Ted Thompson: Packers will try to retain Greg Jennings
INDIANAPOLIS — Greg Jennings has never played for an NFL team other than the Packers. Green Bay GM Ted Thompson would like to keep it that way, no matter how unrealistic that possibility looks right now.
Speaking at the scouting combine Friday, Thompson told reporters that he at least will test the waters on trying to re-sign Jennings.
“We think it’s good policy to keep our players,” Thompson said, “and that includes Greg.”
Jennings said on multiple occasions during the 2012 season that he was prepared to move on — and the Packers appeared ready to lose him, with Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones all set to return next season.
While Thompson said that he would like to retain Jennings, the Packers tend not to overpay often. That stance runs in stark contrast to a report from Tom Pelissero on Friday, which stated that Jennings wants $14 million per season out of his next deal.
Not only would that demand likely push him out of Green Bay’s range, it might severely limit the number of teams that can pursue the veteran receiver.
A $14 million-per-year deal would make Jennings the third highest-paid receiver in the league — an extremely high cost, considering Jennings missed three games in 2011 and another eight last season. He finished 2012 with just 366 yards receiving, his lowest career total by almost 300 yards.
Even if the Packers wanted to bring Jennings back at that price, they may not be able to justify it with Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews, among others, in need of contract extensions soon. Rodgers’ next deal could rely heavily on what Joe Flacco receives from Baltimore this offseason, but it figures to be upwards of $15 million per season.
Thompson’s words at the combine, then, may have been nothing more than paying Jennings lip service. A new multi-year contract at an average of $14 million a season certainly does not appear to be in the cards for Jennings in Green Bay.