No current contract talks between Cobb, Packers
Hands in his pockets, Green Bay Packers receiver Randall Cobb tilted his head back and laughed.
"Ya'll are good, man," he said after almost 10 minutes talking with reporters Thursday. "Ya'll are good."
For the first time since early this season, Cobb openly discussed his contract negotiations – or, more specifically, the lack of them – with the media. Uncomfortable? Perhaps. But not nearly as uneasy as Packers fans will be if they don't see the 1,000-yard receiver wearing green and gold next season.
Cobb said Thursday there currently are no contract discussions between him and the Packers – at least of which he's aware. When asked if he was surprised by the lack of contract talks, Cobb shrugged.
"It is what it is," he said.
Cobb, a free agent at season's end, admitted he thinks about his second contract. It hasn't been a distraction, at least to this point. In his fourth season, Cobb has a career-high 1,076 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 76 receptions are four shy of a career high.
With two games left, it's already Cobb's first 1,000-yard season.
"It's a great accomplishment," Cobb said. "To be able to do it, I'm very honored and blessed and very thankful to have the opportunity to play for a great organization. To be able to have that, obviously being a kid coming from where I come from, we don't get these opportunities to play in the NFL or to even have that chance. Being able to reach a level like that, it really is something special."
The question is whether his first 1,000-yard season is enough to earn the type of contract he wants from the Packers.
Green Bay signed receiver Jordy Nelson to a four-year, $39 million contract at the start of training camp. Cobb could command a similar deal, whether it's from the Packers or another team. On his weekly radio show Tuesday, quarterback Aaron Rodgers said it was important for Green Bay to sign its No. 2 receiver. Cobb epitomizes what it means to do things the "Packers way," Rodgers said.
Cobb admitted earlier this season the contract situation weighed on his mind. Even now, it's something he thinks about.
"I am my biggest critic," Cobb said. "I've always been my biggest critic. I'll always be my biggest critic. So I still don't think I've earned what I'm trying to be. I've still got a lot of work to do. So I'm just taking it day by day and doing the best that I can to be the best that I can be for this team."
If no new deal is made before his rookie contract expires in March, Cobb will become an unrestricted free agent. He remained noncommittal when asked Thursday if the prospect of all 32 teams bidding for his services interested him.
"I don't know. I really haven't thought about that," he said. "I'm focused on Tampa Bay and worrying about this week. I really haven't thought that far ahead."
Cobb said he would like to stay in Green Bay. He called the Packers a "great organization" and a "great place to be." But not making a deal until after his contract expires would likely drive Cobb's price up.
Cobb was asked what kind of contract he deserves. Should he be paid like a top-10 receiver?
"That's a question for you," Cobb said. "Am I? I don't know. I'm trying to be the best Randall I can be. I don't know what that means, but I'm trying to be the best I can be. I'll let everybody else decide what."
Cobb said he had no expectations for how quickly a new contract would be signed, one reason he's not surprised with the lack of discussions. He didn't rule out the possibility of contract negotiations going down to the wire, possibly to the March deadline.
In the meantime, he said, he'll continue to keep his focus on the field.
"What is the contract about?" Cobb asked rhetorically. "Football. So I'm focused on football."
-- firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood