Earlier this week, the reports said that the Packers were unwilling to move past 8-9 million dollars annually for Cobb and that Cobb would likely leave and take a contract worth 11-12 million dollars in Oakland. It appears the two sides have come to a compromise right in the middle at 10 million annually and, in this case, this is the type of compromise where both sides win. Cobb takes less money than he would have gotten elsewhere, but he still gets 40 million over 4 years and he gets to continue playing with arguably the best quarterback in the NFL.
In Oakland, he would have likely struggled to put up numbers on a losing team and could have easily been cut midway through his contract for not putting up numbers comparable to his large salary. In Green Bay, he’s much more likely to be kept for the duration of the contract and he’ll hit free agency again in 4 years going into his age 29 season with a chance at another big payday. Even though he took less money to return to Green Bay, this deal likely maximizes his career earnings potential.
In that way, Cobb was the real winner here, but the Packers have to be pretty happy with the deal too. They aren’t getting Cobb quite as cheaply as they would have liked earlier in the week, but they’re still getting a discount over what he would have gotten on the open market and a solid value. While it’s not hard to get good production out of receivers when you have Aaron Rodgers under center, Cobb is still a very valuable part of this offense.
Cobb didn’t see a ton of playing time as a 2nd round rookie in 2011 and he missed 10 games with a broken leg in 2013, but in his other two seasons, he’s put up 80/954/8 and then career high numbers in 2014, 91/1287/12 as a starting receiver opposite Jordy Nelson on arguably the best offense in the NFL. Rodgers was a big part of that, but Cobb was also Pro Football Focus’ 9th ranked wide receiver last season and he was 11th in 2012. Other than the leg injury, he doesn’t have much of an injury history and he’s only going into his age 25 season so he could keep getting better. This isn’t spectacular value or anything, but this is a good move for the Packers.