Week 3 of the NFL was not kind to some favorites, as the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars headlined the list of surprising losers on Sunday. They were hardly the only surprises of the week, however, as there were certainly some surprising moments all throughout the league, from underperforming stars to ongoing troublesome trends to, yes, roughing the passer calls.
Here are 15 big disappointments from Week 3 of the NFL season.
New England Patriots
Woof. The Patriots are looking worse and worse by the week. Many chalked up their loss to the Jags in Week 2 to a lack of motivation and figured they’d come out angry in Week 3. That didn’t happen. The Pats looked totally uninspired against Detroit, opening the game with three straight three-and-outs. They only had three points as of halftime, but looked like they would turn things around in the second half after an interception followed by a touchdown drive to open the third. Then Detroit continued to put up points on them, while the Pats failed to answer. The Patriots were missing a number of defensive starters due to injuries, and it showed. Meanwhile, their former defensive coordinator coached like he knew exactly how to stop his former team. The Lions put the clamps on Gronk in coverage by doubling him often, daring someone else to beat them. The Patriots had nobody else who could. They desperately need Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman in action to provide an offensive boost.
The Green Bay Packers are reportedly aggressively looking to move Randall Cobb.
Doubling down on a disputed previous report, Michael Lombardi of The Ringer said on The Ringer NFL Show podcast that “everybody in the league” is aware that the Packers wide receiver is on the block, but is unlikely to draw interest due to his salary and injury history.
"Everybody in the league knows Randall Cobb is available (for trade)." — @mlombardiNFL. Lombardi acknowledged Cobb likely has no market, however, based on salary & injury history. Can't be surprised if Cobb just gets cut. #Packers https://t.co/94ZUME3df3
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) August 29, 2018
Cobb had been the subject of similar reports a week ago, albeit disputed ones. There is some sense to them, though. Cobb is entering the final year of an $8.6 million deal, and while not a bad player, he’s caught fewer than 100 passes for two seasons running now. There’s clearly some doubt about his future in Green Bay.
NFL contracts are often a hot-button issue. People love to debate who’s making too much, too little, who deserves more, and who is overpaid. Some athletes outplay their deals, while others cash in and fail to deliver. Teams obviously try hard to avoid the latter situation, but sometimes things don’t work out as hoped.
With all of that in mind, here’s a look at the worst contract on every NFL team entering the 2018 season.
Arizona Cardinals – Jermaine Gresham, TE
After signing him to two consecutive one-year deals, the Cardinals suddenly decided to invest heavily in Jermaine Gresham, signing him to a four-year, $28 million deal with $16.5 million guaranteed. The $7 million annual salary far exceeds any contract Gresham had previously signed, which is curious considering he hasn’t exceeded 500 yards in a single season since 2012 with the Cincinnati Bengals. Add in that Greshman is now on the wrong side of 30, and it’s easy to understand how he made this list.
- Aaron Colvin, Albert Wilson, Andrew Luck, Avery Williamson, Charles Clay, Demario Davis, DeSean Jackson, Dion Sims, Donte Moncrief, Dwayne Allen, Eric Berry, Ezekiel Elliott, Jamie Collins, Jermaine Gresham, Joe Flacco, Jordan Reed, Jordy Nelson, Justin Britt, Kyle Rudolph, Logan Ryan, Matt Kalil, Menelik Watson, Ndamukong Suh, Randall Cobb, Rhett Ellison, Russell Okung, Tyrone Crawford, Vance McDonald, Vontaze Burfict
Are the Green Bay Packers shopping wide receiver Randall Cobb? Reporters are split on the matter.
The Ringer’s Mike Lombardi said on his podcast that Cobb’s name has been shopped around in trade talks.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says that while some teams have checked in with the Packers about Cobb, the team is not shopping him.
Saw this referenced on @ringer. It’s normal for teams to inquire about players entering the last year of their contract. I know of some that checked on Randall Cobb. But the #Packers are not shopping him & expect him contributing on their team. https://t.co/A489Swjael
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 23, 2018
There is a big difference between others checking to see if a player is available versus a team shopping one, which suggests they are actively looking to get rid of the player.
Cobb, 28, is making $8.6 million in the final year of four-year deal. He, Davante Adams and Jimmy Graham are expected to give Aaron Rodgers some excellent receiving options this season, especially with the team having moved on from Jordy Nelson.
Randall Cobb has slowly been trending downward since his breakout 2014 season, but he may be back on the upswing after some offseason maintenance.
Speaking with reporters on Friday, the Green Bay Packers wide receiver revealed that he had ankle surgery roughly six weeks ago to remove a small piece of cartilage that was causing discomfort, per Stephania Bell of ESPN. Cobb added that he was feeling “great” now, and Bell reported that he looked spry as he ran during practice this week.
The ex-Pro Bowler Cobb was fairly underwhelming last season, catching 66 passes for 653 yards and four touchdowns. While that may have had a bit to do with Aaron Rodgers missing most of the year due to injury, the numbers were almost identical to what Cobb put up in 2016 with a healthy Rodgers.
Now however, Cobb could be Rodgers’ top receiver with Jordy Nelson gone. The 27-year-old has often been listed as one of the NFL’s worst contracts, but with health and opportunity seemingly on his side, this should be his chance to prove that he is worth the money.
Jordy Nelson was released by the Green Bay Packers on Tuesday after 10 years with the team, and it’s safe to say his departure leaves a big hole.
Teammates Aaron Rodgers, who was Nelson’s quarterback their entire time together, shared a tribute to Nelson on Instagram:
Hard to find the right words today to express what 87 means to me. No teammate exemplified what it means to be a packer quite like him. From living in GB full time, his incredible contributions to the city, state, and region, to his consistent, reliable play on the field. Definitely a sad day and the toughest part of this business. There will never be another quite like white lightning. #leader #brother #friend #baller #loyal #champion #legacy #intact #stillcanplayball #backshoulder #1stSBTD
A post shared by Aaron Rodgers (@aaronrodgers12) on
“Hard to find the right words today to express what 87 means to me. No teammate exemplified what it means to be a packer quite like him. From living in GB full time, his incredible contributions to the city, state, and region, to his consistent, reliable play on the field. Definitely a sad day and the toughest part of this business. There will never be another quite like white lightning. #leader #brother #friend #baller #loyal #champion #legacy #intact #stillcanplayball #backshoulder #1stSBTD” Rodgers wrote.
Randall Cobb, who was drafted by the Packers in 2011 and formed a dynamic tandem at receiver along with Nelson, posted this message on Instagram:
87- It has been a pleasure to line up next to you! You showed a 20 yr kid what it meant to be a pro. I can't thank you enough for what you have meant to my career! More importantly… Jordy, Thank you for being an example of what a good man, husband, & father looks like. I value the friendship that we created over the years! Thank you for standing by my side on one of the biggest days of my life! We're family and always will be! #EndOfAnEra #187 #
A post shared by Randall Cobb (@rcobb18) on
“87- It has been a pleasure to line up next to you! You showed a 20 yr kid what it meant to be a pro. I can’t thank you enough for what you have meant to my career!
Thank you for being an example of what a good man, husband, & father looks like. I value the friendship that we created over the years! Thank you for standing by my side on one of the biggest days of my life! We’re family and always will be!
#EndOfAnEra #187” Cobb wrote.
During his career with the Packers, Nelson caught 550 passes for 7,848 yards and 69 touchdowns. He is reportedly set to visit with an interesting AFC team in free agency.
The Green Bay Packers could look different on offense next year due to some big decisions looming.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Rob Demovsky reported Friday that, after signing a long-term contract with wide receiver Davante Adams, two other highly-paid Green Bay receivers — Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson — could face a pay cut or a release after the season.
Randall Cobb has one more year left on his 4-year, $40 million deal while Jordy Nelson has one more season on a 4-year, $39 million deal. One or both could be in danger of being released or having to take a pay cut this offseason, per @RobDemovsky.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 29, 2017
The Packers have committed themselves to Adams, which could be bad news for the other two. Though Cobb and Nelson have been favorite targets of Aaron Rodgers, the financial realities of the league mean that one or both could be shown the door unless they give some money back.