, a 90% pay cut. Would you be happy about it? Would you do it? Hell no. Would you feel disrespected? Damn right you would.

And if your a free agent with another team, and you saw what the Packers pulled on Nelson, wouldn't you think twice about going to GB?

I believe the Packers will end up missing him this coming season. One of the best possession receivers in the league. And a smart player too.

I for one hope he has a very good season in Oakland. I think he will have this debacle as fuel to play that much harder.

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cuervo's picture

March 16, 2018 at 07:39 am

"Jordy Nelson deserved, no, earned to be respected"

No he didn't, he was paid handsomely by his employer to provide a service which he did. When his employer made the decision his performance didn't match his cost, they dumped him. Happens every day, in the real world and in the NFL.

As I mentioned in an easrlier post, thank goodness you and other bleeding hearts aren't running this team. You don't have the stones to do what's deemed necessary.

"And if your a free agent with another team, and you saw what the Packers pulled on Nelson, wouldn't you think twice about going to GB?"

Think that's been proven to be bullshit...see Jimmy Graham and Wilkerson. Anyone will come here if the money is right and they want to. Do you pay any attention to the multitude of transactions/cuts in the NFL? You think the Packers are the only team to cut a fan favorite?

If I read another post stating some faux fan outrage at how Nelson was "treated" I may puke. He was paid $ 45 million by GB, he wasn't mistreated and Green Bay owes him nothing and he owes GB nothing.

Time to put on the Big Boy Pants everyone.

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flackcatcher's picture

March 16, 2018 at 08:21 am

I have some bad news, both of you are right. The whole thing reeks of Russ Ball with BK being the front man for all of this. Under TT, the Packers would have cut Nelson, and wished him well. Cleanly done with no hard feelings on either side. Veterans players respect being told up front, they more than anyone else know they are on the clock. Putting on a show only hurts the team, when they are not negotiations in good faith. That said, pro football is a cold cold business. When a players usefulness is up, he's gone. The current CBA makes it pretty much impossible to carry a long term player who can not preform to the level the team needs. Nelson's skill set had changed and the Packers seem to feel that he would not fit into the new/old offensive scheme. Well, that's the spin coming out of 1265. Is it the truth, not really. While Nelson has lost a step, he has become a great route runner who still creates separation. He will be fine in Raider land. As for the front office, they created problems for themselves with the way they handled Nelson's release. (QB1 never forgets) Way to go Russ, Way to go Mark, hanging your new GM to twist in the wind like that. Dumb idiots.(shakes head)

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flackcatcher's picture

March 16, 2018 at 08:53 am

Edit. BG. BG.....

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flackcatcher's picture

March 16, 2018 at 11:39 pm

AND I GET A DOWN VOTE FOR CORRECTING MYSELF! (heh heh heh heh......0:)

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marpag1's picture

March 17, 2018 at 09:10 am

LOL. Hey, I didn't downvote you - in fact I upvoted you just now - but you do know that there is an "edit" feature on your posts, right? You can just fix your typos.

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Guam's picture

March 16, 2018 at 08:41 am

Before we judge the front office, it might be nice to know how the low ball offer came about. If it was the first offer the Packers made, then it would be an insult to #87. However if the Packers told Jordy's agent they were cutting him and the agent asked for a counter offer because his client really wanted to stay with the Packers, the Packers may have uncomfortably made an off-the-cuff verbal offer of the veteran minimum when they really would have preferred to just release Jordy and move on. That would make the "low ball offer" more a product of the agent than the Packer's front office.

All we know was that a low ball offer was made, we don't know the circumstances around the offer. I would be reluctant to judge either side without more information. Business is often messy and rarely black and white.

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Since '61's picture

March 16, 2018 at 08:59 am

I had hoped that the Packers would try to extend Jordy for between $4-6 million AAV. It didn't happen. I don't like the low ball tactic either. But Gute obviously wanted to move on from Jordy a season too early rather than a season too late. It happens everyday in sports, business, entertainment etc....
This is why I'm all for the players earning as much as they can for as long as they can. I' m happy for Jordy that he signed with the Raiders and I wish him well and I thank him for being a great Packer.
As for loyalty there is none either way. Today's players know their career can end on any play. Those at the top of the game like Rodgers, Brees, Brady, etc. Have become business entities themselves and act like it. Rodgers himself has stated that he knows what he is worth to the team. Therefore, I don't see a team discount coming from his negotiations. It's a business, always was, always will be.
I remember when players went to their non-sports jobs when the season ended. That's why we have the NFLPA, the CBA, free agency, etc. Money changes people, big money changes everything, even loyalty. Thanks, Since '61

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PatrickGB's picture

March 16, 2018 at 09:20 am

Like most of you, I did not like to lose a longtime GBP. He is a class act. But, like we did with Brett Favre, its time to move on. Sadly, we dont have a Rodgers in the wings to replace him (Graham dosent count) and will have to see what happens by the time the season starts. The GBP's do not have the cap money that other teams are throwing around so it limits what can be done under the cap.
I am in a wait and see mode because I expect more changes to unfold.

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Johnblood27's picture

March 18, 2018 at 10:30 pm

let's not forget the team friendly, below market deals that Jordy signed .

That and his classy behavior on and off the field earned him respect despite what queervo and other louts have to say about business being business and loyalty and respect have no place in the NFL.

you are wrong.

super bowl trophies aren't the ONLY thing that makes a franchise champions. I don't just root for the GBP because of 13 seasons. each season matters, as does how you play the game.

Go root for belicheat and the cheatriots if that's your mindset.

I will be where I have been for 50+ years. right here.

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4thand10's picture

March 16, 2018 at 09:43 am

I think the Jordy deal is a result of the Cap or future Cap vs Production /age. Jordy maybe would have a productive 2018, however with Cousins going to Minnisota for what they are paying forced the hand of how much GB is going to pay Rodgers. We all knew you can't keep everyone and I think Jordy knew it as well. Everyone also knew the defense had to be overhauled.
I think they overpaid Cobb, because there is a surplus of slot guys. I know he can do other things on PR and backfield gadgets....but for that kind of money? I think he will play out his contract and hit the market after. Nelson was one of my favorite players and I wish him the best. He was /is a class act.

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