Next up for Packers extension: Maybe Cobb?
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Randall Cobb doesn’t know if he’s next on the Green Bay Packers re-signing to-do list. His teammates are assuming that’s the case.
One day after fellow wide receiver Jordy Nelson signed a reported four-year, $39 million contract extension, Cobb stood at his locker Sunday following the team’s second training-camp practice and faced question after question about when he might get a new deal.
But it wasn’t just reporters talking about it.
Not long after news of Nelson’s deal broke, other players were talking to him about Cobb, who’s entering the final year of his rookie deal, being next to get a new deal.
Among the Packers’ other unrestricted free agents-to-be are right tackle Bryan Bulaga, cornerback Tramon Williams and defensive tackle B.J. Raji.
While Cobb said he’s gotten the feeling from the Packers that he is indeed next in line, he is consciously doing all he can to avoid thinking about his financial situation, especially coming off a 2013 season in which he missed 10 games with a leg injury.
”At the end of the day, it’s a business,” Cobb said. ”My heart’s in Green Bay, I love Green Bay, the three years I’ve been here have been unbelievable. But I understand the business side of it.”
After leading the team in receptions (80) and receiving yards (954) in 2012, Cobb suffered a fracture at the top of the tibia in his right leg on a low hit by Baltimore safety Matt Elam in an Oct. 13 victory over the Ravens and was placed on injured reserve.
He returned to catch a game-winning, last-minute 48-yard touchdown pass to beat Chicago in the regular-season finale and send the Packers to the playoffs. He finished the regular season with 31 receptions for 433 yards and four touchdowns.
Asked if he’s done enough to merit a new deal, the 23-year-old Cobb replied, ”I don’t believe I’ve done enough, and I think that’s on me. Last year, I missed 10 weeks, I got injured in a way that there was nothing I could do about it. I think my job is just to come out here every day, do what I’m supposed to, continue to work hard and hopefully my time will come.
”I feel I have a lot to prove. I know the player I’m capable of being. And it’s just going out and showing that on a day-to-day basis.”
While that may be Cobb’s mentality, that’s not how his teammates are viewing it. Aaron Rodgers wasted no time on Saturday in making Cobb’s importance clear.
”I’d love for Randall to be next,” Rodgers said following Saturday’s practice. ”He’s a guy, again, who’s done it the right way. He’s been a great leader for us; he’s had some injury issues last year that hurt him that was out of his control. But he’s a consistent performer for us and a great guy in the locker room as well.”
Cobb is entering the final year of the four-year, $3.209 million deal he signed as a second-round pick in 2011, and his base salary for 2014 is $812,648. Nelson, who signed a three-year extension in October 2011 while in the last year of his rookie deal, said he believes Cobb is and should be the top priority now, too.
”Obviously that’s the biggest thing,” Nelson said Sunday. ”Randall means a lot to this team, the things he can do. You want to see him get that extension.
”I think he’s going to be in a situation somewhat similar to what I was (in 2011), especially with the unfortunate part of him getting hurt last year. . Like I’ve told a lot of guys in here – whatever your decision is, you’ve got to be happy with it, no matter what the outcome. If you become underpaid (after signing an extension) or if you get hurt, either way, you have to be happy with your decision and know that you’ll have to live with it one way or another.
”I think he’s in a good situation. He’s a smart kid. But you don’t ever know when it’s going to happen. We’ll see.”