The Green Bay Packers have extended wide receiver Randall Cobb on a four year, $40 million contract. It's a great move for the Packers to lock in one of Aaron Rodgers favorite receivers for the long term.
It also shows that Bill Belichick is a total freaking genius.
While Cobb is earning $10 million per year, the Patriots have their own slot receiver toiling away for under half the price.
Julian Edelman signed a 4 year, $17 million contract prior to the 2014 season. It looks amazing in retrospect. Edelman was a true #1 receiver throughout the playoffs, averaging 100 yards from scrimmage per game, and he put the team on his back in the fourth quarter when they needed a spark more than ever.
Yes, Cobb is slightly more dynamic, but would you consider him nearly 2.5x the player?
Let's consider the past 32 regular season games for each player:
Cobb has 203 touches (receptions and rushes) for 2,629 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Edelman has 213 touches for 2,213 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Is $5.75 million per year worth 416 yards and 10 touchdowns?
Spoiler: no, Brandon LaFell is earning just $3 million per year.
Belichick managed to lock in one of the best slot receivers in the game for well under market value and it's going to pay off over the next couple of years. Both receivers were willing to take discounts to stick with their All Pro quarterback, but only one can truly be considered a bargain.
edit: Edelman has incentives in his contract worth an additional $500,000 each season if he exceeds certain level in yardage, reception, touchdowns, and wins, or reaches the Super Bowl, which isn't factored into the $17 million contract value. The point still stands.