The Green Bay Packers have two wide receivers they need to extend this offseason in Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, and you would think that an extension will be coming down the ropes soon for both players, given where we are in the offseason calendar. Nelson and Cobb are two of the best wide receivers in the business, as Nelson can do it all as an elite receiver in this league, while Cobb is an explosive weapon who fits the bill as a playmaker in space.
According to ESPN NFL Nation’s Rob Demovsky, “it would likely behoove” both the Packers and Nelson to agree to a long-term deal “sooner rather than later”, otherwise the Packers won’t have as much time to work out an extension with Cobb. At this point, it’s obvious that the Packers would like to lock up both players, and rookie receivers Davante Adams and Jared Abbrederis should only be viewed as new pieces- or even “insurance”- rather than replacements for two of the NFL’s top weapons. The Packers know that they need an embarrassment of riches at the WR position to help the best quarterback in the game lead an offense that can be the best in the league again.
Nelson will make just $2.55 million in the final year of his deal, and he could push near double digits annually after emerging as a top ten receiver with 85 catches for over 1,300 yards last season. At 29, there’s no doubt that he’s in the prime of his career and should hit around those numbers again next year.
Datone Jones came in as the Packers replacement for Cullen Jenkins in the 2013 NFL Draft, as Ted Thompson drafted the UCLA product in the first round. He didn’t make much of an impact, though, as he finished with just 11 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Still, 3.5 sacks isn’t all bad, and Jones has the potential to do so much more for the Packers defensive line. With Clay Matthews returning to health and Julius Peppers in the fold, the Packers pass rush could be potent next season with a variety of pieces at OLB and DE (Mike Daniels was their best player on defense last year).
Jones is someone to watch for closely in 2014, because it seems like the Packers are high on his ability to make an impact as an interior pass rusher, which was seen as his best asset before the draft. Per Demovsky, while Jones doesn’t appear to be ready to grasp an every-down role on defense, he has been working as an inside pass rusher. It looks like the Packers will try to optimize his snaps and get him rolling as a pass rusher in sub packages, which could prove to be a lucrative role for the second-year pro that will give him more sacks and, more importantly, push the pocket to help others like Peppers.