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Rodgers Best Receiving Corps Ever? It’s Possible!

I’ve been begging for two years for the Green Bay Packers to address their backup receivers problem. So what does general manager Brian Gutekunst do? He releases Jordy Nelson, turning a problem into a likely calamity. Now they need a starter and multiple backups.

What can Gutekunst’s plan be? If it’s a free agency acquisition, that ship might have sailed. Using rotoworld.com ratings, of 43 free agent wide receivers, the top seven have been picked off. Numbers six and seven are both in the $7 million annual salary range. Of the 26 remaining WRs, there are about seven still available for probably from $2 to $6.5 million annually.

Opportunity Knocks

In looking over the seven most eligible wide receivers left on the list, six of them are: Terrelle Pryor (28), Mike Wallace (31), Kendall Wright (28), Jeremy Maclin (29), Eric Decker (31), and Brice Butler (28). Given their ages, most of these high-mileage guys would be short-term investments.

But wait, forget about getting a backup receiver – we can do better than that. The current number three on the list is Jordan Matthews, who is coming off IR after surgery on an injured thumb.

Matthews produced between 803 and 997 receiving yards in each of his first three years with Philadelphia, considerably better than what Davante Adams did. He was the 42nd overall pick in 2014, ahead of Adams by 11 picks. I don’t know why the Eagles traded him to the Buffalo Bills in 2017.

He’s taller (6’3”, 212) than Adams and has the much better 40-yard dash time, 4.46 vs. 4.56. The rest of his combine scores are mid-range, so he has good versatility and no weaknesses. This ain’t no backup, this is a WR1 who would be a sound replacement for Jordy Nelson and one who would beautifully complement Adams.

Twice a first-team All-SEC selection, Matthews was put on five first-team All-American lists in his senior year at Vanderbilt. He’s got a slew of SEC and school records.

The guy is only 25 years old. Presumably his thumb is fully healed. He’d cost from $6 to $7 million per year. His pre-injury stats also dwarf what Randall Cobb has done in the past three years.

Randall Cobb is carrying a huge cap hit at $12.7 million – about three million more than Nelson’s was. There’s your money for acquiring Matthews. Starting for Green Bay: Matthews at right wideout, Adams on the left, Ty Montgomery in the slot, and Jimmy Graham at tight end. Lots of height, lots of bulk, plenty of speed, great athleticism. Plenty of experience, but still youthful. This is potentially the most talented group of receivers Aaron Rodgers would ever have had to work with.

And even after exchanging Mathews for Cobb, an extra $5 million would be added to the salary cap kitty – and usable to obtain a quality backup receiver.

There is no wide receiver in the upcoming draft – even if the first-round pick was utilized – who could contribute in 2018 anywhere near to what I would expect out of Jordan. Go get him Brian!

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. Mitch Anthony March 20, 2018

    You pretty much sold me.

    But can he co-star in an insurance commercial? Just wonderin’

  2. Mike March 20, 2018

    He’s a slot receiver. He doesn’t play outside.

  3. PF4L March 20, 2018

    That was exhausting, lol. My head is spinning.

    Idk Rob, Rodgers had a fairly impressive receiving core in 2011. Jennings, Driver, Jones, Finley, Nelson.

    1. tupac March 21, 2018

      Yeah, this all day.

  4. Adam March 20, 2018

    The Jaguars released Allen Hurns today. He’s been injured a bit the last two seasons but he was a beast in 2015 – over 1,000 yards and 10TD’s. He’s 6’3 with some reach too. I think he’d be a great pickup for a good price.

    He was due to earn $7M this year before the Jags let him go. Not sure he’s gonna command that much right now.

    1. PF4L March 21, 2018

      Randall Cobb²

  5. Skinny March 21, 2018

    They wont let Cobb go. Hes too close with Rodgers and is a company man. But as we all know its not about ability with the Packers its about how easily you bend over for management and take it. The Packers board is always number 1. Then its the Packers front office. Then its Rodgers.

    1. Cheese March 21, 2018

      “its about how easily you bend over for management and take it.”

      Cobb wouldn’t restructure his bloated deal so management decided to bend Jordy over instead. Maybe Cobb should start sharing his salary with Brett Hundley too, after he gives James Jones his cut.

      1. PF4L March 21, 2018

        ^^ Who wouldn’t want to sit and drink with this guy and buy him a nice cold brew, or 10.

    2. tupac March 21, 2018

      You have it wrong. It is about ability. You mean to say it isn’t about performance.

      Cobbs ability is still there, but our offenses ability to find a way to use him has been gone.

      1. PF4L March 21, 2018

        If you have to “find a way to use him” he isn’t worth having.

        Get open, or don’t, he hasn’t.

        1. tupac March 23, 2018

          This is really narrow minded! Cobb does get open…

          In any given play, only one weapon gets to add add numbers to his stat line. But the rest have to do their part too. It takes a very skilled player to cover Cobb. It is up to the defense to decide how skilled of a player they want to put on each weapon, and then on the offense to take advantage of that.

    3. Icebowl March 23, 2018

      I thought Nelson was THE “company” man,,,

  6. Deepsky March 21, 2018

    You guys seem to forget Ty Montgomery is a receiver and I thought was going to become a good one. The league figured out how to stop his running game and the Packers seem to have a few good running backs, so they should move him back to this position.

    1. PF4L March 21, 2018

      A few of us never forgot, and weren’t all that hyped he was playing rb to begin with, and we said as much.

      This guy should be starting in the slot. If he didn’t out perform Cobb he’d be damn close, so then what would be your net loss? I’ll tell you…about 9 million dollars.

    2. tupac March 21, 2018

      The league figured out how to stop his running game huh? By breaking his ribs. Looks like they figured out how to stop AR too…

      1. Icebowl March 23, 2018

        Valid point(s)…..