Nelson released, Packers sign Graham
Green Bay, W.I. ~ The Green Bay Packers have released star wide reciever Jordy Nelson. However, they did add Jimmy Graham, a Pro-Bowl tight end, to a three-year deal. Aaron Rodgers his lost his favorite target, but now he as a new weapon in his bag.
Graham is a dominant tight end, as he has caught 69 touchdown passes, third most in the NFL since his arrival as a third-round draft pick to the New Orleans Saints. He trails only Rob Gronkowski (76) and Dez Bryant (73). 10 of his 69 touchdown receptions came last season, when he was with the Seattle Seahawks.
Nelson is the first major roster cut by new General Manager Brian Gutenkest, who replaced Ted Thompson in January. Nelson, 32, was projected to make $10.25 million in his final season of his $ 39 million contract. Green Bay saves $10,218,750 by letting their Nelson go. Nelson and Rodgers have the most touchdowns in a quarterback / wide receiver duo in Packers history at 65. They broke Brett Favre and Antonio Freeman’s record of 58 touchdowns last December 23rd at Lambeau Field against the Minnesota Vikings.
“We cannot thank Jordy enough for all that he has given the Green Bay Packers and our community for the past 10 years,” Gutekunst said. “He has been an exemplary professional and teammate and greatly contributed to our success. Jordy will always be a member of the Packers family and we look forward to his eventual induction into the Packers Hall of Fame. We wish Jordy, his wife Emily, and the rest of their family all the best.”
Nelson said publicly that he would be open to taking a pay-cut in order to stay in order to stay in Green Bay. He also stated that he most likely his 2-4 years left in his tank. Different sources collide featuring Nelson’s future. One source says Nelson would consider retirement if the Packers cut him, but others say he would pursue a future with another team if such a thing occured.
The Packers have been in the market for a tight end since the signing of Martellus Bennett backfired as he was released halfway throughout the 2017 season. Bennett was cut only seven games into his 3-year contract after the Packers found out about an undisclosed shoulder injury. Bennett later tried to blame team doctor Pat McKenzie by stating in an Instagram story that McKenzie tried to force him into unneeded action on the playing field.
Green Bay is hoping not to got through another tight-end saga with Graham. Last season all of Graham’s 10 receiving touchdowns were inside of the red-zone. However, Graham’s yardage production reduced heavily in 2017. In 2016 Graham finished with 923 yards – a huge difference between the 520 he had in 2017. Graham also ended with seven dropped passes, which is second-most in the NFL.
So why did the Packers cut Nelson ?
First of all Nelson suffered through a mediocre season, and his production decreased because of Rodgers collarbone injury. Nelson was doing fine before his QB’s injury, as he caught five touchdown passes in his first six games with Rodgers. But without him, Nelson was a whole different story. He didn’t catch another touchdown all season en route to a 53 reception, 492 yard season.
Nelson was the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year last season, as he picked up 1,257 yards on 97 receptions with 14 touchdown’s after missing all of 2015 due to an ACL injury.
The Packers must not have wanted to spend money to resign Nelson. He just didn’t produce like he usually does, but then again Rodgers was out. Anytime you’re used to having a star like Rodgers throwing you the ball, and you have a back-up like Hundley take up his place, it will be hard to adjust. However, fellow wide receiver Davante Adams hndled Hundley’s presence well as he scored 10 touchdowns and picked up 885 yards for the Green N’ Gold.
It was obvious to experts all across the NFL that either Nelson or Randall Cobb was going to have to go after Adams signed a 4-year $58 million contract in December.
Anyhow, change has arrived in Green Bay as Packers fans will have to say goodbye to their beloved Jordy Nelson, and will have to welcome newcomer Jimmy Graham.
By Jacob Szczap