Recent reports suggest the Packers are considering slapping the franchise tag on Jennings, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:
Interesting to hear the #Packers are still considering franchising Greg Jennings. Thought that ship had sailed. Apparently not.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 24, 2013
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Bob McGinn elaborated on this topic:
...it's clear the Packers are having serious misgivings about letting fixtures such as Jennings and Finley just walk away. One source called it a 50-50 proposition whether Jennings would be franchised for what would be a tender worth about $10.36M.
For a team that doesn't have a ton of wiggle room in its salary cap this upcoming season, spending this kind of money on a player who has struggled with injuries the past two years is ludicrous.
Before the team let Charles Woodson walk, it was approximately $7.1 million under the cap (h/t ESPN's John Clayton).
According to OvertheCap.com, Green Bay currently has approximately $112.1 million on the books heading into the 2013 season, which puts the team about $10 million under the proposed $122 million cap (h/t Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio).
Signing Jennings would eat up all that's left of the team's cap, and there's no good reason to give him that kind of money when there are so many promising young receivers in this year's draft class.
Even if the Packers don't take a receiver early, guys like Markus Wheaton, Justin Hunter, Da'Rick Rogers, Quinton Patton and Terrence Williams will likely be available in Round 2 or later.
Aaron Rodgers is good enough to make average receivers look great, and though Jennings has been phenomenal for the Packers in the past, it's time for the team to look to the future.
Is Jennings worth $10 million to the Packers?
Drafting a rookie and letting Jennings and his $10 million salary walk would significantly impact the team's ability to get help at other positions.
Green Bay's offensive line has been terrible at protecting Rodgers the past couple of years (51 sacks in 2012), and some of that money could be used to remedy this.
There isn't a single good reason I can come up with to justify a decision by Ted Thompson to spend such an exorbitant amount of money on Jennings.
Green Bay must cut ties with its long-time receiver. That's the only solution that makes sense for the long-term health of this team.
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