Anyone who thinks the Green Bay Packers are going to trade wide receiver Greg Jennings this season will certainly be disappointed. There is no chance that the Packers deal their No. 1 wide out in a year they are heavy favorites to play for another Lombardi trophy.
Several media outlets–most notably the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel–have suggested general manager Ted Thompson should deal Jennings before the Oct. 30 trade deadline due to the slim chance they will be able to bring him back next season.
Even if Green Bay was able to get a second round draft pick, it simply does not make sense to move one of the best players on the team when the Packers are trying to make another run at a Super Bowl. I understand Jennings has been injury-prone lately and the chances of signing him next year are slim to none, but his presence on the field is something that cannot be matched.
Bob McGinn of the Journal Sentinel states that Thompson’s job is to think long-term while the coaches think in terms of wins up front. It is true that general managers must focus on what the state of the team will be a couple of years down the road, but at the same time, the whole purpose of playing the game of football is to win championships. The Packers’ best chance of doing this is with Jennings on the field.
As much as Green Bay would like to bring him back next year and keep him in a Packers uniform until he retires, it just does not seem possible. Jennings had three consecutive seasons with more than 1,100 yards receiving and it would have been four if he did not get hurt towards the end of last year.
With those statistics, the impact he has on the field and the fact he has been selected to two Pro Bowls (2010 and 2011), that means Jennings will attract plenty of interest in the offseason. Unfortunately, with several Pro Bowl players up for a new contract within the next couple years, Green Bay cannot afford to get into a bidding war for a position with plenty of depth already on the roster.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, linebacker Clay Matthews and nose tackle B.J. Raji will all need extensions by 2014 and 2015 respectively. None of these three players are expendable considering the position they play and the impact they have on the team.
With Jennings looking to get a similar contract to Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson, the Packers will have no choice but to let Jennings go. Jackson signed a five-year, $55 million contract with Tampa Bay this past offseason. Green Bay could offer a contract of that size but simply will not do it due to the other expenses.
Even though Jennings will most likely not be on the team next year, the Packers will not sacrifice another chance at a ring by trading him. This will mean Green Bay will get nothing in return for one of the top wide receivers in the game, unless of course they win the Super Bowl. As hard as it is to believe the Packers will just let Jennings go, the intelligent Green Bay fans understand how the game works and would much rather see the team be successful then take care of one single player.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.