Where will Randall Cobb land?
The Green Bay Packers decided not to use their franchise tag on pro bowl wide receiver Randall Cobb, opting to let him test free agency. With Cobb rumored to be commanding $9 million or more per year on the open market, his career with the Packers is likely coming to an end. The Packers knew this could happen, and have planned accordingly, most notably with 2014 second round pick Devonte Adams who came on strong to end last season.
Plenty of NFL teams will be calling Randall Cobb and his agent when free agency begins next week, and for good reason. At age 24, Cobb is entering the prime of his football career. Coming off a year in which Cobb racked up 90+ receptions 1,287 yards and 12 TDs shows he is capable of multiple years of on-field production, but the most impressive statistic to NFL teams in 2014 was the fact he was able to play in all 16 games for the first time in his career. Cobb was able to show NFL teams he can withstand the abuse of an NFL season, something that can be more important than statistics to a team looking to fork over millions of dollars to a free agent receiver. Here are a list of teams that might be in on the Randall Cobb sweepstakes…..
- Carolina Panthers– A year removed from completely re-vamping their receiving corps, the Panthers are desperately looking to add playmakers and weapons to surround quarterback Cam Newton. Cobb could create quite a receiver tandem alongside Kelvin Benjamin in Carolina, making the Panthers offense formidable compared to their stellar defense. After going through two years of salary cap trouble, general manager David Gettleman finally has some money to spend ($16.7 million, before any roster cuts). Don’t be surprised to see the Panthers make a run for Cobb when free agency opens.
- Indianapolis Colts– The Colts do not lack cap room heading into the 2015 off-season (close to $50 million). Randall Cobb will be looking to sign with a team that has a franchise quarterback in place; after playing with Aaron Rodgers to start his career, who better than the neck beard himself, Andre Luck. The Colts have more primary needs, particularly protecting Luck with capable offensive lineman, something they did not have last season. General manager Ryan Grigson will have to decide if adding a playmaker like Cobb to pair with T.Y. Hilton and the emerging Donte Moncrief will be enough to make the Colts a Super Bowl contender in the AFC.
- Sleeper team: San Diego Chargers– Not known for making big splashes in free agency, San Diego is an off-the-radar team that could sneak in and sign Cobb without much attention. Keenan Allen is a solid wide receiver, but the Chargers lack receiving threats to surround Philip Rivers. An aging Antonio Gates and a handful of mediocre receivers will not swing San Diego to the top of the AFC West, and general manager Tom Telesco knows that. Not lacking cap space ($30 million), San Diego is in a win-now mode, and bringing in Cobb would help facilitate a run at a championship.
- Prediction– Randall Cobb will sign a 6 year $60 million with the Carolina Panthers.
UPDATE: Cobb has agreed to a 4 year contract worth $40 million with the Packers