Interest in Cobb Is Growing

Randall Cobb

The NFL’s unrestricted free agency period begins March 10th.  The Green Bay Packers have until then to exclusively negotiate and reach a new deal with wide receiver Randall Cobb.  The prevailing thought is that the Packers will get a deal done and keep the 24-year old, who is coming off of his best season as a pro, in Green Bay.  While many are confident that’s what the end result will be, with each passing day, more questions arise about what the Packers’ plans are for Cobb.  According to ESPN, the Oakland Raiders are said to be one of the teams that would likely be interested in making a run at Cobb if he hits the open market, and they currently have the salary cap space (projected $49 million according to Spotrac) to make a compelling offer.  Surely there would be others as well.

For a team that lives and dies by the development of its own young talent, Cobb is the poster child for the type of player the Packers should lock up long term.  Many felt that this should have been done during the 2014 season.  With every passing week, Cobb’s price tag got higher and higher with each big play.  The Packers, meanwhile, may have wanted to ensure that Cobb would finish the season healthy before committing big money.  He appeared in just six games in 2013 after suffering a broken leg, although he showed no lingering effects this past season.

Either way, 91 catches, 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns later, the Packers are going to have to part with a good amount of cash to keep Cobb in green and gold.  Cobb is reportedly seeking a deal worth around $9 million per year.  That puts him just above Victor Cruz of the New York Giants and DeSean Jackson of the Washington Redskins.  Most of the receivers above Cruz are outside, #1 receivers with a few exceptions.  If Cobb gets what he’s asking for, he becomes one of the highest paid slot receivers in the league.  And after the season he had in 2014, he is worthy.

Spotrac has the Packers projected to be just shy of $28 million under the salary cap heading into 2015.  The cap increased $10 million for each team and Green Bay is rolling over $7.8 million from last season.  At that number, it seems like a no brainer that they get a long-term deal done with Cobb before he hits the open market.  Allowing him to reach free agency would likely start a bidding war and potentially drive the price up beyond what the Packers are willing to pay Cobb.

If the Packers are thinking about using the franchise tag on Cobb, they’ll owe him $12.8 million on a one-year deal if they can’t work out a multi-year contract.  That doesn’t seem likely, nor wise, given what Cobb is seeking and with the cap room the team has.

After the playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Cobb was asked about returning to Green Bay and he reminded everyone that he hasn’t signed on the dotted line yet.  While it would seem logical that he would want to stay in Green Bay and paired with Aaron Rodgers, Cobb also realizes that opportunities to cash in on his past and future performances are limited.  After the injury suffered last year, he knows all too well that his playing days could be over in a flash.

Perhaps the Packers are posturing a bit to make Cobb wonder if they’ll franchise him and see if he drops his price.  Maybe they just believe in keeping their money in the bank as long as they can to earn every last penny of interest before paying a huge signing bonus.  Last year, Green Bay waited until the very last minute before signing cornerback Sam Shields to a huge deal just days before he was set to hit the free agent market.

Either way, it would be very surprising to see the Packers let other teams enter the fray for Cobb’s services.  He’s a proven commodity and was a mega part of the Green Bay offense in 2014.  After Cobb and Jordy Nelson, there’s a drop off that gets exponentially bigger as one moves down the depth chart:  Davante Adams, Jarrett Boykin, Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis.  Even if Adams makes a huge leap from his rookie season to 2015, he’s not likely to equal what Cobb brings to the table.  As for the others, that list would be enough for me to break out the checkbook if I were Packers general manager Ted Thompson.

We have 14 more days to see if he agrees.



Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on

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20 thoughts on “Interest in Cobb Is Growing

  1. Sorry but I disagree, While it would be nice to bring Cobb back long term he is not worth 9 million a year. I think 7 is about what they offer and if he does not take it he can go disappear in Oakland. Cobb is only as good as Aaron makes him. Look at Jennings and Jones after they left you hardly hear about them in the NFL network!

    1. That’s not true. Aaron will make normal WRs look like good ones and excellent WRs look like all pros. Cobb is the latter category. He is a unique weapon. With the salary cap going up and only Julius on the downside and expensive half of his career, TT should lock up Cobb for 9 if that’s what it takes. Bulaga as well. GB has the room.

  2. Jasone, I know that lot of people fell in love with Randall. He is one excellent player, but there is some influences beyond him which brings him that excellence… First to mention is Aaron, than play system implemented at Packers, third complete offense, players that plays with him. I have no doubts that Randall can play very well in the other systems and teams, but I doubt he can play that god as with Packers. Anyhow, I think that Randall is clever young guy, who knows all of that and that is the reason why Packers are waiting… I think they are negotiating and Randall’s agent tries to get as much money as he can. At the end they will find each other around amount which will be good enough for Packers and respectful one for Randall. But, as I say, there is no must to sign players, beyond Aaron!

  3. Randall Cobb better not go the route of Greg Jennings.

    Cobb was a 3rd or 4th round draft pick had the Packers not grabbed him with the final pick of round 2.

    He, his agent, and the Packers need so settle on a fair number now and get that deal done.

    Jordy Nelson signed early and gave the Packers a bit of a break.
    He does NOT regret it at all.

    Cobb needs to follow his Christian preaching and not go all greedy. The Packers will give him fair market value.

    1. I get that Cobb is out front about his Christianity. However, if you’re going to talk about greed in the NFL, i think you’d start with the gazillionaires who run the show. If Cobb is to be generous with the club, shouldn’t the Packers be generous with Cobb?

      1. Sure, and I am sure they will be generous to Cobb.
        Remember, the Packers were also generous with Jennings when he was ready to walk.

        Nobody else out there gave Jennings a great offer…. Ted was outbidding any of them…. until the jealous Grape Apes to the West overpaid for him, and Jennings gladly left. He wanted out because he’s a diva, wanted to be THE MAN.
        Cobb would be Louis Murphy or Tavon Austin if not for the Packers drafting him at the end of round 2. He’s great, but he’s lucky.
        I see him staying, and he should sign soon to help his team go forward with adding, building pieces.

  4. ” As for the others, that list would be enough for me to break out the checkbook if I were Packers general manager Ted Thompson.”

    Is it just me or weren’t we swamped with praise about Adams,the great and wonderful Abbrederis from Wisconsin and my personal favorite Jeff Janis and even though Boykin suffered a big step back,how is it now that neither one or as a group aren’t worth the time of day as the ‘must’ sign Cobb train will scream louder each passing day toward Mar 7th.

    I keep reading that the rumored number is $9 mill and the Packers should be salivating to get that done…..because it more likely won’t end at #9 mill but start at that and Cobbs agent probably senses it and will do all he can to make sure Cobb understands that and ‘hometown’ discount isn’t the avenue for him at this juncture no matter which QB is tossing the ball to him or not.

    I ask the Cobb must be signed train riders…What is you’re $ number that has you disembarking the train and waving bye-bye or are you on the train no matter what? 🙂

    1. My max is that he is not worth more than Jordy.

      But he is worth more than Cruz. Reason being that Cobb is more than just a slot receiver for the team — the options he provides out of the backfield are a serious advantage and basically keyed the win over New England last season.

      As for the other wideouts on the roster, Adams should be able to step in as the #2, but Abby, Janis, etc are all unproven. Not saying they are bad, or cannot do the job but if they haven’t done it at the ‘get on the field’ level due to injury or the need to learn routes or whatever there is no guarantee they will grow into being decent #3 and #4 receivers instantly.

      So not signing Cobb basically means spending (say) a 2nd round pick on another receiver or taking a chance on paying a different WR FA who doesn’t know your system and has a bigger chance to bust.

      Add the fact that the team needs to put its higher pick into the mix at ILB, DL, CB and maybe even OL if they can’t keep Bulaga (who will merit left tackle money the way the market seems to be developing this year) and the value of keeping Cobb seems clear.

      Signing Cobb makes the rest of what needs to happen this offseason *so* much easier for the Packers to accomplish.

      Interestingly, more than Cruz and less than Jordy is exactly what Cobb’s agent floated as a proposal.

      The combine is when all of that preliminary conversation gets started. With potential draft picks more accurately evaluated, both GMs and agents can figure out where teams’ resources need to go and what they may be able to afford in FA.

      So there was really no reason for Cobb or TT to sit down and really negotiate before this week. Now we will see if TT agrees with the $9 million per year average number, or if Cobb and his agent now think they can get more than that after March 10th. We saw one example of how that conversation played out with Shields last year

    2. depends on the # of yrs and the guarantees. I’d be willing to go 5 yr, $9.5 mil/per, $11 mil guaranteed

  5. We’ve seen TT go long on Williams and Shields @ +/- $9MM per, so why the conundrum about signing both Jordy and Cobb to similar contracts in the WR corps? Isn’t the Packers identity the aerial circus with Rodgers as ringleader and Nelson and Cobb the star attractions?

    There’s a much higher degree of probability that Cobb delivers more value on a new deal than either Shields or Williams.

    Pyay thyat myan hees money!

  6. Let me ax you guys this. Assuming we keep Cobb, and Bulaga, and lose 1 of the CBs (either House or Tramon), which of these popular picks would you like to see us draft at #30?

    ILB Denzel Perryman, who many have a 2nd rd grade on
    ILB Benardrick McKinley, who’s 5 inches taller but some project as an OLB
    ILB Stephone Anthony, who a week ago was pegged for Rd 3, but he tested great to back up his good film.
    DT Jordan Phillips, who’s had back issues already just like Justin Harrell did
    TE Maxx Williams, who’s not even 6-4

  7. I don’t see Ted spending 9+ million per year for Cobb. There are numerous teams like the Jags, Oakland and the likes who will drive his price beyond what Ted will commit. Look for a 2 or third round WR in this year’s draft. Hate to see him go but I can’t see Ted going there.

  8. 1st: GB has until March 6 to exclusively negotiate with Cobb and sign him on the dotted line. Other teams can negotiate all the details of the contract with Cobb beginning on March 7: they just can’t sign him until 4:00 p.m. on March 10. 2nd: Cobb did have a slow start last season, particularly in the first three games. I know I commented on his lack of explosion and ability to separate early in the season. By week 8, he had proven himself.

    Is Cobb a must sign? No, of course not. There is always some price at which TT would have to let Cobb walk if some other, undisciplined, team were to offer a blockbuster deal. Adams flashed some ability, but I saw more run after the catch ability than ability to get open, create separation, & high-point the ball, even given the extraordinary attention teams generally paid to Nelson and Cobb. Abbrederis and Janis are unproven. Dorsey was released. Charles Johnson got away.

    Much depends on what Cobb wants to do. He is young, but he has been injured himself, and has seen Sherrod’s career end due to injury, and Bulaga come close to not getting his payday. Does he want a ring, or does he want every last dollar?

    Victor Cruz is arguably better than Randall Cobb. [I posted about this previously, so I won’t go through that again.] But Cruz was signed when he was a RFA. Cobb is an UFA, and one pays more for UFAs than for RFAs who are being extended. Given inflation and increase in the cap, Cobb should be offered more than Cruz got. I’d be fine with at least 3 years at $8.5 to $9 mill. per year, with 35 to 40% guaranteed. Structure is more important than yearly average. Cruz can be cut in the 5th yr of his contract with no dead money, and in the 4th yr w. only $1.9 million in dead money.

  9. No one is irreplaceable. Where does the team want to be ten years from today? The future is as important as the present. The most important pieces of any football team are the offensive and defensive fronts. Without the big guys, nothing happens. Build the lines, keep the core, and always have a franchise quarterback handy.

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