Heading into the final year of his contract, Jordy Nelson is an extension candidate, but if the Packers decide to lock him up, he won’t come cheap. According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, the veteran wide receiver will be seeking a contract with an annual average value of at least $10MM.
An increase to $10MM annually would represent a significant raise for Nelson, whose current deal averages $4.2MM per season. However, you can certainly make the case that such a raise is warranted — the 29-year-old has become Aaron Rodgers‘ favorite target over the last three seasons, averaging 1,107 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns per year since 2011, despite missing a handful of games in 2012 and playing with a carousel of quarterbacks in 2013.
A deal which pays Nelson $10MM per year would put him right in line with Brandon Marshall and a little ahead of Andre Johnson, but behind Vincent Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, Mike Wallace, and Percy Harvin, among others. Just as important as the annual value of the deal would be the guaranteed money included. Nelson may not be able to attain the $26-27MM in fully guaranteed money that Jackson and Wallace did, but he’d likely exceed the $14.5MM guarantee on Harvin’s extension.
Complicating matters for the Packers is the fact that the team’s other top receiver, Randall Cobb, is also due for an extension. Although Cobb hasn’t matched Nelson’s yardage and TD totals in recent years, he’s five years younger than his Green Bay teammate, and his versatility allows the team to utilize him in a number of different ways. When I asked earlier in July which wideout the Packers should prioritize in extension negotiations, PFR readers picked Nelson, but not by a significant margin.