The Green Bay Packers on Saturday signed wide receiver Jordy Nelson to a four-year contract extension that will pay him $39 million from 2015-18, with $14.2 million of the deal guaranteed.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported the deal this morning.
Packers and Jordy Nelson have struck a deal. It’s a 4-year extension worth $39M, source says. Huge. $14.2M guaranteed.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 26, 2014
Nelson was said to be seeking at least $10 million a year and came close to getting that. The new deal averages $9.76 million per season and Nelson will also receive a $11.5 million signing bonus.
Getting Nelson’s extension done was a priority for the Packers and getting it done on the opening day of practice at training camp eliminates a potential distraction down the road.
Nelson, 29, is one of the most underrated receivers in the league, failing to earn a Pro Bowl invitation last season despite putting up 85 receptions, 1,314 yards and eight touchdowns.
He was 10th in the NFL in receiving yards last season.
Nelson was a second-round pick by the Packers out of Kansas State in 2008 after earning consensus All-American honors for the Wildcats in 2007, when he had 122 receptions for 1,606 yard and 11 touchdowns while also scoring two touchdowns on just five punt returns.
He was a limited contributor as a rookie, catching 33 balls for 366 yards and two touchdowns, but emerged in 2009 as the team’s primary kick returner, averaging 25.4 yards a return.
Nelson took on more of a role in the offense in 2010, catching 45 passes for 582 yards and two scores, before breaking out with a huge season in 2011, when he had 15 touchdown catches among his 68 receptions, which went for 1,263 yards.
Slowed by injuries in 2012, Nelson had 49 receptions for 745 yards and seven touchdowns in just 12 games.
Now the Packers can turn their attention to their other standout receiver, Randall Cobb, whose rookie deal expires at the end of this season. Cobb, who will be 24 next month, was limited to just six games last season because of injuries and still had 31 catches for 433 yards and four touchdowns.
Cobb burst onto the scene in his NFL debut against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field in 2011, returning a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown and also catching a 32-yard touchdown pass.
He averaged 27.7 yards a return on kickoffs and 11.3 yards on punts as a rookie, with two special teams scores, while also catching 25 passes for 375 yards and a touchdown.
He followed that up with a big year as a slot receiver in 2012, catching 80 passes for 954 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012 while also still handling the return jobs, averaging 9.4 yards on punt returns—with one touchdown—and 25.4 yards on kickoff returns.
Cobb was also a second-round pick. The Packers took him out of Kentucky in 2011 after the converted quarterback had 84 catches for 1017 yards and seven touchdowns as well as rushing for 424 yards on just 55 carries with five scores for the Wildcats in 2010.