Starting in the 2013-14 NFL season, it appears as though Greg Jennings will take his smelf—and his self—to another team. Maybe Jennings will take his talents from the Green Bay Packers to the Miami Dolphins, reuniting him with former offensive coordinator Joe Philbin?
FOXSports.com senior NFL writer Alex Marvez has reported that the Packers decided against using their franchise tag on Jennings. Had they used it, Jennings would’ve received approximately $10.54 million during the 2013-14 season. On Mar. 12, Jennings will officially become an unrestricted free agent who can sign with any team.
Was Jennings worth that money? That’s a significant investment at a position where the Packers have proven talent with James Jones, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Although Jennings missed eight games during the 2012-13 season, the Packers managed to score the third-most points of any NFC team.
There was the idea of releasing Jermichael Finley and using that money toward Jennings on a franchise tag. The problem with this strategy was that in Dec. 2012, Jennings insisted that he didn’t want the franchise tag. General manager Ted Thompson has shown that he normally doesn’t overpay for veteran talent. Thompson allowed Cullen Jenkins and Scott Wells to leave via free agency.
Does this have any impact on Finley? Finley is in the last year of a two-year, $14 million contract. If the Packers release him before Mar. 27, they can save $8.25 million. They’ve already cut ties with Charles Woodson, Jeff Saturday, Donald Driver and Jennings.
Will the Packers save more money in an attempt to re-sign Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews or possibly B.J. Raji this off-season? On the other hand, are the Packers willing to sacrifice anymore firepower?
These moves shouldn’t create panic among fans. Everything goes through Rodgers. As long as he stays healthy, this offense will remain effective. With that said, they could use a better ground game.
Management should focus on improving an inconsistent defense, creating offensive balance with an improved running game and finding an offensive tackle who’ll protect Rodgers’ blindside. For that last problem, is the solution as simple as moving Bryan Bulaga to left tackle?