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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.