The Green Bay Packers ended up using veteran slot receiver Randall Cobb in their plans to get under the 2022 salary cap.
According to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Cobb agreed to cut his 2022 salary by about $5.5 million to help the team get under the salary cap before the start of the new league year at 4 p.m. ET on March 16.
Cobb was originally scheduled to have a cap hit of $9.53 million for next season, making him a prime candidate for release or restructure as the Packers worked to resolve their cap overages. Instead, Silverstein says he will now make $3 million in 2022.
The Packers traded a 2022 sixth-round pick to acquire Cobb from the Houston Texans at the beginning of last year’s training camp, appeasing Aaron Rodgers’ desire to reunite with his good friend and reliable slot receiver. While his overall production on the year didn’t blow anyone away, there were a few moments throughout the season where the decision to bring him back looked like a stroke of genius — such as his two-touchdown games against both Pittsburgh and Arizona.
All said and done, Cobb finished the season with 28 receptions for 375 yards and five touchdowns over 12 games, but he could have easily eclipsed 500 yards on the year if not for the core-muscle injury he suffered midway through Week 12’s home win. He ended up getting surgery and missing the final five games of the regular season, returning for the playoffs but looking like he was not 100% on the field.
None of that will keep him from chasing a title with the Packers in 2022, though. With his salary significantly reduced, Cobb has effectively guaranteed himself a role in the team’s receiving rotation next season. The Packers are also set to return Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Amari Rodgers and Malik Taylor from last year’s roster.
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Will Packers Seek Upgraded at WR?
One day into the new league year, the Packers have figured out a way to retain just about every meaningful wide receiver on their roster from last season. The only exception at this point is deep-threat speedster Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who has been expected to draw a fair amount of interest as an unrestricted free agent. Even still, the Packers could stand to add another talented weapon to the room.
Free agency might not be the best path for the cap-strapped Packers, at least when it comes to some of the pricier options on the market. If Valdes-Scantling is out of their price range with an expected price tag of $10 million per year, then quite a few other names will also fall under the same category. Maybe Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst will wait and see which veterans linger deeper into the offseason — similar to how their acquisition of De’Vondre Campbell came together last June — but they will get to try their hand at the draft first.
There are a number of gifted pass-catchers in the 2022 NFL draft class who could be ideal fits for the Packers, including ones they could likely wait to target until the fourth or fifth rounds. After moving up to grab Amari Rodgers in the third round last year and getting little production from him, though, there might be more merit in targetting an immediate playmaker in the first two rounds to help maximize their title window.