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Green Bay Packers, Randall Cobb parting ways?

The Green Bay Packers and impending free agent Randall Cobb are playing a game of contract chicken in which both sides are in danger of losing with next week's deadline looming.

Cobb's agent, Jimmy Sexton, has rejected the Packers' offer of a five-year deal worth between $8 million and $9 million annually, reports Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Packers maintain exclusive negotiation rights through Saturday at 4 p.m. ET, at which point Sexton expects more lucrative offers to roll in.

Two of the teams with the most salary-cap space to spend, the Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars, are expected to be in on the bidding, per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.

Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey, ex-Packers personnel director, is also prepared to create cap room for a run at Cobb, per McGinn.

Cobb is the top wide receiver on the market now that Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas have been removed via the franchise tag.

Teams have been reluctant to shell out mega contracts for slot receivers in the past, but there's speculation that Cobb could collect up to $12 million annually with $30 million in guarantees. Teams are flush with money after the major salary-cap bumps of the past two years.

The Packers, on the other hand, are disinclined to upset their salary structure by paying Cobb more than Jordy Nelson's $9.763 annually and $14.2 million in guarantees.

Nelson has been the better, more reliable player.

The Packers have watched more receiving talent leave the building over the past three years (Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones, Jermichael Finley) than they have imported (Davante Adams, Richard Rodgers, Jeff Janis, Jared Abbrederis). While it's true that Aaron Rodgers makes his wide receivers better, the attrition rate could leave the position a competitive liability rather than a strength.

If Green Bay is going to keep pace with the Seattle Seahawks as the NFC's superpowers, they need Cobb to bail Rodgers out on broken plays.

Cobb owes it to himself to consider his legacy and earning potential. Is he sure he wants to leave the NFL's best quarterback and a surefire contender for a subpar passer and questionable surrounding talent?

The youngest unrestricted free agent on the market at age 24, Cobb will have a second opportunity for a monster contract in four or five years -- provided he remains one of the most productive slot receivers in the league. Barring injury, that's guaranteed to happen in Green Bay. Can he say the same about Oakland or Jacksonville?

Fortunately for Cobb and the Packers, there's precedent for a last-minute deal.

Rapoport confirms general manager Ted Thompson is still hoping to reach an agreement before the deadline, just as the Packers did with cornerback Sam Shields on a generous four-year, $39 million contract early last March.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast reacts to the LeSean McCoy-Kiko Alonso trade and what it means for the Eagles and Bills. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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