That’s what its come down to. Who would you rather have? Jordy Nelson or Geronimo Allison?
The Green Bay Packers made their decision when they released Nelson this past offseason. It wasn’t a one-or-the-other proposition, though. The Packers could have kept both receivers.
Allison is making a meager $630,000 this year. He’ll be a restricted free agent after the season, so the Packers essentially control his rights. Nelson’s deal averaged around $10 million per season. If the Packers had kept him, this would have been the final year of that contract.
We understand why the Packers made the move to release Nelson. He’s 33 and on the backside of his career. He wasn’t productive in 2017, catching 53 balls for 482 yards. And, they wanted to give Allison an opportunity to move up and contribute.
In making the move, general manager Brian Gutekunst was following the Bill Walsh ideal — I’m going to get rid of you before you become a bad player. It doesn’t matter who you are. The 49ers jettisoned a number of great players from those Walsh teams — Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and Ronnie Lott, to name a few. Those guys all went on to play for other teams and have success.
In Allison, the Packers have a receiver who’s both young (24) and cheap. Much like Nelson was, Allison is considered one of the hardest working guys on the team.
With the recent spate of injuries at the receiver position, a lot of people have been jumping on the Packers for releasing Nelson. And yes, they could have kept him, but they didn’t, so let’s move on.
What this really comes down to is looking at the season so far for both guys.
Interestingly, Nelson and Allison are pretty even.
Allison has 19 catches for 289 yards and two touchdowns. Nelson has 16 catches for 274 yards and two touchdowns.
Allison is averaging 15.2 per catch, with a long of 64. Nelson is averaging 17.1 per catch, with a long of 66 — the old man can obviously still stretch the field.
It doesn’t really get anymore even than that.
The thing is, Nelson’s numbers were largely put up in one game. Against Miami, Nelson had six catches for 173 yards and a touchdown. In the other three games, his high in receiving yards was 48.
Allison has been more consistent. His receiving yards by game — 69, 64, 76 and 80.
If you had to pick one, who would you take?
It makes a lot of sense to go with young, cheap and consistent.