There weren’t many receivers in the NFL that had a better season than Jordy Nelson. The Kansas State product had a bounce-back year for the Green Bay Packers in 2013 as he caught 85 passes for over 1,300 yards. In fact, this past season was Nelson’s best statistical season since he entered the league. Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and there is a reason why Nelson is his favorite target. Nelson doesn’t have burner speed, but he is a great route runner and has soft hands.
One of the most impressive things about Nelson in 2013 was how important he was at getting first downs. He led the receiving group with 60 first downs. That stat is monumental because he was a reliable checkdown target for Rodgers, Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn. After Rodgers went down in 2013, Nelson was supposed to lose a ton of value because of the quarterbacks who would be throwing to him. But regardless of the revolving door at the quarterback position, Nelson was still able to produce. Another thing to remember is that the receiver opposite of him, Randall Cobb, was out for most of the season.
At times throughout the season, Nelson was double-covered. But he still found ways to find soft spots against opposing defenses. The Packers run a high-powered offense that has a bunch of contributors. Jermichael Finley may not get re-signed, and Andrew Quarless is also a free agent. In my opinion, the Packers should make Nelson’s contract their first priority. It’s not often you have a reliable weapon like Nelson. He did have a banged-up 2012 season, but nothing slowed him down in 2013.
According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan, the Packers have already had talks with Nelson over a contract extension.
Conversations have been ongoing between the #Packers and the representative for Jordy Nelson, but there’s no timetable to get a deal done.
— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) February 22, 2014
With Rodgers coming back healthy in 2014, the Packers could easily make a run in the playoffs. With Rodgers, Nelson, Cobb and Eddie Lacy, the weapons are there to be one of the best offenses in the NFL. Improving the defense is something the Packers need to work on, but that can be done in the draft. Sam Shields and B.J. Raji are also free agents, but Nelson has much more value to the team than those two. If Nelson does not get re-signed, there is a need at the receiver position opposite of Cobb. Remember, James Jones will most likely not be back in 2014. The time is now for the Packers to re-sign Nelson.