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Packers cut Nelson after pay cut refusal, possible landing spots

Green Bay Packers release Jordy Nelson

The Green Bay Packers have released wide receiver Jordy Nelson. The news came shortly after it was reported that Green Bay will sign Jimmy Graham on Wednesday. Nelson has spent all nine NFL seasons with the Green Bay Packers. According to reports, the Packers wanted Nelson to take a pay cut nearing the 10-year veteran minimum salary. That would have cut his salary from $9.25 million down to around $1 million for the 2018 season. Releasing the second-round draft pick will save the Packers roughly $10.2 million in cap space. The plan was to use some of the money saved in the pay cut to pay Graham. Currently, Green Bay has around $25 million in cap space. Which will go down once the Packers officially sign Graham and Muhammad Wilkerson.

It’s hard to blame Jordy Nelson for not wanting to take a pay cut. At least one that big. Green Bay was trying to slash his salary by $8 million. One bad season doesn’t necessarily warrant a pay reduction of that magnitude. The former Pro-Bowler caught 53 passes for 482 yards and six touchdowns last season. His three-year average before 2017 still makes him valuable as a receiver. From 2013 to 2016, Nelson averaged 93 receptions, 1,363 yards, and 12 touchdowns per season. In 2016, he led the NFL with 14 touchdown catches. His value may have diminished a little, but nowhere near what Green Bay was asking.

Where will Jordy  Nelson sign

After missing the entire 2015 season, Nelson came back strong in 2016 with 97 receptions, 1,257 yards, and 14 touchdowns. He also averaged 15.5 yards per reception, the second highest total in his career.

There’s a slew of suitors out there for the 32 year-old receiver. Oakland, New England, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia are a few teams that will give the veteran a long, hard look. The Raiders and Bengals are known to go after veterans. The Eagles may look at him as a replacement for Torrey Smith. Signing with the Patriots seems like the most likely scenario though. Danny Amendola is now in Miami. Julian Edelman is coming off an ACL injury. There’s a lot of concerns with the receiving corps in New England and Nelson would be a welcomed addition.

The Packers are still fine without Nelson. Davante Adams led the team with 74 catches, 885 yards, and 10 touchdowns. Randall Cobb added 66 catches for 653 yards. With those two along with Jimmy Graham, Green Bay will have a solid passing game. Especially with Aaron Rodgers under center. A bonus would be evolving or drafting a No. 3 receiver. Something they could look at later in the NFL Draft. However, it will be awkward at first not seeing Jordy Nelson in a Green Bay Packers jersey.