For most Green Bay Packers fans, the loss of Greg Jennings via free agency is a foregone conclusion. With a lot of long nights, tears and therapy, I’m starting to come around to accepting the fact that number 85 will likely no longer be with the team when the 2013 season kicks off. Jennings, too, has put his Green Bay home on the market and has his eyes on the future.
Jennings believes he is a number-one receiver and will be seeking number-one receiver money. The Packers not only need to start preparing for several very large contracts that they will be handing out in the next season or two to their star players, but they also feel very comfortable with what they have at receiver. The Packers still have one of the best – if not the best – receiving corps in the league, even without Jennings. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are big-time playmakers, and James Jones took huge strides forward this year, even leading the league in touchdown receptions. In addition to their Big 3, the Packers have a 6’5”, 247-pound receiving tight-end in Jermichael Finley, and a couple of promising young players in Jarrett Boykin and Jeremy Ross.
Even as I’m starting to cope with the reality that Greg Jennings will not be in Green and Gold next season, I’m holding out just a little bit of hope that something will happen that allows him to stay in Titletown. That hope was given just the tiniest bit of a boost at the NFL Combine when Packers general manager Ted Thompson, speaking on the team’s unrestricted free agents, said, “We think it’s our best practice to try to retain as many of those guys as we can. We’d very much like to do that, and that includes Greg.”
While I would still classify the possibility of Jennings playing for the Packers next year as “highly unlikely,” Thompson’s words suggest that the Packers will at least make an offer to Jennings, which is more than they reportedly did for recently released safety Charles Woodson. The Packers couldn’t afford to pay Woodson his 2013 salary and subsequently released him, but at least one source reports that Green Bay never even spoke to Woodson about the possibility of taking a pay cut.
It would not be wise to read too much into the taciturn of Thompson’s words, as he is known for playing his cards extremely close to the vest, but I think it will please a lot of Green Bay fans if the Packers at least make a play for their top receiver.