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Randall Cobb Reportedly Seeking $9 Million Annually

Randall Cobb and James Starks

Receiver Randall Cobb is reportedly looking for $9 million annually in his next contract, which would place him squarely in the realm of No. 1 receiver money.

The only problem with that, if you’re the Green Bay Packers, is that Cobb is a No. 2 receiver. That and the fact that they just gave No. 1 receiver Jordy Nelson a four-year, $39 million extension prior to the 2014 season.

If the Packers meet that $9 million number, they’ll be paying a pair of receivers more than $18 million a season.

That seems ludicrous from a salary cap standpoint, but we’ve heard rumblings previously that it might come to this. Cobb is only 24 and coming off a season where he set career highs in catches (91), yards (1,287), and touchdowns (12).

And if you look at it from that perspective, $9 million is a perfectly acceptable number. At $9 million annually, Cobb would be the 10th highest paid receiver in the NFL (tied with Greg Jennings, interestingly enough).

That top 10 list, however, is going to change a bit in the coming months. Both Dallas’ Dez Bryant and Denver’s Demaryius Thomas will be free agents and will get bigger deals than Cobb.

Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald, who is second in average salary at more than $16 million, will have his deal restructured or he’ll be released. Candidates for a similar such fate in the top 10 are No. 3 Mike Wallace ($12 million), No. 4 Dwayne Bowe ($11.2 million), No. 9 Andre Johnson ($9.7 million) and Jennings.

Of course, there’s another way to look at this.

Pretty much all of the guys in this top 10 fit a specific mold — big, strong, outside No. 1 receiver types.

Cobb is a small receiver, who relies on quickness and plays primarily in the slot.

The one exception in the top 10 is the Jets’ Percy Harvin, who is at No. 6 with $10.7 million annually. The Giants’ Victor Cruz is 11th with $8.6 million annually.

That still doesn’t give the Packers any leverage though, because Cobb is as good as if not better than both Harvin and Cruz. The important thing to note is that not many slot receivers get the kind of money that’s being attached to Cobb.

Finally, there are only four teams in the league who have more than $18 million invested in a pair of receivers, which is what the Packers would have if they paid Cobb $9 million a season. They are Arizona (Fitzgerald, $16 million; Ted Ginn, $3.25 million), Detroit (Calvin Johnson, $16.2 million; Golden Tate, $6.2 million) and Miami (Wallace, $12 million; Brian Hartline, $6.1 million).

The Jets are close (Harvin, $10.7 million; Eric Decker, $7.25 million).

Take a look at that list. Those franchises are either perennial losers (Arizona and Detroit) or current losers (Miami and the Jets).

You certainly could make the argument that the only teams that invest heavily in a pair of receivers are teams neither players or fans want to be associated with.

We have our doubts that’s going to get the Packers any sort of discount though.

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Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

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23 Comments

  1. Sean February 17, 2015

    Yet… how many games do we win without Cobb? I mean we don’t have any proven options beyond Devante. Unless they believe Rodgers (TE) or Janis is going to break out next season, I can’t see how they don’t pay him if they want to compete for a Superbowl next year.

  2. kato February 17, 2015

    Packers have zero leverage. They have to pay him if they want to keep him. They do have $23m in space which could balloon to more depending on what they do with hawk, Jones, and peppers. Like mentioned before, do you want to pay your #2 receiver $9m per? The fact they drafted three receivers last year tells me a lot. I still would like to see them make a run at suh. They need a difference maker in up front on that defense. It would open up things so much for cm3 and peppers.

  3. Jeff February 17, 2015

    Pay it, he’s probably the most talented player on the team assuming he stays healthy, and Nelson and Cobb are arguably the best receiving combo in the NFL. I thought he might ask for more than Nelson since he’s able to play many different positions including special teams.

  4. Shawn Neuser February 17, 2015

    Fuck Suh. Next topic.
    The Packers do have the franchise tag, which I think they should use if they absolutely can not get a deal done. I don’t think it will come to that, but still, that is some leverage that they do have.
    The Packers essentially don’t have a #2 WR. They have two #1s. Cobb is worth $9 mil a year. You pay him that, how to structure it is really the only issue.
    I believe Ted sets a value on every individual player, not on a position as a whole. However, even if he did, the money is there.
    In 2011, with a $132 million salary cap, the Packers paid about $17 million to their top 5 WRs. IF the Packers were to sign Cobb for around $9 mil per year, that would put the number at around $20 mil for the top 5 WRs with a salary cap over $160 million.
    PLUS, take a look at Jordy’s contract. He actually is only scheduled to count $4.6 million against the 2015 cap. That means the Packers could throw a pretty big number at Cobb for the first year.

    1. pf4l February 17, 2015

      There is a huge drop off in talent from the 2011 top 5 receivers and the Packers would be top 5 receivers if they gave Cobb 9 million based on 2014 personnel..

      The 2011 Packers top 5 receivers were
      1) Jordy Nelson
      2) Greg Jennings
      3) James Jones
      4) Donald Driver
      5) Randall Cobb

      Next years top 5 receivers would be..
      1) Jordy Nelson
      2) Randall Cobb
      3) 3 nobodys

      1. Shawn Neuser February 18, 2015

        True. The point is that the money is there. This debunks the argument that Ted would not spend that much money on the WR core.
        No WR core compares favorably to the 2011 Packers. How bad does that 2015 WR core look without Cobb?

        1. pf4l February 18, 2015

          It looks like shit. Should never have let James Jones go. JJ looks like a bargain at 3 years for 11 million but Big Ted told JJ to go fuck himself basically. Now you already overpaid Shields. Tried to overpay Raji by offering 8 million and now are being forced to overpay for Cobb. Gonna keep Peppers for 9.5 million with a cap hit of 12 million? Maybe this is the genius of Ted Thompson, idk.

          I’m not saying Cobb isn’t needed, he is. But to keep him, they have to overpay. Especially when we need a tight end in the worst way.

          1. Phatgzus February 18, 2015

            Like Shit? Are you kidding me? Adams is going to be better than JJ ever was. You don’t let Jones walk and you may not have the money to sign both Cobb and Bulaga. We also have Abby and Janis waiting in the wings; Boykin may still be here as well, who among us can say he won’t bounce back in some way?
            Our TE position is FINE. Rodgers improved steadily as a rookie, he has the best hands of anyone A-Rodg has ever played with, from the horse’s mouth. He may not be able to stretch the field as well as Finley could, but he can beat LBs (case in point, Pats game). Quarless is also solid, he’ll likely never be more than that, but when you have the receivers and backs we do, you don’t need an elite TE. Why don’t you exercise some patience and see how RichRodg develops, he was a WR for 2 or 3 years in college.

          2. pf4l February 19, 2015

            Adams is going to be better than JJ ever was? You know this how? I don’t recall JJ running wrong routes on a regular basis…But hey, if you say so, it’s probably gonna come to fruition. When Adams leads the league in td catches…Get back to me.

            Boykin? ..Really? You saw what the Packers thought of Boykin last season if you paid attention..not much.

            Abby and Janis? Look in your crystal ball and tell me if they are gonna be better than JJ also…seeing as you can read the future.

            While your at it…How about telling me the winning powerball #’s for this Saturdays jackpot. NO…i’m not kidding you

          3. Phatgzus February 19, 2015

            JJ did run incorrect routes, he did it into his final year in GB, he also had the dropsies much worse early in his career than Adams has. I don’t need a crystal ball to know he will be better, I can tell just by watching him play-case in point, he’s already had a better game on a bigger stage (Dallas) than JJ ever had. I like JJ, woulda been nice to keep him, but it’ll be even nicer to have that cash to re-sign Bulaga and Cobb, two players much more important to this team’s success (regardless of your opinion on Bulaga) than JJ ever could’ve been.
            Boykin had a great year 2 seasons ago, that’s why I said MAYBE he bounces back.

            A lot of people have been hyped about Abby and Janis, I never said they’d be better than Jones (please show me where I did) so quit trying to dish out red herrings.

            No rebuttal to my TE comment eh? Guess you got nuthin’ there.

          4. pf4l February 19, 2015

            lol..It wasn’t that i had “nuttin there”. It was a matter of me being bored with all the scenario’s of IF that player develops, IF this player develops.

            I like to deal with the reality of what i see in present time.

  5. the real russ letlow February 17, 2015

    pay the man. make it short (3 years) and front loaded to eat up some cap now, not so much later. Gives Cobb a chance to do another big contract while he is young enough (27). Might take a bit less that way.

  6. Andrew Chitko February 17, 2015

    9 million a year? Seriously? I like Randall Cobb as much as the next person, but how is it that Tom Brady continually tears up opposing defenses with a bunch of no name receivers? Belichick and the Patriots have never spent big money at the wide receiver position which leads me to believe they think having a top notch quarterback SHOULD make up for deficiencies at that position. And shouldn’t it? Granted, they invest heavily at tight end and have Gronk which can’t be overestimated. But if the Pats believe spending shit ton at wide receiver is a bad idea, which based on history would seem to indicate that, then I’m not so certain the Packers are barking up the right tree here.

    I like Cobb but I simply would refuse to pay him that much. We shall see.

    1. rebelgb February 18, 2015

      Couldnt agree more. Great QB’s make good WR’s into super stars. I love Cobb, but he is a slot receiver and he is short.

      Phatgzus’s comments below can be ignored since he obviously hasnt really followed the Patriots. The Patriots have had some terrible defenses over the last 5 years (even this years wasnt that great) and Brady has had some shoddy lines (due to injuries). Though his line this year was pretty stellar after the first half of the season.

      If Cobb is willing to take more through a signing bonus and a bit less yearly (say 7) then sign him. But 9 mill in salary? No fucking way.

      1. Phatgzus February 18, 2015

        They were still better than ours. Their champ defenses were excellent. Sorry bud, nice try.

      2. Phatgzus February 18, 2015

        “Brady has had some shoddy lines”.

        He really hasn’t.

  7. Andrew Chitko February 17, 2015

    And another thing. How is it the Pats can shuffle in wide receivers willy nilly on a yearly basis and they’re able to learn the system and play almost immediately?

    The Packers offensive system must be brilliant because it’s so complex, right?

    Imagine Bill Belichick being in command of the talent the Packers have on offense. He’s never had an offense even close to the amount of talent the Packers have.

    In essence without trying, I’ve made my argument that Tom Brady must be the greatest ever. I thought it was Rodgers for a while, but I’m not sure I’ll think that again.

    I hope I do.

    1. Phatgzus February 17, 2015

      Maybe the Pats haven’t had as talented skill position guys (except for Gronk, who is worth more than an elite WR), but they’ve had arguably the greatest O-line ever in a QB’s tenure (P. Manning’s, Aikman’s, and Starr’s are up there as well). Rodgers, until last season, has had below average to good lines. You can not ever overvalue that corp, it is more valuable than a skill position unit-even mediocre receiver can get open given 5-6 seconds.
      The Pats have also had MUCH better D’s than the Pack’s for most of those years.
      The Pats are also proven cheaters, sure, at least they cheated and won, but cheating is cheating and should and will forever tarnish an accomplishment (see Barry Bonds).
      The Pats have also not had garbage at the skill positions either: Blount is no slouch, nor Vereen, or Ridley, Troy Brown and Deion Branch were a good receivers, Edelman is one of the best slots in the game-salary does not determine value, rather vice versa.
      I give props to Brady for winning in crunch time, he’s also faced inferior post-season comp., for the most part, in the postseason. He’s one of the best ever, probably number 2 in my book, right now, but unless he wins another SB or 2, he will not pass Montana (no pun intended). Rodgers is more talented, there is no doubt in my time, but he needs to get it done in the Playoffs more consistently, pure and simple.

  8. jtmax February 17, 2015

    It is worth paying Cobb $9 mil but I’m worried about his health. He’s had a major knee so it’s too risky. We had a good draft with Adams, Jared A., and Jeff Janis. I’d franchise Cobb if we can’t get him down to $8 mil a year. That gives use title contention next year while we have one more year to groom Adams, JAred A, or Janis to take up #2 and #3 spots. Bulaga must be a non tag. He’s not good enough to be FT. Needs to stay healthy and prove it for a year.

    1. Shawn Neuser February 18, 2015

      Cobb never hurt his knee. He broke his leg.

  9. jtmax February 17, 2015

    BTW, Rodgers beat Tom Brady this year. But Rodgers got hurt or we would win the superbowl. W e just have had terrible time with injuries.

  10. rebelgb February 18, 2015

    Im sorry but Packer fans can keep that delusion of us losing because of Rodgers injury. The only thing his injury limited was him running, which with our oline play he didnt need to do. So if that helps you sleep at night so be it.

    But remember this: Tom Brady doesnt run, he won the Super Bowl (again). He doesnt have Lacy, Nelson and Cobb either.

    No more excuses for Arodge please.

    1. Phatgzus February 18, 2015

      No but he has Gronk, Eelman, Ammendola, Blount, Ridley, and Vereen. They’re all pretty good, if you watch them.