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Cobb Takes Pay Cut to Stay with Packers

Brought back at the urging of Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb scored five touchdowns in 2021 but had a cap charge of more than $9.5 million in 2022.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Veteran receiver Randall Cobb accepted a pay cut to stay with the Green Bay Packers. Coupled with linebacker De’Vondre Campbell’s re-signing not yet official, the Packers momentarily got to the salary cap by Wednesday’s deadline.

According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Cobb agreed to slash his salary by about $5.5 million.

Brought back at the request of quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the start of training camp last summer, Cobb caught 28 passes for 375 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games.

Cobb, who will turn 32 during training camp, was scheduled to have a cap number of $9.53 million for the upcoming season. Releasing him would have saved almost $6.75 million. Instead, he reportedly will be back at a savings of about $5.5 million.

Cobb and Rodgers are close friends, and Cobb is driven by his quest to win a Super Bowl. Those factors no doubt contributed to his decision to return for the 2022 season.

Before the playoff game, he said winning a championship would be a “storybook ending” to his career.

“It would mean a lot to me,” Cobb said at the time. “I got drafted here right after the Super Bowl [win in 2010]. We went 15-1 [in 2011], I thought we were going that year. Thought we were going in ‘14. Obviously ‘16, the loss in Atlanta, and I haven’t been [to the playoffs] since.”

Cobb watched the playoffs from home in 2017 and 2018 in Green Bay, 2019 in Dallas and 2020 in Houston. Being with a contender again last season had Cobb dreaming of the possibilities. Coming back to Green Bay would give him another chance.

“I’ve been watching just like y’all, screaming at the TV, cussing people out because I still knew a little bit of what was happening with some of the signals and stuff,” Cobb said. “It was rough. It was hard. I was definitely in a dark place when they played the 49ers in San Francisco [for the NFC championship in 2019] because, in my mind, I’m like, ‘Man, they won the year before I got there and they won the year after I left.’ Or, ‘They’re getting ready to go the year after I left, so I must’ve been the problem. It must’ve been me.’

“So, I was definitely in a dark place that year, but I’m just happy to be a part of it, happy to have the opportunity to contribute and to do my part. We talk about 1/11th and I’m one man, I’m one piece to the puzzle, and I’m going to do everything in my will power to make this happen.”

While not a weekly weapon, he did deliver when needed and showed he can still play when given opportunities. He had two-touchdown games against Pittsburgh and Arizona, and he was a huge part of the offense in a key win over the Rams before suffering a core-muscle injury that sidelined him for the final six games. He was as fired up as anyone at Lambeau Field when he returned for the playoff game, then inexplicably wasn’t targeted by Rodgers until the final minutes.

Cobb had zero drops, trailed only Davante Adams in yards per pass route (1.49) and had the best passer rating when targeted (144.2). He also served as a key leader upon his return to the team.

In franchise history, he ranks sixth with 498 receptions, 11th with 5,899 receiving yards and 10th with 46 receiving touchdowns.

“I’m really excited Randall’s coming back,” Rodgers said at the start of training camp. “He’s obviously a dear friend and a guy I still believe in that can really play. He falls into that category of guys who left here who were high-character guys. It’s the desire that I’ve talked about before to finish as a Packer that has always been really important to me, and it’s important to those guys, as well. To get Randall back is really special. It’s something that I talked about back in February, wanting to bring in a true slot receiver, I thought would make our offense more dynamic. I think Randall’s a dynamic player — he has been when he’s been healthy.”

Meanwhile, the Packers are only temporarily under the cap. At some point, Campbell will put pen to paper. Of note, tight end Marcedes Lewis has a $2.08 million roster bonus due on Friday. That could be restructured into signing bonus to help get to the cap.