Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports La Canfora expects Packers WR Randall Cobb to secure a deal that would pay $9 million per year or more on the open market.
La Canfora can’t see how the Packers would put that kind of money on the table for Cobb in order to prevent him from reaching the open market, but he admits “anything is possible.”
Rob Demovsky of ESPN previously reported that Cobb is seeking a contract that would pay him an annual salary of $9 million, which fits with what La Canfora is saying.
Demovsky added that Green Bay is hoping to get a long-term contract in place for their free agent receiver, but this salary would be close to Jordy Nelson‘s four-year, $39 million contract he received from the Packers last year.
The window for teams to apply franchise tags opened today, but Demovsky mentions that there has no indication that Packers GM Ted Thompson would considering going this route in order to retain Cobb.
Albert Breer estimates that the franchise tag for a receiver would cost $12.321 million for the 2015 season.
As of now, it remains unclear how far extension talks between the Packers and Cobb have progressed, but they are expected to meet some point this week at the NFL scouting combine.
Green Bay has the cap space to work with and there a few moves that could be made to create additional cap space and lessen the impact of signing Cobb to this kind of contract.
Cobb, 24, played out his four-year, $3,209,421 rookie contract and is clearly in position for a sizable raise this offseason.
In 2014, Cobb caught 91 passes for 1,287 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. He also contributed as the team’s punt returner this year. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 9 wide receiver out of 110 qualifying players.
We have Cobb listed as the No. 11 player in our Top 75 Free Agents list.