After signing Jimmy Graham to a lucrative three-year deal, something had to give for the Packers. The other shoe has dropped as the Packers are set to release wide receiver Jordy Nelson, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter).
Nelson has been regarded as a potential cap casualty all offseason, along with fellow wide receiver Randall Cobb. Ultimately, it’s Nelson being shown the door.
The Packers will save $10.2MM by cutting their longtime pass-catcher. This will end Green Bay’s brief stint carrying three eight-figure-per-year wideouts on its roster. Davante Adams signed a four-year extension worth $58MM and will now be the No. 1 wideout going forward in Wisconsin.
It’s the end of an era for the Packers. Nelson has been with Green Bay since being selected as a second-round pick in 2008 and has helped the team reach tremendous heights. Nelson was a huge part of the Packers’ 31-25 victory over the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV as he caught nine catches for 140 yards and a touchdown. That TD was the first score of the game and helped set the tone for Green Bay.
Unfortunately, Nelson did not look like his usual self in 2017. The 32-year-old (33 in May) had just 53 catches on the year for 482 yards and six touchdowns. That’s a significant dropoff from his 97 catches, 1,257 yards, and league-leading 14 touchdowns in 2016. He finishes his Packers run with four 1,000-yard seasons, adding five touchdowns in the playoffs.
Some of that, naturally, probably came because of Aaron Rodgers‘ absence. He’s served as Rodgers’ favorite target for many years. But Nelson is on the downside. However, he said last offseason he wanted to play between two and four more seasons. And judging by the way receivers are being paid this week, Nelson could see a decent market despite his age and down season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.