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Superstar Wide Receiver Greg Jennings of the Green Bay Packers is once again making headlines with contract talks. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Packers are facing cap problems and they need to make a decision about whether or not to try to get Jennings to sign a long-term, not so expensive deal, franchise tag him, or let him go. I will go through what each option will be like, and then discuss why the Patriots could get a soon to be 30 year old, high production wide out at a discounted price.

Jennings was originally wanting in the ballpark of $13 million to $14 million per year, but with his previous season being plagued by injuries and his age getting to 30, an NFL executive thinks that salary will most likely get cut in half if he wants a long term deal. The Packers have opened up some cap space by cutting Center Jeff Saturday and Cornerback Charles Woodson, but they still need to give major contract extensions to former MVP Aaron Rodgers and former Defensive Player of the Year Clay Matthews, which means the importance of Greg Jennings' contract is sitting on the back burner. Not only that, but Greg Jennings could be seen as the third best WR on the market with Dwayne Bowe and Mike Wallace rivaling him. Therefore, Greg Jennings' value has significantly diminished to what he had expected. In addition, according to Bob McGinn, one of his suitors in the Miami Dolphins has been reported saying that head coach Joe Philbin is not his biggest fan.

If the Packers decide to tag Jennings, their cap will take the entire contract in for the upcoming season (speculated around $10-$11 million). Coach Mike McCarthy was asked about how comfortable he would be with a receiving corps without Jennings and he said the following:

“I feel very good about them,” McCarthy said. “I like our two young guys, too. I think those guys fit the mold of being able to play all positions. That’s a great asset for a quarterback and a play-caller.”

My gut feeling says that Greg Jennings will sell his house in Green Bay and not return.

Thus bringing us to the New England Patriots and what they should do if Green Bay lets Jennings go. I say this all of the time, and I will say it again - the Patriots need to win now! There are three great receivers on the market, they need to re-sign Vollmer and Welker at least, they need an awesome pass rusher, and they need a shut down corner. That is a lot of money that needs to be spent, and Belichick and Kraft are not huge on shelling out that much in contract money. Therefore, the Patriots need discounts. Jennings bounced back at the end of last season with 25 catches, 280 receptions yards, and 4 TDs in his final four games. The Patriots will need to get a big, down-field receiver. I would prefer it to be Dwayne Bowe or Mike Wallace, but they might be asking for too much, and I would not be upset to settle on Greg Jennings.

The Patriots have a lot to take care of in the off-season to become a nearly unbeatable team, so they have to be fiscally intelligent and choose carefully about the re-signing of Wes Welker and Sebastian Vollmer. Speculation has arose about Alfonzo Dennard's potential jail time, Aqib Talib is still a question mark in a very small pool of good cornerbacks, and the Patriots still need to look into a good pass rusher like Osi Umenyiora, and finally, a down-field wide receiver. It will hopefully be an interesting and active off-season.

Sam Reilly 2/25/2013 10:17:00 AM Edit
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