Packers, Jordy Nelson agree to $39 million contract extension
Jordy Nelson isn't often discussed in the same circles as Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas, but Green Bay's top receiver is still one of the NFL's finest. Since the Packers selected him in the second round of the 2008 draft out of Kansas State, Nelson has become as productive and efficient a target as you'll find in the league. The Packers have shown their appreciation by giving Nelson a new contract extension. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the team has extended the four-year deal Nelson signed in 2011 and given him a new four-year extension worth $39 million, with $14.2 million guaranteed.
“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 statement.
Nelson was reportedly seeking $10 million per season in total money, and after his 2013 campaign, he had every right to ask for it. Despite the fact that quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed seven games due to injury, Nelson attained career highs in targets (126), receptions (85), receiving yards (1,314). And while his catch rate soared near 70 percent when Rodgers was on the field, he caught 64 percent of the balls thrown to him when his quarterbacks were Scott Tolzien, Matt Flynn and Seneca Wallace.
“Obviously, you want to get it done as soon as possible,” Nelson said in June of the negotiation process. “But there are a lot of other people that are involved in that. It’s a process and we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes. I guess I’m more focused on hoping it gets done before we get to that.”
Nelson's second contract came in 2011, when he signed a three-year, $12.6 million contract extension which then made him the 27th-highest-paid receiver in the league. Last season, Nelson finished second to Thomas in Football Outsiders' opponent-adjusted season efficiency metrics, and he also finished second in 2011, behind only the aforementioned Megatron. Nelson's overall value can be further illustrated by the fact that in 2013, he was Green Bay's best deep receiver and slot receiver, a very rare combination. He caught 41 passes on 57 targets for 624 yards and three touchdowns in the slot, and 13 catches on 19 targets for 439 yards and a touchdown on passes thrown 20 or more yards in the air.
"He is just a smart player," Rodgers said of Nelson last December. "He can play inside and outside, and he understands all of the run concepts. We tried to get him in positions where we could get him singled up, and we like those matchups where we can get him one on one. Whether that is inside or outside, and he is just a valuable resource to our team, and to the young guys that we have in that role, and I am just really proud of him."