Green Bay Packers: Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley and Donald Driver to Leave?
The emergence of receivers like Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones over the past couple years has made Jennings, Driver and Finley expendable.
Jennings and Driver are set to become free agents in the offseason, while Finley has one year left on a two-year, $14 million contract.
At age 29, Jennings may be nearing the end of his prime, but he would still be a valuable asset to a number of NFL teams going forward. In seven seasons with the Packers, Jennings has 425 receptions for 6,537 yards and 53 touchdowns. Unfortunately, injuries limited Jennings to a career low eight games this season.
It has been great. I love this organization. The reality is that there will probably be some changes made. Hopefully I stay here. If not, I am ready to move wherever. It is what it is, I am not naive to that. I am being a realist. I love this organization, I wouldn't want to go anywhere else. If I have to, that is what I have to do.
Green Bay's depth at the receiver position and the fact that a number of key players have contracts expiring in the near future, make it unlikely that Jennings will return.
Where he could play next year is still up in the air, as many teams will be looking to sign a proven receiver. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Miami Dolphins are one of the teams interested in Jennings.
However, there are a few other star receivers set to become free agents, including Mike Wallace, Wes Welker and Dwayne Bowe.
Finley got off to a bad start this season, which led to some controversy off the field as he and his agent Blake Baratz shed some light on the situation.
Baratz tweeted that quarterback Aaron Rodgers "isn’t a great leader," (via NBC Sports.com’s Pro Football Talk). It was an opinion which Finley said did not come from him. A few weeks later Finley cited a lack of chemistry between himself and Rodgers as the reason for his struggles, via the Green Bay Press Gazette.
Finley improved after Green Bay’s bye in Week 10, dropping fewer passes and topping 50 yards receiving in six of the Packers last seven games.
However, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in mid-December that the Packers had already decided to part ways with Finley at season’s end because of "financial, competitive and behavioral reasons."
Whether Ted Thompson and company have had a change of heart or not, remains to be seen.
Again, the Packers have enough depth that they can afford to trade or release Finley. They won the Super Bowl without Finley, who was out most of the season and all of the playoffs with a knee injury. Considering his hefty salary and the cap hit that comes with it, don’t be surprised if Finley is wearing a different uniform next season.
As for Driver, the 37-year-old may have played his final game as a Packer and possibly his last in the NFL as well. Driver caught just eight passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns this season. His last reception came back in Week 11 against the Detroit Lions.
With that said, Driver isn’t prepared to call it quits just yet, according to Tyler Dune of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
I feel like I can still play. I think I’ve proven that...I think I’m just going to see what’s out there for me and if teams call and want me to come then I’ve got to make that decision. If not, if the Packers want me back, then I’ll come back. So at this point it may not work here, but it may work somewhere else.
Driver is a fan favorite in Green Bay, having spent his entire 14-year career with the Packers. He was selected in the seventh round (213th overall) of the 1999 NFL draft and has since become one of the greatest wide receivers in team history.
Driver is the Packers all-time leader in receptions (743) and receiving yards (10,137) and is third in touchdowns with 61.
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