Pros and cons of Packers trading for WR Randall Cobb

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The Green Bay Packers appear on the verge of completing a trade for Houston Texans wide receiver Randall Cobb, which would reunite the former Packers pass-catcher with quarterback Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay.

The push for Cobb has Rodgers’ fingerprints all over it. Without his insistence, this is not a trade the Packers would otherwise consider.

Here are the pros and cons of the Packers trading for Cobb:

Pros

– Aaron Rodgers wants Cobb, and the Packers need to do everything necessary to make the MVP quarterback as happy as possible for the 2021 season. Cobb is one of Rodgers’ closest friends.

– Rodgers doesn’t have time to wait around for third-round pick Amari Rodgers to become a capable or trustworthy player. This could be his last season in Green Bay and last chance to win a title with the Packers. Rodgers knows Cobb can play. There is a high level of trust between the two players. It’s easy to see why Rodgers wants Cobb on his side for one final run in 2021.

– On paper, Cobb was an effective player over the last two years with the Cowboys and Texans. He caught 71 percent of his targets and averaged 9.7 yards and 13.6 yards per catch. These are highly efficient numbers for a slot receiver.

– Adding Cobb provides another veteran pass-catcher and complementary weapon for a top passing offense. He knows how to get open from the slot, and the Matt LaFleur offense could put him in spots to be a playmaker.

– Cobb and Amari Rodgers are close. This pairing would provide a terrific mentorship opportunity between the two for at least one year. And with Cobb on the team, the Packers could take their time developing Rodgers while still giving the rookie receiver manufactured touches and getting value from his work as the primary returner. Rookies at receiver aren’t always ready to contribute right away.

Cons

– The Packers just used a third-round pick on Rodgers, a player cut from the same mold as Cobb. And it’s certainly possible the 21-year-old would provide more juice to the offense than a battle-worn veteran who is about to turn 31.

– Cobb hasn’t played a full season since the 2015 season. He’s missed 18 games to injury over the last five years, including six games last year. Cobb isn’t yet 31, but he’s played in 130 career NFL games. There is a significant risk of injury here.

– It’s fair to wonder how much Cobb has left, especially as an undersized slot receiver who would be playing the majority of his games outdoors with the Packers. He looked far less dynamic during his final few seasons in Green Bay as injuries took their toll. Playing indoors with the Cowboys and Texans over the last two seasons might have inflated his playmaking ability.

– Cobb is going to cost money on the cap, even with a re-worked deal. Is the cap space best spent on a No. 3 or No. 4 receiver? The Packers could probably get more value out of that money. Would Cobb or a player for the defensive front – like linebacker K.J. Wright – help the Packers more in 2021?

– The Packers almost never give up assets for aging players. This isn’t a move the team would make without Rodgers pushing it. Most players, even top quarterbacks, have poor track records in personnel decision-making. Is this a nostalgic addition desired by the quarterback, or one that’s in the best interest of the team for 2021 and beyond?

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