The Green Bay Packers have been pondering whether to bring back receiver Greg Jennings or not, now that he is set to hit free agency, but it sounds as if the team would be willing to keep him via the franchise tag.
According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, the team is considering using the lucrative tag on Jennings:
Interesting to hear the #Packers are still considering franchising Greg Jennings. Thought that ship had sailed. Apparently not.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 24, 2013
It is a shocking development, as many thought Jennings would find a new home on the open market. According to ESPN's Tom Pelissero, he is seeking in the neighborhood of $14 million a year.
If the Packers were to use the tag on Jennings, it would cost the franchise just north of $10 million. It would seem a more financially reasonable route for the franchise to take in order to squeeze one more year out of Jennings.
As general manager Ted Thompson stated to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, according to Tom Silverstein, he would like to bring back Jennings one way or another:
"We think it's a good way to manage the NFL if you're able to retain your own players," Thompson said. "We'd very much like to do that, and that includes Greg."
The problem with bringing back Jennings is two-fold. For one, he is approaching 30 years of age and has battled recent injuries. Two, it does not make much sense to have so much money locked up in the wide receiver position.
What should the Packers do with Greg Jennings?
According to Pro Football Focus, Jennings was just the third-best receiver on the team a year ago. Both James Jones and Randall Cobb proved to be more viable options in the passing game.
The franchise tag also brings to light the possibility of a sign-and-trade scenario. Green Bay may not want to let Jennings walk without receiving some form of compensation in return for its former No. 1 receiver.
There are a variety of receiver-hungry teams in the NFL that would likely still make a trade with Green Bay for Jennings, who figures to be one of the top players available when free agency opens in March.
Either way, the Packers still appear to be weighing their options when it comes to Jennings. The franchise tag is now back in play, and it opens up a variety of scenarios for both Jennings and the Packers to explore.