Why Greg Jennings Doesn’t Have a New Contract Yet

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Greg Jennings

While guys like T.J. Lang and Tim Masthay were given contract extensions by the Green Bay Packers this offseason, receiver Greg Jennings, who will be a free agent after the season, sat and watched.

Now there’s reason to believe the Packers haven’t made much of an attempt to sign Jennings to a long-term deal. In an interview with “Mike & Mike in the Morning,” Jennings suggested as much and termed his future with the Packers as “up in the air.”

“I definitely want to be here, but understanding the nature of the business, you never know. There is really nothing else I can really say or do. The ball is not in my court at all. I have to play the cards that I’m dealt. Right now it’s football. That’s my focus.”

Does this mean the Packers don’t want to re-sign Jennings? Not necessarily.

They waited until the eve of free agency to sign tight end Jermichael Finley to an extension this offseason, so there’s plenty of time to get a deal done.

Jennings’ deal is going to be complicated for a number of reasons, though.

First, the Packers have plenty of good receivers. Jordy Nelson looks like a top-of-the-line guy, Randall Cobb should continue to emerge and yeah, he’s not Greg Jennings, but Diondre Borel is still kicking around on the practice squad. Of course, we haven’t mentioned James Jones, the suddenly good-looking prospect Jarrett Boykin or Donald Driver, who probably wants to play until he’s 80. Does this decrease Jennings’ leverage? I’d say so.

Second, Jennings hasn’t been the picture of health. He missed three games with a knee injury last season and most of the preseason with a concussion. Does this mean he’s breaking down? Probably not. He’ll only be 29 this month, but it’s a safe bet the Packers are going to make sure this doesn’t become a trend before throwing a lot of money at Jennings.

Third, is the money itself. Jennings and his agent are stupid if they don’t ask for elite receiver money. You might make the argument that the Packers are stupid if they pay elite receiver money. Calvin Johnson got $132 million over eight years this offseaon. Jennings won’t get that much, but clowns like Vincent Jackson ($11 million base in 2012) and Brandon Marshall ($9.3 million base in 2012) are getting paid north of $9 million a season. Jennings is better than those guys and you can bet he’ll want to be paid accordingly.

Finally, there’s the salary cap. The Packers only have so much money to pay all the guys they need to pay. Aaron Rodgers is grossly underpaid when compared to his peers. Both Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji are due for new contracts following the 2013 season. Can the Packers pay all of them? It’s going to be tricky. That’s for sure.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

12 Comments on "Why Greg Jennings Doesn’t Have a New Contract Yet"

  1. Au Green

    I don’t see the Packers paying $11+ million/year to keep Jennings. I think Cobb will take the spot and the Packers will concentrate on signing Rodgers, Matthews and Raji.

    • David

      Have to agree. They can’t afford to pay Jennings what he is worth…even if they wanted to. They have cheaper and (hopefully) nearly as good replacements waiting in the wings.
      Jennings will be 30.
      They can always use their next 1st-3rd round pick on a young stud WR.

  2. doug

    absolutely would hate to see Jennings go. Great receiver and good dude. I think he is talking to the press to gain some negotiating leverage, if any is to be had (public support maybe). My son thinks we can only afford to keep 3 of the 4 big name F/A – Rodgers & Matthews are locks, so it might be a toss up between Raji & Jennings. Here’s hoping Russ Ball can work some cap magic and we can keep all four!

  3. Kristofer from Oshkosh

    I think a lot of people underestimate Greg Jennings value and talent. Yes, we have guys in the wings ready and waiting for a starting spot, but Jennings is a rare talent. It would be smart for the Packers to not resign him because of the other more core players that the Packers need to keep before a WR. But, we will see the impact of losing Greg Jennings. He may be back next year under the franchise tag, but when he is gone, it will be noticable no matter who replaces him.

    • David

      I agree with that as well. Without Jennings there is no Super Bowl ring. He will be missed… I’m just hoping its not ‘gravely’ missed.

      The catch in the endzone and that last drive when we absolutely needed a 1st down just to give the defense a rest (did we get a FG on that drive?). Not many receivers make both of those catches.

    • Harry Hood

      I see what you are saying Kris, but how can we pay any 1 WR $11 million? We will not use any WR for $11 million worth of production. We’ll always have 3-4 guys nearing 1000 yards. I say, if someone wants 1,500 yard 15 TD money, we had better utilize that option.

  4. Shawn iltarion

    The article leaves out the biggest clown of all, DeSean Jackson, signing for $10 mil a year. If Jackson is worth $10 mil, then Jennings is worth $15.

    Jennings embodies the unselfish attitude of this team. He is perhaps the most dangerous YAC WR in the game and is invaluable to the offense.

    I am not convinced the Packers can not afford him. The Packers will save around $8 million on Woodson’s contract next season, and a couple million more on Hawk and Driver’s contracts.

    You give Raji the money that would otherwise go to Ryan Pickett, and you keep both Raji and Jennings.

    • Asimov

      Just had this conversation today.

      Pickett is out the door after this year, and he is holding a good sum of money.

      If D.J. Smith plays on the same level he has been, I think we can assume the Packers will at least consider starting him and Bishop next season and (hopefully) getting some trade value out of Hawk.

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