A few weeks ago I was told that the Green Bay Packers and wide receiver Jordy Nelson were close to agreeing on a contract extension that would keep him in green and gold for a long time. Since then, Nelson’s contract demands have apparently grown a bit and the two sides aren’t as close as they once were.
A report on Thursday claims that Nelson is seeking “at least” $10 million per season in long-term talks with the Packers. The 29-year-old Kansas State product has been one of Green Bay’s most important offensive players during his six-year career and has a lot of leverage in this situation. Especially after Roddy White signed a four-year, $30 million extension with the Atlanta Falcons earlier on Thursday.
White has been more productive throughout his career than Nelson has, but both guys are invaluable to their respective franchises. White is also three years older, which should help Nelson’s cause in negotiations.
During his six NFL seasons, Nelson has only missed seven of a possible 96 regular seasons contests. In that time he also has 302 receptions for 4,590 yards and 36 touchdowns. He is coming off what was arguably his best season in 2013, when he set career highs in receptions (85) and yards (1,314), while adding eight touchdowns.
Nelson is easily one of the NFL’s most underpaid players, as he is slated to make just $3.5 million in 2014 as part of a three-year, $12.6 million contract extension he signed in September of 2011. The average annual value of that deal was $4.2 million per season, which ranks 34th among all NFL receivers.
The Packers currently have roughly $13 million of space under the salary cap and Nelson will be a free agent after the season. I still expect a deal to get done eventually, and possibly before Week 1 kicks off.
After Nelson’s deal is done, look for the Packers to get to work on signing fellow wide receiver Randall Cobb to an extension as well.