After practice Tuesday in Green Bay, Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson touched briefly on the subject of his contract negotiations. Nelson and fellow start Randall Cobb are both heading into the final years of their respective contracts, and just like Cobb, Nelson understands that it’s going to be a process that involves more people than most know.
"Obviously you want to get it done as soon as possible, but there are a lot of other people who are involved in that." Nelson said. "It’s a process and we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes."
Nelson is entering the final year of a three-year, $12.6 million contract extension he signed back in 2011 with the Packers. Last season, Nelson recorded career-highs in receptions (85), and yardage (1,314), showing once again that the deal he previously signed was well below his true value. Still, he has no regrets of putting the pen to the paper then.
"I don’t have any regrets of what I did. It’s easy to say that now, and I go and blow-out my knee halfway through the season, now I’m the smart one. Trust me, what I got in that last deal I’ll never spend it all anyways so I’m not worried about it."
We’ve witnessed receivers in the NFL fail to deliver during contract years, lessening their value on the open marketing the proceeding offseason. With a top-five quarterback in Aaron Rodgers throwing him the football, though, that likely won’t happen to Nelson unless a significant injury occurs. Regardless, he doesn’t feel any pressure heading into the season with his contract talks hanging above his head.
"No, I don’t think so. I didn’t feel it last time, I don’t think I’ll feel it this time. I think we’re a long ways from that anyway, we got a few months to hopefully work on that and get it taken care of.
"You want it done so you and your family are comfortable so you don’t have to worry about it. I mean, it’s just one less thing on your mind. And I think on both sides, soon as they get it done they can start working on someone else."
In the past two offseasons, Packers general manager Ted Thompson has let veteran receivers such as Greg Jennings and James Jones walk via free agency. Jennings departed for division rival Minnesota, while Jones reunited with Green Bay’s former director of football operations, Reggie McKenzie, in Oakland. When Jennings signed with the Vikings, he was 29 years old; Jones is currently 30. Nelson’s birthday was just last week, as he turned 29.
Of course, Nelson's agent and Ted Thompson need to hammer out the details of this new deal. One estimate recently published by Spotrac predicts that at current market value, Nelson's extension would add four years and just under $44 million, with about half of the money guaranteed. While that is indeed a lot of money to add to the Packers' payroll, don't underestimate Thompson's ability to get creative with the Packers' salary cap space.