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Randall Cobb’s Price Tag is Going to Be Huge

Randall Cobb

We know receiver Randall Cobb is going to make some bank this offseason. The bad news for the Green Bay Packers is he’s probably going to make more bank than we or they anticipated.

And perhaps that’s why Cobb’s deal isn’t done yet.

There were rumors that the Packers wanted to sign Cobb to a contract extension dating back to last offseason. It’s been suggested that the Packers will make every effort to get the deal done before free agency opens next month.

Yet, we’ve heard nothing positive on the Randall Cobb contract front.

Last summer, the Packers signed receiver Jordy Nelson to a contract extension that averages around $9 million per season over the length of the deal ($9.76 million annually on the additional years). Naturally, it was assumed that Cobb, whose resume is not nearly as impressive, would get substantially less than that.

That probably will not be the case.

NFL.com has suggested that Cobb will get more money than Nelson, simply because he’s five years younger.

Of course, more is a flexible term. It doesn’t necessarily mean a greater average salary, which seems at worst impossible and at best unadvisable. More could well mean the overall value of the contract, which would make more sense.

Nelson’s contract came in around $43 million. The actual extension part of it was four years for slightly over $39 million.

So the Packers could give Cobb “more” over a longer period, which is reasonable because he’s only 24.

Here are some more numbers to ponder.

Giants receiver Victor Cruz, who signed a new deal back in 2013, got just under $46 million total. The extension part of his contract was five years at $43 million. That’s $9.5 million annually for the five years of the extension.

On the flip side, Denver gave Wes Welker two years and $12 million back in 2013. That’s $6 million annually.

We’re noting these guys because they’re slot receivers like Cobb. One is young and one is old, but at the time they signed these contracts, they were considered among the best slot receivers in the game.

That tells us the floor for Cobb is likely $7 million annually. The ceiling is certainly a good deal higher.

That’s great Randall and awful for the Packers.

Before the season, we anticipated Cobb would get a deal around $5-6 million annually. Then an extension didn’t get done and he went out and had a career year. The Packers now have absolutely no leverage.

The only thing they have is this question. How much can we afford to invest in two receivers?

The answer, if they plan on keeping Cobb, could well be about $20 million a year.

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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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26 Comments

  1. Sean February 6, 2015

    I guess I just don’t understand why a Cobb should be paid less than Nelson to begin with. Seems silly. I was thinking at the very least they should be paid the same.

    1. GreenNGold February 8, 2015

      He shouldn’t be paid less. He’s proven to be as valuable to the offense as Jordy, if not more valuable with his clutch catches. Jordy has also taken below market, if he wanted to he could have pushed for around 11. And Cobb could probably push for the same, possibly even more cause he is 5 years younger. But i believe, like Jordy will have a number and won’t get greedy. I see just slightly over Jordy’s average, 5 years 50 mil. And he’d be worth every single penny.

    2. You Enjoy Yourself February 9, 2015

      Supply and Demand my friend. There are a shit ton more 5’10” guys out there. Not so many 6’3″ ones.

      In a game of inches, thats 5. Get them both on their tippy toes and I bet Nelson reaches close to a foot higher.

  2. big gay clay February 6, 2015

    No team would pay Cobb 20 mil a year, he’s a great receiver just not a Megatron. He will get paid 10 mil a year watch

    1. 1265Lombardiave February 6, 2015

      He is referring to both Nelson and Cobb… those guys would be about 20 million a year combined. Still a ton of money regardless.

  3. Adam February 6, 2015

    Regardless of price, we NEED Randall back. Losing him would be a substantial blow to the offense. Our Red Zone efficiency numbers are poor enough as is with 2 and a half capable receivers.

    Bring Randall back, groom another off-season of work into Davante, and draft an athletic receiving tight-end and I really feel like we’re looking at 2011 production again.

  4. the real russ letlow February 6, 2015

    pay the man……but not too much!

  5. Organicbuzz February 6, 2015

    Soon NFL will be a “wealthy man” only experience.Big money is the root of all that is evil! Ask Vince, he’ll tell ya the same thing. Go Pack Go!!!

  6. Savage57 February 6, 2015

    Not gonna’ happen. Wouldn’t be prudent.

    There’s a finite number of players on a team that you can pay 8 figure salaries to. As it is right now, the Packers have 4, Cobb would make that 5. That’s 48% of your salary cap space allocated to >10% of your roster.

    A fact of NFL life and one of the real bitch-ass, slap upside the head aspects of draft and develop.

    Sometimes you wind up developing them for someone else.

    1. GreenNGold February 6, 2015

      Packers do not have 4 8 figure players, they have 3, and one is a 35 year old 1 year free agent signing that can be cut with little dead hit. If need be, Thompson won’t sacrifice Cobb to keep Peppers for another season or 2, that’d make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Randall Cobb is his drafted and developed star, and one of his best draftees in his tenure and possibly the most important player on offense behind only Aaron Rodgers. Randall Cobb will be resigned. Good GMs like Thompson get it done. There is no set number for the amount of guys you can give 8 figure average salaries too. Just cause you have 4 or 5 guys with 10 mil+ averages, does not mean they all count against the cap that much yearly. Contracts are structured differently, to make them coexist. Randall Cobb will be resigned in Green Bay for the next 4-5 years.

      1. Savage57 February 7, 2015

        OK, here we go. Technically, you’re right. Shields ’15 number is $9.1MM so yeah he falls a little short of qualifying as an 8 figure guy, but you get the idea. Add in Cobb at $10-11MM and the numbers pencil out.

        The issue here isn’t sacrificing Peppers. He may restructure, he may not. The issue isn’t what the Packers will pay Cobb, it’s what other teams may. And there’s the rub.

        Jags, Raiders, Browns, Jets, Titans and Bengals all have over $40MM in cap space available in 2015. Each one of those teams would absolutely love to have Randall Cobb in their lineup. There is an extremely good chance one of those teams will make an offer for Cobb that prices him out of Ted’s value rationale.

        And if I’m a player looking at a delta of $8-10MM over the life of a contract, I look real hard at the team willing to make that difference line up in my bank account.

        1. Andy February 7, 2015

          I’m hoping that Cobb and his team work out early on in the process that, while yes he could make more money playing for one of those teams (Jags, Raiders, Browns, Jets, Titans and Bengals), ultimatley his value is hurt by playing with a shit qb on a team that doesn’t win. Call it the greg jennings or eric decker effect or what not, but i’d take a discount to play with a winner. (and of course its easy to sit here and say that considering i probably wont make in my lifetime what cobb can make in a year)

        2. GreenNGold February 8, 2015

          If you were Randall Cobb, and Thompson was gonna give you 5 years 50 million to stay in Green Bay, with a HOF QB and a chance at a Super Bowl yearly, you’d rather jump ship to somebody like the Jags, Browns, Jets, Titans or Raiders for 55 million over 5 years??? You’d leave a sure Super Bowl contender for an extra million a year to go to rebuilding teams with QBs not half as good as you’d have in Green Bay??? I wouldn’t. I’d stay in Green Bay. You’d also have a future contract to think about too. Stay in Green Bay and the chance of your value staying put and potentially going up over the next 4-5 years is really high. Jump ship for an extra 4-5 mil now and go to a team with somebody like Geno Smith or Brian Hoyer as the QB, and your chances of keeping you’re value up over the 4-5 years are much much lower. An extra 5 mil now could cost him an extra 15 mil in 5 years. When they start getting into serious negotiations and if Thompson is throwing out that 8 figure average, offering Cobb 5 years 50 mil, I don’t think Cobb will worry about the market. He’s already expressed his desire to stay in Green Bay. You can just tell by listening to the guy that he’s a very humble person and money isn’t everything to him. Just like Shields last year, i believe Thompson will keep Cobb from ever actually seeing the market. Cobb has every reason to sign in Green Bay and the Packers have every reason to sign Randall Cobb.

  7. GreenNGold February 6, 2015

    When you don’t have any money invested into the WRs or TEs, you can afford to put big money into the 2 guys that account for 60% of the passing game, especially when the passing game is the bread and butter of the Green Bay Packers. The next highest paid player on average after Jordy is Andrew Quarless at 1.5 mil, with nobody else in line to be paid for another 3 seasons. By letting Jennings walk, letting Jones walk, and Finley’s unfortunate injury, things set up perfect for the Packers to put money back into the 2 best WRs. You don’t let Jones walk for 3.3 mil a season if you don’t intend to pay Cobb his worth the next off-season, even if it is a little more than you originally planned for. And if the Packers did plan to let a WR go, you don’t pay Jordy right away because Cobb is 5 years younger, you wait till after the season and decide between the 2. And truly, as much as i love Jordy, Cobb is the obvious choice of the 2. He became the most important receiver in Green Bay last year, the clutch WR, the guy who was getting open for Rodgers when plays broke down. He’s currently the more important of the 2, the younger, has more upside, everything just points to Cobb being the guy. Randall Cobb is a key player and important to the immediate and future success of the Packers, they just can’t afford to let him go without taking major risks of setting the passing game back in 2015. Thompson is all about his guys and rewarding them when necessary, and Cobb is one of his best in his tenure, one of his best draft picks, he won’t let Cobb get away even if it means letting Peppers go to clear that cap space for Cobb. He won’t sacrifice one of his own drafted and developed studs and key cogs of the offense to keep a 1 year 35 year old FA signing for another year or 2. Peppers would be the guy we’d be replacing, not Randall Cobb. Cobb gets his new deal very soon, 5 years 50 mil, 15 mil signing bonus with 22 guaranteed.

    1. GreenNGold February 6, 2015

      Sorry about the long post. I get a little passionate about the Packers getting Randall Cobb resigned and literally could argue reasons why he should, could and will be resigned all day.

  8. Shawn Neuser February 6, 2015

    Actually, the Packers have two forms of leverage.

    1) the franchise tag – the Packers could use it but it’s a boatload of money. If they tagged Cobb, he would be inclined to sign a deal because if he didn’t, he would take the risk of getting injured and losing out big time.

    2) competition on the market – Depending on what other teams do there is an impressive list of WRs about ready to hit the market, headlined by Dez Bryant and Demarius Thomas, both of whom command more attention than Cobb. As we’ve seen with other WRs in recent years, the market can suppress their value if there are a lot of options out there. Of course, it is probable that Dallas and Denver will want to lock up Bryant and Thomas before they ever hit the market. However, same with the Packers.

    About the only thing that makes me nervous about this is the fact that Cobb hasn’t signed yet.

    1. GreenNGold February 8, 2015

      Dez won’t see the market. Jerry Jones has already said that they will use the tag if necessary. And DT is likely gonna see the tag too. Those are 2 WRs that a team don’t let get away, and DT even mentioned he’d be willing to take some kind of hometown discount. Something i think Cobb will also be willing to do. I don’t think we’ll need the tag because i’m sure Cobb will be anxious to sign and continue his career in Green Bay. He’s already made it clear he wants to stay there. As for a deal not already being done, i’m not too worried about that. Shields was locked up the day before free agency began, i’m sure it’ll get it done. I don’t think the Packers have even really started into free agency just yet cause Brad Jones and AJ Hawk are still on the team. Most teams are focusing on the draft right now with the combine coming up in less than 2 weeks. That’s where Thompson’s attention will be focused. I’m sure Cobb’s gonna get resigned before free agency, he really has no incentive to leave if the Packers are gonna pay him in the 10 mil range.

  9. Howard February 7, 2015

    There is a projection team salary cap numbers are to increase by approximately another 30 million by 2017 because of new TV deals. This could be one of the problems with getting the contract done. Cobb’s agent may be looking at that increase and thinking more in the line of four years 45+ mil. If I was Cobb I would not want more than a four year contract with a substantial guaranteed amount. Why not hit the market again at 28?

    Even though Ted does not appear to like using the franchise tag in this case it may be needed. It is my understanding Cobb’s agent prefers his clients check the market. Unless Cobb really is set on staying in Green Bay, if Cobb hits the market he is probably gone.

    All teams like to copy the Super Bowl winners and Edelman had a very good game. Several teams will believe if Edelman can do that just think what Cobb can do. They would be correct in that thinking. It would be a shock if Cobb is signed for less than 10 mil a year, and that will only happen if Cobb wants to stay in Green Bay and provides a home town discount.

  10. kato February 7, 2015

    I had a feeling that after jordy signed his extension and the packers used three draft picks on receivers that there was a decent shot that Cobb would not be back. Particularly abbrederiss. There are more holes on this team than people think. They are going to need corner depth again, inside linebackers, and nose tackle. Right now mike pennel is their starter for next season. I have to believe they will dip into free agency for one of those positions. Next off season there could be decent money spent extending bahktiari (quality left tackles aren’t cheap),Hyde, and lacy. I would love to see Cobb stay, especially with his role on offense, but I get the feeling the organization started to prepare for his departure last off season.

    1. GreenNGold February 8, 2015

      Last years draft was more about replenishing lost depth over the previous few years. You gotta remember, this was once a receiving corps that consisted of Jennings, Jordy, Jones, Driver and Cobb. And not only did we have those WRs, we had a legit down field receiving threat at TE that we currently don’t have. Because none of the late round picks ever amounted to anything over the previous few years, the Packers were stuck very light on Rodgers targets, so they needed to add a surplus of WRs to bring some quality depth back to this team. If we had lost either Jordy or Cobb last year to an injury, the Packers passing game would have been in serious trouble with the horrid depth we had. Losing either one of them guy would have been 1/3 of the passing game gone and we wouldn’t have gotten where we got to.

      Last year wasn’t about preparing for losing Cobb, it was about replenishing for players lost. And if anything, letting James Jones walk for practically nothing says more about the intentions towards Cobb than drafting an extra 5th and 7th round WR does. Adams was to replace Jones as our 3 and Abby and Janis were replenishing depth for the best QB in the game.

      If they were thinking they weren’t gonna keep both Jordy and Cobb, why let one of Rodgers other experienced established options go for practically nothing when we had far more than enough to resign him?? It’s because there was every intention of that little extra money going towards Randall Cobb after they seen that Cobb wasn’t gonna have lingering effects from the broken leg. And if they didn’t have every intention of signing both, and we’re preparing to lose Cobb last offseason, why sign the soon to be 30 year old over the soon to be 25 year old?? That’s not Thompson’s M-O. I know Jordy is our #1, but what if Jordy had gone into the season and something happened where he fell off??? Then you’re stuck with the 30 year old declining Jordy already having made the decision he was the guy they were keeping over the 25 year old budding superstar WR. And as much as i love Jordy, if it was between Jordy and Cobb today, Cobb would be the guy. That is because his value to the offense is almost even with Jordy, if not a little higher. He’s far younger and still getting better. If we weren’t keeping both, It’s Thompson M-O to keep the younger guy, the guy who’s more likely to give you more over the next 4-5 years.

      Everything points to Cobb staying in Green Bay. He has every incentive to want to stay and Green Bay has every incentive to sign him. If Thompson lets Cobb go, he could possibly be letting one of his top 3 draft picks in his career get away, and that’s not something Thompson does. Randall Cobb will be staying a Green Bay Packer with a deal in the range of 5 years 50 million.

    2. GreenNGold February 8, 2015

      And Bak isn’t gonna be super expensive. Yeah, LTs aren’t cheap, but it’s not like Bak is a high quality top 5 LT. Possibly top 15, but he’s not better than guys like Eugene Monroe and Joe Staley, who are right around 7.5 mil a year. Between 7 and 8 should get him done, and if it’s not, we resign Bulaga now for around 7-8 and then we slide him to LT and draft a new RT at that time. And Hyde and Lacy have no bearing whatsoever on Randall Cobb. If signing Cobb meant losing Hyde and Lacy in the future, see ya later Hyde and Lacy. Luckily there’s gonna be around 20-30 mil in extra cap spending over the next couple years, so if there’s ever a time to be able to sign most all your important players, it’s now. And especially for Thompson cause he knows how to structure contracts and keep things manageable yearly.

  11. Vijay February 7, 2015

    If I was GM, I’d probably be okay with letting him walk assuming that we can’t get or even ask Aaron to restructure at this point. If he takes a hometown or cap friendly deal with a huge signing bonus, then great you can keep him. If not, this draft class again has some really solid WR depth early rounds yet again. Like the Seahawks or Pats, you simply plug n play with the WR corps. If Aaron is truly the MVP he should be able to make just about any receiver good or even great, right?

    That Jaelen Strong kid from ASU would be a good replacement but you’d have to take him with your first pick. This is gonna be very interesting to watch play out.

    1. GreenNGold February 8, 2015

      Letting Cobb go would just add another hole needing to be filled, not something we need to do. This team is right on the edge of making the Super Bowl again, and Randall Cobb is a big part of that. He was a big part of why we were where we were last year. Thompson is the best in the NFL at working the cap and setting contracts up that keep things flexible, such as Sam Shields who is a 12.125 mil cap hit in 2016 and 2017 but is an easy cut if necessary. Thompson knows how to work the cap. And with all the extra cap spending that’s gonna be available over the next 3 years, this isn’t the time to lose key players. If anything, this is the time for Thompson to put all his chips in, get Cobb and Bulaga resigned, draft ILB early and have this team set and ready to be even better in 2015 than we were in 2014. Letting Cobb go doesn’t help us get better in 2015. Thompson knows this and he will get it done.

  12. kato February 7, 2015

    Not to mention you have Aaron Rodgers, the highest paid player. Also meaning the highest paid qb. The onus is on HIM to take these young receivers and make something out of them. Brady hasn’t had receivers in new england for the past couple of years, and yet has taken them to an AFC championship game and a super bowl victory. Same with drew brees, look at the receivers he has had down there. It is time Rodgers to really go out and earn his paycheck

    1. You Enjoy Yourself February 9, 2015

      You make a good point. If we had to play BAL and INDY we’d be in the SB too.

  13. rebelgb February 7, 2015

    I love Cobb but the 2 above me pointed it out perfectly: Like Brett Favre, Arodge can make just about any receiver with good talent a top rate receiver.

    With 2 tackles needing to be resigned in the next 2 years I dont see us paying Cobb more than 6 Mill a year.