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Packers Calendar: Franchise Tag Window Opens on Greg Jennings

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Packers Calendar: Franchise Tag Window Opens on Greg Jennings

Beginning on Monday, NFL teams have a two-week window (until March 4) for which to apply the franchise tag to one of their own unrestricted free agents.

For the Green Bay Packers, that means they have to decide whether or not they will tag wide receiver Greg Jennings, the only realistic option they may have at using it. Even so, the odds of the Packers using the tag on Jennings would appear unlikely.

There are two types of franchise tags, exclusive and non-exclusive. While the level of compensation for both types of tags is set by a mathematical formula, it still pays players in the realm of the old formula, the average of the top five players at their position.

The exclusive franchise tag prevents the player from signing with any other teams in free agency, while the non-exclusive tag would compensate the team losing the player with two first-round draft picks if he were to sign with another team.

Both Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com and Gregg Rostenthal of NFL.com looked at the probability of each NFL team using the franchise tag and concluded that the Packers were unlikely to use it on Jennings.

According to Florio, "Greg Jennings turns 30 in September.  In other words, the Packers won’t be using the tag on Greg Jennings.  The Packers learned while he was injured in 2012 that they can live without him, and they won’t be inclined to invest $10 million in cap space to a guy who plays a position that, with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, is virtually interchangeable.  If the Packers wanted to keep Jennings, they’d be trying to sign him.  They’re not, which likely means he won’t be tagged."

Over at NFL.com, Rosenthal writes, "I could make a strong argument why Jennings would be worth it, but general manager Ted Thompson wouldn't listen. The Packers are rolling with the young(er) guys in 2013."

With contract extensions due to Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji in the near future, it's difficult to envision the Packers spending in the neighborhood of over $10 million in Jennings.

It may not be entirely out of the question, however. The Packers could pull the ol' tag-and-trade, but even then, that is a gamble.

If Jennings does leave via free agency, the Packers can and likely will receive a compensatory draft choice in 2014 for his loss. The exact level of compensation would depend on the size of his contract and how he performs with his new team, but it can be no higher than the third round.

Jennings has said that he would prefer not to receive the team's franchise tag this offseason, obviously preferring to sign a multi-year contract whether with the Packers or another team.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (11) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Nick perry's picture

I say tag him and trade him. There's plenty of teams that would trade a pick for Jennings I'd think. Miami would seem to be a perfect place for Jennings. Warm weather, a system he knows, a decent QB that would get better with a receiver like Jennings all for say a number 2 pick. What do you guys think??

Brian Carriveau's picture

The thing with the franchise tag is, teams can hold it over the Packers' head. Not only would the Dolphins have to pay Jennings $10-plus million per season, they'd have to give the Packers a draft pick on top of it. Whereas, in free agency, they would not have to give up a draft pick at all.

And even if the Packers did tag Jennings, the Dolphins can offer the Packers compensation lower than what they think Jennings deserves, because they'll just say, "You don't like our offer of a fourth round draft pick? Fine, you're stuck with Jennings and his $10 million salary. Take it or leave it."

And if all the Packers can get is a fourth round draft pick, they might just as well let Jennings leave in free agency and potentially get a third rounder as a comp pick in 2014.

Chris's picture

Why is there an explicit assumption that the Packers are going to give BJ huge money? I just don't see it.
Sure he is the best they have on the line, but he has been far from a superstar.

cow42's picture

i agree.

he may very well be the most overrated Packer.

draft successors for raji and pickett. then let them play out their contracts.

Brian Carriveau's picture

I don't think there is an explicit assumption he'll get HUGE money, but I think there is an assumption that he'll get an extension that will pay him in excess of $5 million per season (likely more), which will have an impact on the team's salary cap over the next several seasons.

Evan's picture

I agree - I love Raji, but I don't think he's going to break the bank. I'd put Shields ahead of him on the priority list.

Lars's picture

I agree also---very overrated, but the media have him connected at the hip to Rodgers and CM 3 as a must sign. Raji is already at $6 million pers season so I expect it will be like the Hawk situation---continued overpayment. Meanwhile, CM 3 is also entering his 5th season and he makes 1/3rd what Raji does.

Tarynfor12's picture

IMO,if a team Franchises a player their mindset is they intend to keep him to have that year to work out a long term deal which due to other player and contract needs find it better to do those first.

It also could mean as in the case of Joe Flacco,let's see how he responds to a SB year,coupled with the above, before we give him the money in the Manning,Brady,Brees area.

However,using the Francise tag on a player in hopes of finding a trade partner or not having any intention of retaining long term is dumb.Case in point...Jennings,his staying or leaving has IMO,no bearing whether the Packers reach the SB next year or next or next,and is why he won't get paid or tagged here in GB.

T's picture

I'd much rather Franchise tag a 30 year old coming off of injury. Then sign a 30 year old to a 4-5 year deal any day.

Lars's picture

They aren't going to tag Jennings. He was a pretty big distraction, what with his constant yapping about a contract. He's gone. This tag and trade stuff is an illusion---very rarely happens.

30-years old, injury prone for two years, Jennings is a prime candidate for regression because his game is based on speed/quickness.

When the packers drafted Cobb we knew GJ's days were numbered in GB and so did he.

Chad Toporski's picture

You also have to ask yourself if you're willing to deal with the attitude of a player who wants no part of being franchised for a year and is looking for a long-term deal. Especially if that team showed an unwillingness to re-sign you during the season.

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