Greg Jennings' Meeting with Vikings Will Force Packers' Hand

Mike MoraitisAnalyst IMarch 14, 2013

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 05:  Wide receiver Greg Jennings #85 of the Green Bay Packers runs after a catch against the Minnesota Vikings during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 5, 2013 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Greg Jennings is visiting the Minnesota Vikings as his time as a free agent continues, and that should force the Green Bay Packers to pay whatever it takes to keep the star wide receiver on the team.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN (per staff), Jennings was set to meet with the Vikings on Thursday, which is a team that just so happens to be a division rival of what could end up being his former team, the Packers.

Minnesota's need at the position has been well-documented. After dealing unhappy star receiver Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks for a 2013 first-round pick, the Vikings were left bare at receiver with just Jerome Simpson, Jarius Wright and Stephen Burton having experience.

To say the Vikings need a receiver with the talent of Jennings and would be willing to pay him the necessary money to get a deal done are both the understatements of the century. Jennings is a sensational player and would be a huge upgrade for the Vikings, who didn't have success moving the ball through the air last season.

Jennings has broken the 1,000-yard mark three times during his career and would have done so two more times in 2007 and 2011 if not for missing three games apiece in each of those seasons. In 2012, Jennings battled a groin injury that forced him to miss most of the season.

Now, Minnesota will have to make Jennings a significant offer if it hopes to beat out Green Bay for the best receiver left on the market.

According to Jason Wilde of, the Packers offered Jennings $10 million per season "a while ago" in a new contract, but that fell just short of Jennings' desired asking price of $11 to $12 million per year, which is around the numbers that Percy Harvin and Mike Wallace got in their respective new deals.

The Packers not coming up any higher than that offer seems reasonable considering Jennings has been banged up the past few seasons and is approaching the age of 30 this season.

Tom Pelissero of had originally reported that the Vikings had no plans on pursuing Jennings if he was seeking Wallace-type money.

But one has to figure that stance may have changed if the Vikings are taking the time to meet with Jennings. Clearly, the Vikings know what it will take to steal Jennings away from the Packers, so one has to figure Minnesota is ready to pay up in order to acquire him.

Either that or the Packers' offer has come down at some point. This scenario is far less likely.

If the Vikings are willing to surpass the Packers' offer, that will no doubt force Green Bay's hand to up their own offer that's on the table. The last thing the Packers want is to lose their best receiver, but it would add insult to injury if Jennings left for the Vikings.

That would mean that not only is there a huge void in the Packers receiving corps, but now the Packers will have to deal with Jennings burning them on the field at least two times per season, which would be a harsh reminder of exactly what they lost.

Granted, the Packers may not want to come up in price, but it likely wouldn't be that much more than what they have already offered. It would be money well spent to keep Jennings as an asset to Green Bay rather than a problem.