Randall Cobb

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/30/23

Here are the minor moves around the league to wrap up the weekend:

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Igwebuike, the former safety-turned-running back, likely won’t have a role in a crowded running backs room that currently includes rookie top-ten pick Bijan Robinson, Tyler Allgeier, and Cordarrelle Patterson. He does have some experience on kick return, where he could compete with Patterson and Avery Williams for a role.

The Rams added some quality, experienced depth today in Freeman. While he’s failed to reach the success he found as a primary backup in his first two seasons, Freeman should have plenty of tread on the tires at only 27 years old with minimal usage over the past three years. Behind starter Cam Akers, Los Angeles only has second-year Kyren Williams and rookie sixth-rounder Zach Evans, so bringing in an experienced backup like Freeman should be beneficial.

The Giants add two depth pieces back to their beat-up receiving corps. Getting them back into the fold will be beneficial for training camp. Meanwhile, across the way, new Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers will get to work with his old teammate, Cobb, once again.

The retirement of Pottebaum comes as a bit of a shock so early into camp. The Iowa-product was a part of Pittsburgh’s small, seven-man undrafted free agent class this year. Not only that, but heading into camp, Pottebaum was also the only fullback listed on the roster. He was in attendance for the Steelers’ first week of training camp, as well, but now appears to be on his way out. This doesn’t leave Pittsburgh completely high and dry as the team was already exploring the option of utilizing tight end Connor Heyward in a role more similar to what he played in college. Heyward could earn a much larger role in his sophomore season by taking on a few more snaps at fullback.

Jets Place Chuck Clark On IR, Stash Breece Hall On Active/PUP List

Chuck Clark will not make a late-season comeback for the Jets. After suffering an ACL tear in June, Clark landed on the Jets’ injured reserve list Wednesday.

Since the Jets are not carrying Clark over to their 53-man roster, this IR move will end his season. It would have represented a long shot for the veteran safety to return this year anyway, and this transaction buries that notion. The Jets also placed receiver/returner hopeful Diontae Spencer on IR.

The Jets traded for Clark, 28, in March and were preparing to use him as a full-time player alongside Jordan Whitehead. Clark’s knee injury prompted the team to bring in yet another ex-Packer, Adrian Amos, to fill that role. Amos had received interest from the Ravens, visiting his hometown team twice. But the Jets suddenly having a clear need helped them land the eight-year starter.

Upon acquiring Clark, the Jets took on his three-year, $15.3MM Ravens contract. Only one season remained on the deal, and rather than the former Baltimore starter playing his way into a nice Jets extension, a trip to free agency coming off a severe injury may be in the cards.

Gang Green also placed Breece Hall on its active/PUP list. Unlike the reserve/PUP list, this is a training camp-only designation. Players can be removed from the active/PUP list at any point during camp. The Jets also placed Randall Cobb, C.J. Uzomah and defensive back Jarrick Bernard-Converse on the active/PUP list.

Hall suffered a torn ACL in October of last year, but the Jets have maintained the second-year running back will be ready for Week 1. A delayed start to camp will be part of the former second-rounder’s ramp-up period. New York has been connected to Dalvin Cook for an extended stretch, with Hall’s recovery likely a factor in the team’s pursuit of the accomplished ex-Viking. The Dolphins and Patriots are also interested in Cook, though New England worked out two more affordable options — Leonard Fournette and Darrell Hendersonon Wednesday.

Packers Sought Russell Wilson-Type Haul For Aaron Rodgers; Jets Debated Stronger Derek Carr Push

Aaron Rodgers has begun attending Jets offseason workouts, but it took an extensive process for the Packers to move him off their roster. The teams had different goals when they begun negotiations.

The Packers initially sought a trade package comparable to the haul the Seahawks received for Russell Wilson or the Lions picked up for Matthew Stafford, Brian Costello of the New York Post reports. But with Rodgers moving out of the picture in Green Bay, the Jets were never expected to pay what it would have likely cost the Broncos (or another suitor) to pry Rodgers from the Packers in 2021 or ’22. Still, the lag time between the first Rodgers-related discussion between Packers GM Brian Gutekunst and Jets counterpart Joe Douglas — in January, when the latter represented the only interested party among those Gutekunst contacted — led to some uncertainty.

Just before Derek Carr committed to the Saints, Jets brass debated if they should make a stronger push for the longtime Raiders quarterback, Costello adds. The Jets hosted Carr in February and met with him again at the Combine. Though, Gang Green viewed the 10th-year veteran as its Rodgers backup plan throughout the process. With the Jets not knowing until March 12 Rodgers was even planning to play in 2023, they saw their top backup plan vanish when Carr signed with the Saints on March 6.

Shortly after the Jets hired Nathaniel Hackett as OC — a move widely rumored to be a Rodgers-related decision — Robert Saleh instructed his staff to study Jimmy Garoppolo and Ryan Tannehill, SI.com’s Albert Breer notes. The former 49ers starter surfaced as a Jets option, while the longtime Titans first-stringer has been involved in trade rumors this year. But the Jets waited out Rodgers and received confirmation, via the four-time MVP’s agent contacting Douglas, his client was onboard with the Jets.

The Packers could have obtained more in a trade for Rodgers had they unloaded him in 2021 or ’22, but Jordan Love had not progressed to the point the team was ready to roll with the former No. 26 overall pick. Gutekunst sought to tell Rodgers the Packers planned to field a younger roster this season and make moves to help their salary cap, per Breer, with this meaning Rodgers favorites Randall Cobb, Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis would not be back. (Cobb is now a Jet, with Lewis potentially on the team’s radar.) Of course, Gutekunst and Rodgers never got around to a meeting regarding his future. The parties had multiple January meetings in California scheduled, Breer adds; neither came to fruition. Gutekunst dealt with Rodgers’ agent during the trade talks.

As for the trade price, one of the Jets’ counterproposals — during the sides’ off-and-on talks — involved a 2025 Packers second-round pick coming back in the event Rodgers did not return in 2024. The March Rodgers-Jets summit did not involve discussion about how much longer Rodgers would play, though that later became an understandable component of the Jets’ trade push. Instead of the Jets receiving a 2025 second from the Packers — in the event Rodgers retires after this season — the teams agreed on the deal that included the 2024 first-rounder being a conditional pick and not a locked-in 1, Breer adds. That said, Rodgers has only failed to play 65% of his team’s offensive snaps twice in his 15-year starter run. It represents a fairly safe bet the Jets will send the Packers their 2024 first-rounder in this swap.

Rather than the 65% figure, the Jets wanted to tie the 2024 draft choice to team placement, per Breer. But the Packers did this in the Brett Favre trade 15 years ago; the Green Bay icon’s biceps injury ended up leading the Jets out of the playoff race and reducing the Pack’s compensation to a 2009 third-rounder. With Packers president Mark Murphy involved in both negotiations, the Packers did not relent on a refusal to tie the pick to the Jets’ 2023 record.

Douglas was a bit leery about a potential post-draft suitor emerging as an alternative for Rodgers, Breer adds. The Jets had lost Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins in a two-team race last year. The All-Pro wideout was nearly a Jet, but when the Dolphins entered the fray, Miami became Hill’s preferred destination. This helped provide the impetus for the Jets to complete the deal by the draft, even as no other teams were closely connected to Rodgers this offseason.

The 2023 pick-swap component also did not enter the negotiations until late. That turned out to matter, with many believing the Jets were prepared to draft tackle Broderick Jones in Round 1. The Steelers moved up three spots, from No. 17 to No. 14, to prevent that from happening. New York selected edge rusher Will McDonald with its Green Bay-obtained No. 15 pick. The Packers chose Iowa pass rusher Lukas Van Ness at 13.

Jets, WR Randall Cobb Agree To Terms

MAY 8: Details on the one-year Cobb deal are in, courtesy of ESPN’s Field Yates (Twitter link). The veteran will earn a base salary of $2.25MM, with another $1MM available through incentives. Cobb’s cap hit for the year will be $2.89MM, meaning he will be a relatively inexpensive pass-catching option for the Jets’ Rodgers-led offense, especially if they can continue their shared success with one another dating back to their time in Green Bay.

MAY 3, 5:34pm: Checking another box on Rodgers’ wish list, the Jets made it official with Cobb Wednesday afternoon. While terms have not yet surfaced, Cobb is following Rodgers, Lazard and Hackett to the Big Apple.

8:11am: Unable to land Odell Beckham Jr., the Jets are circling back to Aaron Rodgers‘ free agency wish list. They are planning to reunite Rodgers with Randall Cobb, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Cobb has played 10 of his 12 NFL seasons with the Packers, enjoying two stints with the team. Upon ending a months-long standoff with Green Bay in 2021, Rodgers insisted on the team reacquiring Cobb via trade. The new Jets quarterback will once again move a team to bring the veteran wide receiver aboard. This will be a one-year deal.

[RELATED: Jets To Sign OL Billy Turner]

The Rodgers wish list already led to Allen Lazard coming to the Big Apple. Lazard joined the Jets weeks before Rodgers, but ex-Cobb teammate’s $11MM-per-year deal provided a strong indication the four-time MVP would eventually be en route. Unlike the past two offseasons, Rodgers has been present at OTAs for his team. Cobb, who is going into his age-33 season, may well join Rodgers and Lazard for voluntary Jets workouts soon.

Counting the playoffs, Davante Adams‘ 687 receptions are the most by a Rodgers target (per ESPN Stats and Info); Cobb’s 534 grabs sit second on that list. The former Packers second-round pick developed a quick chemistry with the future Hall of Fame quarterback, and while Cobb’s second Green Bay stay did not produce the numbers his first did, but he will accompany Lazard in bringing scheme familiarity to the Jets. Cobb spent the past two seasons in the offense OC Nathaniel Hackett is installing.

Despite missing four games last season, Cobb caught 34 passes for 417 yards and a touchdown. The proven slot receiver scored five TDs during his 2021 season back in Wisconsin. The Packers gave Cobb a four-year, $40MM contract back in 2015, which came after his lone 1,000-yard campaign. Cobb played out that deal before the team allowed him to sign with the Cowboys in free agency. Cobb spent the 2019 and ’20 seasons in Texas, signing with Houston on a three-year, $27MM deal in 2020. The Packers absorbed that deal in 2021 but reached a pay-cut agreement with Cobb last year.

Following the Packers’ Week 18 home loss to the Lions, Cobb and Rodgers walked off the field together. It quickly became expected Cobb — whose 532 catches as a Packer rank fifth in team history — was done in Green Bay, but his longtime quarterback pulled some strings to allow for this partnership to last another year. While this expected Jets accord comes after the deadline for signings to affect the 2024 compensatory formula, Cobb is unlikely to sign a needle-moving contract with the Jets.

This could complete the Jets’ wide receiver overhaul effort. Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson is back, but the team has added Lazard and Mecole Hardman already. Elijah Moore is now in Cleveland, via trade, while the team released slot player/return man Braxton Berrios, who is now in Miami. Although rumblings tied the Jets to a Corey Davis release, the former top-five pick remains with the team. Ditto Denzel Mims, who has stood as a longtime trade candidate.

Jets GM Joe Douglas reaffirmed Davis’ status with the team ahead of the draft, and the team did not select any wideouts. The seventh-year veteran certainly supplies potential firepower as a complementary option. The team’s three-year, $37.5MM Davis pact has not produced numbers on par with the former top prospect’s Titans work, but Davis and Cobb have nine combined 600-plus-yard receiving seasons on their respective resumes.

This Cobb agreement floods the Jets’ receiver room with experience, and it will be interesting to see if it affects Davis, who is tied to an $11.2MM cap hit in the final year of his contract. The Jets can release Davis and save $10.5MM. With Lazard and Cobb set to reunite, it should be expected the Jets are considering a Marcedes Lewis addition. The four-year Packer also appeared on Rodgers’ list of hopeful Jets acquisitions in March.

Latest On Corey Davis, Jets Wide Receivers

With Aaron Rodgers now under center for the Jets, the team has been busy adding wide receivers to their roster. Naturally, that’s led some to question Corey Davis‘ future with the organization, but coach Robert Saleh told reporters yesterday that the veteran wideout would be sticking with the Jets (per Connor Hughes of SNYtv on Twitter).

The Jets inked Davis to a three-year, $37.5MM deal back in 2021, but the receiver hasn’t necessarily lived up to his contract. Davis has appeared in 22 games with the Jets over the past two years, hauling in 66 catches for 1,028 yards and six touchdowns. The Jets could have cleared around $10MM in cap space by moving on from the former fifth-overall pick, but Saleh noted that Davis will have a role on offense in 2023.

“Again, the cool thing with what [offensive coordinator] Nathaniel [Hackett‘s] bringing and this whole system is there is a lot of versatility amongst the receivers in terms of them being able to play multiple spots,” Saleh said (via NFL.com’s Kevin Patra). “The one thing when Corey got hurt last year, we got small pretty quick, if you guys remember.”

The Jets have been busy adding some of Rodgers’ former targets, including Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb (they’ve also added two other former teammates, quarterback Tim Boyle and offensive tackle Billy Turner). This has led some to wonder if Rodgers had a specific list of targets that he wanted the Jets to pursue, similar to what went down with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. However, Saleh dismissed that notion, noting that multiple individuals play roles in recruiting certain players.

“It’s very common for new faces to want old faces, to come in and help accelerate the installation of an entire program,” Saleh said (via ESPN’s Rich Cimini). “Everything is pinned on the quarterback. It’s not just him.

“Hackett has something to say about it. He loves Lazard. He loves Randall. He took Billy Turner with him to Denver, and he wanted him here. Of course, you’re going to surround a coach with people who he feels like will plant the flag … that whole narrative — what people are trying to put on the quarterback — it’s tired. It’s common practice in the NFL.”

Besides Davis and the two aforementioned acquisitions, the Jets WR depth chart also consists of Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson, free agent addition Mecole Hardman, and former second-round pick Denzel Mims.

Packers Targeting Veterans At WR, QB

The average age of the Packers’ 2023 roster will drop significantly after the exit of Aaron Rodgers, but the team will also move on from Rodgers favorites Randall Cobb and Marcedes Lewis. Neither of the 30-something pass catchers will be back, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com notes. Both are now candidates to follow Rodgers to New York.

Despite the exits of Cobb and Lewis, and the drawn-out conclusion to Rodgers’ 18-year Green Bay run, the Packers do not want to turn their quarterback and pass-catching groups over to rookie-contract players entirely. The team is looking for veterans in its now-Jordan Love-centered quarterback room and alongside Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs at receiver.

Once Rodgers is traded to the Jets, Love and Danny Etling will be the only Packers passers on the roster. It certainly seems like Etling — a 2018 Patriots seventh-rounder who has bounced around since, though he has never seen game action — will not be the Pack’s first choice to back up Love.

I think it would be nice to have someone who has some experience,” GM Brian Gutekunst said, via The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman (subscription required). “We have a lot of respect for Danny and what he’s done and would be very comfortable with him in the two spot, but I think we’ll look at a lot of different options. Back when Aaron took over in 2008, I think it was Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn who we drafted that year and they were our backups, so I think we’ll kind of see how that works itself out.”

Indeed, 2008 draftees Flynn and Brohm served as Rodgers’ backups during his first season as Green Bay’s starter. Etling having a legitimate chance to be Love’s primary backup will hinge on who the team adds. Teddy Bridgewater and Blaine Gabbert remain available, as do Mason Rudolph and Trevor Siemian. Carson Wentz is on the market as well, and the former No. 2 overall pick and seven-year starter said he would be open to continuing his career as a backup.

The Packers adding a player with 92 career starts and only a few weeks as a backup would be an interesting path, considering the doubt Love has generated since his 2020 NFL arrival. Love has been in Matt LaFleur‘s system for three years, but he is obviously well behind his peers for game action. Love has thrown 83 regular-season passes.

The Sammy Watkins flier and Rodgers-demanded Cobb reacquisition aside, Green Bay has preferred to fill out its complementary receiver crew with younger players in recent years. The likes of Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown came through as Davante Adams supporting-casters. Each is now elsewhere, and the Packers — post-Cobb and Lazard — will need to add some receivers for depth purposes. LaFleur confirmed as much, per Schneidman (on Twitter).

Jarvis Landry‘s Saints deal expired, while ex-Falcon Olamide Zaccheaus and former Chiefs cog Byron Pringle are also free agents. As are Chosen Anderson and Kenny Golladay, the latter coming off a disastrous Giants tenure that will probably limit his earning potential henceforth. A host of tertiary-type wideouts have signed with teams in recent days, and given Rodgers’ status as a Jet-to-be, Odell Beckham Jr. — whom the Packers finished second for in 2021 — should not be viewed as a viable piece. The Packers could also look to the trade market for a vet to work alongside Watson and Doubs, but the pickings are slimmer in free agency two-plus weeks since the market opened.

Aaron Rodgers’ Jets Free Agency Wish List Includes Odell Beckham Jr., Marcedes Lewis

The Buccaneers loaded up their roster with Tom Brady-approved acquisitions in 2020, adding the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette and Antonio Brown. Of course, those players became Buccaneers after Brady committed. The Jets may be dealing with a different situation.

Aaron Rodgers has given the Jets a free agency wish list that includes a few ex-Packers — Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Marcedes Lewis — but Dianni Russini of ESPN.com reports the future Hall of Fame quarterback also wants the team to acquire Odell Beckham Jr. (Twitter link). Both the Jets and Raiders are believed to be interested in Lewis, despite the tight end going into an age-39 season, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

It should not be assumed Rodgers will only commit to the Jets if they land all these targets, but the team has been connected to each of the ex-Packers already. The Packers were interested in OBJ back in 2021 as well, though the team stood down and let him sign with the Rams. This marks the first known Beckham-Jets connection, with his previous return-to-New York rumors involving his former team. The Giants, along with the Cowboys, Rams and others, are still believed to be interested in Beckham. Given the QB circumstances at play, the Jets should be counted among the talented but injury-prone wideout’s suitors.

The Jets and Packers have discussed a Rodgers trade for a while, and while it is not known if the parties have agreed to all terms, the holdup here is believed to be Rodgers’ interest in becoming a Jet. The four-time MVP has still not committed to playing a 19th season, despite a round of Jets players sending out celebratory tweets Monday. Putting out a free agency wish list, however, does point to Rodgers being prepared to suit up again.

Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson is obviously not going anywhere, but the Jets’ receiver room could look quite different soon — depending on how many of Rodgers’ guys the team acquires. The Jets have Corey Davis under contract for one more season, but with $10MM-plus in savings attached to cutting him, that should be considered a possible outcome. Elijah Moore and Denzel Mims also remain on Gang Green’s roster, each attached to rookie contracts. Both were in trade rumors last year; the Jets shopped Mims but did not honor Moore’s trade request.

Even as the Jets have made a run of overtures to Rodgers, the team rearranging its skill-position depth chart before he agrees to join them would be a notable development. Rodgers committing and then the team making an effort to add his preferred weaponry would be more in line with how Brady played it three years ago. While this might be a LeBron James-style effort to apply extra pressure to a team to acquire his preferred weaponry, he also may already be committed to the Jets. The latter scenario would make this list easier to understand, compared to an ultimatum.

As for Beckham, this represents another opportunity for him to maximize his value. It is unknown if he is interested in teaming up with Rodgers, but the 30-year-old wideout is once again seeking money seemingly well out of step with his value. Beckham was connected to a $20MM-per-year ask during his December free agency sweepstakes; that number has come up once again. While OBJ is extraordinarily unlikely to approach that price point, given his two ACL tears and missed season, this Rodgers tie could help him on the market.

Lewis was with the Packers throughout new Jets OC Nathaniel Hackett‘s Green Bay stay. He could profile as a third tight end for a team that already employs C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin. A longtime Rodgers ally, Cobb has played 10 of his 12 NFL seasons with the all-time QB great. Rodgers drove the Packers, calling off his trade request, to reacquire him in 2021.

Jets Working To Sign WR Allen Lazard; Randall Cobb On Radar

10:26am: The Jets are closing in on a Lazard deal, per Schefter, who adds they are also expected to pursue Randall Cobb. The latter target should be a clearer indicator they believe Rodgers is coming. Cobb has played 12 NFL seasons; 10 of those came with Rodgers in Green Bay. When Rodgers dropped his 2021 trade request, he drove Packers brass to reacquire Cobb from the Texans via trade. Cobb joins Lazard as a free agent, having played out a reworked contract in 2022.

Cobb is going into his age-33 season and would make for an atypical No. 4 wide receiver, but considering the Jets’ quarterback pursuit, the veteran slot target certainly sits as a logical candidate here. The Jets would be Cobb’s fourth team; he played with the Cowboys in 2019 and Texans in 2020. The Jets are taking Rodgers’ input regarding free agency targets, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson tweets. The Cobb connection certainly makes that clear.

The team, per ESPN’s Rich Cimini (on Twitter), remains optimistic Rodgers will indeed follow in Brett Favre‘s footsteps, 15 years later. All signs still point toward a trade, per Cimini, but this has become quite the drawn-out courtship. The Packers appear onboard with starting the Jordan Love era. The Jets will need to know if Rodgers is in or out soon, as teams’ budgets are changing rapidly as barely 24 hours remain until the 2023 league year.

10:15am: As the football world still awaits an Aaron Rodgers decision, reasonable dot-connecting can commence regarding the Jets’ wide receiver plans. They are working to reach an agreement with Allen Lazard, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

At least one other team is trying to add the Packers wide receiver-turned-free agent, but the Jets are attempting to reunite him with Nathaniel Hackett (and, if they can finally push this saga past the goal line, Rodgers). Lazard has spent the past four seasons with the Packers, consistently earning praise from Rodgers along the way.

The Jets appear to be in the lead for Lazard, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who notes the other team in on Lazard may not be an aggressive pursuer at this point (video link). This package deal now has a better chance of coming to pass, though Lazard still seemingly resides as the second domino here. The receiver market began to move Tuesday morning, via Jakobi Meyers‘ Raiders agreement. Lazard resides as one of the second-tier options available on what is viewed as a mediocre free agency wideout crop.

The Packers conjured up an unsuccessful plan — for 2022, anyway — to increase Lazard’s role after trading Davante Adams and letting Marquez Valdes-Scantling walk in free agency. This blueprint helped lead to Green Bay’s disappointing 9-8 season, but Lazard did amass a career-high 60 receptions (on 100 targets — 40 more than his previous single-season standard) and 788 yards. Lazard, 27, has 14 touchdown receptions over the past two seasons.

The 6-foot-5 pass catcher is also one of the league’s best run-blocking wide receivers. The Jets would be asking Lazard to play a role more in line with his skillset as well, given Garrett Wilson‘s presence. The team has Corey Davis going into the final year of his contract and Elijah Moore coming off a down sophomore season. Davis has been rumored as a potential cap casualty; were the Jets to take this route, they would save $10.5MM. That would help in their ongoing effort to add Rodgers’ salary, be it a reworked number or not, to their cap sheet.

Hackett was with the Packers when they clamed Lazard via waivers in 2019. It would be interesting to see if Gang Green planned to push for that reunion were Rodgers ultimately not ticketed for the Big Apple, but as it stands now, multiple connections tie Lazard to the team.

Aaron Rodgers Addresses Latest Trade Rumors, Jets’ Nathaniel Hackett Hire

During the first round of Aaron Rodgers trade rumors, the source rarely provided insight about his situation. With Rodgers now having a weekly radio spot, his status is never far off the radar. The 18-year Packers quarterback had more news to address Tuesday.

A weekend report from ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter indicated the Packers would prefer to move on from Rodgers. This would mean giving another team responsibility of the $58.3MM bonus, which can be paid at any point this offseason, but also taking on a substantial dead-money hit — should a trade occur before June 1 — and committing to seeing what Jordan Love has to offer.

[RELATED: Rodgers Trade A “Very Real Scenario”]

Rodgers is well aware of the conversations occurring among Packers brass, per Schefter, and the 39-year-old superstar certainly seemed to confirm as such. “It sounds like there’s already conversations going on that aren’t involving me, which are interesting,” Rodgers said during his latest Pat McAfee Show interview (via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky). This response also came to question that did not specifically address the Schefter report.

The Jets’ Nathaniel Hackett OC hire also did plenty to fuel speculation Rodgers could be headed out of Green Bay. Again offering praise for Hackett — the Packers’ OC from 2019-21 — Rodgers said (via ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini) the former Green Bay assistant was among his favorites. Robert Saleh downplayed the Rodgers-Hackett connection, as should be expected, but the Jets are evaluating Rodgers, Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo.

Rodgers reiterated he has not made a decision about returning but pointed to one of the two decisions on his plate — seemingly calls on playing and staying with the Packers — being made in “a couple weeks.” Carr, Garoppolo and Rodgers could all be available at different points on the calendar — Carr in February, Garoppolo in March and Rodgers potentially in June, when a trade would be less financially punishing for the Packers — adding an interesting wrinkle to this year’s QB market.

Green Bay moving on this offseason would be eerily similar territory, especially with New York being in the equation again. The Packers have used Rodgers as their starter since trading Brett Favre to the Jets in August 2008. The Jets have not acquired a franchise-caliber veteran since that Favre deal, which was only for a conditional third-round pick. Rodgers is expected to command more in a deal. Favre turned 39 shortly after being dealt to the Jets; Rodgers turned 39 last month. Love is going into his fourth season, just as Rodgers was in 15 years ago.

The Packers’ direction will also influence their decision on keeping Rodgers, who mentioned five players — David Bakhtiari, Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard, Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis — as those he wants as teammates. All but Bakhtiari are free agents. Cobb and Lewis’ statuses with the Packers almost certainly depend on Rodgers’, Demovsky adds. Both vets likely will not return to the team if Rodgers is not back. Bakhtiari is due a $9.5MM roster bonus on the third day of the 2023 league year and is set to carry a $28.9MM cap number. Bakhtiari should be expected to return on a restructured deal, per Demovsky. The former All-Pro left tackle said he is not planning to retire, and Brian Gutekunst said he expects the 10-year veteran to be back.

Packers Activate WR Randall Cobb From IR

Randall Cobb will make one of the quickest returns from IR possible. The Packers are following through with their rumored activation; the team announced the veteran wideout’s return to the active roster Thursday.

Placed on IR because of a high ankle sprain, Cobb missed the minimum four games and became eligible to return this week. The Packers designated him for return Tuesday. Despite the team having a Thursday-night game, Cobb is not going through a practice ramp-up period. He will be in uniform against the Titans.

This is the Packers’ fourth injury activation this season, giving them four left. The team’s Cobb move also represents its second receiver IR-return transaction this season. Sammy Watkins came off the injured list last month. Cobb and Watkins stand to help Green Bay’s cause against Tennessee, with a 4-6 start leaving the Packers little room for error down the stretch.

Thursday marks Cobb’s second IR-return transaction in his two seasons back with the Pack. A core muscle injury cost him time last season, but teams had unlimited IR activations from 2020-21, making such roster moves less important. The Packers have dealt with extensive receiver injury trouble this season; their top five targets have missed time. But the team is fairly healthy at the position for Week 11, with only rookie Romeo Doubs, who is also dealing with a high ankle sprain, out against Tennessee.

Cobb, 32, is on a better pace compared to 2021. The former Packers Day 2 draftee has 18 receptions for 257 yards this season. The slot player’s 42.6 yards per game are well north of his 2021 number (31.3). Of course, the Packers trading Davante Adams and losing Marquez Valdes-Scantling in free agency freed up some targets. The Packers will see if their Cobb-Watkins-Allen LazardChristian Watson quartet can generate some consistency at what has been one of the NFL’s more inconsistent positions this season.