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Who Should Gute’s First Target Be This Off-season? Jordy!

2018 was a strange year for Jordy Nelson. Yes, after a super year coming back from ACL surgery in 2016 (97 catches, 1,257 yards, 14 TDs), Jordy was a shadow of his former self in 2017 (53 catches, 487 yards, 6 TDs). I still don’t understand that decline. At any rate, new GM Brian Gutekunst and his team must have decided Jordy was through – though he was only 32 years old.

The Packers clearly weren’t going to pay his current salary, but it was a shock to learn the team didn’t even try to re-negotiate his contract downward.

After being dumped on March 13, Jordy had to quickly implement Plan B, signing up with Jon Gruten’s Raiders for two years at $15 million, $13 million guaranteed – reasonable for both parties.

Jordy’s numbers for 2018 were: 63 catches, 739 yards, and three touchdowns. That’s less than desired production, but take a closer look at those figures.

With so-so quarterback Derek Carr doing the flinging, Jordy caught 38 passes, for 386 yards in his last five games. That’s more than double the catches and yardage in the first eleven games – what gives?

If those last five games were projected over 16 games, it would total 1,235 yards and way over 100 catches on the year. Jordy was also his usual efficient self as the season wound down, catching those 38 balls in just 48 targets.

In his five games prior to the above five games, however, had 2-1-2-0-0 catches, and gained but 36 yards while being target just twelve times. The Raiders apparently all but eliminated Jordy from the game plans in mid-season, but he proved in those final five games he has plenty of football life still in him.

The Packers pulled the same thing on another fan-popular receiver, James Jones. Journeyman Jones was never a 1,000 yard receiver, but he was a solid 600+ yarder six times in his nine-year career. When he got dumped in 2013, he also went to the Raiders where he had a decent year (73 catches, 666 yards, 6 TDs).

In 2015 he was with the Giants, but was cut days before the season opened. He appeared to be out of football. The Packers, again shorty of receivers, picked him up. He proceeded to lead the team, with 50 catches for 890 yards, 8 TDs and a sterling 17.9 catch average. It was a career year for Jones.

The Packers would never have “run the table”, finished 10-6, and sneaked into the playoffs without Jordy’s BFF, James Jones.

I doubt that the Raiders want to retain Nelson in 2019. The Gruden rebuilding program is going to take more time than anticipated. In trading away 24-year old star receiver Amari Cooper at the start of last year, the Raiders got a 1919 first round draft choice, so they now have the 4th, 24th, and 27th picks in the first round of the upcoming draft, and ten picks out of the first 100. By comparison, Green Bay is thrilled to have four of the first 76 picks.

The Raiders need to be acquiring and developing young players for the future, not relying on a player nearing retirement.

Jordy Nelson

Bringing Jordy back poses little risk, and not a great deal of expense. His pay desires have always been reasonable. Should he fall back to his 2017 level of performance, then he can be platooned with the youngsters. Plus, he’s stayed very healthy except for the ACL injury. Oh, and he won’t take three or more years to get in sync with our persnickety QB.

This might be sounding like a familiar refrain, but actions have consequences and we must try to learn from them. I believe the Packers would have increased their win total by probably two games last year had Jordy not been thrown by the wayside. And they still could have found time to bring around their low-round draftee receivers, but more gradually.

Brian Gutekunst was the brand new GM when the Packers decided to cast off Jordy go in 2018. He messed up, especially since he only had one game-ready wide receiver to put on the field when he did so.

Hey Brian, it’s not often you get the chance for this kind of redemption. Bring Jordy back!

Rob Born

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



  1. Kato January 17, 2019

    Idk. I dont see Jordy coming back after the way things went down last year. Just me though.

    Even if Jordy didnt get cut, do the packers win two more games and eek into the playoffs? I have my doubts, but let’s make that assumption. Would McCarthy have been fired? Very questionable at best. If they made the playoffs with Jordy Nelson were they winning a super bowl? Doubtful. Pretty certain the young receivers wouldnt have gotten the valuable play time with Rodgers that they got this year. Nelson is declining. There is no question. Could he maybe help the packers this year if he becomes available? Probably a little bit. Idk. I would rather see this packers offense rebuilt with a new scheme and younger players. Tight end position included.

    1. PF4L January 17, 2019

      I think Jordy is one of those guys who wears his heart on his sleeve. I think the Packers made a series of mistakes with Jordy, none of which sat well with him. I’m not sure waving cash around could put that toothpaste back in the tube. So i’d go with Kato and Cheese on this, i’d doubt he’d come back.

      And if that isn’t enough, it’s a mute point as the Raiders only owe him 3.5 mill in 2019. He isn’t going anywhere.

  2. JP January 17, 2019

    Yeah. Jordy was/is declining, don’t sleep with your exes.

    Awesome player in his prime, wonderful human. But I agree with the above sentiment to build a younger, faster offense with some new wrinkles. Never look back.

    I also don’t agree with these Antonio Brown pundits. Brown is on the wrong side of 30 as well, and he’s a me-me-me kind of dude which is always risky in the lockerroom. I don’t doubt he has a year or two of hall of fame caliber seasons, but don’t roll the dice there.

    I think one or two of the rookies from this year are going to shake out as great players. Just need another season or two to grow.

    Tight end is a glaring roster hole, though. Graham isn’t the matchup nightmare we were promised and Tonyan isn’t cut from the same cloth as a Gronk. Lewis didn’t do much, and who am I forgetting? Kendricks? Yeah, no.

    Hope they can gel early enough as a team with the new coaching staff to do some damage in 2019… but 2020 is more realistic.

  3. Savage57 January 17, 2019

    I suspect the Raiders will find some way to bring Jordy back after just paying him a $3.6M roster bonus.

    But I wonder who the Raiders will take with that 1919 first round pick? Curly Lambeau maybe?

  4. scott46 January 17, 2019

    Bring Jordy back, you need to be drug tested, Packers can get rid of Cobb and Mathews as well (these players are old and wash up)💯

    1. PF4L January 17, 2019

      No…Gute needed to be drug tested for keeping Cobb and ditching Jordy. Then Russ Ball needed to be drug tested when Nelson would have stayed for 3-4 million.

      That isn’t hindsight intelligence, i stated the same before game 1.


      1. Fat Tire January 18, 2019

        Actually, he should’ve been drug-tested for ditching Jordy and bringing in Graham, when Jordy could have been had for less and oroduced much more.

      2. r.duke January 19, 2019

        Cobb was tied up in dead money, thanks to Ted and low ball, russ. Nelson was free and clear. They rolled with not taking a 12M cap hit and tried to salvage something from a washed up Randall. Nelson may have seen more targets at the end of the year because Cooper was traded out and Bryant IR’d. Sentiment doesn’t work in the Pro Game. The fuck up was the Cobb deal and giving beaucoup jing to a stiff like Perry. Boxed in by an accountant.

  5. PF4L January 17, 2019

    Jordy had more catches and yards in his last 5 games, than his previous 11.

    What gives?

    Well…i’ll take a stab at that one.

    Amari Cooper was traded?

  6. Andrew Lloyd Peth January 17, 2019

    This could be the strangest article of the year.

    First, if the Raiders guaranteed $13 million of Jordy’s contract, then their cap hit for releasining him would be massive–with very little cap savings. That makes no sense.

    Second, Jordy is a declining talent. Period. Why would a rebuilding Packers team pay one dime for a declining veteran?

    Third, receiver is one of the deepest, most talented positions on this roster. All MVS, ESB, Kumerow, and Moore need is another camp to learn their trade and take off.

    Green Bay re-signing Jordy Nelson is the single-most bizarre idea I’ve heard in ages. Wow.

  7. Cheese January 17, 2019

    “Jordy was a shadow of his former self in 2017 (53 catches, 487 yards, 6 TDs). I still don’t understand that decline.”

    What’s to understand? The answer is clear as day–> Brett. Fucking. Hundley. Anyone who says otherwise is a complete nitwit. It still amazes me that people refuse to get that through their heads. Some may say that Adams continued his production with Hundley. That’s because Adams is one of the only guys Hundley would throw the ball to.

    If I were Jordy, I don’t know if I would want to come back after what went down. Then again, Jordy is a much bigger man than I.

    Can Cobb get anymore of a free pass? In 2015 when Jones returned, he led the team in yards and TD’s while making the veterans minimum while Cobb got paid $15mil to play second fiddle. Then, when it came to choose between Cobb and the most productive receiver the Packers have had for at least the past 15 years, they choose Cobb because he was younger. Not because he was more productive. Not because he had proven he could consistently be a #1 receiver, but because he was YOUNGER. They did this when Cobb only had one more year on his contract anyway, smfh. So instead, they gave Jordy a smack in the face offer and sent him packing while they broke up the most efficient passing duo in the NFL.

    No, Jordy is not the player he once was, but he’s a hell of a lot better than Cobb or Jimmy Graham. Speaking of which, the Packers couldn’t offer Jordy a decent contract but they have no problem paying Graham $13mil for doing jack squat? Insert the PF4L tagline….

    1. PF4L January 17, 2019

      “Jordy was a shadow of his former self in 2017”

      Yep….in the first 5 games he only had 6 td catches….show his ass the door Gute, who needs that?

      I love being here…ya know….reading and learning from all these fine people.

      LMAO….6 td catches in 5 games……Hell, Cobb can do that in only 24 games. Let’s keep Cobb.

      1. PF4L January 17, 2019

        Cheese……as for Jimmy G.. If they keep him, they owe him a roster bonus of 5.3 mill March 15th. So on March 16th the Packers will have paid Graham 18.55 million. 5 months before the start of his second season.

        You better get up pretty G D early in the morning if your think you’re going to out negotiate Mr. Russ Ball….lmfao.


        1. Cheese January 17, 2019

          Jesus F’n Christ, $18.5mil… Congratulations Mr.Ball, I don’t know how you do it.

          Another one I was thinking of is Cobb and Graham combined for last year. With Cobb’s average of $10mil, and Jimmy’s $13mil, that makes for $23mil for 4 touchdowns and JUST over 1,000 yards with Cobb at 383 and Graham at 636. If we want to add Grahams March roster bonus that would make it $28.5mil for 4 TD’s and 1,019 yards. Unbelievable..

        2. Cheese January 18, 2019

          Between Randall Cobb, Jimmy Graham, Martellus Bennett, Nick Perry, and Clay Matthews, the Packers should be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize for their monetary contributions.

    2. Ferris January 18, 2019

      So true…Jordy’s “decline” timeline mirrors the gum chewer playing QB. Then on top of that Graham for $13M over Cook for $8M or so. Just with Graham’s salary they could have had Cook and kept Nelson. Never say never, but I doubt he will be back.

      1. PF4L January 18, 2019

        Yea….isn’t it hilarious that Jordy’s decline happened the same exact time Rodgers broke his collar bone. Hell, it happened the same second…lol

    3. stiggy January 18, 2019

      Funny how Adams had a career year with Hundley as QB. Bad argument. Why not bring back Donald Driver too?

  8. Empacador January 17, 2019

    Unless Randy wants another contract like the last one he signed, I could see the Packers doubling down and resigning him. I think the Randy Cobb show has run its course in Green Bay, but you never know what the brain trust is thinking. They could sign Randy cheaper than Antonio Brown, and maybe they envision Randy filling more of Julian Edleman role now that the offense should actually be modern instead of the McCarthy way.

    The Packers don’t need any head cases, like Antonio Brown would be. LaFleur will have his hands full meshing with Rodgers. He doesn’t need to have Brown undermining what he will attempt to establish as a new coach. Stick the money into more pressing needs like the 0-line or safeties. The Marty Bennett and Jimmy Graham signing haven’t paid off, and AB more than likely won’t either.

  9. MMSUCKS January 17, 2019

    There are at the very least a few ways to look at the Nelson debacle that took place last year. The first I believe may be considered a bit Machiavellian. Based on much of what we have read (and seen) regarding Rodgers and Buffoon the last few years one has to wonder if the Packers purposefully removed Nelson from the equation to A). Either show Rodgers who was in charge, or B). Tank Buffoons season, knowing full well how much Rodgers depended on Nelson to push the “sticks” up the field towards a score. Which would inevitably inhibit Rodgers (and therefore the teams) ability to continue to score at a rate that would allow the team to win most of their games. Sheer conjecture at this point, but if not, (and thus brings me to the second point) then Gutekunst and Murphy are sinfully out of their league when it comes to player assessment and procurement AND management skills, which by the way, many of the posters on here have written about regarding who was kept and who was brought in to strengthen the offense.

    1. PF4L January 17, 2019

      Well, i can’t just come to terms where you thought of that, but hell, i’ll have a go at it with a response.

      A) If the powers to be got rid of Jordy just to show Rodgers who is in charge, regardless if it hurt the team, that alone should be grounds for immediate dismissal. Not to mention it’s a childish way of doing something. You talk to him man to man if you have an issue, imo.

      B) Much the same…if you want to tank to get McCarthy out, how about not extending him to a secret 1 year extension? And again, if the President of the Packers has to play games to fire somebody, then maybe you are in over your head and you are not fit for the job at hand.

      Then……you nailed it. I shouldn’t judge Gute so quickly. But i haven’t seen any evidence after year 1 that we are much closer than last year at this time, Bad draft (i’ll say it) and really bad free agent signings (hell yea i’ll say it). Sure Alexander may work out, we’ll give him credit if Alexander progress after year 1. We also have the extra late 1st round pick. That’s pretty good, i’ll admit it, IF the player you get…..can play. Otherwise it didn’t matter.

      Worse yet his partner Murphy. Do i really even need to say anything there? You put it very well…”sinfully out of his league”. Someday i may get into what a dumbshit idea it is to hold 7 NFL head coaching interviews over the course of 3 days while crisscrossing the Country. Let me just say for now it’s no surprise that they hired the last guy interviewed. I don’t think any successful executive would conduct 7 interviews for a serious job as coach of the Packers in a 3 day cross Country span. I mean…wtf….it’s almost like a drive by interview process. Not surprising from that clown show i guess.

      1. MMSUCKS January 17, 2019

        That is correct. Throw out the unbelievable first to qualify the rational reason to wrap up the ridiculousness of this whole failed Mark Murphy tenure. Now, with all of the reasonable possibilities out in the open the Packers brain trust is exposed for what it is . . . A fucking joke that has left Green Bay and it’s fan base with a mediocre team currently run by a group of charlatans.

        1. PF4L January 17, 2019

          Yes Sir.

          Isn’t it amazing that some fans, talking heads on local sport talk, can figure out what Murphy did wrong? I mean….i could give a speech for an easy hour on that alone.

          1. MMSUCKS January 17, 2019

            Yes Sir,

            On this we have always been in accord. Murphy is in over his head. So many tell-tale mistakes and obvious oversights throughout his tenure. Which most certainly will continue unabated until Murphy is shown the door.

  10. Larry January 17, 2019

    Nelson’s real value was when Rogers went into playground mode. Stupid move by Gute which was reminiscent of Teddy which is not having a good plan B. Rookie WRs were never gonna make a difference last season. The guy to get now is Crowder. Great slot WR to replace Cobb and at a cheaper price. Yeah been injured recently but played in most games his first 3 seasons.

    1. Kato January 17, 2019

      To be fair, they probably weren’t counting on Cobb to miss like 10 games and the forgotten guy, Geronimo Allison to miss basically the whole season. Could be a blessing in disguise

      1. PF4L January 17, 2019

        To be really fair, Cobb hasn’t done much of anything the last 3 seasons.

  11. Kato January 17, 2019

    There is an article on the NFL website with the top free agents available. Obviously this is before franchise tags are applied or anything like that, but there are actually a fairly deep market of pass rushers and safeties available. Arguably two of the top positions of need. I was kind of in the camp of just keeping Graham and seeing what a different offensive playcaller could do with him, but now I would almost rather eat the dead cap. Draft a tight end and resign Kendricks (he will be cheap). Cut Tramon Williams. No reason to keep him. Put aside the bullshit and sign Eric Reid.

    1. Kato January 17, 2019

      Save 10 million between cutting Graham and Williams. Over $42 million in cap space assuming you keep Bulaga. Seems like an easy decision to me

    2. PF4L January 17, 2019

      Kato…if the Packers were 1 or two players away from a SB appearance i could maybe get on board with the Eric Reid thing. We are so far from that, i wouldn’t touch it. When Reid cries foul about his drug testing. The NFLPA sent Reid documentation proving his allegations wrong along with the NFL. This is the same NFLPA who wouldn’t pass up a chance of taking the NFL to court, for anything.

      Where the Packers are at right now, they need to fix a lot of things, not add to.

  12. LambeauPlain January 23, 2019

    For the record, Jordy was offered an reduced K to stay in Green Bay. It was reported to be between 1 and 2 million for one year, near the vets minimum.

    It was insulting to his pride so Jordy moved on.

    Bringing him back is not going to happen. Another rookie WR or two will be drafted/signed the offseason. That’s at least 10 guys in the WR room woth PS and FAs and it could be several more. Just too much young, fast talent on the team and ot is goong to get even younger and faster.

    Jordy did better the last 5 games because Cooper was playing in Dallas. Why didn’t the author even mention that? LOL!