The Green Bay Packers have two unrestricted free agents to deal with this offseason — safety M.D. Jennings and linebacker Jamari Lattimore.
Of course, they can choose not to deal with them at all, which looks like a real possibility. If the Packers tender either player, they have the right to match any contract offer they receive. The problem with that scenario is the lowest tender for restricted free agents is $1.389 million.
So the question is are either of these guys worth that much money?
By now, you well know how terribly Jennings performed in 2013, so he gets a resounding no. Lattimore, meanwhile, showed flashes as a spot starter and was a beast on special teams.
But is a backup linebacker who’s primarily a special teams player worth $1.3 million a season? Not in our estimation.
While we’d be happy to see Jennings get the hell out of Dodge, we’d like to see Lattimore back. He’s not quite ready for prime time, but he’s shown playmaking ability on defense and is a valuable special teams contributor.
Remember this blocked punt against the Bears?
So let’s say the Packers don’t tender either guy, which is probably the correct strategy. We don’t see a huge market for their services. In fact, we see none for Jennings’ services, but he’s not really the concern here.
There’s a good chance the Packers can re-sign Lattimore at less than the low restricted free agent tender and save themselves some money to sign other guys. His last contract averaged slightly less than $500,000 a year.
So a slight raise — perhaps another $200,000 a year — would probably get the job done.
And if Lattimore happens to get a better offer or chance to start elsewhere, good for him. It’s not the end of the world for the Packers.
What is the point of the draft and develop approach if they don’t retain guys like Lattimore? This is bananas.
Slight raise = 40% ??!?!?!?!?!?!
We better keep Lattimore. Not only is he a good player, but apparently he is also a good leader. Let’s not forget about that halftime speech he gave that rallied the packers in that second-half comeback against the cowboys. We need that leadership.
Keep Lattimore if possible. Fuck MD.
Lattimore is my dude. Please keep him
Pay the man-Lattimore.
fuck the doc
Latimore is roster filler and nothing more. Some are seriously over-rating his abilities just as they did DJ Smith and others. The point of draft and develop is to let the guys go, who don’t develop like Jennings, Latimore, Van Roten, McMillan and others.
You let both of these guys go to free agency.
If you can sign Lattimore back for less than $1 million a season, then do it. Otherwise, you paid too much money to Brad Jones, and there is no clear indication, in my mind, that Lattimore can take the job from Hawk. That makes him a back up, and you can’t pay a back up inside LB more than a mil a season.
I typically agree with you, but I gotta disagree with you here.
Keep developing this guy if the price is right. Pack have plenty of cap space & no depth at ILB. I feel we’ll need to draft elsewhere. & I think TT will raise some eyebrows with 1 big free agent signing this offseason.