Packers WR Nelson prefers deal before season
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Even though the Green Bay Packers got a bargain the last time they signed Jordy Nelson to a contract extension, the veteran wide receiver said Tuesday he still would prefer to sign another deal before the season rather than playing out the final year of his contract.
Nelson, who caught 85 passes for 1,314 yards last season, both career bests, said he doesn't know if his agent, Vann McElroy, and the Packers have had any meaningful conversations about an extension.
''He's not going to just bug me with it,'' he said. ''He'll let me know when it gets close.''
The last time Nelson, a second-round pick in 2008, was in a contract year was in 2011, when he signed a three-year, $13.989 million extension in October. That deal included $5 million in guaranteed money, including a $3.5 million signing bonus. That deal paid Nelson a base salary of $2.7 million last year, and calls for him to make a base salary of $3.05 million in 2014.
In terms of annual average salary, Nelson currently ranks 34th on the wide receiver pay scale league-wide entering 2014. But he indicated Tuesday that he's anxious to get a new deal simply because he wants the peace of mind.
''You want it done so you and your family are comfortable, you want it done so you don't have to worry about it,'' he said. ''I think on both sides. They get it done they can start working on someone else.''
That someone else is fourth-year wide receiver Randall Cobb, a second-round pick in 2011 who is going into the final year of his rookie deal. Cobb missed 10 games last season with a leg injury, but he returned in time to catch the playoffs-clinching touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers on a fourth-down play at Chicago in the regular-season finale last year.
''I'm not a businessman so I don't really know that side of it,'' Cobb said of his situation. ''That's what I have an agent for - for him to handle that kind of thing. That's for the Packers to decide and figure out.''
It appears Nelson is the priority, and after Chicago's Brandon Marshall signed a four-year, $39.3 million extension ($22.3 million guaranteed) with the Bears last month, Nelson's market should be set. Marshall caught 100 passes for 1,295 yards and 12 TDs last season for the Bears. Marshall turned 30 in March; Nelson turned 29 last week.
Asked if he feels additional pressure in a contract year, Nelson replied, ''No. I don't think so, not at all. I didn't feel that last time, and I don't think I'll feel it this time. I think we're a long ways from that anyway. We've got a few months to hopefully work on that and get it taken care of. I think we'll be fine.''