Packers have $13.5M for Nelson, Cobb

Jordy Nelson/USA TODAY Sports

That figure, provided by the NFLPA, has the Packers with the 10th-most cap space in the league. And it leaves Green Bay with plenty of space to give Jordy Nelson an Eric Decker-style contract.

The Green Bay Packers are going to have to open the vault a time or two this year.

Fortunately for them, they've got plenty of cash stowed in the Lambeau Field safe.

With all nine draft picks signed and the roster set at the 90-man limit, the Packers are $13,515,388 below the NFL's $133 million salary cap, according to NFL Players Association data.

Only Jacksonville ($28.5 million), Cleveland ($25.6 million), Cincinnati ($23.3 million), Oakland ($21.9 million), Tennessee ($19.3 million), Philadelphia ($18.9 million), Miami ($15.7 million) and Houston ($13.6 million) have more available space. That puts Green Bay ninth in available space; Tampa Bay ($13.2 million) rounds out the top 10.

Nelson is entering the final season of a contract extension inked during the 2011 season. It was worth $13.19 million, including $3.54 million guaranteed, though an escalator added another $500,000 to this year's salary to bump up the total value.

Cobb is entering the final season of his rookie contract. That four-year contract was worth $3.21 million and included just more than $1 million guaranteed.

Nelson's agent, Vann McElroy, faces an interesting negotiation. In free agency, Eric Decker signed a five-year deal worth $36.25 million, with $15 million guaranteed. That was the biggest deal signed by any free-agent receiver this year.

Over the last two seasons, Decker, 27, caught 172 passes for 2,352 yards and 24 touchdowns. Even while barely playing as a rookie, Decker has 33 touchdowns in four seasons. Nelson, 29, caught 153 passes for 2,577 yards and 23 touchdowns combined in 2011 and 2013. In six seasons, he's scored 36 touchdowns.

That would appear to make Decker, not Chicago's Brandon Marshall, the baseline for a new deal with Nelson.

Marshall, 30, signed a three-year, $30 million extension last month. That deal includes $14.8 million guaranteed, plus his $7.5 million base salary for 2015 will become guaranteed on the third day of the 2015 league-year. Over the last two seasons, Marshall caught 218 passes for 2,803 yards and 23 touchdowns. In eight seasons, he's had at least 100 receptions five times and scored 57 career touchdowns.

The market for Cobb is harder to figure out. Even with limited offensive production, he had a strong rookie season. He was brilliant in 2012, when he fell just short of the team's single-season record for total yardage. Last season was ruined by injury. So, there's just one big season in Cobb's favor.

As a slot receiver and returner, is he worth Percy Harvin's contract (five years, $64.25 million, $14.5 million guaranteed)? Victor Cruz's (five years, $43 million, $15.63 million guaranteed)? Or, something less based on the relatively small body of work?

Other players entering their final season under contract are B.J. Raji, Tramon Williams, Bryan Bulaga, John Kuhn, Jarrett Bush and what's left of the 2014 draft class: Derek Sherrod, Davon House and Ryan Taylor.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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