It now appears clear the Green Bay Packers pretty much wanted rid of receiver Jordy Nelson, who they ended up cutting early this week.
The Packers supposedly wanted Nelson back on a lesser deal, but that was apparently a much lesser deal. Like a league minimum deal. Nelson reportedly considered taking it, but ultimately felt disrespected, according to former Packers receiver James Jones.
“I’m not going to say what they offered him, but they really, really low-balled him,” Jones said. “It wasn’t even anything you would consider. Even with all that, he was still considering taking it.”
Not surprising that Nelson would consider staying with the Packers, where he’s developed an undeniable connection with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Although Nelson had a down year in 2017, most think that’s largely because Brett Hundley played the majority of snaps at quarterback for the Packers. Nelson had no connection with Hundley and it showed. He finished the season with 53 catches for 482 yards and six touchdowns. All six touchdowns came when Rodgers was healthy.
Jones insists Nelson can still play.
“It just hurts,” Jones said. “You feel like you can play and someone tells you that’s not the case. Then you get released and you get action, it makes you feel good. You’re on it. You feel like you can play.”
Jones went on to talk about the nature of the business.
“He’s given the organization everything he has, at least give him one more season,” Jones said. “It’s not going to hurt the team. He’s going to help you. He could have given you one more year.
“But at the end of the day, it’s a business. You should never be surprised. I’ve seen Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson and so many other people get released.”
As for Nelson, who signed with the Oakland Raiders for two years and $15 million, he called being released a shock to the system. He also says he can still play and without saying so specifically, essentially said Hundley was the reason for his downfall in 2017 and maybe with the Packers.
“If you look two years ago, the year I won NFL Comeback Player of the Year coming off my ACL, I was still productive – 1,200 yards, 14 touchdowns,” Nelson said. “I think we had a lot of different things going on last year that obviously affected that. I can still run. I can still catch. Football, at this level, a lot of people focus on speed, but I ran a 4.5 coming out of college so I wasn’t blazing then either. It’s different when you get helmet and shoulder pads on. I think I can do that. I can make plays.”
I think most of us will be cheering for Jordy Nelson for the next two seasons. It’s unfortunate those won’t be with the Green Bay Packers.
But the business is simple. The Packers saved just more than $10 million in salary cap space by releasing Nelson. They then signed tight end Jimmy Graham to a contract averaging $10 million per season.