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Packers Pay Among the NFL's Least for Wide Receivers, About to Change

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Packers Pay Among the NFL's Least for Wide Receivers, About to Change

The Green Bay Packers pay among the least at the wide receiver position in the NFL, according to a recent article by Will Brinson of

Per Brinson, the Packers currently will pay their wide receivers $5.97 million in 2014, which ranks 29th of 32 teams. Only the Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills spend less at the position.

The average NFL team spends $12.58 million on wide receivers, putting the Packers at less than half the average.

In terms of spending on wide receivers as a percentage of the salary cap, the Packers have allocated just 4.2 percent of their invested money into the position, which ranks 30th in the NFL.

There's a variety of reasons the Packers spend so little at the position, and part of it has to do with veteran attrition after seeing long-time contributors such as Greg Jennings and James Jones depart via free agency over the past two seasons and Donald Driver leave the game due to retirement.

But the Packers also got Jordy Nelson to agree to a very team-friendly deal worth $12.6 million over four years, originally signed after the Packers won Super Bowl XLV in 2011. At the time of his signing, Nelson was the 27th highest-paid wide receiver in the league.

Despite becoming one of the best receivers in the NFL and out-performing his pay grade, Nelson wouldn't do anything differently.

"I don't have any regrets about what I did," said Nelson this week. "It's easy to say that now, and I go out and blow out my knee halfway through the season, now I'm the smart one."

With Nelson and Randall Cobb entering the final year of their respective contracts, the Packers aren't expected to be getting such a bargain at wide receiver for long.

If it was entirely up to Nelson, he would like to sign an extension with the Packers before the start of the 2014 season.

"I guess I'm more focused on hoping it gets done before that point," said Nelson. "We'll deal with that when it comes."

Perhaps a realistic time frame for when deal could get done is the lull between the end of minicamp and the start of training camp.

For the Packers, the final day of mandatory minicamp takes place on June 19, a little more than a month before reporting back to training camp on July 25.

During that period, Nelson, his agent and the Packers organization will have more time to devote more time to discussing parameters of a potential deal.

"You want it done so you and your family are comfortable," said Nelson. "You want it done so you don't have to worry about it. It's just one less thing on your mind, I think on both sides. As soon they get it done, they can start working on somebody else, so we'll see what happens."

Perhaps after locking up Nelson and maybe even before, the Packers can work on Cobb who's currently on the final year of his bargain rookie deal.

As it currently stands, Cobb will make a base salary of less than a million dollars in 2014 ($812,648), although including his prorated signing bonus, his cap number increases to $1.021 million.

Second round wide receiver Davante Adams is also just one of two Packers draft picks not to have signed a contract yet.

It's impossible to pinpoint when all these deals will get done, but it won't be long and the Packers will no longer be cellar dwellars in their money devoted to the wide receiver position.

Will Brinson of will join Cheesehead TV's Railbird Central Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. CT to discuss his recent article.

Photo: Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson lines up against the Balitmore Ravens in 2013. Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (23) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

BradHTX's picture

Quote of the article: "You want it done so you and your family are comfortable."

I know it's not at all what he meant, but my initial thought was, "Dude, I could be more than comfortable for a year on what you make for one GAME!"

And don't get me wrong, I love the guy and don't begrudge him his salary. He deserves way more than he's been playing for, and I'm glad he's going to get a good deal and I'm sure he'll agree to terms that benefit the Packers. But really, the numbers we are talking about, do you wonder if they ever think, "$5M, $6M, what difference does it really make. Let's just get this done."

Probably not...

ottscay's picture

I agree with you about how high these numbers are, but I think he was referring to the uncertainty - if he doesn't have a contract then his family doesn't know where they will live next year, an injury could mean a sudden end of his earning potential, etc.

BradHTX's picture

Nope, I completely understood what he meant, and said that I knew my interpretation of his words wasn't the point he was making. The alternate interpretation just jumped out at me as I was reading, and it made me think about the amounts of money we are talking about, and far out of most people's experience that is.

And I don't think the players are overpaid, either, as some will argue. For the amount of entertainment they provide to the millions of fans, and at the risk to their own bodies and future livelihood, I don't begrudge Jordy one dollar out of the millions he will make.

And Nick Perry: you are right in your analysis below. His previous contract was a great deal based on his production after receiving it, not based on his production prior to it. Well done.

Nick Perry's picture

Ted T made a Ted T move, he saw the potential in Nelson and locked him up for the next few years. At the time of the signing Nelson had 100 regular season catches and 6 TD's over the first 3 years, not exactly eye popping numbers.
Ted T saw something that said this guy was soon going to be the best receiver on the Packers roster, and signed Nelson to what now seems like he's now grossly underpaid. Had Nelson continued to average 33 catches a year, then it doesn't seem like the Packers were stealing Nelson for the last 4 years. It was a great deal for Nelson at the time, but Ted deserves credit for this one. For all of us (Me included) that bitch about Burnett or Hawks contract, think about Nelsons or Rodgers first extensions before doing so. Now Ted, please get Cobb AND Nelson done!

Bearmeat's picture

You know the thing is though that Ted T did the same thing for Burnett. There's a reason those numbers are so low compared to production: the contract was a real big unknown at the point in signing. The "p" word (potential) is perhaps best known by the people who are in the building with these players half (or more) every calendar year.

That doesn't mean that "p" will turn into "P" (PRODUCTION) on Sunday. In Nelson's case it has. In Rodgers case it did. In Brad Jones and Burnett (so far) it hasn't.

MarkinMadison's picture

"Only way Nelson's back is if Adams flops."

If Nelson signs in the next 90 days, before any reasonable person could really judge whether Adams is a flop or not, please come back and admit that you made this post.

4thand1's picture

Ok 6-10, you still suck.

Bearmeat's picture



FACT: If ARod doesn't get hurt, GB is 12-4 or 11-5 AT WORST last year, and probably looking at a bye and the #2 seed.

I expect no different this year. Let the NFCW beat up on each other. The NFCS and NFCE has 1 good and 1 mediocre team each. The number 1 or 2 seed will probably be coming out of the NFCN this year - and that will be GB (sans ARod injury)

Bearmeat's picture

You Suck.

4thand1's picture

you suck more with every post.

BradHTX's picture

Good grief. I seriously can't believe we are all still arguing this stupid subject. Do you people get perverse pleasure from whacking your head against a brick wall?

"wasn't that far off."

Let's just go with the numbers, shall we? Statistically, this is exactly how far off you were, Cow. 6-10 vs 8-7-1 = 33.3% under on the wins, and 42.8% over on the losses.

Was your pessimistic prediction "close"? Were you "off by a mile"? Who cares, I am no longer interested in that debate.

To my mind, all that matters is the Packers outperformed what I thought they could achieve with their best player on the sidelines for half the season, and half their best players on the sidelines for several games or more. Was it a resoundingly successful season? No. Under the circumstances through which they played, I'm not happy with it but I'm satisfied. Lessons appear to have been learned by management, I like some of the talent that has been added, and I am confident that barring another catastrophe, they will be significantly better this year, and if the injury bug decides to go live somewhere else for a change, anything is possible for this team.

zeke's picture

"Was your pessimistic prediction "close"? Were you "off by a mile"? Who cares, I am no longer interested in that debate."

Neither is he. It was done to call attention to himself, and it worked. Look for a 4-12 prediction soon, for the same reason. We don't seem to learn...

The TKstinator's picture

And I predict that soon someone will tell you that you suck.

Nick Perry's picture

That's tough to determine in one season Cow. The reason I say this is most Packers rookie WR don't make a huge impact their rookie year, at least enough to determine if they could replace Nelson. The list below are the stats for Packers WR in rookie seasons.

1.) Jones... 47 catches 2 TD
2.) Nelson... 33 catches 2 TD
3.) Jennings 45 catches 3 TD
3.) Cobb 25 catches 1 TD

It's tough for a rookie WR to put up eye popping stats in Green Bay. Not saying it can't or won't happen, but it's certainly not the norm. There's so many things they need to learn not to mention gaining Rodgers trust, it just doesn't seem to happen. Cobb made that huge year 2 jump with 80 catches and 8 TD's.

Nelson seems like a pretty well grounded player. Obviously he wants to be paid accordingly, but I also don't think Nelson is greedy like Jennings seemed to be, at least IMO. I think Nelson stays a Packer.

Vrog's picture

Hope the Jordy deal gets done quickly as he certainly deserves it. I thought it was very refreshing to hear a football player say "What I got in that last deal, I'll never spend it all anyway"

RCPackerFan's picture

What I think will happen is they will resign Jordy before training camp. And then they will resign Randall just before Free Agency starts. I think they are going to want to see him play 16 games first to determine his value.

Bearmeat's picture

I'd like to see Randall get resigned to a team friendly deal (Read: Nowhere close to what Cruz and Harvin got) before the season.

That injury, while it sucked last year, can be used to GB's advantage if TT moves on it before game 1. (A la Cliffy after the Sapp disaster in 03)

Evan's picture

Exactly. I'd like to see Cobb done first, sooner than later. His value should only go up as the season progresses. Nelson's value, on the other hand, is more or less set and isn't likely to change much one way or the other. His deal can get done during the bye week or before free agency.

RCPackerFan's picture

Yeah I completely agree with you guys on this. I would much rather see Cobb get signed first, because his value is more likely to go up more then Nelson' s.
I just think that the Packers will sign Nelson first. I think his contract will be easier to structure and negotiate. I might be really wrong, but it's what I think will happen right now.

Allan Murphy's picture

humble guy nice to see .

4thand1's picture

Good Morning Packer Fans, fear mongers , and FU trolls. Cow must be sleeping in , I'm sure he's ready for another day of "utter" nonsense, sitting at his pc with a raging hard on, reading every response to his constant BS. The Packers will continue to spread the ball around again this year, with no receiver getting over 100 receptions. The lesson learned is straight from Jennings own mouth with the long winded apology he gave Rodgers after the 1st Viqueen game. Nelson and Cobb are important to this team and will be signed. Neither one are divas and should know they could end up like Jones or Jennings, playing on shit teams with no chance of getting to the SB.

BradHTX's picture

"Udder" nonsense? :)

4thand1's picture

LOL, yeah, I meant udder. :(

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