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Rumor: Former Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson has the Patriots “targeted for his next team”

Will the former Packers receiver come to New England?

New England Patriots v Green Bay Packers Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers released long-time wide receiver Jordy Nelson due to his scheduled $12.5 million cap hit in 2018. He collected 53 catches for 482 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2017 after grabbing an average of 1,220 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns from 2011-16 (with a lost season in 2015 with a torn ACL).

Nelson clearly didn’t have a productive season in 2017, but he has his eyes set on a lot of suitors for 2018, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Jordan Schultz.

“Jordy Nelson already generating interest I’m told,” Schultz tweeted. “Look for the Patriots, Raiders, Ravens, Seahawks and 49ers all to make a push. I wouldn’t be surprised either if the Cowboys and Eagles made a run at him either.”

“I’m told Jordy Nelson knew he was being released and that he was already targeting the Patriots as a potential suitor,” Schultz added. “Makes a ton of sense”

The Patriots lost wide receiver Danny Amendola to the Miami Dolphins and they’ve been looking for a big, physical receiver to add on the outside. When in his prime, Nelson was a speedster on the outside and the 6’3, 215 pound receiver was a big red zone threat.

In the five games in 2017 where both Nelson and quarterback Aaron Rodgers played more than 10 snaps, Nelson collected 22 receptions for 258 yards and 6 touchdowns. With Brett Hundley under center, Nelson had 31 receptions for 224 yards and 0 touchdowns. Perhaps Nelson would play closer to his 70-catch, 826-yard, 19-touchdown pace with Rodgers if he were to play with a competent quarterback like Tom Brady, than how he performed with Hundley.

The Patriots might actually need a slot receiver more than they need another outside body with Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, and Kenny Britt already under contract, so I’m not sure how much Nelson would be a fit- but he certainly could follow in the steps of Chad Ochocinco, Joey Galloway, and Reggie Wayne as veterans that try to beat the odds and make the Patriots roster in the autumn of their careers.