Cobb: No updates on contract extension with Packers
GREEN BAY, Wis. — If there has been any progress towards a contract extension for Randall Cobb with the Green Bay Packers, the 23-year-old wide receiver hasn’t been told about it.
With his rookie contract expiring at the end of the 2014 season, Cobb is one of the headliners on a list of Packers who are currently scheduled to be free agents next offseason. But despite his future status seeming like it would be a top priority for Green Bay, Cobb is preparing to enter his fourth NFL season without a guarantee of where he’ll play his fifth NFL season.
"Unless you know more than me, I don’t think so," Cobb said when asked if there have been any developments in contract negotiations.
"That’s not something I can really control at this point," Cobb added. "My contract doesn’t end until March, so I’m focused on getting better right now and being the best Randall I can be going into 2014."
Cobb is slated to earn slightly more than $1 million during the 2014 season. That will conclude the four-year, $3.21 million contract he signed in 2011 as the No. 64 overall pick in the draft.
Cobb has an advantage going into his second contract in that he doesn’t even turn 24 years old until late August. He is younger than several of the Packers’ current rookies.
"Obviously I have the experience under my belt, and obviously getting to a second contract a little bit earlier than some people do," he said. "I think it’s just a blessing to be able to be here, to be able to play, especially after last year, going down on one play out of nowhere. I think it gave me an understanding of, ‘I can be gone at any time.’ So I’m just enjoying the time that I have here and enjoying the experience of that."
Because of that knee injury last season, Cobb only played in six regular-season games. He was on pace to surpass his 2012 production when Baltimore Ravens safety Matt Elam hit him directly on his knee in Week 6, so Cobb instead had to settle for 31 catches, 433 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 2013.
Cobb was not an offensive starter as a rookie, totaling 25 receptions for 375 yards and one touchdown, but he had a breakout sophomore season with 80 catches for 954 yards and eight touchdowns.
Though a new contract is still potentially many months away from being signed, Cobb’s desire is to remain with Green Bay.
"Yeah, why wouldn’t I want to be here?" Cobb said. "I started my career here, being a part of this organization, I think, is a great place to play. You can’t take away what we do in this locker room. I think we have a great locker room and a bunch of guys around; of course I like to be around them."
When reminded of the decision that former Packer wide receiver Greg Jennings made last offseason to leave Green Bay and catch passes from Christian Ponder in Minnesota, Cobb smiled.
"I think (quarterback Aaron Rodgers) is a pretty good guy to have throwing the ball," Cobb said. "Greg made a decision for him."
Cobb believes he’s not yet a complete player at this stage of his career. If he puts it all together in 2014, though, his salary demands could quickly climb.
"I think obviously with my route-running, there’s still things I can work on, things I can get better at," he said. "Trying different techniques. I think this is the time of year where you test new things out and you see what can work for you and what won’t and just continuing to build as an all-around player."
The NFL’s highest-paid slot receiver is Victor Cruz of the New York Giants, who makes $8.6 million per season. Unless Cobb becomes an absolute superstar in the coming months, that’s about the maximum amount of money he could expect as a slot receiver himself.
The Packers added three wide receivers in this year’s draft and are also dealing with the upcoming free-agent status of Jordy Nelson next offseason. In addition to Jennings leaving last year, fellow receiver James Jones departed in free agency this offseason for the Oakland Raiders. Those changes have suddenly made Cobb the second-most experienced receiver on Green Bay’s roster.
"It’s so weird just to think how much has changed over the three years that I’ve been here," Cobb said. "But that’s part of the business. It’s a revolving door and you know you’ve got to take on a new challenge every year."
More than likely, the revolving door with Packers wide receivers won’t include Cobb. But with less than 10 months until he would be a free agent, Cobb is still waiting to be made a long-term fixture in Green Bay.
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