Jordy Nelson is one of the finest wide receivers we have in the history of the National Football League. He’s got magnificent hands, excellent speed, and very deceptive moves, one you could find in only a handful of football wide receivers. A player for the Oakland Raiders, Nelson’s experience in the football league, has earned him lots of awards and accolades, including the Best Comeback Athlete ESPY Award and the Super Bowl champion (XLV).
Jordy Nelson may be streaky at times as a ball-catcher, but he is one of the very few who you could rely on when it comes to performance as a return man. Having now retired from the game, here is a detailed look at the life and career of the Oakland wide receiver.
Jordy Nelson’s Journey to the NFL
Born on May 31, 1985, to Alan and Kim Nelson in Manhattan, Kansas, Jordy Ray Nelson grew up with his parents in Riley, where he attended Riley County High School in Kansas and began his football journey with the Falcons. Nelson is an American by nationality, but he has Swedish roots.
Nelson was named Flint Hills Player of the Year by the Manhattan Mercury, after a brilliant performance in High School. He was able to complete about 62 percent of his passes for 1,029 yards with eight touchdowns. He also recorded 1,572 rushing yards, 25 touchdowns, and 9.8 average yards per carry. Aside from football, Jordy performed excellently well in basketball games as well as Track and Field.
While attending college at Kansas State University, Jordy played for the Wildcats football team from 2003 to 2007. He only began to make a significant impact in the 2005 season, starting with the FIU Golden Panthers. He recorded four receptions for 36 yards and caught his first collegiate touchdown. His college football career ended in 2007, after a match against Fresno State, which, unfortunately, knocked Kansas State out of bowl eligibility.
Jordy left the Kansas State but not without earning a consensus All-American honors. He had 206 total receptions for 2,822 yards and 20 touchdowns. In 2006, he was listed for the Biletnikoff Award watchlist but was only able to make the finals for the award.
Jordy Spent Ten Years at Green Bay Packers
He began his professional career on April 26, 2008. Jordy was the Green Bay Packers’ fifth pick in the second round of the 2008 draft, and he played with the professional team for ten years (2008 through 2017). He signed his rookie contract with the Packers on July 27, 2008, and recorded his first professional touchdown reception in a game against the Detroit Lions on September 14, 2008.
A rookie player usually struggles in their first professional year, and Jordy was no different. He struggled for form, and although he played 16 games throughout the season, he only managed to start two of them. He finished the season with 33 receptions, two touchdowns, and 366 receiving yards.
His performance was marginally better in his sophomore season, but he did not hit his stride until the third season. It was also, coincidentally, the Packers’ Super Bowl-winning season, and Jordy Nelson was a prominent performer. He helped Green Bay Packers to the playoffs with 45 receptions, two touchdowns, and 582 receiving yards. At the playoffs, he played every game, starting all but one. Nelson was a top performance at the Super Bowl, finishing as the top receiver of the game with nine receptions for 140 yards, both of which, at the time, were career highs and a Super Bowl record.
Following his performance in the Super Bowl, Jordy Nelson became a mainstay player for the Green Bay Packers. He averaged 15 games every season, starting most of them. His performance in the 2014 season, with 98 receptions for 1519 receiving yards, earned him his first and only Pro Bowl appearance. He also placed 18th on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2015 rankings. Jordy was released after ten years with the Packers. He ranked second in the franchise history with 550 receptions and 69 touchdowns.
He Retired With the Green Bay Packers
Before retiring, the Kansas-born wide receiver joined the Oakland Raiders in a two-year deal but managed to play just one. He played 15 games for the Raiders, recording 63 receptions for 739 yards and scored three touchdowns. At the end of the 2018 season, he was released by the team in 2019.
In recognition of his career-long time with the Green Bay Packers, Jordy Nelson signed a one-day contract with the Packers to retire as a Packer on August 4, 2019.
.@JordyRNelson officially retires as a member of the Green Bay Packers!
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) August 4, 2019
He had played 11 seasons in the NFL, with 613 receptions, 8,587 receiving yards, and 72 touchdowns. In postseasons, he played thirteen games, with 54 receptions for 668 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
At the end of his career, Nelson held eight franchise records with the Packers, including most receiving yards in a Super Bowl and Most receptions in a playoff career.
Jordy Nelson’s Contract History
Throughout Jordy Nelson’s 11 seasons in the NFL, he signed only five contracts. His first contract with the Green Bay Packers was a $4.64 million four-year deal in 2008. His second contract, a three-year $13.1 million deal, was a lot more substantial and took him higher on the earnings list.
In 2014, Jordy Nelson signed his biggest NFL contract. The four-year contract was worth $39 million and kept him the Packers until 2018 when he was released.
His last major contract was a two-year deal with the Oakland Raiders worth $14.2 million. Finally, as a symbolic gesture for his time at the Green Bay Packers, he signed a one-day contract that allowed him to retire as a player for the franchise.
His Salary, Net Worth and Endorsements
Jordy Nelson’s entire time in the NFL saw him earn a total of $56.9 million in salary, signing, roster and workout bonuses. He earned $1.7 million as a signing bonus for his first contract, with $295,000 in salary. During his last year with the Green Bay Packers, Nelson earned his largest salary as a player. The wide receiver earned $8.25 million with an additional $468,750 and $500,000 in roster and workout bonuses.
His two year deal with the Raiders fetched him $3.4 million in salary and an additional $3.4 million in roster bonus. He also earned $100,000, $3.6 million, and $400,000 in workout, restructure, and incentive bonuses. His total Oakland Raiders’ earning was $10.9 million.
Nelson’s career in the NFL improved his fortune significantly, and he retired with a net worth of $25 million. Aside from playing contracts, the wide receiver also earned significantly via endorsements of brands like Bellin Health Systems, Bergstrom Automotive, Dove, Kohls, and FantasyDraft.
Jordy Nelson Lives with His Family in Riley, Kansas
In addition to his successful football career, Jordy has a beautiful family that he built with his lovely wife Emily Nelson (née Roethlisberger) who had previously been his longtime girlfriend. The two met for the first time in the first year of middle school, and they got married in 2007. Together as a couple, they have three children – two sons, Royal and Brooks, and an adopted daughter, Adda Jo.
Emily, who is currently a kindergarten teacher at Fort Howard Elementary School in Green Bay, also played basketball while she was schooling at Bethel College in Kansas. Although she is the wife of one of the NFL’s most remarkable players, Emily has mostly kept away from the media spotlight.
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— Jordy Nelson (@JordyRNelson) February 1, 2020
Since he retired, Nelson and his family have been living on the family farm in Riley, Kansas. It is the continuation of a tradition to move his family to a farm started by the wide receiver during his playing career.