Randall Cobb’s attraction to Green Bay couldn’t be broken at any price.
“Yeah, it did make it hard,” Cobb said on a conference call on Tuesday morning, a day after he signed a four-year, $40 million contract. “My mind and head were in other places in some moments and you thought about those (bigger contracts) — the income that you could make — but at the end of the day my heart was in Green Bay, and I knew that’s where I wanted to be. I knew I had a good thing going for me and still I signed a pretty lucrative deal that I can handle as far as making that last for the rest of my life.”
The contract will keep Cobb in Green Bay through the 2018 season. The signing ended a long, drawn-out ordeal that Cobb is in no hurry to repeat. Signing the contract and finally having certainty over his future is great; it’s the getting there that was difficult.
“I think I was excited in the beginning,” Cobb said. “The closer it got to free agency, the more stressful it got. I think that last week was probably the hardest week, and I think the biggest thing was it was difficult seeing so many false allegations and different articles come out. I just had to step away from it. I deleted my Twitter for the last week-and-a-half or so and just stayed away from all the negativity I was reading and just focused on the situation at hand and tried to weigh the pros and the cons of the situation. But, yeah, I’m very thankful to obviously be able to see what market value was and to be able to see that business side of it, but I would love not to go through that again.”
After Jordy Nelson signed a four-year contract extension at the start of training camp last summer, Cobb was the presumed next-man-up on Ted Thompson’s contract to-do list. Instead, no offer was forthcoming. Cobb said he needed to go out and earn an extension — and that internal pressure weighed on Cobb early in the season. Through three games, Cobb had 14 catches for 126 yards. After the Week 3 loss at Detroit, Cobb stood at his locker at Ford Field and continually pointed the finger at himself for not playing to expectations.
The final 13 games were a different story. He had five games of at least seven receptions and five games of at least 113 yards. He finished the season with 91 receptions for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns.
“Not really shut it out in my mind, but I found peace in the situation,” Cobb said. “I found peace in knowing that things were going to work out the way that they were supposed to. And I didn’t really focus on that anymore. I just focused on playing ball instead of thinking of all the other things that comes with it.”
Cobb’s deal included a $13 million signing bonus. His cap charges go from $5.35 million in 2015 to $9.15 million in 2016 and $12.75 million in each of the final two seasons. That’s big money — most in the league for a receiver lining up primarily in the slot — but Cobb said he doesn’t see it as pressure.
“I don’t believe so,” he said. “I’m going to continue to go out and work as hard as I can and be the best player I can and try to be the best teammate I can be and do everything I can to put us in position. I know there will probably be a lot of outside pressure from other people, but the way I always view it is I feel like we were under more pressure last year going into the final year of a contract than actually having the contract now and being able to go play.”
With quarterback Aaron Rodgers signed through 2019, Nelson and Cobb through 2018, receiver Davante Adams through 2017 and the entire offensive line (pending Bryan Bulaga re-signing) and running back Eddie Lacy through 2016, the Packers’ offense looks loaded for at least the next two years — and likely beyond.
“I’m excited,” Cobb said. “Obviously, we know what Aaron and Jordy can do. I look forward to seeing Davante Adams step up and come into the mix. I think we have a high-powered offense and being able to have all of us stick together for another few years is going to be big, and I think that it makes us hard to stop. You look at the numbers we were able to put up last year and God willing we all stay healthy and continue to produce at a high level, I think we’re in the mix year in and year out.”
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