Pack Uses Winning As Leverage

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Pack Uses Winning As Leverage

Postby GeMatt » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:11 pm

Green Bay - General manager Ted Thompson doesn't like to overpay for players, but if he is going to do it, it's going to be for one of the guys he drafted.

But while salaries are skyrocketing around the NFL as free agency approaches its official kickoff, Thompson and negotiator Russ Ball are playing a valuable card that is helping them keep salaries down.

Essentially, they are saying, "If you want to stay here and compete for a Super Bowl this year and the years to come, take what we're offering."

In the case of WR Randall Cobb and now, apparently, RT Bryan Bulaga, the Packers were able to keep their salary structure in place while re-signing two players who were a big part of their success last season.

Cobb signed a four-year, $40 million deal. That is just slightly higher than the $9.75 million per year Jordy Nelson received in an extension last fall.

Now the two of them make almost exactly the same. Nelson won't feel like he got cheated and Cobb is happy with a slightly below-market deal.

Bulaga signed for what NFL Network's Ian Rappaport said was just under $7 million. Thompson, according to a source, had made it clear he was not going to pay $7 million per year for Bulaga.

It turns out he didn't. And why didn't he? Left guard Josh Sitton, the best player on his offensive line, makes $6.8 million per year. What do you want to bet Bulaga's deal is for the same amount?

Both Cobb and Bulaga wanted to stay because who wouldn't want to stick around on a team that's loaded on offense, has an MVP quarterback and was one play away from the Super Bowl last year? Thompson used that to his advantage.

However, it also cost him in the negotiations with CB Davon House. Though he liked being a Packer, House wanted to start and the difference in money between what Jacksonville offered him and what the Packers were offering was significant ($10 million guaranteed compared to $5 million guaranteed).

Don't blame House for taking the Jaguars deal. He did what players of his caliber need to do: get the most money they can because you're always a knee injury away from losing it all. Cobb and Bulaga will get enough guaranteed money to satisfy them for a lifetime.

House got that with the Jaguars.

Using your team's success as leverage works both ways. Thompson got Cobb and Bulaga and lost House.
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