November 19, 2018, 09:25:02 PM

Author Topic: Cutting Nelson the right move?  (Read 1468 times)

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Offline PackerYakker

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Cutting Nelson the right move?
« on: October 05, 2018, 02:08:05 PM »
Pete Dougherty's recent article on PackerNews tries to make the case that releasing Nelson this offseason was the right move.

https://www.packersnews.com/story/sports/nfl/packers/dougherty/2018/10/04/dougherty-why-releasing-jordy-nelson-still-right-move-packers/1525364002/

His conclusion seemed mostly predicated on the idea that retaining Nelson would've kept Geronimo Allison off the field. He's directly implying that neither Nelson nor any other packer receiver is capable of lining up and producing from the slot, a dubious contention at best. Regardless of who lined up where, the offense certainly wouldn't be hamstrung with Nelson still in the lineup.

The real issue here was the choice between releasing Nelson or Cobb, one which Dougherty inexplicably sidestepped. In doing so, he fails to note that Nelson is outproducing Cobb, as usual. He's on pace for more than 1000 yds and is currently averaging a whopping 17 ypc as the #3 receiving option in OAK. Dougherty avoids any mention of Cobb's average performance (17rec, 11.4ypc) or the time he's currently missing with his latest injury. Nelson has always been the more complete and more productive receiver, though I suppose reasonable people can disagree about which player brings more to the table, considering the other players who make up the rest of the receiving group.

The obvious mistake in this situation was the GM failing to explore a renegotiation, something Nelson clearly would've been amenable to. Dougherty completely dismisses the relevance of that issue when assessing whether his release was the right move. It seems pretty relevant to me. Personally, I'd rather have cut Cobb and kept Nelson on a renegotiated deal. With that extra money they could've gone after a more potent receiving threat in his prime, like say Allen Robinson, instead of settling for the clearly diminished Jimmy Graham. A group consisting of Adams, Robinson, Nelson and Allison would've certainly been more potent than what GB is currently fielding. And they would have been completely set moving forward.

In any case, Dougherty's treatment of the Nelson issue was weak, largely devoid of logic and reason. A sensible article would've been along the lines of "The jury still out on releasing Nelson". Instead we got what sounds more like a GM suck-up piece.

Online ricky

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Re: Cutting Nelson the right move?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2018, 03:56:12 PM »
A smart GM moves on from a player a year too early than a year or two too late. Gutekunst did just that. Nelson is 33 and is not going to get any younger or faster, as Dougherty noted. Should the Packers have kept Nelson and cut Cobb? Keep an older player while getting rid of a younger player is not the way to build a winning team. As far as Dougherty backing the move because it "seemed mostly predicated on the idea that retaining Nelson would've kept Geronimo Allison off the field. He's directly implying that neither Nelson nor any other packer receiver is capable of lining up and producing from the slot, a dubious contention at best." Perhaps you should ask Dougherty via e-mail if that was, indeed his contention, and share his response with the board.

Agreed, Nelson is off to a good start. Dougherty even included a Raider scout who said he'd have chosen to keep Nelson on the Packers. Right now, the decision seems solid. Allison is doing well, is much younger and has a lot of upside in front of him. Now, the Packes did try to get Allen Robinson; he chose to sign with the Bears instead. He wasnted to play in Chicago, not Green Bay. That as never an option. Cobb, though injured, still has Rodgers trust, and has been productive. And he's five years younger. Was it a popular move? Absolutely not. Was it the right move? Ask again in two to three years. Because trying to  something like that after four games is not a large enough sample size to decide. 
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Offline phanatic1

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Re: Cutting Nelson the right move?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2018, 08:10:20 AM »
This is Cobb's last year with the Packers and he will move on.  Because of that, I was not a fan of letting Jordy go.  Basically, it came down to this season and who MM and Gute wanted between Cobb and Jordy and they picked Cobb.  And really, I don't know why.  Jordy was clearly the security blanket for Rodgers and they were pretty tight.  I think he is close to Cobb also, but not at the level of Rodgers and Nelson. 

Jordy offered the ability to play the slot and outside and after the years of playing with Rodgers, knew all the little tweaks of the offense, routes, an they had a chemistry like no one else on the team.  I get the idea of going younger, but, keeping him would not have prevented Allison from getting onto the field. 


Offline dannobanano

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Re: Cutting Nelson the right move?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2018, 10:39:24 AM »
This is Cobb's last year with the Packers and he will move on.  Because of that, I was not a fan of letting Jordy go.  Basically, it came down to this season and who MM and Gute wanted between Cobb and Jordy and they picked Cobb.  And really, I don't know why.  Jordy was clearly the security blanket for Rodgers and they were pretty tight.  I think he is close to Cobb also, but not at the level of Rodgers and Nelson. 

Jordy offered the ability to play the slot and outside and after the years of playing with Rodgers, knew all the little tweaks of the offense, routes, an they had a chemistry like no one else on the team.  I get the idea of going younger, but, keeping him would not have prevented Allison from getting onto the field.

 thumbsup)

My sentiments exactly.

Doughboy assumes the Packers would have still kept Cobb if they had decided to keep Nelson, and thus prevented Allison from moving into a more significant role.
Bunch of Horse Hockey!

And, you're right about both Cobb and Nelson would both, most likely, be moving on after this 2018 season. Neither are/were in the plans for 2019.

You are exactly right in saying that Rodgers and Nelson shared a symbiotic relationship on (and maybe off) the field. It was as if the knew each others thoughts, they had been doing this for so long together.

Cobb may read Rodgers pretty well, but he's not in the same universe that Jordy/AR were.

If they had wanted to do so, they could have reduced Nelson salary to around $6M-$7M and cut Cobb. They would have saved even more money that they did by letting Nelson walk.

Nelson could have moved in as the Primary slot receiver and allowed Allison to earn his wings at the #2 WR.

Nelson would have been great in the slot...

https://packerswire.usatoday.com/2017/05/16/jordy-nelson-was-nfls-most-efficient-slot-wr-in-2016/

Quote
The Packers gave Nelson more and more opportunities in the slot as the season wore on, and he kept producing. In fact, Nelson’s emergence inside was one of the driving factors of Green Bay’s offensive revival late in the year.

Nelson’s size, toughness and ability after the catch made him an asset in the middle of the field for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

His 2017 drop in production (IMO) is more a product of how they "failed" to use him and where his best abilities lie at this stage of his career.

Online ricky

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Re: Cutting Nelson the right move?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2018, 11:19:11 AM »
There seems to be an assumption that Cobb will be gone in FA next year. But why? He's not a #1 WR, is somewhat short, and although he's been productive, has had sone injury issues. So, why would other teams be clamoring to get him? Cobb could definitely be re-signed. Especially since they want to give Rodgers some WR's he has some chemistry with, rather than saddling him with second year players he'd have to get up to speed To say Cobb's definitely gone is, as dannobanano put it so well, "horse hockey". It will come down to the structure of the contract he's offered. Not so much money, but how the money is allotted. Besides, the season is still young. Projecting an entire season from a four games is not not very reliable.
"My hopes are not always realized, but I always hope." Ovid

Offline phanatic1

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Re: Cutting Nelson the right move?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2018, 12:56:49 PM »
There seems to be an assumption that Cobb will be gone in FA next year. But why? He's not a #1 WR, is somewhat short, and although he's been productive, has had sone injury issues. So, why would other teams be clamoring to get him? Cobb could definitely be re-signed. Especially since they want to give Rodgers some WR's he has some chemistry with, rather than saddling him with second year players he'd have to get up to speed To say Cobb's definitely gone is, as dannobanano put it so well, "horse hockey". It will come down to the structure of the contract he's offered. Not so much money, but how the money is allotted. Besides, the season is still young. Projecting an entire season from a four games is not not very reliable.

The only thing is the Packers don't have to re-sign him no matter what kind of a reduced deal he would want.  You point out he is injury prone and not a #1 option.  If the idea was to get younger at WR, why would they bring him back?  That kind of goes against the philosophy they employed in letting Nelson go. 

I get that the NFL is a business and you can't let personal feelings get in the way and we can look at lots of guys that have been cut that were fan favorites.  But the information we have - and maybe it is not all the information - was that Jordy would take less money, move to the slot to allow for a younger guy to go outside in Allison and agree to a lesser role to stay with the team. 

Lets say he stayed with the team for this season - both he and Cobb would have remained.  The result - not drafting one of the 3 rookies WR's and maybe only bringing in 2 of them.  And lets be honest, most likely, there will be a similar player in next years draft.  With the salary reduction he could have taken, Graham could still have been signed.  I know this is all speculation now and over and done with it.  I am certainly one in the camp that there could have more done to keep him around though.

Online ricky

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Re: Cutting Nelson the right move?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2018, 04:29:23 PM »
The only thing is the Packers don't have to re-sign him no matter what kind of a reduced deal he would want.  You point out he is injury prone and not a #1 option.  If the idea was to get younger at WR, why would they bring him back?  That kind of goes against the philosophy they employed in letting Nelson go. 

No, they didn't have to re-sign Nelson, and don't have to re-sign Cobb. I'm not sure which one of them you were addressing, so I included both of them. Cobb has had some injury issues, and is not a #1. But, he is a very versatile player, being able to line up at several positions, including the backfield. And the team did get younger at WR: Cobb is 28, while they drafted three WR prospects. Keeping Nelson would not have made them younger.

I get that the NFL is a business and you can't let personal feelings get in the way and we can look at lots of guys that have been cut that were fan favorites.  But the information we have - and maybe it is not all the information - was that Jordy would take less money, move to the slot to allow for a younger guy to go outside in Allison and agree to a lesser role to stay with the team.

You're certainly right about not falling in love with a player. That is for fans, not NFL execs who want to stick around. The GM of the Giants will probably end up losing his job because he didn't want to offend Eli. Gutekunst had to make a business decision- get younger, or stick with an older player who would only decline, not get better. As far as what Nelson would have accepted; we do know, however, that Nelson is 33. We have no real information about the negotiations, just rumor, speculation and comments from Nelson's camp.

Lets say he stayed with the team for this season - both he and Cobb would have remained.  The result - not drafting one of the 3 rookies WR's and maybe only bringing in 2 of them.  And lets be honest, most likely, there will be a similar player in next years draft.  With the salary reduction he could have taken, Graham could still have been signed.  I know this is all speculation now and over and done with it.  I am certainly one in the camp that there could have more done to keep him around though.

All probably true. But, why delay the inevitable? Why keep Nelson around another year, rather than drafting an extra WR, in the hope that one of the three would grasp the complex playbook, get acclimated to NFL football, gain AR's trust and start contributing in a year or two. And if the team did keep Nelson around, we'd be having this same discussion next year. So, put me in the camp that it was time to move on. 
"My hopes are not always realized, but I always hope." Ovid

Offline OneTwoSixFive

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Re: Cutting Nelson the right move?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2018, 04:58:38 PM »
Back when the Packers made the choice, Cobb was 27, Nelson 33. That tells you something.

Nelson was losing what made him so useful with the Packers, just enough speed to first see how a DB was playing him, and depending on that he made a move that got him seperation just long enough for AR to find that window. As his speed diminished, the window of opportunity shrank and he was less effective. That doesn't mean Nelson has forgotten how to play, he just cannot do what he used to do. The Packers went with a guy much younger, rather than a guy for whom the wheels might fall off later in the season. How good will Nelson be in December (or January) ? That is hard to know, but the Packers offered a small enough salary that Nelson got the message and moved elsewhere.

I'd say the right decision was made, but this is best examined at the end of the season.
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Offline craig

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Re: Cutting Nelson the right move?
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2018, 07:58:27 PM »
This is Cobb's last year with the Packers and he will move on.  ...

Management didn't assume that at the time they made their move.  They thought there was a reasonable chance they might want to resign Cobb.  And as Ricky noted, that he'd perhaps be signable at a club-reasonable price.

As Jordy illustrates, a WR Cobb's age might function for another five years (or more) in the NFL. 

Offline dannobanano

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Re: Cutting Nelson the right move?
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2018, 09:17:42 AM »

No, they didn't have to re-sign Nelson, and don't have to re-sign Cobb. I'm not sure which one of them you were addressing, so I included both of them. Cobb has had some injury issues, and is not a #1. But, he is a very versatile player, being able to line up at several positions, including the backfield. And the team did get younger at WR: Cobb is 28, while they drafted three WR prospects. Keeping Nelson would not have made them younger.

You're certainly right about not falling in love with a player. That is for fans, not NFL execs who want to stick around. The GM of the Giants will probably end up losing his job because he didn't want to offend Eli. Gutekunst had to make a business decision- get younger, or stick with an older player who would only decline, not get better. As far as what Nelson would have accepted; we do know, however, that Nelson is 33. We have no real information about the negotiations, just rumor, speculation and comments from Nelson's camp.

All probably true. But, why delay the inevitable? Why keep Nelson around another year, rather than drafting an extra WR, in the hope that one of the three would grasp the complex playbook, get acclimated to NFL football, gain AR's trust and start contributing in a year or two. And if the team did keep Nelson around, we'd be having this same discussion next year. So, put me in the camp that it was time to move on. 

I'm confused?  confused(
If getting younger is the only criteria for improving your team, maybe they should have gotten rid of Rodgers as well!   crazy)

I always hear MM talk about getting the best players on the field, and when I look at the production of Cobb vs Nelson................brother, it ain't even close. Jordy kicks Cobb's can all over the field for the last 4 years.

And also, my reasoning as to why Cobb won't be back next year stems from the fact that he was unwilling to talk about making any kind of deal this year that would have helped clear some more cap space for the Packers. If that extra space had been available, you have to wonder if the Packers might have had a better chance of landing Mack (Just say'in). If Cobb had been willing to work with Gute, it was likely they would have taken the opportunity extend his contract by a couple years as well. Randall said flat out "No", and that is very telling as to what he will thinks he's worth when he hits UFA this next March. He. Won't. Be. Back.

Offline mtsportsfan

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Re: Cutting Nelson the right move?
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2018, 09:43:57 AM »
Like a few other posters have said, let's let this play out a little longer and then make our judgement.  I would say though that Cobb has made this easy criticize. From dropped balls an injuries he has made it look like a bad decision. Still too early to tell. Give another 4 or 5 weeks. Go pack !

Offline Tony

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Re: Cutting Nelson the right move?
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2018, 10:17:44 PM »
I feel a more compelling question is, which young, new receiver will Rodgers find a Jordy-like chemistry with?  Will it be MVS, ESB, or JM?  Or maybe Allison, who’s already shown some connectivity?  We can talk about the past till we’re blue in the face, or, we can talk about our future, which is actually now.
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Online ricky

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Re: Cutting Nelson the right move?
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2018, 09:58:05 AM »
The real question: would the Packers record be significantly better with Nelson on the team? I don't think so, but willing to consider other opinions.
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Offline Bignutz

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Re: Cutting Nelson the right move?
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2018, 12:14:10 PM »
It’s funny, on social media lots of female Packer fans are saying it was a mistake to let Nelson go, not because of his playing ability but because they think he’s cute! >:D

Offline dannobanano

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Re: Cutting Nelson the right move?
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2018, 12:34:38 PM »
The real question: would the Packers record be significantly better with Nelson on the team? I don't think so, but willing to consider other opinions.

You know that's an "opinion only" question, and impossible to answer, since Nelson is NOT on this team.

We would only know, for certain, if he WAS on the team.

Quote
con·jec·ture
kənˈjekCHər
noun
1.
an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information.

My opinion is that Rodgers misses Nelson and the ESP those two shared. AR doesn't have his "security blanket" and it is reflected in the below standard quality of his play this year.
Again............"conjecture" on my part.  hatsoff)