Word quickly spread after NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport broke the news on Saturday – the first day of Green Bay Packers training camp -- that Nelson had agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $39 million.
“It was honestly pretty hectic last night and into the morning to get it done, with the 8:20 practice this morning,” Nelson said. “I was afraid I wasn’t going to get it signed (in time) and be late for practice and they’d fine me for what I just did. So, we made sure that got done. Obviously, once you receive that check, it will be a little eye-opening.”
The deal includes an $11.5 million signing bonus, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, as part of $14.2 million in guaranteed money.
“Now he can buy all the land in Kansas,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers joked. “I’m very happy. It’s fun to see guys like that who are incredible teammates, phenomenal players and good guys get rewarded.”
The Packers announced the move after practice.
“Jordy Nelson is an outstanding football player and a great ambassador for the Green Bay Packers,” coach Mike McCarthy said after practice. “Obviously an excellent family man. It’s something that everybody’s excited about and glad to see Jordy will be here for some time. Jordy’s so consistent and he shows up each and every day, performs at a very high level consistently and he’s the ultimate pro.”
Nelson was entering the final season of a contract extension agreed to early in the 2011 season. With contract escalators from his strong performances in 2011 and 2013, Nelson was due to make $3.05 million in base salary this season.
Following one of the offseason practices, Nelson said it was hope that the contract would be ironed out before the start of training camp. He said he’d never be able to spend all of his old contract, which was worth a total of $13.69 million.
“I’m going to spend all of this,” Nelson said with a laugh.
Nelson had been seeking a deal worth $10 million, according to ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky, which would have matched the contract that Brandon Marshall received from the Bears. Nelson’s contract is worth more than then four-year, $30 million extension that Atlanta gave to Roddy White this week, but White received $18 million guaranteed, Schefter reported.
“It’s a lot of money, it’s a big business and it takes time to make sure everyone is uncomfortable at the end of it but happy at the end of it,” Nelson said.
Nelson, 29, is coming off a monster season with career-high totals of 85 receptions for 1,314 yards. During the eight games with Aaron Rodgers, Nelson caught 49 passes for 810 yards and seven scores. Over 16 games, that would have meant 98 receptions for 1,620 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Since 2011, Nelson and Calvin Johnson are the only receivers in the NFL with at least 200 receptions, 30 receiving touchdowns and an average of 15.0 yards per reception.
“Jordy’s hard work and dedication has made him a good player, teammate and a core member of this team. We are pleased to come to an agreement that will extend his Packers career,” general manager Ted Thompson said in a press release.
Green Bay entered the day about $13.515 million under the salary cap. The impact on the cap, and just where Nelson ranks among the league’s highest-paid receivers, won’t be known until a full breakdown of the contract becomes available.
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