The quarterback naturally appreciates a 1,000-yard receiver, but production isn't the only reason Aaron Rodgers believes the Green Bay Packers should re-sign Randall Cobb.
Rodgers noticed when Cobb crossed the 1,000-yard mark Sunday with a team-high seven catches for 96 yards. It's the first time Cobb has caught more than 1,000 yards in a season, good timing for a receiver who will become a free agent in a few months.
With two regular-season games left, Cobb already has career highs with 1,076 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 76 catches are four shy of a career high. Earlier this season, Cobb went on a six-game streak of catching at least one touchdown pass, the first Packers player to do that since Sterling Sharpe in 1994.
Rodgers can point to any of those on-field accomplishments for why Green Bay should sign Cobb to a second contract. What makes him especially valuable to the franchise is how he combined on-field production with off-field intangibles, Rodgers said.
"There's a lot of guys that embody what it means to be a Packer," Rodgers said Tuesday on his weekly ESPN Milwaukee radio show. "Over the years, there's been a number of guys who really just kind of bought into the Packer way of making it about the team and being a great locker room guy, being a guy you can count on every day to be a great teammate and a great practice player, and great in the community and take ownership of the responsibility to conduct yourself the right way. It's been fun to see a lot of those guys get paid and get second contracts and stick around, and Randall is one of those guys who's exactly what I was just talking about."
Cobb is in the final season of his rookie contract, a four-year, $3.21 million deal that included $1,000,500 guaranteed and a $834,124 signing bonus. He counts for 1,021,179 against the cap this season, a bargain given his production.
Packers receiver Jordy Nelson signed a four-year, $39 million contract before this season began. Cobb could warrant a similar contract.
Rodgers explained how he's watched Cobb grow into a team leader during his fourth season in Green Bay. He called Cobb a "great teammate," an "excellent practice player," someone who always has "timely things to say" to the team.
Of course, he's equally impressed with what Cobb brings to the Packers offense.
Cobb led the NFL in touchdown catches for much of the season's first half. He has only one touchdown since the Packers returned from their bye week in early November, and none in their past five games. During those five games, he's still managed to lead Green Bay in receiving three times.
His consistent play helped him cross a significant milestone Sunday. Maybe it will pay off after the season, too.
"I'm really happy he went over 1,000 yards," Rodgers said. "It was a great achievement, his first time doing that. He does so much for us. He can be in the backfield and run the ball for us. He can run routes from the backfield, from the slot, from the outside. He does it all. He's a talented guy."
-email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood