Trent Stutzman of Bleacher Report and Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel engage in a bit of debate as to what options the Packers have when it comes to free agent wide receiver Greg Jennings.
McGinn, in his piece at the Journal Sentinel, argues keeping Jennings would be a “quick fix” and hamstring the organization down the line:
If Jennings is 1-a on their depth chart, then Jordy Nelson is 1-b. Twelve months ago, Ball got Nelson signed to a three-year extension averaging $4.2 million. As unassuming as Nelson might be, no team can have one veteran of comparable value making three times another veteran at the same position.
If the Packers did re-sign Jennings for, say, $13 million per year, the end result probably would be the sacrificing of a good younger player in free agency.
Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji, both 26, will be up after the 2013 season. The Packers would like to extend them during the next off-season as well as Aaron Rodgers, whose deal expires in March 2015.
Another reason the Packers can’t go all in on Jennings is their abundance at wide receiver.
Sure, they could place the franchise-player tag on Jennings in March, but the cap charge for that would be about $10 million and would do nothing to ease the logjam at the position and at the negotiating table.
Over at Bleacher Report, Stutzman, seems to think the Packers could get far less for Jennings than would make any deal worthwhile:
It’s going to be nearly impossible to keep all four of those core players and Jennings at their market values. If any of them should be left out, it would be Jennings, given the Packers’ depth at wide receiver.
But would a trade really be worth it? I say no.
Should Thompson trade Jennings this year, what would Green Bay get in return? Player-for-player trades are almost nonexistent in today’s NFL, so count out the return of a veteran player to immediately fix an area of weakness.
A much more likely scenario would involve a couple draft picks. McGinn points out that Brandon Marshall was traded for two third-rounders this offseason and for two second-rounders in 2010.
Jennings is a better receiver than Marshall, but not by a lot. So it looks as though the Packers would likely receive maybe two seconds and a third, or something in that ballpark. They may even pick up a first-rounder, but I wouldn’t count on it.
Should the Packers let Jennings walk, they would be rewarded with a compensatory pick the following year. The top compensatories are usually handed out at the end of the third round. The difference in compensation for Jennings is larger in a trade scenario, but not significantly.
Green Bay might as well stick it out for the rest of this year and hope Jennings can contribute to another Super Bowl-winning run.