A little while ago, there were some rumblings that the Green Bay Packers were still seriously considering placing the Franchise Tag on wide receiver Greg Jennings, in a move that would likely displease the wideout and bring him back to Green Bay on a one-year deal worth just short of $10 million. This afternoon, the following news came down the wire and shocked very few people who follow the NFL:
Jennings made it plainly clear that he does not want to play under the franchise tag this season, and the Packers appear comfortable with letting him test the open market. With several dangerous receiving threats on the roster and Jennings taking a back seat this year due to injury, it should be no surprise that the Packers won't feel the need to compete with other teams in a bidding war, and with several other players needing long-term contracts (ahem, Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews) it was highly unlikely that Jennings would get one.
The uncertainty about Jennings now shifts from whether the Packers will tag him to what the market will be for his services. Will a team be willing to commit a long-term deal on a player who runs some of the cleanest routes and has some of the best hands in the NFL but has struggled to stay healthy recently and will turn 30 in September? It seems entirely possible that if Jennings can't get the type of contract that people say he wants (anywhere in the $11-15 million per year range, depending on who you ask), the Packers may be interested in bringing him back for around $8 million annually.
In any case, Jennings will get his wish: the chance to rake in a huge contract in free agency rather than the restriction of playing under the franchise tag. If he doesn't sign with Green Bay, we all need to remember that the NFL is a business just as much for the players as it is for the teams, and we should wish him well as long as he leaves the NFC North.
If he does indeed leave Green Bay, Jennings will have the following career statistics as a Packer:
96 games played (86 starts)
425 receptions, 6,537 yards (15.4 yards per catch), 53 touchdowns