Cobb: “Back to the Frozen Tundra!”

Wide receiver expected to sign new four year deal

He’s   baaaaaack.

Less than 72 hours before he would have hit the open market – where his price tag could have escalated quickly and the odds of his return would have diminished – unrestricted free-agent wide receiver Randall Cobb agreed to a deal with the Green Bay Packers.

“Back to the Frozen Tundra!” Cobb wrote in a Twitter direct message.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the deal is for four years and $40 million. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the deal contains $17 million in guaranteed money and that Cobb had generated genuine interest from more than half a dozen teams when the window opened Saturday for agent Jimmy Sexton to enter talks with other clubs.

Earlier Saturday, an NFL source said Cobb was going to have   to turn down $1 million to $2 million more per year from other teams   to stay with the Packers. In the end, Cobb evidently decided that playing with two-time NFL MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers and staying with a team that was within minutes of Super Bowl XLIX trumped whatever additional cash he’d have made elsewhere.

Last July, fellow wide receiver Jordy Nelson signed a four-year, $39 million extension at the start of training camp as he was entering the final year of his contract – an annual average of $9.75 million.

Since that deal added a year onto his existing contract, Nelson’s contract was essentially a five-year, $43 million deal.

Cobb finished the 2014 regular season having set career bests in receptions (91), receiving yards (1,287) and touchdown catches (12). Nelson set career bests in catches (98) and set a single-season franchise record for receiving yards (1,519) while adding 13 touchdowns.

Cobb reached the precipice of free agency because, after leading the team in receptions (80) and receiving yards (954) in 2012, he suffered a fracture at the top of the tibia in his right leg on a low hit by Baltimore safety Matt Elam in an Oct. 13, 2013 victory over the Ravens and was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return. Although he came back and caught a pair of touchdowns, including the 48-yard, fourth-down, last-minute game-winner, at Chicago in the regular-season finale to send the Packers to the playoffs, it likely made the Packers reticent to sign him to an extension during last season, wanting to see if he could stay healthy.

He did, and on Saturday night, he cashed in.

“I think I’ve made that obvious,” Cobb replied as he cleaned out his locker on Jan. 19, when asked if he wants to stay with the Packers. “But like I’ve said before, this is a business. You don’t know how it’s going to go, what direction it’s going to go in, so you just have to sit around. Hopefully I’ve put myself in position where it will handle itself. But only time can tell.”