It's been known all offseason that the first order of business was agreeing with WR Greg Jennings on a new contract. He was scheduled to become a free agent after this season.
First, it's an extension so the Packers still only pay him just over $500,000 in 2009. Obviously that's a bargain.
Second, $16 million in guaranteed money is about half of what Arizona guaranteed to WR Larry Fitzgerald last year.
Since it's only for three years, I'm guessing his agent expects Jennings can cash in on at least one more big contract after the extension expires. So keeping it at three years might be a big win for him.
Also, it puts him right at the top of wide receiver food chain:
Jennings would be behind Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals ($10 million) and Buffalo’s Lee Evans ($9.3 million). Jennings would be ahead of Seattle's T.J. Houshmandzadeh ($8 million), Dallas' Roy Williams ($7.8 million) and Houston's Andre Johnson ($7.5 million).
Antonio Bryant of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will earn $9.88 million this season after he was designated as the team’s franchise player.
That is an interesting bunch of comparisions.
- Fitzgerald is arguably the best receiver in the NFL.
- WR Lee Evans was lucky to sign his extension last October before 2008 became his 2nd consecutive sub-par season.
- WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a good comparable to Jennings, although age makes Jennings a better prospect going forward.
- WR Roy Williams was a bust after he signed that contract extension last October, but he might be primed for a big 2009 since he's now learned that NFL players lift weights.
- WR Andre Johnson is arguably the best receiver in the NFL.
- WR Antonio Bryant brought his career back from the dead with a solid 2008 season. He missed the 2007 season because he was a bad teammate.