Ever since Ted Thompson has taken over as the general manager for the Green Bay Packers, the philosophy has been to draft players, develop and sign them to long-term contracts once their rookie deals expire. That philosophy has helped Green Bay be a legitimate Super Bowl contender for years and keeping Randall Cobb, who is set to become a free agent this off-season is an essential part of that strategy.
In fact, if the Packers don’t re-sign Cobb, they might as well scrape the entire system because if a 24-year old stud, who is coming off a 1,200 yard season that included 11 touchdowns is not worth paying to keep, I don’t know who is.
I know the Packers already invested a large sum of money in fellow wide receiver Jordy Nelson, who has proven to be one of the NFL’s elite playmakers but Cobb is just as good. Nelson and Cobb are both great as individuals but when they are on the field together—Nelson on the outside and Cobb on the inside, they present a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.
Yes, Nelson got a 4-year $39 million deal from the Packers before the season started and it may seem like a lot to pay two receivers around $10 million per season but Cobb is a difference maker. He’s an elite talent. He’s not just an ordinary player and regardless of what position a guy plays, if he is elite, he must be kept at all costs.
If the Packers can re-sign Cobb, they would have him, Nelson, Richard Rodgers and Davante Adams all locked up for at least the next three seasons (I doubt Cobb would sign a deal less than 3 years), which would give Aaron Rodgers incredible stability at the receiver position going forward. It would also give him two Pro Bowl receivers, with another in Adams, who has Pro Bowl potential.
Furthermore, despite Nelson’s contract, the Packers cap situation is so healthy that they will have more than enough room to get Cobb a deal that represents fair market value. Right now, the Packers have $16 million in cap space for 2015. They will roll over nearly $7 million more from 2014 and another $7 million or so after they jettison A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones, which we all believe is going to happen. That leaves Green Bay with nearly $30 million to spend.
Cobb should be the priority. Then, the Packers can work on deals for right tackle Bryan Bulaga, nose tackle Letroy Guion, as well as corners Tramon Williams and Davon House. Outside of those five players, there is no one the Packers can live without. Sure, they would love to bring back fullback John Kuhn and long-time special teams ace Jarrett Bush, but the bottom line is those guys are replaceable if it comes to that. So are Guion, Williams, House and Bulaga to a lesser extent.
However, 24-year old receivers with dynamic playmaking abilities are not so easy to find and that is why if the Packers are going to contend for the Super Bowl again in 2015, getting locking up Cobb long-term is an absolute must.