I never thought that I would be worried about TOO much depth at any level of the Green Bay Packers roster. Nagging and often devastating injuries have made that a distant possibility in recent memory.
As training camp quickly approaches, that thought is now crossing my mind; that concern begins with three little words: Nelson and Cobb.
With the addition of three very talented wide receivers from this year’s crop of draftees and young playmakers like Jarrett Boykin and Chris Harper waiting in the wings, it’s hard not to notice that there seems to be a little bit of a full house in the wideout department.
The NFL, commonly referred to as “Not For Long,” is a business that promotes youth. Davante Adams, Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis all represent the future of the National Football League, whether it be with the Green Bay Packers or elsewhere. As of now, the Packers have exclusive rights to all of their talents and management must find a way to balance present and future.
Nelson has been one of Aaron Rodgers‘ most consistent weapons – highlighted by the 140 passer rating achieved when Rodgers has targeted Nelson in the past. He has been incredible, maintaining consistency and greatness through injury, victory and defeat. He was a playmaker last year, through four different starting quarterbacks after Rodgers’ injury. He is always on pace for career high totals. He is due for an extension, word of which has been barely a whisper.
The Packers have invested in some top talent this offseason, delving into free agency for the first time since Cedric Benson and before that … who can even recall? With an enormous amount of cap space to go around, Ted Thompson addressed the defense, an ailing department in desperate need of a “sprucing up” … and with some cash left to spend, fans of the Green Bay Packers are left waiting and dreaming of contract extensions for our most dynamic playmakers.
There has been talk that the Packers aren’t going to be able to afford both Nelson and Cobb moving forward. Others say that Thompson will need to see a young buck step up and prove that they can fill the shoes of either veteran, giving the piece of mind to move on from one of them.
Personally, I believe that two contracts will be hammered out. I can’t imagine a world in which Aaron Rodgers isn’t going through his reads and seeing Nelson and Cobb streaking down the sidelines or crossing over the seams.
Nelson has meant way too much to this organization and is playing at such a high level, there is just no way we let him slide through the proverbial cracks.
He’s possibly one of the most versatile and dynamic players to be playing the game today. Injuries aside, Cobb is primed to hit the 100-plus reception mark this year. He’s a game-changer at the wide receiver position, he’s scary returning kickoffs and punts. He can line up anywhere and be a matchup nightmare.
Will it be an expensive endeavor to keep both of these men in green and gold?
Is it necessary?
It is MORE than necessary.
Allowing Boykin and Harper to flourish behind veteran superstars is just good business.
Of course, with Nelson, Cobb, Harper and Boykin all at full health … how many more wide receivers are the Packers realistically going to carry on their 53-man roster? They were nearly caught up a creek without a paddle last season when both James Jones and Randall Cobb were injured.
Depth at wide receiver is important to the offensive juggernaut run by the league’s surest passer. But who is retained and who is sent to the practice squad?
Abbrederis and Janis have both had very good minicamps. There is no shortness of praise for both of their talents and efforts. While Adams missed a few practices while attending the Rookie Seminar, he has also had a strong showing. Any of these three guys are going to make very strong contenders at the wide receiver position in the near future. If any one of them is stashed away on the practice squad … it won’t be for long. Any NFL team will be able to snatch them up, and it WILL happen.
Is it possible that the Green Bay Packers’ offense is experiencing “too much of a good thing?”
When will Cobb and Nelson be locked up for the future?
Who is on the bubble and who isn’t?
Only time will tell, but I’m very happy that I am not the one facing the decisions.