The 2021 NFL season will see a reunion as Randall Cobb is traded back to the Green Bay Packers. As reported by Pro Football Network’s Chief NFL Analyst Trey Wingo and NFL Insider Adam Beasley, the return of Cobb was one of Aaron Rodgers’ requests in order for him to report to training camp.
Randall Cobb traded back to the Green Bay Packers
After spending two years away from Green Bay, Cobb will return to the Packers for the 2021 NFL season. Cobb spent the first eight years of his career at Lambeau Field before moving to Texas in 2019. He spent a season with the Dallas Cowboys, and then the Houston Texans signed him to a three-year contract ahead of the 2020 season.
Cobb’s stats during his time in Green Bay
During his eight years as a Packer, Cobb recorded 470 receptions on 675 targets for 5,524 receiving yards. He also caught 41 touchdowns from Rodgers’ right arm. The Packers failed to win a Super Bowl in that stretch, but Rodgers won league MVP twice. Now, Cobb will head back to Lambeau Field to join Rodgers, who is coming off his third MVP-winning campaign.
Over the course of eight years, Cobb averaged 6.4 targets, 4.5 receptions, 52.6 yards, and 0.4 touchdowns per game. In his two years away from Green Bay, he has had mixed success. In Dallas, Cobb impressed with 5.53 targets, 3.7 receptions. 55.2 yards, and 0.2 touchdowns per game. However, his fortunes with Houston were less stellar. He averaged 7.8 targets, 3.8 receptions, 44.1 yards, and 0.3 touchdowns per game.
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What is the situation with Randall Cobb’s contract?
Cobb had two years remaining on his three-year contract. The Texans gave him a $27 million deal with a $6 million signing bonus. The contract also contained $18 million in guarantees, which includes his signing bonus, 2020 salary, and 2021 salary.
The $6 million signing bonus pro-rated over three years at $2 million per year. That will remain with the Texans in dead money at $2 million in 2020 and 2021. However, Cobb’s fully guaranteed $8.25 million salary was set to move with him to Green Bay. On top of that, he is set to receive $7.9 million in salary in 2021. However, Houston is expected to pay $3 million of Cobb’s salary to facilitate the deal. This should reduce his cap number with the Packers to $5.25 million.
When it comes to compensation, the Packers are trading a 2022 sixth-round pick to Houston in exchange for Cobb.
What does this mean for the Packers’ receiving corps at Aaron Rodgers’ disposal?
The Packers receiving group has been somewhat up in the air. Davante Adams is the clear No. 1, and Robert Tonyan is the starting tight end. On the opposite side to Rodgers is likely to be Allen Lazard. Yet, he will face stiff competition from Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown in training camp.
Where things get interesting is in the slot. The Packers had Lazard and Valdes-Scantling rotating in that role in 2021. However, they drafted Amari Rodgers out of Clemson in the 2021 NFL Draft. With a strong training camp, Rodgers could make the claim to the starting slot position.
The arrival of Cobb changes the complexion considerably. During his previous time in Green Bay, Cobb spent the majority of his time playing out of the slot. He provided a security blanket for Rodgers that we have seen Wes Welker and Julian Edelman provide for Tom Brady. It will be surprising if Cobb does not take the majority of snaps out of the slot in three or four-wide receiver sets in 2021.
Cobb would also provide a valuable mentor to Amari Rodgers. In that respect, the acquisition of Cobb could have a long-term benefit to the Packers. Therefore — while this will be looked at as a short-term move — the Packers could benefit over the coming years in the mentoring Rodgers will receive.
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