The Green Bay Packers and free agent receiver Greg Jennings never appeared close to finding mutual ground on a new deal, and it has been widely believed for some time now that Jennings will bolt Green Bay for a better offer once unrestricted free agency opens on March 12.
ESPN 1500's Tom Pelissero may have found the reason why the two sides failed to even approach a deal that would keep Jennings in Green Bay.
According to Pelissero, word around the NFL Scouting Combine is that Jennings is looking for $14 million a year on the free-agent market.
Lot of opinions here about what top receiver UFAs may command. Heard Greg Jennings wants $14M/year. Tough to see that happening.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 22, 2013
A $14 million a year deal would make Jennings the NFL's third highest paid receiver, behind only Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald.
As Pelissero states, envisioning Jennings and that kind of money this offseason is difficult.
Jennings will turn 30 years old in September, and he's coming off back-to-back seasons in which he missed games to injury (11 total games missed). Also, it's worth considering that Jennings is only 5'11"—small for a No. 1 receiver—and his career numbers (425 receptions, 6,537 yards, 53 TDs) are likely inflated from playing his entire career with Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.
If Jennings' demands are true—and we do have to take combine chatter with a grain of salt—then it is fairly easy to see why the two sides were so willing to part ways without much work done on the re-signing front. No one, especially the Packers, will be willing to pay Jennings $14 million a season.
Jennings, who caught 36 passes for 366 yards and four touchdowns in eight games last season, would be fortunate to eclipse the five-year, $55.55 million deal Vincent Jackson received from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last spring.
Zach Kruse is a 24-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covers prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.