Trust me, I am surprised by the headline too.
Randall Cobb and LeSean McCoy are the most dynamic players in the league — when healthy.
But therein lies the rub.
Ravens safety Matt Elam hit Cobb’s right fibula — nearly breaking it all the way through — which caused the wideout to miss 10 games last year. He came back for the season finale to catch a pair of touchdowns to beat the Bears and send the Packers into the playoffs.
But he hasn’t exactly been dynamic this year. Cobb is known for his speed and elusiveness, but he has been unable to get a lot of separation from defenders which has been his calling card ever since he came into the league as a second round pick.
Cobb is an unrestricted free agent after this season. The Packers gave Jordy Nelson a $39 million extension in July. The question is whether 2014 second rounder Davante Adams can elevate himself into the No. 2 wideout job and consistently produce.
Cobb has 29 catches on 41 targets with 331 yards and seven touchdowns. Adams has 16 grabs on 25 targets with 167 yards and one touchdown.
If the Packers do in fact decide not to bring Cobb back, a lot of money would go toward Mike Neal. He becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2016 and is one of the Packers best defensive players so far this season.
Even if Cobb’s knee still doesn’t feel right, even if he still feels a tinge of pain, there’s no way that he’s going to say it.
The Packers brass may not have thought about replacing Cobb before but now that Adams is starting to gain confidence with Aaron Rodgers, it’s a question that’s worth asking.
Before the season, I wondered what wideout the Packers would choose. Now that Nelson is having his first Pro Bowl season by leading the NFL in yards (632) and yards per game (105.3) he is Green Bay’s bona fide No. 1.
Rodgers has said that Cobb could be a 100-catch receiver in the NFL, so it has to eat at him that he’s been held to under 60 yards receiving in five of six games. And he’s been under 40 yards in three of those games.
Letting Cobb walk would be a huge gamble. First, the Packers don’t want to face a versatile player that can beat them catching, running and throwing. And second, the Packers want to keep that flexible threat on their sideline to always make defensive coordinators think.
But Cobb has barely been involved in the running game with just three carries for seven yards and Mike McCarthy hasn’t dialed up any exotic pitch passes that can take advantage of Cobb’s arm.
By not taking advantage of Cobb’s tremendous multitasking ability, whether due to nagging injury or play-calling, the Packers are reducing him to just a run-of-the-mill wideout and part-time punt returner.
As the season goes on, Rodgers will be apt to spread the ball around even more. He has a lot of young receivers like Adams, Jeff Janis and even tight end Richard Rodgers that will only get better as the year rolls on. Veteran receivers will get nicked up and the youngsters will get more of a chance to step in.
When Cobb was drafted, he was placed on a track as a long-term solution at receiver. But ever since he took a helmet to the knee, the Packers were forced to forecast if that knee will morph into a future problem.
If they believe so, the door is wide open for Adams to take the coveted role of a Packers’ starting receiver.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn